Michael Vick's fighting dogs get second chance at life

Here is an article published on CNN.com, Almost all of the dogs were rehabilitated. APBT are a resiliant breed!

article by Dan Simon

She wags her tail and gives kisses to anyone who greets her. But the deep scars on her face are permanent reminders of her difficult and violent past.

Ellen is one of the 47 pit bulls seized from an illegal dog fighting ring on property owned by disgraced NFL quarterback Michael Vick.

The dogs were bred to fight to the death. Of course, if trained properly they can be gentle loyal pets.

Twenty-two of the pit bulls now reside at sanctuary at the Best Friends Animal Sanctuary in the mountain town of Kanab, Utah. The 25 other dogs have been placed at rehabilitation shelters across the country.

All of them are lucky to be alive.

The Humane Society of the United States and People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals wanted the dogs euthanized. But rescue operations won their fight to give these animals a second chance at life.

"There's a belief by a lot of people that these dogs cannot be rehabilitated," said the facility's veterinarian, Dr. Frank McMillan. "It's true that they can't all be [rehabilitated], but we're finding out here and elsewhere, that they can and they become very nice pets." Video Watch how the dogs are learning to interact with people »

The dogs have only been at the shelter about a month and their caregivers have already seen signs of progress.

"I was surprised at how many were shy. There were quite a few that were under socialized and pretty shut down," said Michelle Besmehn, who oversees the dogs at the sanctuary.

"I've been really pleased at how quickly they're coming around. It's actually been fun to see personalities are starting to show. "

One of the most affectionate and lovable dogs at the shelter is Lucas -- Vick's champion fighter.

Shelter staff believes the scarred, brown 65-pound pit bull won praise and special treatment for winning fights and money, perhaps hundreds of thousands of dollars for Vick and his associates.

Despite his good nature, a court ruled that Lucas can never leave the sanctuary because of his violent past.

Dogs that didn't fight well were beaten, drowned, shot and even electrocuted by Vick and his associates, according to court records.

Thought it's nearly impossible to know the extent of the emotional and physical abuse these dogs endured, in some cases it's apparent.

One dog, Georgia, had all 42 of her teeth pulled. Caregivers believe it was to prevent her from attacking male dogs during forced breeding.

"We don't know who did it. We assume it's because she was such a valuable breeding dog," McMillian said. "Very often females will not accept males in breeding and will attack."

The National Geographic Channel will profile Georgia and three of the other pit bulls as part of an ongoing television series, "Dogtown," which follows the rehabilitation and resocialization of the worst cases.

The hope is that six months from now, some of the dogs will become normal, lovable pets that are safe enough to adopt.

Even if they never get adopted, the dogs will always have a home at Best Friends, which doesn't euthanize for behavioral reasons.

The former Atlanta Falcons quarterback is serving a 23-month sentence at maximum-security prison in Leavenworth, Kansas. The NFL suspended Vick indefinitely without pay. He agreed to pay nearly $1 million to subsidize the various facilities that are caring for his former pit bulls.

"To me, and to those of us that care about animals, it's more than fair and maybe not enough," said McMillan.

"If he wants to play football, none of us here care about that. But we don't want him ever owning a dog again."

Atomic Dog Magazine

Check out Atomic Dog Magazine....Great publication for pit bull (bully) lovers!


Here's a great link to an article describing the origins of "Bully" type pit bulls. For people who are not familiar, this will shed some light:


Cheers Everyone!

Zion - My Blue Nose Bully


We will be breeding him next spring, we will post future breedings before birth and after the puppies are here. Please feel free to contact us for possible puppies...

Zion @ 12 months old

Zion @ 10 months old

Zion @ 9 months old

Zion @ 9 months old

Zion @ 9 months old

Zion @ 9 months old

Ville Marie To Ban Pit Bulls and Pit Bull crossbreeds

Pit bulls and pit-bull crossbreeds are to be banned from Montreal's downtown and pet-owners limited to two dogs at a time in public spaces, Jean-Yves Duthel, a spokesperson for the Ville Marie borough, said Monday.
The proposed bylaw changes could be approved by borough council as soon as April or May, he added - and take effect well in advance of the peak summer dog season.
"Professional dog-walkers" would be exempted from the two-pooch limit, Duthel added, as part of a package of changes that could be presented to the borough council as early as March 4.
Under borough rules, these could not be adopted until the following meeting, in early April.
Duthel said he could not disclose the proposed wording, because enforcability and clarity are still being examined by legal counsel.
The number of documented dog-bites of humans in the borough jumped to 19 last year from five in 2006, Duthel said.
In each case, he added, the dog's owner was ticketed by police But an unknown number of other dogbites never show up in statistics because they are not reported to police, and thus are not ticketed, Duthel added.
"Incidents are multiplying," he said: More than 200 complaints specifically regarding ill-behaviour by dogs - or
an absence of pet control shown by their owners - were called in to the access Ville Marie phone service from last April, when the borough created such a category of statistics, through to October, Duthel said.
Muzzles would also be made obligatory for ill-behaved dogs, Duthel said, adding that the exact wording of such a provision is also under scrutiny by borough lawyers.
The same proviso applies to a proposed new power over pets to be provided to police - the explicit authority to shoot dogs who are not rabid "on the spot" if they show other serious misbehavior that Duthel said he could not immediately specify.
Some homeless people, often young, camp with considerably more than two dogs in downtown public spaces such as parks and streets during the summer.
Duthel said these bylaw changes are not aimed exclusively against the homeless or their dogs.
For one thing, he said, many homeless have breeds of dogs other than pit bulls or pit-bull crossbreeds.
Municipal bylaws governing pets and pet-owners were last revised about half a century ago, Duthel said.
Jan Ravensbergen, The GazettePublished: Monday, February 11
What Can Be Done?
On March 4th 2008, the city hall of Montreal is having a day where the public can come and express their opinions. You have to pre-register to be able to speak, in a clear and polite manner. All Pit Bull owners can take the opportunity to come and express support for the breed.
Good luck everyone!!!

Pit Bull is #2 ranked dog in the world!!! UKC

UKC, one of the original pure breed dog registries has ranked American Pit Bull Terriers as #2 overall dog in the world. This amazing breed gets their recognition in the dog world but not always in the press....
Here is a link to the UKC website:

Fight The Pit Bull Ban in Montreal

What Can Be Done?
On March 4th 2008, the city hall of Montreal is having a day where the public can come and express their opinions. You have to pre-register to be able to speak, in a clear and polite manner. All Pit Bull owners can take the opportunity to come and express support for the breed.
Hope To See You There!!!

Zion and Family - Our new Pit Bull Puppy

Zion and Dame and Sire
" Grizzly " Sire of Zion

" Baby D " - Dame of Zion


" Grizzly" side profile


Zion @ 10 weeks

American Pit Bull Terrier - blue nose

Zion @ 12 weeks

Zion @ 12 weeks

Zion @ 12 weeks - baby blue eyes

Zion talking - 12 weeks

Questions and Answer to Dog's Diet

Q. Are beef bones good for my pet?

A. Meaty tail bones and ribs are good for dogs. Brisket bones, whilst easy to chew, lack meat and should not form the bulk of the diet.

Q. I am concerned that raw chicken may contain harmful Salmonella and Campylobacter. Is this true?

A. Yes, a high proportion of raw chicken is contaminated, regardless of the source of the chicken. Chicken for human consumption needs to be well cooked. When preparing raw chicken, whether for human or pet consumption, practise good hygiene.

