History Of Pitbulls
Pitbull history is often misrepresented and skewed towards the common misconceptions of the breed. The truth is, there is not an actual definition for the term “Pitbull”. Sure, you can look it up in Merriam-Webster and come away with an idea of the breed, but this definition is condemnatory. What is meant by there not being an actual definition is that it is often a mixture of breeds that comprise a Pitbull. This has led to a variety of terms being used to refer to the breed. This article will delve into Pitbull history by an investigation into the origination of the breed, its history in America, the ideal appearance and personality and a look at how the Pitbull got the bad reputation.
Origination of Term
The first recollection of a dog similar to today’s Pitbull was in the British Isles in the 1800’s. At this point, the breed was comparable to an American Bulldog; fittingly, they were used to bait bulls. Used as entertainment for lower economic classes, this practice was deemed inhumane and was replaced by dog fighting. This new sport required a more agile, smaller dog which was accomplished by crossing the dogs with terriers. Bred to be fighters, the dogs were taught to not bite humans so that the handlers could safely stage fights. It is here that the reputation of the breed to be trustworthy with humans originated.
History in America
Pitbull history in American began as immigrants began coming to the country with these dogs in tow. In America, fighting was not the only skill the Pitbulls were renowned for. Other tasks delegated to the breed included being the protectors of property from predators and being an additional farmhand. Hog catching was exceptionally easy for the breed along with being helpers on a variety of other hunts. The dogs could also function as a nanny for children due to their protective nature.
As America developed, Pitbulls held their place of prominence in the American culture, likely due to the admiration for the qualities of the breed: welcoming, courageous, hardworking, and reputable. These were qualities that Americans felt defined their culture and caused them to idolize Pitbulls as a concrete representation of these qualities. This appreciation for the breed is evident in the literature of the times; it wasn’t uncommon to see the Pitbull pictured in a domestic scene with family members lovingly embracing the dog. Even as recently as World World I, the Pitbull was used as a mascot of neutrality and bravery. Many famous American figures had the breed as a pet, the most notable being Helen Keller and Teddy Roosevelt. Odds are, a majority of readers have some familial link to Pitbulls.