Why Do People Get Involved in Dogfighting?
There are many reasons people are drawn to dogfighting. The most basic is greed. Major dogfight raids have resulted in seizures of more than $500,000, and it is not unusual for $20,000 – $30,000 to change hands in a single fight. Stud fees and the sale of pups from promising bloodlines can also bring in thousands of dollars.
For others, the attraction lies in using the animals as an extension of themselves to fight their battles for them and to demonstrate their strength and prowess. However, when a dog loses, this can cause the owner of the dog to lose not only money, but status, and may lead to brutal actions against the dog.
For others, the appeal simply seems to come from the sadistic enjoyment of a brutal spectacle.
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Which Dogs Are Used in Dogfighting?
For professional and hobbyist dogfighters, the sale of pups from parents who have won several fights is a major part of their activity. Underground dogfighting publications and websites are commonly used to advertise pups or the availability of breeding stock. Although there are many breeds of dogs used for fighting worldwide—including the Fila Brasileiro, Dogo Argentino, the Tosa Inu and the Presa Canario—the dog of choice for fighting in the United States is the American Pit Bull Terrier. Occasionally other breeds and mixes are reportedly used in street fights or as “bait” dogs used by some to train dogfighting victims.
This does not mean that the pit bull is unsuitable as a family pet. It is important to remember that any dog can behave aggressively, depending on the context, his genetic background and his upbringing and environment. When a dog is treated well, properly trained and thoroughly socialized during puppyhood and matched with the right kind of owner and household, he’s likely to develop into a well-behaved companion and cherished member of the family.