Q. My dog likes chocolate. Is it safe to feed him a little now and then?

A. Chocolate in large quantities is toxic for pets. Best to avoid such treats, not recommended for dogs!

(Theobromine, a stimulant, is the major toxic ingredient.)

Cooked bones
Q. Is it OK to give my dog/cat cooked bones?

A. Lots of people get away with this risky activity. However, the nutrient value of cooked bones is much less than raw bones. Cooked bones are harder to digest and give rise to increased risk of obstruction or penetration of the bowel.

Q. My pet won't eat fruit. Does it matter?

A. Providing the rest of the diet closely mimics that consumed in the wild the absence of fruit in the diet does not matter.

Q. My pet dog/cat/ferret likes to eat lots of raw, ripe fruit. Is that OK?

A. Lots of raw fruit appears to do no harm and may be beneficial on condition that the rest of the diet is adequate.

Q. What's the best way to feed fruit?

A. Cooked or raw, straight from the plate or put through the kitchen mixer.

Q. Are grains good for my pet?

A. In moderation some cooked grains, for instance bread or porridge is OK for pets.

Q. Sometimes I have lots of left over bread or potatoes which I would like to feed to my pet.

A. Large quantities of bread or potatoes, fed at one time tend to be indigestible and thus give rise to intestinal complications, including bloat.

Conventional wisdom:
Dry 'complete and balanced' grain based diets are good for cats, dogs and ferrets.

Most of the diseases of modern pets can, either wholly or in part, be attributed to a grain based diet.

Q. I heard that onion should not be given to dogs.

A. That's right. Onions are toxic for dogs, whether cooked or raw. A few onions in left over stew or pizza topping should not create a major problem, but in general it's best to avoid giving onions to your dog.

Q. I can get lamb necks. Are they good for my dog?

A. Yes, lamb necks make a good meal for middle and large sized dogs.

Marrow bones
Q. Are marrow bones safe? My butcher saws them lengthwise so that my dog can get at the marrow.

A. There is little nutrient value in hard, dense marrow bones. And besides, chewing on the bones is likely to break teeth. This is especially so when the bones are sawn lengthwise - they act as a lever to split the upper carnassial tooth (three pointed tooth) which then becomes infected and painful.

Conventional wisdom:
Large bones are permissible/good for dogs - because they are too big and hard to be eaten.

Wolves, lions and other carnivores leave the long marrow bones. It's only hyenas that have the specialised jaws to deal with such bones.

Q. Are fruit and vegetable peelings safe for my pet?

A. Yes, if that peel would be safe/nutritious for humans - for example potato, apple and pear peelings and the outer leaves of lettuce and cabbage.

No, if that peel would be unsuitable as food for humans - for instance melon and banana peel and the outer leaves of artichokes.

Table scraps
Q. My diet is not very healthy. Surely the leftover scraps cannot be good for my pet.

A. Let's keep things in perspective. A few scraps from an 'unhealthy' human diet will not be as harmful as a diet of processed pet food. But nevertheless it might be a good idea to improve your own diet whilst ensuring that your pet receives whole carcasses or raw meaty bones as the staple diet.

Q. My pet won't eat vegetables. Does it matter?

A. Providing the rest of the diet closely mimics that consumed in the wild the absence of vegetables in the diet does not matter.
Q. My pet dog/cat/ferret likes to eat lots of vegetables. Is that OK?

A. Lots of vegetables appears to do no harm and may be beneficial on condition that the rest of the diet is adequate.

Q. What's the best way to feed vegetables?

A. Cooked or raw, straight from the plate or pureed in the kitchen mixer.

Chemical Antioxidants
Q. The antioxidants in plants are good for us. Can I give my pet some antioxidants?

A. If your pet receives a good diet based on carcasses and raw meaty bones then his antioxidant levels should be optimum.

Best to steer clear of 'magical' supplements designed to 'improve on nature' because, after a long evolutionary history, nature really does know best.

Complete and Balanced Diet
Q. I want to feed my pet a 'complete and balanced' diet.

A. People living on wartime rations were found to suffer from an incomplete and unbalanced diet, they lacked sufficient fresh fruit, vegetables, meat and milk - hence the preoccupation with the term 'complete and balanced'.
Carnivore needs are different to human dietary needs. The term 'complete and balanced' has been imported into discussions on animal diets, but tends to be seriously misused - instead of food types the chemical constituents, carbohydrates, proteins, etc are emphasised.

Best to treat the commercially inspired notion 'complete and balanced' with suspicion and ensure that your pet is fed according to nature's teaching - whole carcasses of raw meaty bones.

Q. I want to do the best for my pet and wonder what minerals you recommend.

A. The minerals in natural food and table scraps are all that your pet requires. Feeding supplementary minerals can do harm.

Q. I want to do the best for my pet and wonder what vitamins you recommend.

A. The vitamins in natural food and table scraps are all that your pet requires. Feeding supplementary, synthetic vitamins can do harm.

Health Bacteria
Q. I am worried that my pet may contract bacteria from eating raw meat.

A. Pets can contract bacteria from eating raw meat, especially chicken, but this tends to be a mild or rare occurrence.
Q. I am worried that my family may contract bacteria from our pet if it is fed raw food.

A. Pets can be a source of bacterial infection. However, infections in humans, when traceable, often show poultry meat, eggs, milk and processed foods (including restaurant meals) to be the source of infection.

Q. What should I do to limit the chance of me or my family contracting bacteria from our pet?

A. Maintain good hygiene.

o Wash utensils thoroughly in hot soapy water.
o Wash hands thoroughly after feeding your pet.
-Discourage pets from licking hands and face of people, especially young children.
-Pick up faecal deposits regularly.
-Restrict/control flies.

Q. My pet developed diarrhoea and vomiting after being fed raw chicken from the grocery store. Could it be due to a bacterial infection?

A. Yes. Bacteria, for instance Salmonella, Campylobacter or E.coli, could be responsible.

Your veterinarian can diagnose and treat these infections.

Bladder stones
Q. My dog suffers from bladder stones and cannot eat natural food.

A. Many factors affect the formation of bladder stones - most are poorly understood. But in broad terms dental, digestive and urinary tract health all have some bearing on the formation of stones. By keeping those systems healthy the chance of stones forming is thereby reduced. A natural diet is the chief contributor to dental, digestive and urinary tract good health

Some urinary tract stones, for instance urate calculi in Dalmatian dogs, are genetically determined, but nonetheless a healthy diet helps maintain overall good health.

Q. My cat suffers from bladder stones. What can be done?

A. Diet and dental health need to be optimum. It may be necessary to provide additional treatment. Please consult the articles FLUTD and Preventative dentistry.

Bowel obstruction
Q. How will I know if my pet's bowel/digestive tract becomes obstructed?

A. Diagnosis is not always easy, even with the best equipment and training.

If you notice your pet to be off his food and listless then consult your vet.
If your pet vomits, salivates profusely or seems in other ways to be 'unwell' then consult your vet.

Q. I heard of a dog choking on a raw bone.

A. Choking is a hazard for people and pets. Cutting raw meaty bones or carcasses into small pieces increases the hazard. Pets attempt to swallow the pieces without adequate chewing. Be sure to feed carcasses whole and raw meaty bones in large pieces.

Q. How will I know if my dog/cat gets constipated?

A. If he or she strains without passing any poo then he/she may either be constipated or in the case of females may have a bladder irritation or blockage.

