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Nowadays, dog fighting is unlawful in most developed countries. Animal lovers consider this sport as animal cruelty.
Sadly, for canine enthusiasts, dog fighting is still thriving in some countries. Countries are trying to stick to their morals and continue to outlaw dog-fighting.
In the countries where it remains legal, this blood sport of dog fighting is of three types.
- Street fighting
Is Dog Fighting Illegal?
Dog fighting remains a legal sport in parts of the Russian Federation and in Japan. Though it is officially illegal to organize dog fighting, the law turns a blind eye in some countries. In Eastern European countries, Latin America, Pakistan, etc, the law still holds little impact.
Dog fighting sport can be traced back to the ancient Romans. They would pit fighting dogs against other animals –bulls, bears, and humans. These are in gladiator-style fights to the death in the Roman Colosseum.
These fights last up until that dog dies, fails to scratch or exits the pit. As history is replete with cases of animals that lose the battle is then killed by its owner. They will be tortured or treated badly with the tag of training.
The dogs, if they need to live for another day, not only should survive the fight but have to win the fight.
Any dog can behave in a hostile way depending on its genetics, training, and treatment.
They become aggressive because of training and ownership. If fighting is not their life’s task, they will develop into a well-behaved companion.
When it comes to fighting dog breeds, these dog breeds are only the tip of the iceberg.
Let’s take a look at our top 7 fighting dog breeds.
Yes, it’s all in the name… you guessed right! The popular breed is known nowadays for its loyal and protective nature. Bulldogs were used at first for entertainment purposes, in the sport called bull baiting.
They have a strong, stocky body and under-bite well matched to the blood sport of bull baiting.
Bull Baiting was a national blood sport in the UK from 1206 until it was outlawed in 1835.
Sadly, they were bred to be the original bull baiting machines. They are trained to creep low to the ground. They will attempt to pin down a bull so they could be slaughtered afterward.
Their stout bodies helped them to keep grounded against a bull’s best efforts to launch them into the air.
Heavy muscling, a big chest and a robust skeleton also helped them for bull baiting.
Small snouts facilitated them to breathe properly while holding onto a bull’s snout. Their face wrinkles served as channels, moving the blood out of their eyes to have a clear view.
Their baggy skin worked almost like a shield to guard their vital organs. An undershot jaw gave them a better grip pushing their bottom teeth up.
Smaller back and short back legs, when shaken by the bull, would help them sustain any spinal injuries. To put it briefly, the dog had a summative of bull-baiting features.
Bulldogs have a lot of personalities and even more, love to give for individuals and families.
Nothing much bothers the typical English bulldog when their temperament is often misunderstood. They are laid-back but they are also good-natured who adores their people and happy to hang out.
Bulldogs are bold who is not afraid to stand their ground. They can be very protective of their owners and territorial over their property.
Known as the “lions of Anatolia” — these are Turkey’s national dogs and resemble a small white bear. The history of the dogs comes with the history of Turkey itself.
They have inch-long fangs and it is said that one Kangal can whack two wolves in a fight. This Turkish delight is one of the very few dog breeds, which have the purest pedigree in the canine world.
The courage and discretion of these hard-working animals is the stuff of legend. They are large, Mastiff-type dog. People used it as a flock guardian dog against predators of all shapes and sizes.
They are also hard to manage and quite heavy built. Despite his size, the Kangal is remarkably agile, athletic and healthy.
This ancient livestock-guarding dog has its origins from the city of Kangal, central Turkey.
This breed was long been associated with chieftains and landlords of Kangal region. But, it was largely used by the villagers as flock shepherds.
They are not herding dogs. They are used as fighting dogs to defend flocks of sheep from predators such as wolves, jackals, bears, wildcats or even eagles.
Kangals are a part of the canine family that includes Akbash and Turkish greyhound. But, DNA tests have revealed that the Kangal is a genetically different breed.
The Kangal is an efficient guard dog. Western countries imported them to protect livestock from predators.
They never waste their energy by running around in the daytime. The night duty, but, is a different matter altogether. They passionately patrol the marked area, sounding their existence as they go.
Kangal (pronounced khan-ghahl) is also known as Anatolian Shepherd and Sivas Kangal.
American Pit Bull Terrier
This is one of the most famous fighting dog breeds– the American Pit Bull Terrier. They have had a terrible reputation going back many decades in western society. You may know the reason for that.
It’s true that some Pitbulls have aggressive behavior. This incomprehensible reaction is due to poor breeding methods of unscrupulous breeders. Poor socialization, mislabeling, lack of training and even abuse are other reasons.
And, the end result is that the breed as a whole is unsafe.
The name of dog breeds in a Pitbull breeds list is a confusing one. In fact, the only dog breed with the words “pit bull” in the name is the American Pit Bull Terrier (ABPT).
People naively use the term “Pitbull” for any dog that has the physical traits of Pitbull.
The entire American Pitbull Terrier family were initially bred as combating dogs in dogfights and blood sports.
On the record, American pit bulls have now retired from the blood sports. Genuine breeders assign new tasks to them to forget their blood-ridden ancestry.
In recent times, they are re-employed as home guardians, watchdogs and catch dogs. They have employed them as family pets for Irish and English immigrants to America.
