The Misconception of the American Pit Bull Terrier (APBT)

Posted on March 27, 2009 @ 3:00 am
by Cody Richardson

A lot of people fear the name American Pit Bull Terrier because they tend to picture out aggressive and vicious human attacks by a 60 pound dog. However, these degrading presumptions are just misleading misconceptions that tarnish the reputation of this lovable and protective pet. The truth is, American Pit Bull Terriers are intelligent, loyal, and fun loving dogs that got a bad reputation because of uncaring owners.

It all goes back to the year 1835 England when royals and commoners alike enjoy the sadistic and bloody game of bull baiting. Because of this, some breeders had the idea of breeding bulldogs to use in dog fighting. They mixed the tenacity and fierceness of this dog with Terrier and the result was the Bull Terrier.

The Bull Terrier was born with impressive characters which are: aggressiveness to its enemies, tenacity and bravery, high pain threshold, and at the same time they are affectionate and sociable to people. These abilities made the dog unbeatable and deadly in the dog fight scene. However, the Bull Terrier was not all violence because its natural ability to be caring and loyal to humans made the difference.

Bull baiting was eventually banned in England and this forced some people to cease the breeding for dog fighting. In the middle of 1800′s, immigrants introduced the Bull Terrier to the United States but not for fighting anymore. During these times, the Bull Terrier was used as an- all around farm dog and frontier guardian.

In 1898, the United Kennel Club officially named the Bull Terrier as the American Pit Bull Terrier. The breed’s introduction to America made it well-known among dog breeders and different kinds of people. In fact, it was so popular that many companies, including Buster Brown Shoe Company, RCA phonograph and even Levi’s, used APBT as mascots to represent dependability, loyalty, toughness and bravery.

There were also some famous people who had APBT as pets. There was Theodore Roosevelt, Hellen Keller, and Little House books’ Laura Ingals Wilder. During World War I, APBT was highly regarded that even a Pit Bull named Stubby became a decorated war hero.

Despite the popularity and attention, however, the American Pit Bull Terrier did not get all praise and good fortune. Secret dog fights were discovered and controversial human attacks were reported that kennel clubs changed its name and standard quite a few times. From the Bull Terrier, it became American Pit Bull Terrier, Staffordshire Terrier and now to American Pit Bull Terrier again.

There are still those who use APBTs for dog fighting and criminal acts. They train and raise these dogs to be aggressive and violent that their natural traits to be social and loving to humans got erased. So in the reportedly bad behaviors and fatal attacks of American Pit Bull Terriers, the blame can only be pointed to those heartless and irresponsible people who used them as an instrument of violence and greed.

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