Go back in time with me as we look at the origin of the might Pit Bull Terrier and look at how it has earned it name. Many people do not know that they were once a great war heros, actors and family favorites. Dogs need us now to speak out for them, since they cannot stand up for themselves.
This story starts with Tibetan Mastiff, which history shows us is one of the most acient domestic dogs recognized today. They are said to be the ancestors of about 50% of known breeds today. Said to stand 4 feet tall, and were usually trained to guard the war encampments and ancient temples.
One of the most powerdull tribes of Ancient Greece, the Molossians, were decendants of the great warrior Neoptolemus in the kingdom of Epirus, bred dogs that came from the blood lines of the Tibetan Mastiff.
The Molossians were very well know for their “vicous hounds” know as the Molossoids, who guarded their herds. These hounds were commended again and again throughout history for their bravery and physical superiority.
One of the most famous Molossoid dogs in history is Alexander the Great’s dog “Peritas”, who fought bravely to protect Alexander when he was being over thrown.
After their start in ancient greece, history leads us to a cousin of the Molossoid breed in ancient Rome called Pugnaces, who are also considered to be decendants of the Tibetan Mastiff. The Romans dubed them “Pugnaces Britanniae”, and they were said to be large wide mouthed dogs that were much larger than the Molossian breed.
Pugnaces were bred and used as “War Dogs” or Guardians and once the Emporer Claudius found out about this powerful canine, he employed several men to pick and choose the best of the breed to be brought to his ampitheaters and arena’s for bloody entertainment.
In these arenas, the dogs would fight against lions, tigers and other dogs and animals. Often the fights were to the death. Although the dogs were bred to be vicious towards other animals, they were bred to be anti-human agressive to keep handlers and spectators free from harm. In fact, any dog that showed human agression was usually put down.
The Pugnaces and Molossoids were bred and intermixed to create even more powerful and efficient breeds, and a little more down the timeline they were bred with various other breeds that created the gene pool for “bulldogs”.
There were many names for the dogs breed at the time, but once bull baiting came into exsistance, “bulldog” was the new popular name. They earned this name when butchers used them to steer cattle to the chopping block without trouble. With their large mouths, agile bodys, and stong jaws, they were able to keep the cattle in line very well.
Published in: Pets