Pit Bulls have come a long way since their origin in the early nineteenth century. They were bred for many different reasons such as bull baiting, dog fighting, protection, and companionship. Many people today see a Pit Bull as a vicious and very unpredictable animal. Most of this was brought about because of the nature of the dog to please his owner, and the way the dog was first bred. .
Some believe that this type of dog originally came from an area close to China. The name "bulldog" was first used in print in 1631. (Harwelik) Pit bulls were known by many different names throughout their history. They have been known as the Bull and Terrier, Half-and-Half, Brindle Bulldog, Pit Dog, Pit Bull, Yankee Terrier, American Staffordshire Terrier, and the Staffordshire Bull Terrier. The dogs were a cross between the bulldog and the terrier that resulted in the Stafffordshire Terrier, which was originally called the Pit Bull. The Pit Bull was used to represent the United States in World War One artwork. Popular companies like RCA used an American Pit Bull Terrier named Tige as their mascot and his picture was put on every shoe to enhance its image. The Buster Brown Shoe Company used the breed as their mascot, as well. Famous individuals like Theodore Roosevelt and Helen Keller owned the breed. (Pit Bulls: Pit Bull Breed History) .
One thing that Pit Bulls were bred for was bull baiting, which was the sadistic gambling game where the dogs would attack and harass bulls brought to market with the intention of tenderizing the meat. (The American Pit Bull Terrier) The butchers and gamblers would set their dogs on a tied bull to determine who had the better bulldog. The dog which could grasp the bull by the nose and not be shaken nor thrown off and which could subdue the bull by pinning its nose to the ground, would be considered the winner. There was no scientific proof that bull baiting actually tenderized the meat.