Q. What do I do it I suspect my pet is constipated?

A. Speak with your vet.

Q. My dog does not much resemble a wolf. Why can it be expected to eat raw food?

A. Teeth and gums need to be kept clean and healthy. Eating raw food does that best. A dog's digestive system is ideally suited to a natural diet, regardless of the breed or appearance.

Q. Will feeding raw food to our pets increase the likelihood of my family catching worms from our pets?

A. There should be no increase in the likelihood of catching worms on condition that the food is purchased from a reputable outlet or is food passed as fit for human consumption.

Q. I heard that hydatid tapeworms can be a problem.

A. In some areas where hydatid tapeworms occur dogs fed on sheep/kangaroo/hare or other carcasses can become infected. Dogs infected with the tapeworm are a source of infection for humans and other animals. Consult your veterinarian if you have reason to believe that your dog may have eaten a carcass infected with hydatid tapeworm.

Q. My puppy passed spaghetti like worms. Could these have come from the raw meat I gave it?

A. These worms probably came from the puppy's mother, not from the diet. The eggs do pose a hazard for people. Accordingly puppies should be discouraged from licking people and faecal material should be disposed of safely.

Practicle - Cost of food
Q. How much will the raw food cost?

A. Prices and availability vary from area to area. In Australia raw food costs about one-third the price of artificial foods. But food costs are not the only outlay. How much does it cost to visit the vet? How much does it cost in anguish, if not in money, to watch pets slowly get sick on an unnatural diet?

Dog poo
Q. My dog strains to pass his poo now that I feed him raw bones.

A. Yes, that's common and normal.

Q. My dog's poo turns white and hard after a couple of days in the sun.

A. Yes, that's to be expected because 'natural' dog poo is mostly powdered bone.

Q. My vet says my dog will become constipated if fed on raw bones.

A. Feed meaty raw bones in large pieces and he should be fine.

Bones in small pieces, for instance chicken necks, or bones without much meat on them lead to firmer faeces and/or impaction of the bowel.

(Chicken necks are good for small dogs and cat - but not large dogs, they tend to swallow chicken necks without sufficient prior chewing.)

Q. My veterinarian says feeding raw food is hazardous and should not be practised.

A. Some risks, for instance hydatid tapeworm, and bacterial infection, do exist. However, a small risk should not be allowed to overshadow substantial benefits.

Hydatid tapeworm and bacterial contamination are issues which affect the supply of human food. But there is no large controversy surrounding those issues. Why raise spurious or hypothetical issues?

Despite the hazards, real or imaginary, many veterinary authorities and pet food companies recommend the feeding of raw meaty bones. Presumably they consider the benefits outweigh the hazards.

How much?
Q. How much should I feed my pet?

A. The answer depends on many factors. Please check out the 'Diet Guide'. Once you have a grasp of the factors listed you will likely feel confident about how much to feed your pet.

How often?
Q. How often should I feed my pet.

A. Adult dogs and cats should be fed daily. Although a day or two of fasting each week mimics life in the wild and probably provides benefit - on condition that more food is fed on the other days of the week.

Conventional wisdom:
Dry food can be made permanently available.

Dry food is hazardous for dogs, cats and ferrets and should not (except in emergency) be fed.

Raw food suppliers
Q. Where can I get supplies of raw food for my pets?

A. First decide on a shopping list then decide who in your local area might either supply the items or advise where they can be found.

The telephone book, your local butcher, corner store or pet shop may be a source of information.
You may be a pioneer natural-food-feeder. If so, you could encourage would-be suppliers to visit this web site so that they may see what's entailed and the resultant benefits for all concerned.

What proportions?
Q. What proportions of carcasses or raw meaty bones should be fed?

A. Please consult the 'Expanded diet guide'.

Conventional wisdom:
Many veterinary and pet food industry authorities say never to feed carcasses or raw meaty bones. Others say to feed raw meaty bones one or two days each week.

Carcasses, for the most part raw meaty bones, are the optimum food for wild carnivores. Feeding the correct food once or twice a week cannot compensate for an otherwise unhealthy diet. (Cars need the correct fuel in the tank all of the time: pets are no different.)

Why change to a more natural diet?
Q. My previous pets all lived to a ripe old age on commercial food and my current pet dog and two cats seem fine. Why should I change their diet to more natural foodstuffs?

A. Are you sure that your previous pets were healthy? What were your vet bills like? Just how healthy are your current pets?

Until we face the facts that our processed-food-fed-pets are not so healthy it is difficult to persuade ourselves that a natural diet could be better.

First we must be honest with ourselves - fair treatment of our pets then follows, automatically.

Raw Meat Diet - For Your Pit Bull or Dog

Feed Your Dog Raw Meaty Bones
Dogs left to fend for themselves in a natural world have no difficulty identifying what’s good to eat. Their diet includes anything that creeps, crawls, wriggles, runs, swims and flies. I applaud you if you can find whole carcasses of other animals as food for your pet. However, in our modern world we need to look for alternatives. And in this regard a raw meaty bones and table scrap diet works wonders. As with any new venture the better informed we are the easier the task. Also, when well informed, fears tend to fade into insignificance. FEAR, by the way, is an acronym for False Expectations Appearing Real. Fortunately, dogs seldom share our fears and wolf down the first raw meaty bone they are offered. Circumstances vary and dogs come in different ages and sizes. However, some generalizations apply. Quality The closer you follow the natural ideal the better. Feed whole carcasses whenever you can and otherwise base your feeding regime on raw meaty bones in large pieces from a variety of animals. However, wolves frequently depend on meat from a single prey species, for instance deer, and there are lots of pet dogs that eat chicken at every meal. Quantity Aim for 50% or more of the diet as raw meaty bones. Thereafter, the remaining percentage can be made up of good quality natural dog food. Nature, thankfully, is tolerant and allows a range of options that provide for good health. Daily food intake varies. As a percentage of body weight, giant breeds tend to need less and small breeds need more food. Working dogs, breeding and lactating females and growing puppies need more food than do less active dogs. As a guide, healthy adult dogs usually require between 2% and 3% of their body weight in food daily. Over the course of a week, in round figures, that amounts to 15% to 20% of body weight. For example, if your dog weighs 10 kilos he will likely need between 1.5 and 2 kilos of raw meaty bones each week. If you measure in pounds weight then the sums are the same. Perhaps your dog weighs 20 pounds. Then you can expect to feed her between 3 and 4 pounds of food each week. A good rule of thumb, when feeding growing puppies, is to allow them daily food rations equivalent to 2%–3% of their expected body weight when fully grown. Frequency Wild dogs have no regular meal times and are used to gorging when food is available. Sometimes they go days between meals. In a domestic setting once-a-day feeding works best for most pets and their owners. It’s a good idea to feed your dog when you are at home to watch over and see your dog enjoy his meal — which for many people is in the evening. Always strive to feed the raw meaty bones in one large lump. This maximizes the time spent gnawing and chewing which is good for dental cleaning. It also minimizes the chances of a small piece being swallowed whole and getting stuck. Healthy dogs benefit from one or two days fasting each week. Research shows that slim dogs (and people) tend to be healthier and live longer. Sick and elderly dogs and growing puppies should not be fasted. Getting startedwhen getting started, keep it simple. Over time it’s a good plan to feed raw meaty bones and offal from a range of animals. But in the first couple of weeks stick with one source.
What other preparation is needed? You may need a bowl in which to feed table scraps. For the main food items — the large lumps of raw meaty bones and offal — simply hand them to your dog. That’s easy if you have a grassy lawn where she can dine in comfort. If your dog needs to eat indoors then feed her in the kitchen, laundry or even in the shower cubicle. By spreading some newspaper, a towel or mat you make cleanup easier. Take care and have fun Raw meaty bones act as nature’s toothbrush, toothpaste and dental floss combined. Many dogs affected by bad breath and sore gums gain a return to good oral health after a couple of weeks on a natural diet. However, dogs suffering more severe dental problems may need dental treatment before commencing a natural diet. Dogs ‘like’ bones very much and sometimes become protective. Do take care and discourage young children from approaching dogs that are eating. Your professional dog trainer can advise. The first time you hand your dog a raw meaty bone can be as momentous or as mundane as you choose to make it. But it will be the start of a whole new way of life for you and your pet. So, having a camera handy could be useful, as could keep a diary. In years to come you will be able to share evidence of your pioneering efforts with your grandchildren as you look back with pride.

