Pit Bull Informational Pages
by Diane Jessup 

The Future

Boldog Kennel looks forward to the day when this cyclic fad of pit bull ownership has passed. When that occurs, the breed, like all fad breeds before it, will be in tatters. Already, the true American pit bull is, in fact, a "rare" breed while "pit bulls" are numerically the most popular dog in America. Oversized, undersized, poorly built, mixed breed and altogether unsound dogs are, sadly, the norm. If you doubt this, take a look around: if all blue dogs, dogs over 70 pounds, short, squat unathletic dogs, man-biters, shy dogs, and dogs with mastiff, American bulldog, English or "show" bulldog, presa, cane, or other breeds mixed in were removed, how many "pit bulls" would there be?

The truth is, the people-friendly, outgoing, hard-gripping, fearless, physically sound, medium built, 30 to 65 pound American pit bull is rare. Very rare. And this dog needs stewards who will bring the breed through this worst of times to - hopefully - a brighter future.

I owe the American pit bull so very much. Words cannot express what they have given to me, everyday. Above all they have been an inspiration to me with their incredible resilience, humble ways and straight ahead attitude.

After two decades in the breed I finally feel I am able to embark on a very small scale breeding program. It has taken me this long to learn the things I think are necessary to make intelligent decisions about the breed. I don't undertake breeding lightly in view of the thousands upon thousands of pit bulls dying in shelters every month. I can't - my job for twenty years was killing those same dogs in the local animal shelter... so I intimately know the problem of thoughtless breeding practices. But as a performance dog fancier, I also know the importance of the careful breeding of purebred animals. Without breed stewards there are no pure breeds of animals.

I take upon myself the position of breed steward with honor and with humble knowledge that I stand on the shoulders of giants. Not the dog fighters of the past one hundred and fifty years of the breed's history, but the thousands of men who came before - who shaped the bulldog into a recognizable type. Hard gripping butcher's and hunter's dogs have existed for thousands of years - that's a lot of genetic selection. They set the type.

The one contribution I see the modern dog fighter (the past 150 years) as having contributed is the introduction of a bit of wily terrier blood. This hint of the terrier gave the "pit bulls" intelligence and wit not seen in those dogs of more pure mastiff/bulldog breeding.

Dog fighters today breed for a crushing, "devastating" bite; something no real bulldog needed. Too keen a bite, and the bull's nose would slice off and too much damage was done to an animal often traveled from fair to fair. If a bulldog came off with a bit of the bull's nose, it placed the animal (and his butcher owner) in danger. Far more important then destruction of tissue was the dog's ability and desire to HOLD. Only in the dog pit, where the animal faces an equally sized opponent, is the ability to quickly destroy tissue of consequence.

As well, a small, thin body built for endurance (like a sled dog) might make training for 3 hours in the pit with another small, thin dog possible, but too thin, and dog is no longer an animal capable of handling a bull. Too large, and the dog loses the agility necessary to out maneuver an angry bull. This is why wise people know the pit bull is a "medium" dog, as the age old standard calls for.

Whether you regard the pit bull as a "bulldog" or a a "pit terrier" depends entirely on how far back your view of the breed goes. If you chose to consider only those dogs of the past 150 years, then your view of the animal will be one thing. If you chose to consider the over-all history of the bulldog, your view will be of another animal all together.

There is much talk these days of "recreating" the "original" bull baiting dog. There are several new "breeds" all boasting to be either THE original bulldog or an accurate representation. All, without exception, are animals too large and too heavy for real work. All were manufactured using the pit bulldog with the addition of the English show bulldog and other breeds. Many of these animals are sweet, good natured slobs, and here and there one will be set on a pig for a few moments as "proof" of their relationship to history's bulldog.

But to those who have done their homework, who understand canine structure, there is never any doubt. The bulldog has come down to us, influenced by his environment and circumstances like any species, but still intact in spirit and form. His name and job change - but the deep genetics are still there for those who know how to find them. Dog fighting has done this breed few favors. Thankfully, the majority (not all!) of fighting dog breeders selected for people-friendly dogs. Natural selection favored the hardy and the "medium" dog.

The purpose of the Boldog Kennel breeding program is twofold. I wish to preserve the "truest" bulldog blood I have located in two decades of looking. I wish to enhance that blood by health testing all breeding stock. As well, I want to encourage useful and modern employment for this working breed by selecting for useful traits (and proving them by work or title.) I want to hand on a physically tough dog; an animal with a startling ability to withstand pain. I want a dog with a strong natural tendency to grip appropriate objects; I want a dog with a startling ability to grip and hang on. I want a dog with a "medium" build; springy yet solid, agile yet crash-proof; I want a dog with startling agility for the strength of his build. I want a dog with no bred in health problems.

And first, last and foremost, I want a dog with a soft, submissive and loving attitude toward its owner, toward children and toward friendly strangers. The bulldog has long been a natural guardian - but he is not a "guard dog" for good reason. He is too much dog. Those wiser than the present generation bred into him a sweetness and love of mankind that is necessary for an animal bred to bring a 2000 pound bull to its knees. He will protect his family, but he may very well let thieves steal himself.

My breeding program is based on two principles: best to best and close inbreeding with strong culling. I hope to get a reasonably consistent type of "American" pit bull within 4 or 5 generations. We shall see.

Want to see what I mean? The following video shows two 16 week old pups seeing the moving jenni for the first time. Their reaction is to grip and hold... calmly, no barking, just grim determination to hold their grip... When coupled with a people loving attitude, you have what makes a pit bull the best of dogs...


Click here to read about why I do not support the UKC or ADBA.


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