The term Pit Bull refers to a number of breeds, which include: American Pit bull Terriers, American Staffordshire Terriers, Bull Terriers, Dogo Argentino, Japanese Tosa, Dogue de Bordeaux and the English Bulldog.
Pit bulls were originally bred in England and the purpose of their breeding was to create the perfect fighting dog. Combining the physical strength of English Bulldogs and the fearless nature of terriers, the Pit Bull breed was born.
Pit Bulls were first used during bear baiting spectacles in which human handlers used the dogs to harass and agitate the bears, for the pleasure of onlookers. As such, Pit Bulls were reared to be responsive to human commands. Eventually, when bear baiting was banned, a new sport of ratting gained popularity. Pits were filled with rats, upon which a hungry Pit Bull was released. The competition was to see which Pit Bull could kill all the rats in the shortest amount of time.
Strong and athletic, Pit Bulls can easily scale ridiculously high fences. On one video shared on Youtube, a Pit Bull is shown scaling a 12-foot fence. According to some, Pit Bulls are probably the best fence climbing dogs in the world!
Pit Bulls are best known for how well they get on with humans. Back in the day, Pit Bulls were trusted around children so much that they were known as nursemaids or nanny dogs. For this reason, they do not make for the best guard dogs. Experts claim that they are more likely than other breeds to see an intruder as a new friend, than attack them and ward them off.
Pit Bulls have been used as a symbol of strength for a long time. For example, in the 20th century, Pit Bulls appeared on army recruit posters as mascots of the US Army. During the American Civil War, at the Battle of Gettysburg, Sallie the Pit Bull stood guard over Union forces. In World War I, a Pit Bull named Sergeant Stubby comforted wounded soldiers during seventeen battles on the Western Front.