Dog fighting is a physical fight involving two canines against each other, both for the entertainment of spectators, and for gambling. It is considered by some to be a sport, and the dogs are judged on their wrestling, bite, and gameness while onlookers watch and place bets. In some countries, it is accepted practice, while it is illegal in others, including the United States.
Dog breeds which usually participate in dog fights
Dog fighting requires specific anatomical traits and temperamental features. A fighting dog's anatomy requires an imposing outward form, so that it can instill fear. The foundation breed is naturally large, low-slung, heavy, powerfully built, with a strongly developed head, powerful biting apparatus, and a threatening voice. Ultimately, breeders of fighting dogs breed dogs that will attack animals but will remain docile and affectionate towards humans. Breeds with a character suitable for protecting humans and fighting wild animals may be considered for dog-fighting. Pit-Bull Terriers or Mastiffs are common choices and are given special attention.
Perhaps this is why we hear Pit Bulls more associated with dog fighting. In fact, American Pit Bull Terriers and Bull Terriers are often mistaken as directly related to each other. Although they are not, both breeds are descended from the same ancestors.
In reality, many breeds that were once associated with dog fighting have been bred and developed as excellent family and show dogs. Pure breeds like the English Bull Terrier and the Staffordshire Bull Terrier were once popular as fighting dogs, but were originally developed as bait dogs. Other pure breeds like the Irish Terrier, the Bulldog, the Kerry Blue Terrier, and the Parson Russel Terrier were used for fighting alongside their original use in vermin control and other farm work.
Bull Terriers in dog fights
A Birmingham fighting dog breeder called James Hinks interbred the Bull-and-Terrier with the White English Terrier. Through several cross breeding attempts, he developed a smaller Bull-and-terrier breed, which was white coated and more elegant. This was the beginning of the Bull Terrier.
Though Bull Terriers were originally bred for dog fighting, they were later recognized for their abilities as showdogs and they proved to be great companions. Despite its history in dog fighting, it is known that a Bull Terrier has a more favorable temperament than other breeds.
Through the years, Bull Terriers have become less of a fighting breed than its ascendants. At present, the Bull Terrier is more playful than combative, and it is actually very affectionate towards humans and can get along well with other animals provided it is properly introduced.
Although dog-fighting may still be practiced in many parts of the world, animal rights laws in many advanced countries would prohibit dog fighting, and our love for pets like the Bull Terrier ensures that they are rarely involved in blood sports like Dog Fighting.