Game Bred Pit bull terriers and other game dogs.
Pit Bull Terriers Compared to other fighting breeds
Some readers may feel that I have left out other fighting breeds that deserved to be mentioned. However, this site is principally about game dogs and for a breed to be considered a game, it needs to have undergone the correct selection pressures such as the Cajun and Old English dog fighting rules. Remember a game dog is an animal that will not only fight for extremely long periods but also never give up despite being in the losing position. This is different to most other fighting breeds, which have been selected for their ability to fight and not for gameness. Interestingly, some working dogs such as Terriers are often dead game against underground quarry, so are indeed considered game dogs but are not considered fighting dogs. Simply put the Pit Bull Terrier is both a game dog and fighting dog combined into one organism.
However many Pit Bull terrier enthusiasts believe that any American Pit Bull Terrier can win a fight against any dog of any other fighting breed regardless of size inequalities. This is of course pure nonsense for just as a thirty-five pound, pit bull terrier cannot usually kill a large bear single handedly it is also true to say that it cannot necessarily defeat a 150 pound fighting dog of another breed. In addition to this, I emphasize the word “any” as the ability of each individual dog within a breed shows variability. If an average ability American Pit Bull Terrier is put up against the best representative of another fighting breed while also being outweighed then it should be on no surprise if it loses. However what is surprising is that on the rare verifiable occasion that high level American Pit Bull Terriers have been pitted against top representatives of different breeds they have performed extremely well even while being outweighed by a factor of 300% percent!.
The best way and certainly the most scientific in assessing what a certain breed is capable of doing is to look no further than the selection pressures responsible for the evolution of that breed. .
I will now discuss some of the background to the Caucasian Wolf dogs known generally as Volkodavs and then compare these dogs to the American Pit Bull Terrier. After the collapse of the Soviet Union it became apparent that a deep rooted culture of dog fighting had been continuing for centuries in Russia, Kazakhstan, Georgia and Armenia especially in the Ural mountain regions. These dog fighting competitions are a legal grey area but carry on in the open; in fact The All-Russian Association of Russian Volkodavs claims to have more than 1,000 breeders and owners that regularly enter their Volkodavs in the fights. It also has a large amount of fans that give it enough financial backing for a web site, high quality magazine and an annual championship dog fight. Although the competitions are open to all dogs, it is mainly the Central Asian shepherd dogs & Caucasian Ovcharka collectively called Volkodavs or wolf-killers that are used. Volkodavs have been bred by sheepherders across Russia and Eurasia to defend livestock against predators such as wolves although some of these dogs have been selected and bred specifically for dog fighting. Supporters of these dog-fighting competitions argue that the fights serve the purpose of selecting only the best bloodlines for real working sheep dogs (sheep protectors), a practice which has been going on for thousands of years. In addition to this, organizers say that Volkodav competitions unlike secretive Cajun rules Pit Bull fights in the west very rarely result in death or serious injury to the dogs. I will now compare the Volkodav rules selection pressures in comparison to the Pit Bull fighting selection pressures of Cajun rules as set out earlier in the book.
Rule A: If a Wolfdog refuses to move towards the rival, their positions are inter-changed and if this happens, again it will lead to disqualification of one or both of the dogs. Selection pressure A: Just like the pressure of Cajun rules system used to fight dogs in the United States it ensures that only dogs who wish to fight and not forced to fight are used.
Rule B: Each match is fought over a three round maximum time limit. A round is halted when two dogs are inactive for a period of time. Selection pressure B: This is vastly different to the Cajun rules system where fights do not stop until either one dog refuses to fight and will not “scratch”. This means that game dogs such as the American Pit Bull Terrier can if necessary fight for hours at a time, with one recorded bout being nearly five hours. Because of the three round rule Wolfdogs do not have the same levels of endurance as a top level American Pit Bull Terrier. However, on the other hand Wolf dogs are likely to possess more power and strength over a shorter time period. Therefore, if a top Wolfdog fought a top American Pit Bull Terrier it would have to kill it swiftly, for if the Wolfdog did not win within the first ten or twenty minutes against the smaller Pit Bull it would be “out of gas” and at a severe disadvantage for the rest of the fight. Key is that the wolfdog would have to kill and not maul the Pit Bull Terrier; this is because the only way to stop a game dog is to kill it. If the Pit Bull Terrier is not killed after the first twenty minutes, there is a very good chance that the Pit Bull Terrier will turn the tables.
