Pit Bull Breeds, Types and Aggression

Pit Bull Breeds & Aggression

In the general public’s eyes there are two basic categories that the “Pit Bull” will fit into. Only one of which is an actual “Pit Bull”. There is the American Pit Bull Terrier and the American Bully. While these dogs derived from some of the same ancestors, they now have two completely different temperaments.

The Original American Pit Bull Terrier

The only real true “Pit Bull” is the original American Pit Bull Terrier. For the most part, these dogs are extremely human friendly. Both naturally and when socialized properly. However, these dogs are for the most part naturally dog aggressive. This is due to the fact that these dogs were bred specifically to fight other dogs. Any experienced dog fighter will choose this style of dog for fighting.

Game Dogs and Dog Aggression

The original APBT’s are sometimes referred to as game dogs or game blood. Some of the most popular game bloodlines are Colby, Carver, and the Alligator bloodline.

There are a number of Kennels that breed these pit bull breeds to preserve their original gameness and temperaments. Tom Garner is one of the most well known breeders of the original American Pit Bull and game dogs. He is pictured to the left with his dog Sassy (A 3 year old female pit bull in Orange County, N.C, on Tuesday, July 24, 2007.). Some of the other most well known breeders of  game dogs include Floyd Boudreaux, Louis & Mike Colby, John P Colby – who was breeding the “Colby” bloodline since 1888, Maurice Carver (Carver Bloodline) and Gary J. Hammonds. Gary is the founder and creator of the Alligator Bloodline. He is known to be a very scientific breeder that researches the history of his bloodlines extensively. The Alligator Bloodline plays an important role in the breeding programs of many serious breeders around the world. Gary’s most famous dog would undoubtably be his stud RUFUS who was proven to be one of the best producing males in the world.

It’s said by most of these game dog breeders that they are unable to breed true game dogs without testing their stock (fighting their dogs).

While game dogs are naturally human friendly, they have the ability to excel in protection training if trained properly. If a person was to intentionally make a game dog human aggressive, these dogs will do so in order to please their owner.

The three types of human aggressive pit bull breeds

Howard's Ver Magnusson schutzhund pitbull
Howard’s Ver Magnusson pictured above is a perfect example of a pit bull that excels in protection training and in the sport of Schutzhund with the proper training. Magnus (R.I.P) is the only Superdog in the history of the breed to earn the esteemed Schutzhund 3 title. A Schutzhund title is equivalent to obtaining four titles: The temperament test, the obedience title, a tracking title and the protection title.

Unintentionally Raised Human Aggressive Pit Bulls: These are the type of dogs are created by being socialized poorly with humans as pups, are neglected, are possible victims of abuse, are trained improperly, or a combination of these factors. These type of dogs are created by owners that have no intentions of creating an aggressive dog.

Intentionally Trained Human Aggressive Pit Bulls: Dogs that that are trained to be aggressive by humans. They may have been trained poorly, or properly. When trained  properly, then tend to excel in personal and police protection work. When trained poorly or by a person with little or no experience with protection training, it can results in an unprovoked dog attack on a neighbor, mailman, or family member. It is highly recommended that you leave it up to the professionals when it comes to protection training.

Naturally Human Aggressive Pit Bulls: For the most part the majority of pit bulls are human friendly. However, some are naturally aggressive from day one. These dogs are usually bred by backyard breeders that are inexperienced. These type of breeders usually have have little or no knowledge about breeding or the history of the dogs they are being bred. The majority of these dogs un-papered (Meaning they are not registered). Any experienced or ethical breeder does not breed a pit bull that carries this type of temperament. Only in rare instances will you find a purebred pit bull from a quality bloodline show human aggression naturally.

I’ve done protection training and there is a huge difference between a human aggressive dog that can determine the difference between a criminal or threat, and a family member, and one that is downright aggressive towards all humans. The latter is looked down upon completed by experienced dog trainers and breeders alike. Any dog that shows unprovoked human aggression has a huge flaw in their temperament and should be culled from the breeding program and fixed.

This rule dates back 100 years ago when dog fighting was yet to be deemed inhumane and outlawed. Dog fighters would need to break up the dog fights without being bit, therefore they bred pit bull breeds to be human friendly.

The most abused breed

The original APBT is the breed that is most commonly found in shelters, misunderstood, bred by backyard breeders with little or no breeding experience, and used for fighting. In comparison to the American Bully, these dogs are less expensive for the most part as well. This is partly the reason why these dogs are more commonly found in shelters, are bred with no papers, and bred by breeders with no breeding experience (simply because these dogs are more easily obtained). The reason they are involved in dog fighting more than the American Bully is because for the most part, the American Bullies are very poor fighters.

The American Bully

DaxLine kennels CA
On of the most popular American Bullies is Dax from Daxline kennels. Ed Shepherd (Owner of Dax) has no interest in his dogs showing any type of aggression.

In comparison to to the Original American Pit Bull Terrier, the American Bully is a relatively new breed. This breed started roughly around 15-20 years ago with breeders like Richard Barajas (Gottiline), Ed Shepherd (Gottyline), and Dave Wilson of Razors Edge. These dogs for the most part were bred specifically for looks and breeders paid little attention to their temperaments. Breeders bred for Big Blocky Heads, Wide stances, Short, Compact, and Muscular bodies. They also bred for their blue coats since they were the most popular color with the majority of the public.

The Temperament of the American Bully

The majority of these breeders paid little or no attention to their temperaments. These breeders were not interested in these dogs showing human or dog aggression and only bred for looks. There was no use for a dog that showed aggression. Customers were purchasing these dogs solely on the way they looked and had no interest in a guard dog that was human aggressive, or a fighting dog that was dog aggressive.

Dog aggression would make American Bully Breeder’s jobs more expensive and time consuming since they would have to keep the dogs in separate kennels, have them relieve themselves, and exercise separately. Furthermore, any dog fight would potentially cost them money. If a dog was injured by a dog fight they would need to sped money at a vet to attend to the dog’s injuries. If a dog was killed in a fight, the breeder would lose a great deal of money by losing a stud dog or a producing female.

For the most part the original pit bull temperament and drive was bred out of these pit bull breeds. Not intentionally, but by the lack of attention to their temperaments. What was left after years of breeding for a specific look, and not temperament, was an extreme bully with exaggerated features (Massive head, extremely short and wide, carrying a great deal of muscle and mass), and a family and dog oriented temperament. These dogs interacted together on a daily basis with both family and other dogs making them the perfectly socilized family pet. In vary rare instances will you find an American Bully that is either human aggressive or dog aggressive.

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