The pit bull has to be one of the most, if not the most, controversial dog breeds there are. Putting aside feelings and politics, let's look at the history of this misunderstood animal.
To clarify, the term “pit bull” isn't actually the name of one breed, but covers a group of breeds with similar characteristics. Since mixed breeds with a certain “look” can be considered pits there is some leeway as to what constitutes a pit bull, but there are specific breeds that fall into the “pit” category. In North America, the American Pit Bull Terrier, American Staffordshire Terrier, and the Staffordshire Bull Terrier are these formal breeds — though the American Bulldog and Bull Terrier are sometimes included.
The pit bull's origin traces back to Ireland where bulldogs and terriers were bred for the combination of agility and strength. Later, the dogs were used in the United Kingdom for blood sports such as bull-baiting, bear-baiting, and cock fighting. As America was settled by Europeans, pit bulls were eventually used as catch-dogs for wild animals and driving cattle.
Today, blood sports have been outlawed, but “underground” fighting rings still exist. Unfortunately, this often leads pits to still be thought of as fighting dogs. Despite the pit bull's current reputation for violence, the bulldog it is bred from was typically a guard and companion dog.
There is now a distinction between the two main groups of pits: the red nose and the blue nose. Just as they sound, each group really does have a different colored nose. However, there are more differences. Coat color of the blue noses tends to be in the gray ranges and smooth, whereas the red noses are the brown and red coats. Being thought of as the original pit and more “true” to the original breed, the blue nose tends to fetch a higher price. The red nose tends to have the look of a pit, but be diluted with the American breeds that came later.
Nowadays, this group of breeds is becoming more welcome to play key roles in society. These include working dogs such as soldiers and police dogs, search and rescue dogs, and guide dogs. For many, they still carry the stigma mentioned above, but despite this the pit bull has become the beloved dog of many homes.
Doggie Delites — Heart Healthy Dog Treats
We want your dog to be happy and healthy this new year, so here's a great treat to start your new year off just right. Your dog will surely be begging for more! Recipe: 1/2 cup of natural peanut butter (be sure to check the label)1/4 cup honey1 tablespoon of virgin coconut oil (or olive oil)1 cup chicken broth1 cup rolled oats1 cup whole wheat flour1 cup all-purpose flour Instructions: In a large mixing bowl, add the peanut butter, honey, oil, and the chicken broth-whisk them together until combined. In a separate bowl, combine the flours and the oats. Mix the...
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