Historically Pit Bull Terriers were bred in the UK for activities such as bull baiting and dog fighting that have been illegal for many years. The dogs were taken from the UK to the US by people immigrating to the US. There, the dogs took on a wider role. They became used to help herd sheep and cattle, to hunt for wild animals and help catch larger animals like wild pigs.
Over time the dogs came to be seen less as fighting dogs and more as companions for the working classes. During both World Wars One and Two, they were the mascots of the US and their images appeared in many wartime adverts. However, in the 1980s, the reputation of the Pit Bull Terrier changed and the dogs became associated with crime and illegal dog fights. This has led to them becoming illegal in some parts of the world including the UK.
One of the features of Pit Bulls is that they are often tenacious and will persist at completing a task. These are dogs who are likely to appreciate doing things that will challenge them.
Tapping into the breed’s hunting instincts and setting them tasks that allow them to search out hidden items is one way of challenging them.
The sport of mantrailing is excellent for many hunting dogs and with dogs who love to rise to a challenge, it can be an excellent activity.
Tug games are often fun for Pit Bulls but due to their tenacity, it is important that they are taught to play tug safely. Safe tug means that the dog doesn’t start the game unless a person invites them to and that they are able to stop on request.
When tug can be played safely, introducing the dog to a flirt pole can add chase to the fun of the game.
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Predatory Motor Sequence statistics for Pit Bull Terriers. The graph shows the percentage of Pit Bull Terriers in my research study that had a strong level of interest in each behaviour.
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I am the founder of Best Dog Learning and Stuff and a massive prey drive enthusiast. I've lived with high prey drive dogs for over 20 years and I love them. I run the awesome High Prey Drive Club where I help my members learn to have fabulous walks and happy lives with their high prey drive dogs.
I am a published researcher in my field with both my original research and my review of the literature looking at prey drive in dogs being published in the respected journal Applied Animal Behaviour Science.
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