Note: before you down vote, read the whole WU.
Welcome to the wonderful world of sporting dogs! Dog fighting is a sport that is truly international, and has a long and honorable history. Dogs were bred for fighting in Ancient Greece, and dog fighting, whether as casual as watching two strays tussle or a set match with a purse of thousands of dollars, remains one of the World's favorite spectacles, despite being illegal in all 50 states.
Training a sporting dog requires a good puppy, preferably from a champion line, 'Pure Bull’ preferred, from a specialist kennel. You’ll want a dog that is lively, shows ‘fight’ and looks to have spirit.
It’s true that sporting dogs, and the breeds associated with fighting, have been in bad repute of late. This is mostly because of amateurs, who, wishing to have some of the thrill of fighting in their own lives, have taken to acquiring dogs from sporting breeds as household pets. This is wrong, both for the dog and for the owner. A sporting dog is manifestly an animal athlete, bred over hundreds of years to do a specific job; to hold that these animals are “Nannys' dogs” or to reduce them to the pitiful object of misunderstood charity is a cruelty far worse than the physical harm of the pit. A good dog man knows that this is not a pet and keeps the animal in firm control at all times, muzzled and and on a training leash when not it its run, or crate, and far away from small children and companion animals. He knows that fighting comes as naturally to such dogs as running does to thoroughbred horses, and is responsible (as much as current conditions allow) for getting the dog patched up at the end of a fight, and, if necessary, of getting the animal humanely euthanized when his fighting and breeding days are over.
Other than the usual accoutrements you’ll also need a pen or enclosure for the dog,chains in various weights, to bulk up upper body strength, a treadmill, to insure strong legs, and various other bits and pieces, which you'll hear about as your involvement increase.
Feeding such a dog requires a special mix, either from specialist suppliers or to make yourself. Asking around, and ads in fighting dog magazines, will help you with both. Steroids are another matter altogether, and the choice is yours.
You’ll find yourself taking pride in your animal. A young sporting dog is truly a thing of beauty, and even a scarred Grand Champion has a regal quality hard to match in any other kind of dog.
Before being taken to a “show”, one or several sessions of what is called “rolling” occur. These serve two purposes: to give the dog a chance to familiarize himself with the ring, and being fought, and to foretell what potential the dog has under combat conditions. Surprisingly, it’s not just strength you’re looking for: since the contest is one of endurance, you want a dog that will keep fighting even when they’re clearly on the wrong end of the bargain.
A great deal of debate accrues among dog men about every aspect of this practice, from the proper strength of dog relative to your fighter-in-the-making to the length of the roll, to whether some dogs should be rolled at all!
Another debatable issue is one of using “bait” animals, such as rabbits, cats, or even strays of other breeds to train. Clearly, the most ethical choice is to use rabbits, since they are prey animals, and even sold as “feeders” for people who raise snakes. Kittens and cats are problematic: though you might not think a kitten in an onion bag is any threat to your dog, it is a well-known sucker bet to place a full-grown Maine Coon tom against a pit: not only will the cat win the contest through scratching and superior jaw strength but its skills in evasion will most likely frighten your dog into never fighting again. Ouch! Stray dogs, often cited as being “natural prey” are also to be frowned upon-- just because you can lure mutts to your kennel with a bitch in heat as "bait for the bait", is also unethical, and tends to attract unwanted attention. Therefore, rabbits are the most desirable, and least objectionable, of all bait animals.
Time for the show!
Expect no more than twenty or so people at the show. There isn't likely to be concession stands, or anything else that attacts attention. Some shows attract drug dealers, and many spectators may be carrying guns. These are to be calmly, but firmly, told to take their business elsewhere. Someone might be in charge to check all weapons. This insures safety for all persons. Nothing should matter but the business in the pit.
Smoking and flash photography is strictly forbidden, as is anyone else in the ring than the owners. After the dogs have been weighed, they must be washed, in the same warm clean water, to prevent any suspicion of poison on their coats . The owners will provide two towels and a blanket for the dog(s) being fought. If a dog is over a quarter pound than stated, half the purse is forfeit.
"Cajun Rules” apply in most modern fighting rings. Though the rules are complex, the fight goes on in a series of “turns”, which are called when one dog turns away from the fight. They are then separated and led back to corners, given water to drink from a bottle, and let fly again, until one dog refuses to fight.
Sadly, there are few resources for your dog’s recovery. Few vets are available who are trained or willing to take on the special needs of a fighting dog. Therefore it’s up to you to learn about basic veterinary techniques and basic surgery, and to have bandages, suture, etc. Your dog will spend six months to a year in recovery.
After your dog has won three fights, it is considered a “Champion” and it is a “Grand Champion” after five. He is now considered ready to be put to stud.
Breeding sporting dogs can be a lucrative side venture, but not one without unique problems, since fighting dogs see any other dog to be potential prey. Therefore, the bitch is protected in a wooden box, sometimes called a “breeding stand” or, jocularly, a “rape box". He will also benefit from supplements designed to keep his testes producing sperm as he ages.
Unfortunately, you will not be able to “farm out” your retired dog as a pet, either for yourself, or others. He is better a bloodline and a proud memory, than a sad, wounded drain on a kennel’s resources. Soon, his pups will be ready to be rolled…watch them and be proud...
If you haven’t caught on by now, I’m writing this with tongue firmly emplaced in cheek.
