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Straight Talk About the American Pit Bull Terrier

Note: The term “game” refers to a dog’s, a rooster’s (cock) or a person’s desire/love to fight until the bitter end. This desire is not equated with meanness or aggressiveness.  Thus the expression “Are you game”



Recently I have listened to many people with little knowledge of the Pit Bull speak with authority on the breed as if they have been around them for their whole life. Many have received their information from the Dog Whisper, Oprah and numerous other television shows that briefly talk about the modern day non-fighting Pit Bull. Many contend that it’s not the dog but the owners that have given them a bad name. Fortunately owning a modern day non-game pit bull and watching television doesn’t make one an expert on the breed. In order to understand the modern day non-game pit bull terrier you must understand its roots.

Many generations ago Western Europeans brought with them to America a small dog called the pit terrier or bull terrier. These dogs had been bred for the purpose of fighting bulls, bears, rats and of course each other. Only the strongest survived and only the champions bred. It is from the original game-bred fighting dogs that we get the modern day American Pit Bull Terrier.

Although many modern day Pit Bull Terriers have retained some characteristic of the first generation American Pit Bulls, they also have many differences. Through many generations of crossing the Pit Bull with non-game dogs and entirely different breeds such as Mastiffs, we now see a wide variety of looks and temperaments in the Pit Bull community. We see Pit Bulls with shorter, thicker legs, thicker bodies and broader features than their ancestors. Many of these modern dogs have absolutely no desire to fight dogs but will attack people without provocation.  Unfortunately when they do attack people they do more damage than any other breeds.


Many modern Pit Bulls still look enough like the originals that you can tell that they are indeed descendants of the game bred American Pit Bull Terriers. However, they are no longer fighting dogs. They are family dogs, Schutzhund dogs, and service dogs working in an array of occupations that are far removed from the original occupation of their ancestors. The truth is that most Pit Bulls today would make horrible fighting dogs because it is not in their blood. They don’t have the physique for fighting and most would turn, run, and jump out of the pit before fighting another dog for longer than 30 seconds. Game-bred dogs will fight without encouragement from its owner for 30 minutes to 4 hours.

Dogs unlike humans will admit when they aren’t willing to fight. They will turn and run, never caring if anyone regards them as cowards. The problem lies in the owners who believe that they are superior because their non-game bred dogs don’t fight in the dog park.  They announce that it’s not the dog but the owners that make pit bulls fight. What these owners fail to recognize is that their non-game bred Pit Bulls don’t want to fight and that you can’t make them fight even if you tried.


Unfortunately many innocent people who would never encourage their pit bulls to fight have the misfortune of getting a game-bred fighting dog. This pit bull wants to fight everything in sight. These owners are then labeled irresponsible because most don’t understand that If your American Pit Bull Terrier really wants to chew up another dog he will do it the first chance he gets, with or without your encouragement.


In closing, if you love the modern day American Pit Bull Terrier, than you should at least give respect to those that created the breed centuries ago, because it is from these lines that all modern day Pit Bulls are spawned.

More about performance dog breeding

The cruelty in game-bred pit bull fighting is not the fighting itself but rather the lack of respect, care and compassion for these brave warriors afterwards.

Dog Attack Deaths Statistics

Alpha Sire

This game-bred dog lived a long life  and sired many a game pit bull.

Alpha Dame

This game-bred dog died from a fight with her  best friend and nephew. Her nephew was a family pet that belonged to my mother.  The fight occurred when nobody was around