Diet guide for domestic dogs and cats
Dingoes and feral cats keep themselves healthy by eating whole carcasses of prey animals. Ideally we should feed our pets in the same manner. Until a dependable source of whole carcasses becomes available, pet owners need a satisfactory alternative. The following recommendations, based on raw meaty bones, have been adopted by thousands of pet owners with excellent results.
The diet is easy to follow and cheap, and pets enjoy it.
• Fresh water constantly available.
• Raw meaty bones (or carcasses if available) should form the bulk of the diet.
• Table scraps both cooked and raw (grate or liquidize vegetables, discard cooked bones).

Puppies and kittens
From about three weeks of age puppies and kittens start to take an interest in what their mother is eating. By six weeks of age they can eat chicken carcasses, rabbits and fish.
During the brief interval between three and six weeks of age it is advisable to provide minced chicken, chicken carcasses or similar for young animals (as well as access to larger pieces that encourage ripping and tearing). This is akin to the part-digested food regurgitated by wild carnivore mothers. Large litters will need more supplementary feeding than small litters. (The meat and bone should be minced together. Meat off the bone can be fed, but only for a short time, until the young animals can eat meat and bone together — usually about six weeks of age.)
Between four and six months of age puppies and kittens cut their permanent teeth and grow rapidly. At this time they need a plentiful supply of carcasses or raw meaty bones of suitable size.
Puppies and kittens tend not to over eat natural food. Food can be continuously available.

Natural foods suitable for pet carnivores Raw meaty bones
• Chicken and turkey carcasses, after the meat has been removed for human consumption, are suitable for dogs and cats.
• Poultry by-products include: heads, feet, necks and wings.
• Whole fish and fish heads.
• Goat, sheep, calf, deer and kangaroo carcasses can be sawn into large pieces of meat and bone.
• Other by-products include: pigs’ trotters, pigs’ heads, sheep heads, brisket, tail bones, and rib bones.

Quality — Quantity — Frequency
Healthy animals living and breeding in the wild depend on the correct quality of food in the right quantity at a correct frequency. They thereby gain an appropriate nutrient intake plus the correct amount of teeth cleaning — animals, unlike humans, ‘brush’ and ‘floss’ as they eat.

Low-fat game animals and fish and birds provide the best source of food for pet carnivores. If using meat from farm animals (cattle, sheep and pigs) avoid excessive fat, or bones that are too large to be eaten.
Dogs are more likely to break their teeth when eating large knuckle bones and bones sawn lengthwise than if eating meat and bone together.
Raw food for cats should always be fresh. Dogs can consume ‘ripe’ food and will sometimes bury bones for later consumption.

Establishing the quantity to feed pets is more an art than a science. Parents, when feeding a human family, manage this task without the aid of food consumption charts. You can achieve the same good results for your pet by paying attention to activity levels, appetite and body condition.
High activity and big appetite indicate a need for increased food, and vice versa.
Body condition depends on a number of factors. The overall body shape — is it athletic or rotund — and the luster of the hair coat provides clues. Use your finger tips to assess the elasticity of the skin. Does it have an elastic feel and move readily over the muscles? Do the muscles feel well toned? And how much coverage of the ribs do you detect? This is the best place to check whether your pet is too thin or too fat. By comparing your own rib cage with that of your pet you can obtain a good idea of body condition — both you’re own and that of your pet.
An approximate food consumption guide based on raw meaty bones, for the average pet cat or dog is 15 to 20 percent of body weight in one week or 2 to 3 percent per day. On that basis a 25 kilo dog requires up to five kilos of carcasses or raw meaty bones weekly. Cats weighing five kilos require about one kilo of chicken necks, fish, rabbit or similar each week. Table scraps should be fed as an extra component of the diet. Please note that these figures are only a guide and relate to adult pets in a domestic environment.
Pregnant or lactating females and growing puppies and kittens may need much more food than adult animals of similar body weight.
Wherever possible, feed the meat and bone ration in one large piece requiring much ripping, tearing and gnawing. This makes for contented pets with clean teeth.

Wild carnivores feed at irregular intervals. In a domestic setting regularity works best and accordingly I suggest that you feed adult dogs and cats once daily. If you live in a hot climate I recommend that you feed pets in the evening to avoid attracting flies.
I suggest that on one or two days each week your dog may be fasted — just like animals in the wild.
On occasions you may run out of natural food. Don’t be tempted to buy artificial food, fast your dog and stock up with natural food the next day.
Puppies, cats, ferrets, sick or underweight dogs should not be fasted (unless on veterinary advice).

Things to avoid
•Excessive meat off the bone — not balanced.
•Excessive vegetables — not balanced.
•Small pieces of bone — can be swallowed whole and get stuck.
•Cooked bones — get stuck.
•Mineral and vitamin additives — create imbalance.
•Processed food — leads to dental and other diseases.
•Excessive starchy food — associated with bloat.
•Onions, garlic and chocolate — toxic to pets.
•Grapes,raisins,sultanas,currants—toxic to pets
•Fruit stones (pits) and corn cobs — get stuck.
•Milk — associated with diarrhea. Animals drink it whether thirsty or not and consequently get fat. Milk sludge sticks to teeth and gums.
Take care
• Old dogs and cats addicted to a processed diet may experience initial difficulty when changed on to a natural diet.
• Pets with misshapen jaws and dental disease may experience difficulties with a natural diet.
• Create variety. Any nutrients fed to excess can be harmful.
• Liver is an excellent foodstuff but should not be fed more than once weekly.
• Other offal, e.g. ox stomachs, should not exceed 50 percent of the diet.
• Whole fish are an excellent source of food for carnivores, but avoid feeding one species of fish constantly. Some species, e.g. carp, contain an enzyme which destroys thiamine (vitamin B1).
• There are no prizes for the fattest dog on the block, or for the fastest. Feed pets for a lifetime of health. Prevention is better than cure.

