Introduction to the American Pit Bull Terrier Breed

The American Pit Bull Terrier is the most misunderstood dog breed in the United States, hands down. If you stopped 10 strangers on the street or asked 10 family members what dog breed was historically the most popular and beloved in American culture, you’d be lucky to have one in ten of those people answer the question correctly. Believe it or not, the American Pit Bull Terrier was once the nation’s most beloved dog. Trusted on ranches to guard property and babysit the kids. Kept in the home as a loyal and faithful companion. Even the first choice pet of some of America’s early 20th century presidents.

What happened to the American Pit Bull Terrier to make it go from a position of such prominence, to the status it suffers through today in American society? In order to better understand the history of the pit bull, from its earliest days to its status in 21st century America, you need a comprehensive collection of information that paints an accurate portrayal of the breed.

Listen to the media or read the daily news, and you’ll hear the narrative that cautious (even scared) members of society want you to know about this dog breed. Do a little digging on your own, a little reading on your own, and you’ll learn the truth behind the rise and fall of this dog breed. In brief, the sections on the history of the American Pit Bull Terrier breed contained within will provide you with an accurate depiction of this loyal, gentle, and fun-loving breed.

miacis oldest pit bull ancestor

In our first section you’ll learn all there is to know about the APBT. This breed traces its bloodline back to the battlefield of antiquity, where it served as a loyal sidekick to human civilizations on the field of war, and experienced its first mistreatment at the hands of man. We trace its steps from the Roman outposts on Britannia to the heart of Rome, back through mainland Europe to the United Kingdom, and over the pond to the United States.

Chapter 1. Comprehensive History (pre-America):

roman war dogs illustration

We discuss at length the breed traits that developed in the dog breeds that eventually led to the American Pit Bull Terrier. As you’ll find in our history section, the American Pit Bull Terrier is the result of hundreds of years of crossbreeding among various types of dogs, creating an animal that is both compact and agile, yet powerful and fearless. Although it is capable of putting on a mean mug from the outside, on the inside you’ll find a heart of a gold. Contrary to popular belief, these dogs are as gentle as it comes, and thrive in loving and supportive family environments.

  • Chapter 2. Temperament & Behavior
  • Chapter 3. Breed traits
pitbull dog fighting ring illustration

As you learn more about the history of the breed, you’ll discover what made the pit bull so popular in America in the first place. We talk about how the dogs came to be in the United States, why they were so popular right off the bat, and how deeply they were engrained into the American experience. Following that, you’ll learn about the unfortunate series of events that led to the breed’s status today. Illegal and immoral choices by mankind helped shape an image of the breed that was anything but accurate.

  • From England to America
  • Foundation in America (how the breed gained a foothold)
  • Impact of the Colby Family
  • Golden Years in America
  • First Instances of Fighting/Games
  • Post-World War II America
  • Modern America

You can’t address the American Pit Bull Terrier breed and not discuss the one thing which has done the most damage to the image of these loving and loyal dogs. Throughout our sections you’ll learn about the negative instances of dog fighting, culminating in the ray of sunshine that came from an awful place known as the Bad Newz Kennel.

  • New Age of Dogfighting in America
  • Discrimination Against the Breed
  • Michael Vick and a New Day for Pit Bulls

In our final sections, we look at the modern breed traits for the American Pit Bull Terrier. We devote a section to separating the myths from facts, talk about the efforts underway across the country to rescue the breed and repair its image, and even walk you through the decision to buy or adopt one of these beautiful animals, including offering you an easy-to-follow guide for determining if this dog is right for you and your family.

As you read through this comprehensive guide to the American Pit Bull Terrier, please read with an open mind. We invite you to learn the whole story on this wonderful breed. Set aside the snippets you hear in the news, and digest the honest information about this breed as it attempts to make a positive comeback in American society.

  • Separating Myths and Facts
  • Behavior, Training, and Common Sense
  • Efforts to Rescue the Breed
  • Modern Breeding Standards
  • Is this Dog Right for You?
  • Buy or Adopt?
  • What You Can Do to Help the Breed