Pit Bulls have been given a bad reputation over time, being deemed as aggressive and dangerous animals. However, if you look at their breeding history, you’ll find they’re designed to be the exact opposite. In honor of Pit Bull Awareness Month and Pit Bull Awareness Day on October 28th, we’re shedding some light on the history of the breed.
Pit Bulls are not one specific breed, but rather a category of breeds, including the likes of American Pit Bull Terriers, Staffordshire Terriers and American Bullies. Originally, they were created by breeding bulldogs and terriers together in an effort to combine the agility of a terrier with the strength of a bulldog. This breed gained popularity in the 1800s through a sport called “bull baiting,” a bloody, ruthless exercise which consisted of tying a bull to a stake, giving him 30 feet to move, and releasing dogs in an attempt to injure the bull. After bull baiting became illegal in 1835, the public popularized dogfighting, as it was easier to hide from law enforcement.
Over the years, many families brought home beloved Pit Bulls to protect the family and help with farm jobs. Interestingly enough, while these dogs were bred for strength and agility, they were also bred to be extremely gentle with humans. Famous dogs, including , helped create a favorable national opinion of the breed. Bud was the sidekick to Horatio Nelson Jackson and participated in the first cross-country road trip in 1903. To this day, Bud’s goggles are on display at the Smithsonian American History Museum. By the turn of the 20th century, Pit Bulls were known as “America’s Dog.” So where did it all go wrong?
By the time the 1980s came around, dogfighting rose in popularity in the United States. Additionally, Pit Bulls who participated in dogfighting were more often than not victims of pet abuse. Seeing these dogs in spiked collars on street corners caused fear in most people, with nationally known magazines, such as Time, covering stories of Pit Bulls baring their teeth and unfavorable, breed-related statistics.
Pit Bulls Today
Thankfully, in recent years, people have joined the fight for Pit Bull safety and rights. High profile cases of those who abuse their pets and partake in dogfighting, including football player Michael Vick, created national awareness of these awful occurrences. Not only during Pit Bull Awareness Month, but every day, we must remember that these dogs were not bred or born to kill, are not monsters, and have the same capacity to love as any other breed. Give them a chance, and they can show you what loving, goofy, and intelligent creatures they really are!
Here at Scoop Soldiers, we love furry clients of all breeds and sizes, including beloved Pit Bulls. If you’re in Austin, Dallas, Fort Worth, Houston, Oklahoma City, Phoenix, San Antonio or Tulsa, contact us at (877) 930-POOP. Allow us to remove the dog waste so you can enjoy your pet and clean yard!