Miscellaneous tips
Domestic dogs and cats are carnivores. Feeding them the appropriate carnivore diet represents the single most important contribution to their welfare.
Establish early contact with a dependable supplier of foodstuffs for pet carnivores.
Buy food in bulk in order to avoid shortages.
Package the daily rations separately for ease of feeding.
Refrigerated storage space, preferably a freezer, is essential.
Raw meaty bones can be fed frozen just like ice cream. Some pets eat the frozen article; others wait for it to thaw.
Small carcasses, for example rats, mice and small birds, can be fed frozen and complete with entrails. Larger carcasses should have the entrails removed before freezing.
Take care that pets do not fight over their food.
Protect children by ensuring that they do not disturb feeding pets.
Feeding bowls are unnecessary — the food will be dragged across the floor — so feed pets outside by preference, or on an easily cleaned floor.
Ferrets are small carnivores which can be fed in the same way as cats.
For an expanded description of dietary requirements, including the potential hazards, please consult the books

IMPORTANT: Note that individual animals and circumstances may vary.
You may need to discuss your pet’s needs with your veterinarian.
This diet guide may be freely copied and circulated.

source of information from:

Tom Lonsdale - Veterinary Surgeon
PO Box 6096 Phone: +61 2 4578-1389
Windsor Delivery Centre Fax: +61 2 4578-1384
NSW 2756 E-mail: tom@rawmeatybones.com
Australia Web: www.rawmeatybones.com

Myths Surrounding The Pit Bull Breed

MYTH: Pitbull's are responsible for many attacks on humans. This is false, statistically the majority of dog bites emerge from lapdogs, highest being the poodle! The percentage of all dog attacks on humans which are committed by purebred pit bulls: 0.89 per cent, not even a full percentage point!
MYTH: All Pit Bulls are mean and vicious. It is reported on temperament tests conducted by the American Temperament Test Society that Pit Bulls had a passing rate of 82% or better -- compared to only 77% of the general dog population. These temperament tests consist of putting a dog through a series of unexpected situations, some involving strangers. Any signs of unprovoked aggression or panic in these situations result in failure of the test.

The achievement of Pit Bulls in this study disproves that they are inherently aggressive to people. (Please visit ATTS.org)

MYTH: all pit bulls are vicious toward people? No they are not, at least not by nature. The APBT has one of the gentlest natures with people of any breed. However, like any dog a pit bull can be trained to guard or defend property or persons but some are even too "soft" as dog trainers say, to be trained in that way. They just like people too much and have an inborn taboo against biting them. Unfortunately, as more and more the breed is bred by "backyard breeders" , the usually reliable and stable temperament expected of the breed has deteriorated into a more people aggressive animal so be sure to view the parents and ask about temperament before you buy a pup.

MYTH: A Pit Bull that shows aggression towards an animal will go for people next. "Many working breeds have antipathy towards other animals - coonhounds go mad at the sight of a raccoon, foxhounds will not hesitate to tear a dog-like fox to shreds, greyhounds live to chase and maul rabbits and even dog-like coyotes. Even the ever-friendly beagle will slaughter a rabbit, given the chance. And yet the greyhound, coon and foxhound and beagle are among the friendliest of breeds towards humans. And it is the same with the pit bulldog. His work through the years has been control of other animals - never humans. A correct pit bull is more often than not submissive toward all humans, and adores children. A pit bull that snarls, lunges or growls at non-threatening humans is NOT typical of the breed."

MYTH: American Pit Bull Terriers have 1600 P.S.I. in jaw pressure Dr. Lehr Brisbin of the University of Georgia states, "To the best of our knowledge, there are no published scientific studies that would allow any meaningful comparison to be made of the biting power of various breeds of dogs. There are, moreover, compelling technical reasons why such data describing biting power in terms of "pounds per square inch" can never be collected in a meaningful way. All figures describing biting power in such terms can be traced to either unfounded rumor or, in some cases, to newspaper articles with no foundation in factual data."

MYTH: American Pit Bull Terriers lock their jaws. Dr. Brisbin: "The few studies which have been conducted of the structure of the skulls, mandibles and teeth of pit bulls show that, in proportion to their size, their jaw structure and thus its inferred functional morphology, is no different than that of any breed of dog. There is absolutely no evidence for the existence of any kind of "locking mechanism" unique to the structure of the jaw and/or teeth of the American Pit Bull Terrier.

MYTH: Treadmills are only used to get dogs ready to fight. Many responsible owners utilize treadmills to help exercise their dogs. This is useful in places where weather prevents outdoor exercise, or in situations where off-leash exercise in not an option. The treadmill is used by people that show their Pit Bulls, and do sporting activities like weight pull and agility to help keep their dogs in shape. Because Pit Bulls are athletic animals, responsibly using a treadmill can help them be healthier and happier.

MYTH: Pit Bulls brains swell/never stop growing. This rumor started with the Doberman, and has since been said about game-bred dogs in general. The concept of an animal's brain swelling or growing too large and somehow causing the animal to "go crazy" is not based in truth in any way. Their brains grow at the same rate as any other dog, and the only time that a Pit Bull's brain is going to swell is if it receives a serious injury. If an animal's brain were to grow too big for its head, the animal would die.

MYTH: It is unsafe to get a Pit Bull from a rescue or shelter because their past/genetics are unknown. Under the best of circumstances, it is great to know the history of a dog, the history and health of its parents, and what that line of dogs were bred for. If a person is buying a Pit Bull from a breeder, this information should be of top importance. However, in most shelter/rescue cases this information is not available. The Pit Bull at the shelter will often be a wonderful pet. It is important to know the general behavior of the dog. Has it shown any aggression towards humans? Most Pit Bull rescues will not accept or adopt out Pit Bulls with any level of aggression or excessive shyness towards humans. How does this dog do with other dogs? Has it shown any undesirable behavior or habits? It is suggested that a potential adopter of a Pit Bull bring the whole family to meet the dog. Often, shelters and rescues will allow you to take the dog for a home visit to see how they respond to the new surroundings. Most adoptions of a Pit Bull are amazing successes, and the adopter is not only receiving a pet, but they are also saving a life!

MYTH: It is best to get a puppy so that you can make it behave how you want it to. Many people feel if they get a Pit Bull as a puppy they can train it to not be aggressive towards other dogs and increase the likelihood that the dog will have no undesirable behavior qualities. Puppies can be a lot of fun and very rewarding, but with a new puppy there is no way of knowing how that dog will act as an adult. One benefit of adopting a young adult or full grown Pit Bull is the ability to avoid the uncomfortable puppy behavior stage. This includes constant destructive chewing, house breaking, excessive and uncontrollable energy, teething and puppy biting, possible whining, howling, and barking for attention at night, and the time and effort it takes to begin teaching general manners and obedience.
Another benefit is that an adopter can know how an adult Pit Bull will do with other dogs, cats, children, car rides, and other certain situations. Bringing a puppy up in the most loving and social environment can only alter its predetermined genetic urges so much. In other words, having a dog since puppyhood does not necessarily mean it will have all of the qualities desired in a pet. It may end up having some traits that are undesirable. An adult Pit Bull, however, will have more of an established personality, and an adopter can know what to expect with the dog.

MYTH: Pit Bulls do not make good family pets(false). Pit bulls make wonderful family pets. They have traditionally been very tolerant with children (although young children should not be left unsupervised with any dog). Early and continued socialization makes them a joy to be around. They are not, however, a dog for every household. They take a higher degree of commitment than most other breeds as some can indeed be animal aggressive. The Pit Bull should never be human aggressive. They also tend to be highly energetic and intelligent dogs which need adequate exercise and proper training. A good group obedience class which involves the whole family is strongly recommended.

MYTH: Pit Bulls can never be kept in a household with cats. Pit bulls (or any other dog for that matter) and cats are not necessarily mortal enemies. If socialized with cats at an early age, they can become quite good friends.

MYTH: Breed specific bans in areas around the country have been successful in reducing the number of dog bite fatalities. It is generally considered that breed specific bans are not effective in reducing fatal attacks or severe dog bites.