Rule C: The fight is stopped if one of the dogs starts whining, yelping or squealing. Selection pressure C: A dog that does any of these is declared the loser because it shows sensitivity to pain. Pit Bull Terrier bouts however are often noisy events in terms of dogs crying out and yelping in pain. In a Cajun rules fight the dog is allowed to cry out as long as it does not quit but a Eurasian dogman would consider a yelping or crying dog to be a cur.
Rule D: One of the dogs draws its tail between its legs; Selection Pressure D: Drawing the tail between the legs in normal dogs is a show of defeat and also serves in letting the other dog know it has conceded dominance. Pit Bull Terriers on the other hand sometimes do fight with their tails between their legs, so for a game dog this kind of body language is irrelevant. Interestingly Champion Psycho was sometimes reported as fighting with his tail between his legs as did much of his offspring, despite this he was a deep game dog!
Rule E: The fight is immediately stopped if one of the dogs gets a life threatening severe injury such as a bleeder (punctured artery). Selection pressure E: This would be unheard of in a Cajun rules fight. In a Cajun rules fight it is up to the handler of the dog to pick him up and not the referee’s decision. American Pit Bull Terrier fights often continue despite punctured arteries and broken limbs; game dogs have been selected not to quit even with grave injuries. They may cry but they don’t quit.
Rule F: The judge can stop the fight at any point if he/she feels that the fight is too one sided. Selection pressure F: This of course would not happen in a Cajun rules American Pit Bull Terrier fight. Indeed this goes against the whole idea of a game dog. A game dog is considered game when he is outmatched for a long period of time sometimes getting the worst of it for hours but eventually turning the tables for an unexpected win.
Russian Wolfdogs and the American Pit Bull Terrier are indeed good at different tasks. The Wolf dog being a very courageous, powerful explosive, guardian type dog capable of taking on wolves, while the American Pit Bull Terrier being an extraordinary all round fighting dog with unsurpassed gameness.
There are many breeds of Terrier other than the Bull and Terrier that have been used to fight and can also fight well. It is the author’s opinion that Pit bull Terriers should actually be classed in the Terrier family rather than the Bull breed family, but that is just an opinion. Terriers have fighting in their blood whether it is the little scrappy Jack Russell or the mighty Airedale. Nearly all Terriers fight well and with very serious intention as the Terrier unlike most other breeds of dog do not just fight for dominance but often fight for the kill which is another good reason for the crossing with the Bulldog to make the Pit Bull Terrier.
President Roosevelt claimed that "An Airedale can do anything any other dog can do and then lick the other dog, if he has to." The Airedale is the largest of the Terriers originating in Britain. They weigh 25–30 kilograms (55–66 lb) and have a height at the withers of 58–61 centimeters (23–24 in) for dogs, with bitches slightly smaller. The American Kennel Club standard specifies a smaller dog, approximately 17-20 inches at the withers, with bitches slightly smaller. They are an alert and energetic breed not aggressive but fearless.
Airedales got their start in the Aire River valley of Northern England as poaching and sporting dogs for working-class people. Presumably a variety of breeds, Otter hound, Old English Sheepdog; Border Terrier, Bullterrier, Greyhound, and Deerhound, contributed to their makeup. They were also called Waterside terriers, reflecting their use on stream-side game such as otters.
Airedales when fought against the American Pit Bull Terriers have done better than expected in open weight fights, although remember that Airedales of the past were generally bigger than the Pit Bull Terriers. In fact the great Earl Tudor once commented on a very good fighting Airedale that in open weight competition “whipped three good pit bulls in a row until they finally found a Pitbull that whipped him on the fourth try.” Interestingly if that particular Airedale was a Pit Bull Terrier it would have been classed as a champion-fighting dog with the “CH” prefix in front of its name. Although this only happens rarely it goes to show that there are other breeds of dog which from time to time give the Pit Bull Terrier a good match and sometimes beat it; especially true of the large Terrier breeds.