1. Dogmen. These are people who raise them to fight. They breed them to fight, use treadmills, jennies, and other equipment to insure good muscle tone, feed them special diets, and train them to fight. Their methods may be cruel, both to the dog and the “bait” animals they use as the dog’s prey, but they by and large, keep the animal under lock and key, do not keep them in domestic situations, and the best of them train their dogs to obey their owner. Besides, you don't let $35 thousand dollars worth of Grand Champion breeding stock run loose in the neighborhood.. So, despite the legal and moral problems these owners create, their dogs generally do not generate problems on their own.
Unfortunately, this is, without saying, really rough on dogs. Not only does the dog have to endure the danger of other fighting dogs, but they’re also often drugged, forced into breeding, and simply killed outright when their usefulness is over. They can’t be socialized, often see every other adult dog as potential prey, and live out short but violent lives. That said, again, #1’s methods are cruel, at least they’re fed, given such veterinary care as is available, and kept in a yard with a dog house. “Cajun rules” mean that the dog should at least be tractable enough to be washed in public, handled in the ring, and pulled apart while fighting, and it’s not to be disputed that successful dogmen get where they are by knowing at least something about dogs.
2. “Bad-boy dog" fans. This covers everything from Aryan Pride gangsters seeking a weapon with plausible deniability to urban fashionistas who want a dog to go with their outfits to scared single mothers who figure that a dog would be “good protection”. They come in various ethnicities, but are overwhelmingly urban, very often poor, and very often lack time, resources, and knowledge as to how to deal with a dog in their lives. They want a pit because of their association with toughness and danger, and see whatever aggressive behavior the dog exhibits as being desirable territoriality. Often these people will simply chain the dog in a yard, without a dog house and/or adequate water and food, and “discipline” the dog with choke chains, yelling and even beatings when the barking gets annoying. They also tend to be vague as who they want their pet to “protect” them from: intruders, of course, but they’d also like to have friends over, that dicey woman from upstairs, but they don’t want to deal with the authorities should the dog bite, their ex-spouse, but not during visiting day with their kids. They’d like to be free from drug addicts, except they might want to have a blunt or even a rock themselves, now and then.
The result can be easily seen on any of the “Animal Cops” shows. The dog is not only aggressive, but frightened, hurt, hungry and confused. These dogs are the most likely to end up as a newspaper story, seized by authorities,
3) Animal “fluffs”.
Their attitude can be summed up in two words: Pity Bulls. More likely to be white, and more affluent than #2’s, but are very often just as urban. They’re convinced that they’re ideal Pitty owners, since all their dog needs to be a perfect pet is to love him as a cute little guy in a fur suit. That, vegan dog chow and whatever quack medicine and/or politics and philosophy they espouse for themselves. Forget about such things as collars, leashes, and muzzles, vaccines, neutering, going walks, or teaching obedience, since those are probably modern Western speciesist attitudes (“it’s so, I dunno, like he was my slave, and I wouldn’t like to project racist ideas on him”). The dog probably knows best, anyway, and if it means you have a few problems adjusting, that’s OK. He just needs a little more love and space (“I dunno, he just looks at me like that, and I just have to give him what I’m eating.”)
Meanwhile, the dog is a nervous wreck. He doesn’t see any reason to respect his pack buddies, and is trying hard to run the household, to no avail. Yes, you might be a pacifistic egalitarian vegan, but far from being cute and cuddly, you’ve taken in a small Stalinist in your home, and you are his Commissar. Without giving him strict, easily understood orders, the neighbor’s pedigreed Abyssinian or overly affectionate toddler might end up on the prey list, your dinner table might get mistaken for a feeding trough or your bed the latrine. In short, it’s not your kid, a stuffed animal, or a lovebot, you have a dog.
4. Responsible owners.
Yes, they do exist. While #2’s and #3’s have probably had to endure a six-session obedience course at the local pet supply store, #4’s are the ones that are probably teaching it. These people generally have large yards, are older, and generally affluent, who think nothing of spending hours every day playing and caring for their dog, feeding them with kibble from reputable manufacturers (i.e. not designed according to someone’s idea of puppy steroids or a “vision” of the Peaceful Kingdom), getting them their shots, keeping them groomed, and in general, giving them appropriate love and care. They give them proper training and discipline with humane collars, leashes, and muzzles, and always eat first. These dogs are calm, happy, and will gladly pose for the local TV station’s “Meet my Pet” segment peacefully playing with the grandkiddies next to the prize-winning blue lace hydrangeas. Watching these animals, you could easily believe everything a Fluff might say about them.
If you could give a pit bull the life they love, it would be out in the country, perhaps sleeping in a barn, patrolling a farm or other open area in a pack with a strong leader who would tell them where, when, how and what to hunt, eat, play, sleep and mark territory, in short, how to be a dog. With large country estates hard to find these days, this is the closest thing.
Of the four, #1 and #4 are likely not to have problems with the dogs, and #4 with the law. Number 3 has some chance that they’ll succeed, if only because they can afford to throw money at the problem, and #2’s are a recipe for disaster. The only problem is the comparative lack of #4’s and the number of #3’s, #2’s and even #1’s that will swear up and down that they’re doing it right. Number 2’s get conflated with #1’s (and cry “prejudice” and “animal racism” when it happens) , #3’s cry incessantly that “it’s not the dog, it’s the owner” despite the fact that basic attitudes are just as much a question of hardware as programming. Unfortunatly, #2’s and #3’s comprise the majority of Pit owners nowadays, because they’’re incredibly hot in fashion right now, whether as a sign of toughness or of compassion. Number Ones just keep on cranking out puppies, that sometimes end up in shelters and pet stores. And #4's just confuse everything!
Such is my analysis. Take it for what it is.