MYTH: The only people that own Pit Bulls are criminals, and the only thing the breed is good for is dog fighting." The majority of Pit Bulls are owned by normal dog-loving folk. Pit Bulls are kept as companions; they're used as working dogs involved in search and rescue, therapy, and police service; they compete in obedience, conformation, agility, tracking, and schutzhund; the list goes on and on. The breed is very versitile, due to the fact that the traits that make a good fighting dog also make for a good [insert your activity here] dog. Plus, although pit fighting was the main activity the breed was originally created for and involved in, there were also many other functions the breed was used for during it's developement. This breed is truly a jack-of-all-trades.

MYTH: Pit Bulls Should be Kept Away from Children. Anyone who is a true dog fancier and has any legitimate knowledge of dog breeds knows that Pit Bulls are typically great with kids. Historically Pit Bulls have been a favorite companion of children and tend to be drawn to the excitement and fun of kids. As long as they are socialized and trained properly, Pit Bulls are the perfect dog breed to withstand the rough play typically associated with children.It is common sense to not leave any dog alone with children but Pit Bulls are certainly no worse with children than any other dog breed, they are better in many cases.

MYTH: Pit Bulls Will Always Kill Small AnimalsPretty much every breed of dog will go after cats and other small animals, and Pit Bulls are no different. But there are countless cases of Pit Bulls that show a low prey drive and can live with cats and other small animals without any problems. It all boils down to socialization and each individual dog. No breed is inherently better or worse in this case, it depends on each dog and many other factors.

Pit Bull is The First SuperDog in The World - UKC standard

The United Kennel Club “Superdog” is considered to be a dog that has titles in Conformation, weight pull, agility, and Obedience competitions. The first dog ever to earn the “Superdog” title was an APBT. As if this is not impressive enough so were the third and fourth dogs. This ability to compete successfully at these diverse competitive events is further testament to this amazing breed. They compete successfully in all manner of organized dog sports, from herding to carting and even bite sports like Schutzhund and French Ring. Much of this success is owed to the activities it once performed and the stringency of the selection process that helped shape the breed. The harshness and physical demands of the activities the breed was bred for in the United States molded an incredibly strong, healthy, stable animal, a breed that anyone should be proud to own.

The official origin of the breed.

In 1898, Chauncy Bennet formed the United Kennel Club (UKC), a breed registry aimed solely at the registration and acceptance of Pit Bull Terriers. Chauncey’s own dog “Ring” was the first dog registered in the UKC. The UKC at that time when Pit fighting was still widely accepted as a national pastime the UKC provided registration and fighting guidelines for Pit fighting. Bennet sought to create an organization that would represent the breed as performance dogs. Thus, the American Pit Bull Terrier was born as a breed. At that time the UKC was an elite registry for the APBT. For a Pit Bull to be accepted into the UKC as an American Pit Bull Terrier the dog had to have won three fights. Years later when dog fighting became illegal the UKC quickly abandoned its past and has become an all breed registry that focuses on the working aspects of dog breeds. The UKC is now the second largest purebred dog registry in the United States, complete with strict bylaws that ban anyone who is convicted of dog fighting. Another registry that was started solely for APBT’s, the American Dog breeders Association was born twelve years after the UKC. The ADBA was started by Guy McCord? who was a close friend of one of the founding fathers of the modern APBT. The ADBA and the UKC are the only true registries of the American Pit Bull Terrier and have withstood the test of time. Over the next thirty years the American Pit Bull Terrier became one of the most popular breeds in American history. It was only with this popularity that another registry known as the American Kennel Club bowed to an overwhelming number of requests and accepted the APBT as a breed. They did however change the name of the breed hoping to hide their true origins unlike the original registries that honored the history of the breed. The AKC decided to register Pit Bulls as Staffordshire Terrier, which was later changed to the American Staffordshire Terrier in 1972. Up until 1936, Pit Bulls and AST’s were physically identical. After 1936, AST’s were no longer bred for the defined working type but for what is TYPICALLY a more “flashier” look with blockier heads, larger chests and a thicker jaw. Currently the AST, due to a closed gene pool and a great deal of popular stud syndrome, has developed into a very narrow phenotype, while APBT’s still vary phenotypically from lanky to stocky, from terrier to bully. Although the phenotypic expression varied in the APBT, relative weight, size and proportion remained constant and dogs over 60lbs are rarely seen in the yards of ethical breeders. The Pit Bull has been selectively bred over 170 plus years, until they have become marvelous working and companion dog, used for purposes as varied as those it originally performed. Properly bred modern working APBT’s are still bred to be exceptionally sturdy and extremely human friendly, not to mention athletic, courageous, and tenacious. They can be found employed as police/armed services dogs, Therapy dogs, search and rescuers, APBT’s have been used by the FDA and USDA for sniffing out bombs and drugs, the first certified hearing dog in Alaska was an APBT, and even today they continue to work livestock. The are indeed one of the most versatile breeds on the planet.

The history of the American Pit Bull Terrier

The history of the American Pit Bull Terrier is controversial and even when dog men agree on certain aspects of this history they never agree on all the details. No doubt that my philosophy and research on the breeds history will not be approved by all, but at least it will be a functional interpretation that will help with your understanding of the breeds general temperament. Primarily, we must paint the APBT history with broad strokes but still provide the essence of where, how, and why the breed derived its working type. It is the history that defines the working type and the working type that ultimately defines characteristics of temperament such as trainability, intelligence, drive, focus, stress response, prey drive, social instincts, and even dog aggression. We must understand these breed specific traits so that we can develop better communication with our own members of the breed. In the history of our breed lie the essence of functional type and an understanding of the breed’s history, which will hopefully give us a better understanding of the individual that we are training. The evolutionary chain that eventually led to dogs was provided in a succinct format in David Mech's The Wolf: The Ecology and Behavior of an Endangered Species. This chain started furthest back with ancient Creodonts, which became Miacis, which begat Cynodictus, which gave rise to Cynodesmus, which evolved into the Tomarctus. OK, these are really just fun names. I suggest that you memorize them and find a way to use them in conversation at dog shows to show off your extreme level of canine induced psychoses. Our history lesson will really start with the Tomarctus which gave rise to the wolf which was selectively evolved into the familiar dog. CynodictisNext in evolutionary line from Miacis was an Oligocene animal called Cynodictis, which somewhat resembled the modern dog. Cynodictis lived about 20 million years ago. Its fifth toe, which would eventually become the dewclaw. Cynodictis also had 42 teeth. TomarctusAfter a few more intermediate stages the evolution of the dog moved on to the extremely doglike animal called Tomarctus, which lived 10 million years ago during the late Miocene epoch. Tomarctus probably developed the strong social instincts that still prevail in the dog.

