In the minds of some people, they associate pit bull type dogs with negative titles like unruly, violent, and for some, there exists a negative stigma about this type of dog. Sadly, this bad reputation has resulted in an overpopulation of pit bull type dogs in local community shelters. Pit bull type dogs are not any more dangerous to people than other dogs of comparable size. On the same token, pit bull type dogs are some of the most interesting and loyal of dogs on the entire planet, and they have been wonderful companions to countless families for hundreds of years. We would like to spend some time and talk a little bit about the history, and some of the accomplishments pit bull type dogs have had.
The “pit bull” is a combination of bulldog and terrier, although in the United States this breed is more broadly classified. There are at least seven variations of this breed that exist, if not more. Although there is no exact date for when the first pit bull was bred into existence, there are paintings from the 16th Century in the United Kingdom depicting pit bulls. This means that they have at least existed for over five hundred years. Pit bulls are most commonly seen in the United States and the United Kingdom.
The pit bull gained popularity in the United States around the 19th Century due to their keen ability to help hunters and their loyalty to their owners. The first celebrity pit bull in the United States was named Bud, and he is most famous for being a passenger on the first car ride across America. His driver was none other than Horatio Nelson Jackson. It was said that images of Bud wearing googles in the passenger seat actually overshadowed Horatio’s tale. If you would like to learn more about Bud and his incredible story, please click here.
Pit bulls have been members of two different American Presidents’ lives while they were living in the White House. The first President to have a pit bull live in the White House with him and his family was Theodore Roosevelt. Roosevelt himself was an avid hunter and an outdoor enthusiast. It was fitting that he chose a breed of dog that loves being outside. The second American President that had a pit bull live with him in the White House was Woodrow Wilson, who was sworn into office a mere four years after Roosevelt left. Although they both owned pit bulls, Wilson and Roosevelt were completely opposite from one another. Whereas Roosevelt was an outdoorsman who had six children (four of which were boys), Wilson was an intellectual who had three grown daughters when he was sworn into office. These two Presidents’ differences demonstrate that pit bulls have been loved by various types of families.
One illustration of pit bulls loyalty comes from a story during World War I. During the War, a pit bull named Sgt. Stubby not only managed to help capture a German spy during combat, but he also helped save an entire platoon of American soldiers during the War. For his acts, Sgt. Stubby was the first canine in the United States to receive a medal from the United States Government for his service. Please click here to read more about Sgt. Stubby’s acts of bravery.
The history of pit bulls is still being written and we can’t let overpopulation, or misuse of pit bulls, to be part of it. As we’ve seen, this incredible dog has accomplished a lot in these past one hundred years, and we know that they’ll do even greater things in the next one hundred years. Despite what people may think about pit bulls due to misrepresentation, they are a great breed of dog for all sorts of families. If you’re looking for a dog that will make you feel safe at night, the pit bull is your dog. If you want a dog that will be loyal to you forever, the pit bull is your dog. We encourage you to consider adopting a pit bull from your community. Make the breed commonly owned by famous people your family’s choice for canine companion.