As we get into modern history the name of the American Pit Bull Terrier was changed several times and was finally changed to American Pit Bull Terrier to include the word, "pit" in the name.
Out of all the breeds that are referred to as the "pitbull" the American Pit Bull Terrier is the only breed with the actual words "Pit Bull" in their name.
I won't even get into the whole registry problem of naming the breed. It's laughable at best.
I will say this, the American Staffordshire Terrier was started off American Pit Bull Terriers and the fact the American Kennel Club does not recognize the APBT as a purebred dog is hilarious
The original standard for the Amstaff was based on a Colby American Pit Bull Terrier.
Politics and image resulted in a different strain of American Pit Bull Terrier, we call this strain, The American Staffordshire Terrier.
The United Kennel Club started hosting fights and registering Pit Bulls and then the American Dog Breeders Association came along because they felt the UKC was not doing a great job representing the breed.
As far as history is concerned the American Pit Bull Terrier is a pure dog fighting dog that is supposed to be used for dog fighting. Despite the ample amount of evidence to prove otherwise.
More dogs lived as farm dogs and household pets than fighting dogs. This is also proven by the breeders records of the time.
The American Pit Bull Terrier Today
Today the American Pit Bull Terrier is still used for dog fighting, bull baiting and bear baiting. Japan and Pakistan are both countries that host such events.
In 2004 bear baiting events were on the rise in Pakistan. Illegal events were being hosted all over the country and authorities were slow to react.
Many of these contests used imported American Pit Bull Terriers on the Bears.
In the picture to the left, two Pit Bulls or Pit Bull type dogs are engaging a baited bear in Pakistan. (2004)
Despite their misuse the American Pit Bull Terrier is still a truly versatile canine that continues to astonish people with their ability to adapt and overcome anything that is asked of them.
Dog fighting, bear baiting, and other barbaric acts of cruelty while still very much alive and well show only a small portion of the APBT's true ability.
Agility, protection sports, obedience, therapy dogs, search and rescue dogs, drug and bomb detection dogs, are all activities the modern American Pit Bull Terrier excels at.
A large part of their history is made up of blood and battle. This is not something to shrink away from as a fancier of the breed. Their history should be embraced, understood, and once we have a full understanding, we can control the future.
Purists who think they are "only good for fighting" need to wake up and smell the coffee. Change will happen and fighting and blood sports is the first place we should focus our efforts.
The History of the American Pit Bull Terrier Summed Up
History is the recording of the past or the telling of the past. As I mentioned above the history of the Pit Bull is filled with blood and battles against all kinds of animals including their own kind.
We can not change the history of the breed. We can however change the history our children's children will be writing about in the future.
History shows us where we, as people, made grave mistakes in judgment and where we made great improvements.
I for one am grateful of my breeds history. It has helped shape them into the greatest dogs known to man.
With that said, our actions from this point on will dictate if they stay the greatest dogs known to man or if our actions will cause their total annihilation from our society.