artist representation of Tomarctus

What is the importance of the Tomarctus?It is really a behavioral trait, which I feel starts our historical journey logically with Tomarctus. As we saw the Tomarctus existed a long long time ago. Tomarctus apparently lived much like the wild dogs and wolves of today. It was a predator that probably looked like a cross between a wolf and a jackal, with short prick ears and a long tail that it used to maintain balance while hunting. What makes the Tomarctus of greatest interest is that is was most likely the creature that first developed those strong social instincts that still prevail in the dog today. It is this social behavior evolved over millions of years that makes the dog a companion animal and one that relates best to hierarchical orders of dominance in its family. What this means is that your dog has a deeply ingrained need to be a part of a pack or family. It needs either to have a strong leader (alpha) or to be the leader. The American Pit Bull Terrier some have argued falsely has lost much of this instinct but I would argue that this is extremely naïve. Every APBT I have ever known, that was raised correctly responds to pack order even within its human family. In Chapter X we will learn more about pack order and how to develop it appropriately with your dog. It is vital to understand because if you as the trainer or owner of the APBT are not the alpha in the relationship there is really no incentive for the dog to respond to your commands. In the Bronze Age, it is believed that the Tomarctus evolved into a small strain of gray wolf that probably inhabited what is now India. Thereafter, this Asiatic wolf due to migration and environmental events became widely distributed throughout Europe, Asia, and North America further evolving into various wolf subtypes. Most of this evolution was due to selective environmental influence but it is thought that man may have also had some selective influence on the evolution of various wolf strains at this time. Dogs descended both from this ancestral wolf and its various strains, it is also possible that some of the dogs of today descended not only from the wolf but also or rather from the jackal. As we saw in chapter one, bulldogs and terriers have origins with the European wolves with bulldogs also having Asian wolf origins as well. Thus, the APBT, which is considered a bull and terrier type breed, has definite origins that can be traced to Western Europe. European wolves similar to the traits started in the Tomarctus live and hunt in packs, which are extended families that typically are ruled by an an alpha (the dominant male), his mate, and their offspring. They hunt and kill game larger than themselves such as wild reindeer, elk, and red deer. European wolves will also eat much smaller animals such as mice and frogs.
european wolves
As we saw in Chapter one, wolves became part of the human communities and humans began to speed their evolution with selective breeding, until they became a separate species. Those humans that inhabited Europe probably Greece, developed a particular need for a guardian and war dog. It is known that the ancient Molossian civilizations used large size dogs in warfare. These wardogs are believed to have descended from the now extinct Tibetan Mastiff. These dogs might be the link between the wolf and the bulldog. When the Roman Empire conquered Italy, they soon discovered the Molossoid dogs' power as war and fighting dogs. The Romans apparently had tremendous impact on the Mollosoids through their own selective breeding and developed what became Canis pugnax (the Roman Wardog), which they used in warfare as well as in dog fights in the colosseums.

roman dogs of war

The link between the mollossoid and bulldog type is assumed to be the Alaunt or Alan Dog (also defined as a wolfhound) which can be seen in painting and old pictures to look very similar to modern day Pit Bulls, except they were much larger closer to the size of a Great Dane. Alaunts were probably developed in Western Europe and have been described as being bred as catch dogs for hunting and holding wild boar, running down dear, catching and holding rank bulls and acting as herd guardians that could easily kill wolves. At the same time they were very social with humans. Thus their primary role was as a family member, guardians of children, herding flocks of cattle and sheep and hunting. These descriptions fit nicely with what we see in modern day, properly bred, American Pit Bull Terriers. The Alaunt however, did not directly give rise to the Pit Bull but instead gave rise to what I call the original Bulldog.

rep of alaunt

Similar to the Alaunt, except that they are considerably smaller, quicker and more agile, the Western European ancestral Bulldogs were also bred as family members. At this time, and up until the mid 20th century being a part of the family meant being useful. Thus they became one of the most versatile of breeds. Very capable of almost any task they were especially important on Western European farms performing all tasks including baiting, fighting, stock work, hunting, and guarding. They were also one of the more human friendly animals, but were capable of extreme ferociousness toward wild game. This was the origin of true and properly bred Pit Bulls unwavering loyalty and gentleness towards humans as well as their working ability. The original Bulldogs were not an animal-aggressive breed either and typically worked with small packs of dogs including hounds and curs when hunting so overt aggression towards others of their same species and breed was not a typical trait. To put a valid timeframe on this point in history the designation "Bulldog" was first mentioned in print in 1631. A letter written in Spain in 1632 by an Englishman named Prestwich Eaton asked his friend George Wellingham in London for a "good mastiff dog and two bulldogs." This means that both the mollossoid descendents and the Bulldogs were popular in Britain at this time.

Old Style Bulldogs

Back in the time of the first Bulldogs, it should be understood that breed designations were not the same as we know them today. Designations were based more upon working characteristics. It is unlikely that dogs of this time were developed and maintained as strict pure breeds. Pedigrees were not specifically maintained except in the most elite kennels. Thus, for the most part dogs used for breeding were selected, not because of bloodlines and pedigree, but based upon both convenience and functionality. The bulldog was the all around working breed and not typically used as a guardian. Guardian breeds were the Mastiff which were bred to be ferocious, huge and to respond to one master. Bulldogs were bred so that they could be taken anywhere and be safe. They were able to protect when the need arose so a selectively protective instinct did exist but for the most part Bulldogs were family members. It was at this point that selection for high human bite threshold began to develop. This has transferred to modern Pit Bulls who if bred properly will not except under extreme duress bite a human. The Bulldog was known at this time as the nanny dog because children could hang on their tails, ears, poke them with sticks or any other form of childlike torture and the Bulldogs would merely wag their tails harder. This trait has passed to well-bred APBTs as well.

painting of bullbaiting

Much consideration is also given to the Bulldog past based upon blood sport. Again the misconception is that these sports greatly defined the development of the Bulldog. In actuality the bloodsports such as bullbaiting are given such heightened credit for breed development because they were highly propagandized by the media and subsequent legislation surrounding them. This essentially means that much of the available literature about the history at this time is related to media and legislation around the sport. The truth is probably much less sensational and Bulldogs were probably still maintained and selected for the most part by farmers as an actual all around working and family dog. A subset of the population were utilized for sport and possibly a few breeders of the time did selective breeding to enhance those traits that made Bulldogs more successful at bull baiting. Like dog fighting and ratting, bull baiting was more a gambling tourney rather than a sport. It was primarily used for gambling similar to modern day dog racing. In bull baiting a tethered bull would be attacked by Bulldogs. The dogs were trained to grab on to a nose or ear, and maintain a hold. A successful dog was one that avoided bull's hooves and horns and held on the longest. The best dogs would hold on until the bull actually collapsed from exhaustion. Dogs were usually tossed through the air causing broken legs, backs, and skulls when they hit the ground. There are stories of disemboweled dogs or dogs with broken limbs dragging and pulling themselves back toward the victorious bull. On the whole, both the dogs and the bulls suffered greatly. Though started by the commoner eventually the upper class and even royalty participated in Bull baiting. It was about the time that the royalty took notice of the sport that there began to be a political and legislative outcry. When the public outcry started about the cruelty supposed purpose of the bull baiting was to help tenderize the meet of the bull prior to slaughter. This held off the legislation for a few years but eventually Parliament was forced to ban the sport in 1835. Another gambling activity that was popular with the people of the time but never gained the attention of the upper class, partially because it was not done out in full public view, and involved a creature not considered as noble as a bull, and thus its true significance to the development of the breed is not recognized was pit ratting. "The rat pit consisted of an enclosure about six feet in diameter, with wooden sides at elbow height and a rim for the clients to lean on. Into this pit they tipped rats. They then put the dog into the pit to despatch a given number of rats in a set time. Enthusiasts would take bets on the proceedings. Various terrier type dogs, including the black and tan competed in the rat pits. Rat pits were found in most cities and large towns. Jimmy Shaw, who owned one of the largest sporting public houses in London, would buy over 500 rats a week from the local rat catcher for his rat pit." In ratting as in dog fighting various sizes and types of terriers were matched in contests based upon weight, the smaller sized dogs were mainly terriers the larger dogs had considerable bulldog influence and the medium size dogs 30-45 lbs were the famous bull and terrier dogs. Thus the ratting sport may have helped produce some of the half and half breeds (half bulldog half terrier) that soon became very popular. The breeds most often referred to as the Terrier part of the "Bull and Terrier" breeds is the now extinct White English Terrier, as well as its descendant the "Black and tan terrier", now known as Manchester Terrier, and the fox terrier.

