What Was the American Pit Bull Terrier Bred for?

The American pit bull terrier was bred to combine the speed and liveliness of terriers with the strength and athleticism of English bulldogs.

Originally they were used in blood sports such as bull-baiting or bear-baiting. Although these sports became illegal in the mid 19th century, pit bulls continued to be used in dog-fighting contests.

Introduced into the USA in the mid 19th century, they began to be used as catch dogs for semi-wild cattle, and herding livestock. They gradually became popular as companion animals, mainly in rural areas.

Today, American pit bull terriers are increasingly popular as family pets, and as working dogs. They compete in sports events, assist the police, and even act as therapy dogs.