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The American Pit Bull Terrier / Breeds targeted by BSL
Board of Directors / Lawyers / Experts / Consultants
Responsible Dog Ownership / Education Programs
Legislation 2001 - 2006
FATAL DOG ATTACKS updated 2006
Canine Behavior / Genetics
The American Pit Bull Terrier / Breeds targeted by BSL



The American Pit Bull Terrier pictured above is UKC Champion Pantara's Zeus. Zeus works for the American Canine Foundation promoting responsible dog ownership, he's been to over 100 schools, 6 state fairs, 17 public events, worked on a dogfighting task force and has been to the Washington State Capitol promoting responsible dog ownership.

There are an estimated 4.8 million American Pit Bull Terriers in the United States that are purebred and registered with the American Kennel Club ( AmStaff ) , the United Kennel Club and the American Dog Breeders Association. The breed takes up 9.6 percent of the 52 million dogs estimated to be in our country. All 3 registries prohibit illegal dogfighting and will suspend and revoke registration papers of anyone charged with the inhumane sport.

The American Temperament Test Society (A.T.T.S.) has tested over 185 breeds of dogs in the last 25 years. The American Pit Bull Terriers rate higher than all other breeds. The A.T.T.S. is recogonized by the United Kennel Club and other well established organizations and they have testified as experts in several court cases.

Why do the American Pit Bull Terriers rate so high in temperament testing ? 

The breed comes from Europe and evolved from the Staffordshire Bull Terrier. English and Irish immigrants imported the dogs. In Europe and America the breed was used and continues to be used for herding animals, guarding farms, conformation, obedience and agility trials, service work, police work, search and rescue, therapy and companionship.

Unfortunately, it was discovered in the late 1800's, that if trained, the dogs could be used for the inhumane sport of illegal dogfighting. The dogfighters did not tolerate human aggression and culled any dog that showed aggression towards humans. Over 100 years of selective breeding for non - human aggressive dogs took place with the fighting dog lines, these were cross bred into the dogs used for companionship and herding livestock and guarding farms.

In 1936 the American Kennel Club allowed registration of American Pit Bull Terriers with United Kennel Club papers, the UKC was founded in 1899 specifically for the American Pit Bull Terrier. The American Dog Breeders Association was founded in 1916 for the APBT. Dogfighting was not illegal at the time and UKC and ADBA registered both fighting dogs and companion dogs until dogfighting became illegal. The dogs registered with AKC came from the UKC stock. All 3 registries prohibit illegal dogfighing and do not allow animal / human aggressive dogs to be shown in conformation, obedience or agility trials. Registration papers are revoked if a breeder is found guilty of illegal dogfighting.

Since 1936 in AKC the breed has been selective bred for conformation shows and companionship in the AKC, since the 1970's the breed has been shown in the UKC and ADBA. The AKC bloodlines are cross bred with the UKC/ADBA lines and what this tells us is for over 69 years the dogs have been selective bred for non - animal aggression. While some strains still have animal prey drive, most of the breed is now non animal aggressive. One must remember, the American Pit Bull Terrier is a "Terrier" and all terriers have prey drive, this does not make them vicious or dangerous. Many other non -terriers breeds also have prey drive and they are not considered dangerous.  

Due to Federal laws passed in the 1970's and efforts by law enforcement, fewer dogs are trained for the illegal sport. Many other breeds are also used for illegal dogfighting and HSUS estimates that 250,000 Pit Bulls are used for illegal activity in the United States. This is less than 4% percent of the breed. We do not know if the dogs used for illegal activity are registered and if they are purebred American Pit Bull Terriers. There are over 25 breeds that can be mistaken for the purebred APBT and alot of cross breeds (mixed) also resemble the APBT. Almost all 50 states have felony laws to stop illegal dogfighting and many states prohibit training all breeds of dogs to fight.        

The American Pit Bull Terrier is a WW1 National Hero, the breed fought on the front lines for the United States of American and a APBT named SRGT Stubby is the most decorated dog of any war our country has ever fought.

In 1903 the first car to ever cross the United States had a companion along  for the ride, his name was "BUD"  he was an American Pit Bull Terrier.

Helen Keller owned an American Pit Bull Terrier as did several US Presidents.Countless famous people own the breed and it was even a movie star before Lassie (Petey) of "Our Gang"  The American Pit Bull Terrier is the most popular breed in the United States.

Many false statements about the American Pit Bull Terrier have been brought into the focus of the media, there are claims the breed can bite with 2000PSI, that they are responsible for the majority of fatal attacks and are genetically dangerous. None of this has any truth behind it and it has caused the breed to be banned in some parts of the United States.