The fox terrier was used for hunting fox´s and badgers underground. If you know badgers you know that it must take an incredible amount of courage, strength and prey drive to approach such a beast in its very den. The terrier similar to the mollissoid was brought to Europe by the Romans. In letters Romans told of subterranean hunting dogs. The earliest known illustration of a black and tan terrier type dog appears in the illustrated 16th century manuscript 'The Hours of the Virgin'.The black and tan terrier black & tan terriers recorded in the 18th century were very much in demand as ratters due to the increasing rat population brought about by the advancement of the industrial revolution. Other types of terriers carried by gentlemen in their pockets on hunts and sent to ground as necessary to flush out foxes etc.

ratting tourney

At the about the time bull baiting became illegal, the sport of ratting became even more popular. Even more so than ratting there was a variety of different sizes of dogs from terriers to the larger bulldog and in between. Without the bull baiting those who fancied the Bulldog became even more interested in dog fighting. Gameness was the trait most cherished in a fighting dog for obvious reasons. The Bulldog was known for its gameness and wiliness to succeed at any task because a dog that had the tenacity to hold a bull or wild combined with an extreme tolerance for pain was an excellent foundation for a pit dog. However, after the demise of bull baiting as a legal sport, there was no longer the need for the size of dog required for bull baiting the expense required to maintain an animal would have been an obvious factor. Thus there was a trend toward a slightly smaller animal with the same traits of gameness that the bull dog possessed. The quickest way to bring down the size in a very few generations would be the input of the small terrier breeds. These small terriers were also known for their tenacity, agility, and ability to fight. Thus the natural combination of the bull dog and terriers probably started at this point in rural old England. So while a core group of fanciers focused on the fighting uses of the breed, and bred with the pit in mind however still others especially in urban settings such as farms kept dogs for bulldoggy tasks. As a pit-dog only the Bulldogs possessed the requisite courage but they lacked the necessary agility. Various Bulldog crosses were tried, mainly with terriers, until eventually a specific breed of bull terriers was produced which was fast, strong and utterly game. Still no actual breedThe combination of these three sports produced a variety of terrier and bulldog crossing with no real selection for a particular “look”. Dogs were probably selectively bred for tourneys in the larger cities, if they were successful at the sports. On farms the original bulldog breeds were still the most popular and was where these dogs were still being selected for working ability and functionality. Still there was no real breed maintained except for broad classifications and selective breeding that was based upon that task for which a dog was being used. Bulldogs, pit dogs, half and half, ratters, fighting dogs. The message to take home from this is that there was no single breed that defined the origins of the American Pit Bull Terrier. It will forever remain a mixture of working breeds selected for functional and convenient traits. The Bulldog, terriers and bull and terrier crosses come to America. Bull dogs, bull terriers, Pit dogs, terriers, old family dogs, and various fighting terriers began arriving in America in the late 1800s along with immigrants. America made a wonderful new setting for the development of the bull dog and the pit dog. The Bull and Terrier blends began to be selected for fighting ability, unrelenting bravery, a high pain threshold, resilience, a willingness to fight to the end, and also an unmatched affection for people.

Crosses of Bulldog and Terriers helped in the formation of other breeds as well. For instance after coming to American while pit dog fighting was becoming well established in the new world Robert C. Hooper, of Boston, Massachusetts, purchased a Pit Dog that was part English Bulldog, and part English Terrier (the English Terrier being an all white dog). This dog was rather tall in stature, possessed a square and blocky head, with a nearly even mouth. This original half and half a cross breeding ultimately became the Boston Terrier breed. As you can see however without selective breeding for a different type this dog was similar to the foundation of the APBT.

Old time Boston Terriers Decended from same foundations as the APBT

It should be noted that there are two schools of thought within the breed. The first which is probably fostered most by Richard Stratton, is that the APBT has origins with the original bull baiting dogs of England and very little has changed except for selective breeding to enhance the working type. The other school of thought most accepted and that which I will present is that the APBT is a blend made up mainly of a strong foundation of bull baiting dogs with some infusion of scrapping terriers such as the white English and the black-and-tan terriers. I 100% agree with Richard Stratton in that the Bulldog is definitely the primary fabric that went into the creation of modern day APBT but with many of the most popular Pit Bull dogs the terrier influence to me is quite apparent. I would also readily admit that what has resulted during the history of the APBT, is a dog more like the original ancestral Bull dogs than Bulldog breeds such as the Johnson American Bull Dog.

Johnson style American Bulldog

It will never be truly know what breeds contributed to the dogs that ended up in the Americas nor in the dogs in American that became the actual American Pit Bull Terrier. Here again, back in the day, there was little concern with maintaining a pedigree based breeding program because dog men were not so much interested in purebred dogs as they were in dogs with fighting ability. Dog men would therefore breed accordingly to dogs that were proven game (tenacity), had wind (stamina), had talent (fighting style), had intelligence (pit artists) and could be handled no matter how fired up they were (high degree of human friendliness). This was the core selection process for the modern true and purebred APBT. By extreme selection for the above mentioned athletic abilities and bite inhibition toward humans, the Pit Bull Terrier slowly evolved into a more definitive type. However, note that when I say definitive type it must still be understood that as mentioned above the Pit Bull Terrier was never at this time bred for how it looked. How it looked began to be affected by the extreme selection for working ability. The temperament of the breed was also forged into an extremely stable and human friendly form due to the selection of sires and dams that were intelligent, courageous, unwavering, dominant, and tenacious. Dogs that did not have these qualities were not successful as fighters and dogs that were not utterly human friendly could not be handled during fights and thus were culled (put to sleep). Thus, because no human aggressive dogs made up the foundation of the breed this trait should not be evident in properly bred members of the breed. These two qualities defined those dogs that became foundations for what has become the modern APBT.

APBT also excelled in their service to mankind on the frontier as all around working dogs and soon earned a reputation as one of the finest dogs a man could own. The APBT was adept at just about anything he was asked to do, which included: herding, livestock protection, vermin removal, weight pulling, guardianship, and just being a loyal and friendly companion. As America flourished, the APBT flourished. They were the most popular types of dogs, highly prized by a wide variety of people from all walks of life. These dogs were loved and respected as the true and total dog. Though known by other names such as Pit Dog, the Pit Bull Terrier, the American Bull Terrier, and even the Yankee Terrier they were evolving into a single breed finally. It should be noted that the more "Bulldoggy" varieties without the terrier influences also made their way to America. These larger Bulldogs diverged again into a more defined and separate type at this time and came to be called the American Bulldog. These Bulldogs are now closer representations of older Bulldog types than the Pit Bull. Modern Scott type American Bull Dogs of the true working variety tend to be closer to the Alaunt look and also tend to be more like the original all around working and baiting variety. We also find dogs of the type of the Johnson type heavier more brachycephalic (Bulldog). These heavier Bulldogs were bred more for the bull baiting type which was produced at about the time of bull baiting climax. Thus we have a split of the two Bulldog types and the smaller more agile Pit Bull type dogs. Up until the end of the 19th Century however there was still not a great deal of differentiation except that the Pit Bull was being heavily selected for fighting ability in the frontiers of the west.