Do you think this dog looks fierce and violent, maybe… but beneath that violent exterior is a different kind of dog!
Do you believe that American pitties are affectionate to kids? Yes, they do… American pitties love their family. We mean, they really, really love their family.
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The Dogo Argentino or Argentine Dogo is another well-liked fighting dog breed. They are the national dog of Argentina.
These dogs are fierce and potent hunting dogs. They also can be one of the gentlest and most loving pets for families among all dog breeds.
A Dogo Argentino is a treat to the eyes –looks regal, confident; he strides with pride and courageous. This brawny and beefy dog will come up to you, look into your eyes and then lovingly slobber your face – a perfect blend of love and authority.
Dogo Argentino could be a robust opponent once placed within the pit and can cause havoc to the pet animals.
Owing to the loose skin around the neck, it is not easy for the opposite animal to pull the Dogo down. They also own a robust bite force. The Dogo Argentina can also be an adorable family dog.
They are even-tempered and have a high tolerance for pain.
Argentine Dogo History
The Argentine Dogo originated around 1927 in Argentina. Dr. Antonio Nores-Martinez is the creator of this breed.
He understood the need for a dog that could hunt the large game predators like wolves and boars. They were destroying the local livestock. His vision was of a large dog that was not only pleasing to the eye but also capable of huge strength and power.
By using the ‘Cordoba’ or the fighting dog of Cordoba (now extinct) for foundation stock, Antonio began his work of developing the Dogo. Changes were necessary to make a good large game hunting dog.
Ten different breeds were used to make dog we know today as the Dogo Argentino. The breeds used were:
- Irish wolfhound (for wild game hunting instincts, scenting, sighting capabilities respectively)
- English Short Hair Pointer, Bulldog (for bravery, compliance, broad chest and high-pressure jaws)
- Dogue De Bordeaux (for powerful, good muscle structure and relentless jaw strength)
- Great Dane (to improve head shape and height)
- Great Pyrenees (for strength, dynamism and dense white coat)
- Boxer (for liveliness and agility for the hunt, as well as the desired affection and docility expected of a family companion)
- Bull Terrier (for courage, agility, and fierceness)
- Spanish Mastiff (for menacing scowl, raw power, and additional size)
After several generations of trial and error, came a solid white dog, with a short, dense hair coat that has the distinction of being the only white dog of his size developed to be a silent large game hunter.
Another mean and scary looking fighting dog breed that was expected to be on this list –The Perro de Presa Canario or Canary Dog or Presa. It is a mastiff breed descended from the Canary Islands by Spanish conquistadors.
He is a complex, powerful dog with special needs when it comes to ownership. The Presa is used as a “catch dog,” driving cattle and hogs and killing strange dogs. They are strict utilitarian dogs with highly prized watchdog instincts, territorial and courageous.
The Presa Canario is a typical Molosser and one of the most intimidating looking dogs you will find.
The Presa has a massive head and it has the body to match too. It is big boned with a heavy rectangular body. It has a short coat in black, brindle, fawn, or any combination of those colors.
He is often among the breeds that are outlawed in communities and countries with breed bans.
Bred as a fighting dog they keep a good degree of aggression. This makes them suitable only for experienced dog owners. If not shown absolute authority, the Presa Canario can be an extremely dangerous dog.
How can we forget the Spuds McKenzie dog starred in Budweiser commercials? Known as the ‘canine gladiator’, the Bull Terrier is often mistaken for the American pit bull.
Stubborn, determined, and a true terrier at heart, the bull terrier is a medium-sized dog but don’t let that fool you. This ultimate fighting pit dog has the tenacious spirit and agility of the Terrier mixed with the brute force of a Bulldog.
Most notable physical characteristics are their “egg-shaped” head that slope in front of the Roman nose. They have curious, small, triangular eyes, which are used to distinguish them from the American pit bull.
When James Hinks of Birmingham saw the potential in these dogs, he decided to make them as a distinct breed as they were earlier used only for fighting.
He crossed them with the now-extinct white terrier, the Border collie, and Dalmatian. This upgraded and a new breed bragged more sophisticated looks than its predecessor brag and was called “White Cavaliers.”
These fighting dog days are long past now. But, he is not a kind of dog that would lie at your feet always or spend day time in your couch. He would much appreciate if you take came outside, and went on a short stroll of, say, 5 miles or more.
Another breed used as a fighting dog but he’s not your regular Bulldog. He is usually taller as well as leaner than his English cousin.
American Bulldogs do not go well with other animals. This is what makes it a strong contender in the pit and they never back down from a confrontation.
Thankfully, they were officially retired from combating circuit. Still, the American bulldog is another most misunderstood canine. They have received bad rap over the years for their aggressive behavior.
Despite his crotchety looks, the bulldog is cordial, comical and dependably friendly.
The American Bulldog marches in and right away makes himself a member of the family. His main job is to protect everyone else.
The American bullies think they belong to their masters’ lap. As family dogs, they tend to be affectionate and gentle toward kids.
They can do well in families with children of any age, but generally, they are not good babysitters. Speaking of strength, did we mention that the American Bulldog has a work ethic second to none?