Several organizations support extermination of the American Pit Bull Terrier by attempted breed bans with claims that the breed as a whole is being abused. H.S.U.S. claims that 250,000 APBT's are being bred for illegal activity. If the figure from H.S.U.S. supported the theory that the dogs were of the regestered purebred lines it would be less than 4% of the entire breed. Whats happened because of this type of legislation is that many other breeds have now become part of the extermination process and breeds that several years ago were not considered dangerous are now being labled under that discription.  The other breeds are not being used for illegal activity nor are there claims they are being abused like the claim is towards the APBT. In reality the breed ban / restriction is a tool used for extermination only.

We want you to read the statement below from Dr. I Lehr Brisbin a champion for the American Pit Bull Terrier, an animal lover who has devoted his entire life to the study of canine behavior.   

Dr I Lehr Brisbin PhD Professor of Ecology at the Univeristy of South Carolina and a scientist for the US Department of Energy Savannah River Ecology Labratory in the field of animal behavior states:

" I have conducted extensive research on the two basis issues on the two basic issues raised by the controversy surrounding the anti-pit bull legislation, to wit: Is there any credible evidence that the bite of the pit bull is either stronger or more damaging than that of various other heavy breeds of dogs, and is there any credible evidence that pit bulls are more likely to attack and/or bite in a dangerous way than any other breed of dog?"


The 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 other breed of dog of comparable size and build. Further, there is no evidence for the existence of any kind of "locking mechanism" unique to the structure of the jaws and / or teeth of pit bulls.

Films and eyewitness reports of the biting behavior of pit bull indicate that this breed tends to hold the bite for longer periods of time than other breeds which tend to slash, tear and then release. This holding type bite is less likely to cause seath from exsanguination (bleeding) which has been documented as one of the leading causes of death following severe dog bites. In their role as "catch dogs" used on livestock or big game, pit bulls have proven their ability to use this holdong type of bite to immobilize their quarry without causing serious injury or tissue damage, as compared to what would be expected of the slashing type bite of other breeds. It is for these reasons that pit bulls have long been specifically selected for use in the kind of work where it is important that the dogs quarry should not be seriously injured. Ther are cases, for example, where pit bulls have proven to be invaluable research tools in both university and government sponsored research programs aimed at studies of the ecology and behavior of big game animals.

Dr I Lehr Brisbin PhD


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The Doberman: The history of the Doberman has been documented by many very reliable authors, who have sometimes spent a lifetime with this one breed of dog. It is highly recommended that anyone interested in including one of these magnificent animals in their family, to purchase and read at least one book (preferably more) that is written by these authors. It is also important that the potential new owner belong to a local Doberman club; get to know the people who have experience in this breed, ask questions concerning training, nutrition, exercise, and temperament of the breed. The Doberman is a noble-looking, elegant, powerful, and highly intelligent animal. The feelings between a Doberman and its owner are reciprocal, the love and devotion that one has for the other is a mutual giving and receiving. That is one of the amazing benefits of ownership of this breed of dog. The Doberman had its beginnings in the city of Apolda, located in the state of Thuringia, Germany. Louis Dobermann was reputed to be a tax collector in this area, and was also responsible for keeping the strays in the local dog pound. Herr Dobermann carried money on his person, and wanted a dog for self protection. His ultimate aim was to possess a dog that was of average build, so that it could be intimidating to intruders or robbers. A dog with a short, smooth coat would be easy to care for, with a minimum of grooming. The dog would also have to have great stamina, be intelligent, and display alertness, and even aggression. So when he decided to use different breeds to develop this special guard dog, Herr Dobermann had a very specific end in mind. His choices were not slap hazard, he picked and chose the dogs very carefully. This is one of the reasons why the Doberman Pinscher is referred to as "a man-made dog". Unfortunately, he did not keep any written records. However, some very good conjectures can be drawn from the knowledge we have of the anatomy and temperament of the Doberman, and the knowledge of the type of dogs that were indigenous to that area and time. The German Pinscher was probably the foundation breed that Herr Dobermann used to build his new strain of dog. This type of dog was described as being rather non-descript in looks, but the reputation of temperament that this dog had was one of alertness and aggressiveness. The Rottweiler was used in the development of the breed due to its massiveness and intelligence. This very solid dog also possessed great stamina, and had excellent tracking ability. Sometimes the Rottweiler strain can be seen in a Doberman with a "wavy" coat. The Manchester Terrier contributed the black-and-tan coloration, and the short, shiny coat. The Doberman inherited some of the elegant looks, the refinement and line of this breed of dog. The Beauceron contributed size and color to the Dobermann bloodline. The Beauceron was a solidly built dog, very alert, and was known to be intelligent as well. Louis Dobermann passed away in the late 1800's. He left his bloodline in the keeping, and care, of Otto Goeller. It is speculated that it was Otto Goeller that added the Greyhound, possibly black in color, to the bloodline. This would account for the additional height, stamina, and the speed of the Doberman. In 1899, the National Dobermann Pinscher Club was organized in Germany. One year later, Otto Goeller, and other fanciers, drew up a standard for their breed. The German Kennel Club immediately gave official recognition of the newest breed The first Doberman's to enter the U.S. did so around 1908. In 1921, the Dobermann Pinscher Club of America was organized, and one year later, the standard that was written in Germany, was adopted as the standard here in the U.S. The next 15 years were very important years in the Doberman's history. World War I had severely depleted the number of Dobies, due to the near, and actual, starvation of many of the people of Europe. The luxury of having Dobermans as a family pet was too much for some, many puppies, as well as adults, had to be put to death. The military, the police, certain organizations, and the very wealthy were able to possess these dogs. So there was a need to be filled by the continued breeding of the Doberman. But now the emphasis was on the best bred dog. After 1921, an American market opened up for these German bred dogs, and most of the Siegers and Siegerins, and virtually every German sire of reputation, sooner or later reached American shores, if not the dogs themselves, then their get did. World War II was another close disaster for the Doberman. If not for the fact that Americans had purchased so many Dobies, it is likely the breed would have come close to extinction. The American breeder had, from 1921 until around 1937, invited German judges to our American Shows, and had asked for, and followed, their advice on how to breed the Dobie, traits to look for, and to be mindful of the temperament desired. In Great Britain, the Doberman was rarely seen, not becoming known by the public until around 1947. It is important that the public understand that in the early years of the Doberman Pincsher the breed was valued most for its aggressiveness. It had a use at that time, it was a working dog, used in guard work, military policing, and with the police. Today, the responsible breeder is more aware than ever before of the importance of temperament. The responsible breeder will not knowingly sell an aggressive tempered dog into a family situation. The aggressive types must be trained, and possessed, by a dominant (not abusive) owner, who has a job for the Dobie to do. A new owner to the Doberman breed should have the common sense to research and get to know the breed very well before buying. He, or she, should not be getting the Dobie for the purpose of scaring his neighbors, or their dogs. If that is the case, shame on you. You possess an animal that can become dangerous in the wrong hands, yours. Just like a mishandled weapon, it's not the gun that kills, it is the mentality behind it.

