The Pit Bull Terrier and the facts behind the breed.

The Pit Bull Terrier
This must be the most misunderstood breed ever. What is a Pit Bull Terrier, other than a dog that causes huge arguments all the time on social media? These are the facts regarding the breed and why things are going wrong.
Let me start by stating that dogs as pets is a relatively new concept.
The original Pit bull originated in Britain during the 1800’s. Old English Bulldogs were crossed with Terrier type dogs, and the Bull Terrier name was born. These dogs were selectively bred as fighting dogs. Initially they were bred for Bull Baiting, hence the “Bull” Terrier. When Bull Baiting was outlawed in 1835 these dogs were then used for Dog Fighting instead, although against the law even then. As these fights were held in pits, these dogs became known as Pit Bull Terriers.

Border Collies playing with Pit Bull puppy.

Border Collies playing with Pit Bull puppy.

Yesterday I let my dogs play with a Pit bull puppy. I got some reaction from different people regarding this. “Why would you want to do that, they are bred not to like dogs” to “I thought you don’t like Pit bulls”. Will I ever get a Pit bull myself?  Probably not. And the reason is not that I do not like them, they are just not the right type of dog for my lifestyle. Is owning a Pit Bull any different from owning a Border Collie? Yes and no. Yes they are different in what they were selected for, but so are Border Collies. The difference is that every dog were bred for some kind of function and that is the main difference. Will a Pit Bull ever be able to do what a Border Collie does? Some of the things for sure, but will they ever be as good as a Border Collie in dog Agility for example? Definitely not.

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George van Huyssteen (DipCABT)
Practitioner Member CAPBT International
Garden Route, South Africa


Petra du Toit (CPDT-KA)
SABCAP Companion Animal Behaviorist (AB/013)
SABCAP Dog Training Professional (DT/015)