Pitbull Terrier; The Real History:
The American Pitbull Terrier was believed to have been bred from a mixture of bulldogs and terriers. An Old English Bulldog, that looked much like today’s pit bull was originally used in the 1800’s in the British Isles to ‘bait’ bulls (badrap.org, 2011).
The Bulldog would literally hang from the bull. Of course, the bull would thrash about- eventually succumbing to exhaustion, usually from blood loss. Consider this- it is a huge deal when a human can ride a bull for even eight seconds, though the muscles that make up our thighs are huge; the largest grouping in our body.
AMERICAN TEMPERAMENT TEST (ATTS) SCORES MARCH 2011 *
Number Tested Number Passed
American Pitbull Terriers 804 86.4%
American Staffordshire Terrier 627 84.2%
Staffordshire Bull Terrier 117 89.7%
To put this into perspective, consider:
Collie: 856 tested; 79.9% passed
Cocker Spaniel: 227 tested; 81.9% passed
Australian Cattle Dog: 187 tested; 79.1% passed
Beagle: 72 tested; 80.6% passed
Golden Retriever: 764 tested; 84.9% passed
According to these results, the natural temperament of a Pitbull surpasses even that of known docile Labs!
* The ATTS test simulates a casual walk in a neighborhood and rates a dog’s response to everyday life situations (Classic Pitbull Personality, 2011).
The AKC accepted the breed in 1936, naming them the ‘American Staffordshire Terrier, in the hopes of distinguishing them as separate breeds- continuing on their own lineage. The American Staffordshire Terrier shows slight physical variance, but is essentially the exact same breed. “The Am Staff is a people-oriented dog that thrives when he is made part of the family and given a job to do. Although friendly, this breed is loyal to his family and will protect them from any threat” (American Kennel Club, 2013).