THE ROTTWEILER By JAN COOPER The Rottweiler, commonly referred to as a Rottie by those that have come to love the breed, is a medium to large sized robust dog. He is black in color with carefully placed mahogany markings. He has a large head with deep set, dark, expressive eyes. He is loyal to his family and will protect them whenever the need arises, but his finest attributes are his forthright intelligence, forgiving nature, and a sense of humor. It is said that the ancestors of this breed originated in the Roman Empire and that many of them accompanied the Roman army over the Alps as the loyal protector and drover of cattle that were used as the army's food source. According to historians, the next appearance of this mastiff type dog was in the beautiful little town of Rottweil nestled in the southern mountainous region of Germany, where the Roman armies had left them as they continued their travels. The name Rottweil literally means das Rote Wil or the red tile. The dogs became integral members of the community as their loyalty, natural ability to work and desire to please were noticed and cultivated. Farmers used these dogs to pull carts to aid in their daily milk deliveries, as well as to assist in management of the cattle; butchers used these dogs to guard their down-stairs shops during times of rest and to carry pouches of money to the banks. Unlike in our society in which dogs are usually pets and companions, every member of those old German towns, including the animals of a family, had to be productive and earn their keep. This robust, loyal, yet friendly dog easily proved its worth. These working dogs became widely admired and some people began referring to them as the butcher dogs or the dogs of Rottweil. Over time this magnificant working companion became officially known as Rottweiler. Rottweilers today have changed in physical appearance, but they still have that invisible aura of dignity that surrounds their intelligence, loyalty and humor. A well adjusted Rottweiler is quiet, generally laid-back and will readily adapt to apartment living, provided of course he is given daily exercise. This breed's greatest desire is be with his human family. Regardless of living arrangements, all Rottweilers should be socialized and have obedience training. Because this is a breed of strong characteristics, the Rottweiler is not a breed for everyone as it requires a high degree of responsibility from its family. As with any large dog, Rottweilers should never be left to their own vises or left unattended with children. Both children and Rottweilers become bored quite easily and therefore both require adult supervision. Today Rottweilers are excelling in such sports as herding, schutzhund, carting, agility and flyball. They are also proving to be outstanding therapy dogs and recognized as excellent service dogs for the physically challenged. Rottweilers are also being used by many as Search and Rescue dogs. It was a Rottweiler that found the last survivor of the bombing of the Federal Building in Oklahoma. A Search and Rescue Rottweiler worked long arduous hours at the World Trade Center site. Rottweilers are also in use by various law enforcement agencies. The exceptional characteristics and versatility of the Rottweiler has made it a popular breed in America. Rottweilers love to learn new things and a working Rottweiler is a happy Rottweiler. K-9 Sulkys, rottie poetry and MORE pedigree info? Go to Paw Village or contact me for help "The Lord will never give us anything greater than He knows we can bear."