History of Dog Fighting Breeds
The history of dog fighting breeds is difficult to track because
dog fighting undoubtedly started before written history.
As with all domesticated dogs, the ancestors of the large breeds of fighting
dog were wolves.
The foundation breed of the fighting dog was, in its outward appearance, a
large, low slung, heavy breed with a powerful build and strongly developed head.
Scholars speculate that large scale human migrations, the development of
trade, and gifts between royal courts of valuable fighting dogs facilitated the
spread of fighting dog breeds. There are many accounts of military campaigns
which utilised fighting dogs, as well as royal gifts in the form of large dogs.
breeding in its earliest stages was carried out systematically, with the
desire for specialization. It is believed that the development of individual
breeds took place in narrow geographic areas, corresponding to the performance
required in these regions. The selection for performance, complemented by the
breeding for suitable body forms, leads to the formation of breeds. The task of
the fighting dog demanded specific basic anatomical traits and temperamental
features. The anatomy of the fighting dog requires an imposing outward form to
instil fear and terror, with the foundation breed naturally large, low-slung,
heavy, powerfully built, strongly developed head, powerful biting apparatus and
a tremendously threatening voice. However, we must not consider only giant's
among dog breeds, but rather all breeds with a character suitable for protecting
humans and fighting wild animals. We can consider the following breeds developed
over the millennia as the foundation forms of the contemporary fighting dog
Bull and Terrier
Hunting of dangerous game
Over many centuries man has hunted dangerous game, such as the
and bear. The men
opposed their quarry with spear in hand with the fighting dog's job to position
the game so that the hunter could kill it with the spear. The game involved
required specialized breed types. To track down the prey would require long
legged tracking dogs; the pack that followed would include large powerful
fighting dogs to deal with the cornered quarry.
bloodsport of baiting animals has occurred since antiquity, most famously
during those times in the Roman Colosseum; however, in contemporary times, it is
most associated with the
English, who pursued it with utmost earnestness, which was barely known
elsewhere in the world. For over six hundred years the pastime flourished,
reaching the peak of its popularity during the sixteenth century. The various
animal types involved in the bait allowed for the breed specialization and basic
anatomical forms of fighting dogs, which we see today.
Old English bulldog
We find the first historical traces of
Bull-baiting in the time of the regency of
King John. Specially bred and enraged steers, with their aggressive nature
were used to test the keenness of their dogs. A collar around the bulls neck
fastened to a thick rope about three to five metres long, attached to a hook
then fastened to an embedded stake that will turn around allowing the bull to
watch its antagonizer. The dog's goal in the attack was to pin and mercilessly
hold onto the bull's nose, which is its most sensitive spot. If the dog grips
tightly here, the bull is virtually helpless. To avoid this attack, experienced
fighting bulls lowered their heads as much as possible in the direction of the
attacking dog, protecting their nose and meeting the attacker with only its
horns and tossing the dog into the air. The dog reciprocated by staying low to
the ground as it crept along its path to the bull. These tactics allowed for a
specialized breed in the form of the now extinct original
Old English Bulldog. This new breed was extremely compact, broad and
muscular. A particular characteristic of the breed was the lower jaw that
projected considerably in front of the upper jaw, which made possible the
strong, vice like grip. The nose was deeply set, which allowed the dog to get
enough air as it gripped the bull. The contemporary recreation of the breed is
recognized called the
Olde Englishe Bulldogge.
Home | Up | List of Dog Fighting Breeds | History of Dog Fighting Breeds | Akita Inu | Alano Espaņol | American Bulldog | American Pit Bull Terrier | American Staffordshire Terrier | Argentine Dogo | Bandog | Bedlington Terrier | Blue Paul Terrier | Boston Terrier | Boxer | Bull Terrier | Bull and Terrier | Bullmastiff | Bully Kutta | Cordoba Fighting Dog | Dogue de Bordeaux | English Mastiff | English White Terrier | Fila Brasileiro | Irish Terrier | Kerry Blue Terrier | Manchester Terrier | Neapolitan Mastiff | Old English Bulldog | Perro de Presa Canario | Pit Bull | Shar Pei | Staffordshire Bull Terrier | Tibetan Mastiff | Tosa
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