The Pit Bull is the common name for the breed of dog descended from Bulldogs and terriers, breeds often considered to be of the Pit Bull type are the American Pit Bull terrier, the American Staffordshire terrier, the American Bully and the Staffordshire Bull terrier.

Many of these breeds were originally bred as fighting dogs, from cross-breeding bull baiting dogs and terriers. After the use of dogs in blood sports was banned, these dogs were used for hunting or to drive livestock, they also became popular as companion dogs and family pets. Despite dog fighting being illegal, it still exists as an underground sport, with Pit Bulls being a common choice.


Although controlled studies have not established this breed group as disproportionately dangerous owners of Pit Bull type dogs still have to deal with a strong breed stigma, with owners of a stigmatised breed seen as being more likely to be involved in criminal or violent acts. In some places Pit Bulls are banned, or not permitted to be out in public without being muzzled, and some insurance companies do not cover liability from Pit Bull bites.

Pit Bulls were originally created by breeding Bulldogs and terriers to produce a dog that had the gameness and agility of a terrier combined with the strength of the Bull dog. Dogs termed as Pit Bull usually share similar characteristics, with some cross-breed dog often labeled as Pit Bulls if they share the same physical features such as a square shaped head or a strong bulky body.


In a 2014 review of dog bite studies, the American Veternary Medical Association stated that breed is a poor indicator of dog bites, controlled studies have not identified Pit Bulls as disproportionately dangerous. While Pit Bull types were more frequently identified with cases involving very serious injury or even fatalities, the review suggests that this could be because of the popularity of the breed, noting that Siberian Huskies and Sled dogs were involved in the majority of fatal attacks in some areas of Canada.

When treated correctly Pit Bull type breeds make good companion dogs or family pets, with care, affection and regular exercise Pit Bulls can be a friendly and fun addition to any family, they are also strong, loyal and protective of their owner. Unfortunately because of this they are the dogs of choice for idiots and criminals, who view them as a status symbol, and raise them to be vicious and aggressive, which is one of the main reasons for the bad press they receive.

When Pit Bulls or any other type of dog is involved in an incident where serious injuries occur, it is always the dog that is destroyed, while the owner gets a slap on the wrist, in most cases this should be the other way round.

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michael simpson

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