American Pit Bull Registry

( APBR )

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American Pit Bull Terrier ( APBT ) breed History

The history of the Pit Bull varies depending on the sources you refer to.  

One of these stories, and in my opinion the most reliable, goes back to the time of the Romans. During the time of Minos in Crete the sport of bull baiting was quite a popular form of entertainment. This sport was developed as a part of the worship practice in honor of the warrior god "Mithras".

During this time most dogs were wild and ferocious by nature. As the Roman tribes of the time conquered and moved across the land they also took the sport with them. Due to the selective breeding of the best dogs a distinctive breed began to emerge. 

By the 1700's there were two primary bull fighting dogs that had developed. This was the Blue poll of Scotland and the Alunt from Ireland both of which were referred to as bulldogs.  The Alunt of the time resembled something closer to a Great Dane but  is presumed to have later developed into the Alono of Spain as seen below.


(click picture to enlarge)

As this and other dog sports were developed people selectively breed different dogs to achieve the fighting attributes that they desired. They often mixed these breeds with the great dogs of England also used to bait bulls.

During this time it was thought that the use of the dog on a bull had a tenderizing effect on the meat. In reality this was a myth perpetuated by dog men and gamblers in order to encourage participation and thus draw the profits of gambling.

By the time of the early 1800's due to selective breeding a dog had emerged which was very similar to the American Pit Bull of today. Due to a slow economy and a law which prohibited people of low economic means from owning a sporting dog the practice of bull baiting began to diminish. 

In 1835 bull baiting was officially banned. This forced people especially of the lower classes to find alternatives for their dogs. This resulted in a sport known as ratting where a number of rats were placed in a pit for a specified time with the dog. THIS IS IN FACT WHERE THE "PIT" IN THE AMERICAN Pit Bull TERRIER NAME CAME FROM NOT FROM FIGHTING OTHER DOGS. The terrier part of the name came from its ability to hunt small game and was one of the reasons why ratters knew it would excel in the rat Pit. The larger the number of kill the better the dog placed in the match. Due to the constraints of space and the agility of Black & Tan and now extinct White terriers of England these terriers were often being mixed with the old bull baiting dogs to achieve dogs which were premium for these purposes. 

It is believed that this practice of mixing bulldog's and terriers began in the town of Staffordshire England and became known as the Staffordshire Bull and terrier.

Due to the agility and gameness of this new found breed many began to also fight dogs with each other. Soon dog on dog fighting and ratting became so popular that practically all Inns and Pubs were equipped with a fighting pit.

As colonization of America and Canada began these people also brought their dogs. These dogs soon became known by the name of "Pit Bull Terriers"

As time progressed a gentleman by the name Chauncy Bennett founded the UKC in 1898 with the American Pit Bull Terrier as its foundation dog breed. Although some are fortunate enough to own a UKC registered Pit's the majority of the public has chose to not register their dogs due to financial constraints and subsequent loss of bloodline determination.

Here at The American Pit Bull Registry we seek to turn this trend around and to register peoples otherwise un-registered  American Pit Bulls and to encourage people with otherwise registered Pit Bulls to dually register their dogs here.

By the time of WWI the American Pit Bull Terrier had became a well loved and desired dog. In fact the Pit Bull was used as Americas canine mascot of the time and seen in such posters as this during war time.


                         (click picture to enlarge)                                           

In 1917 a Pit Bull by the name of Sgt. Stubby became a war hero for saving several soldiers lives and even capturing a German Spy while in the trenches of France with the 26th Yankee Division.

Later the Pit Bull  was used to signify sturdiness, dependability, and loyalty by such organizations as RCA, Buster Brown shoes, and even the loveable Pete of the Little Rascals. 

In fact the first dog to travel across America in a car was a Pit Bull ( Bud ) and did so with the first persons ( Horatio Jackson and his assistant and "bicycle" mechanic Sewall Crocker ) to cross America in a car ( A Winton named the Vermont). Horatio later donated Bud's goggles to the Smithsonian Institute in Washington D.C. During the trip Bud would assist in watching for large bumps in the road and often received as much if not more attention by the press than did Jackson. After the trip was completed Bud bravely guarded the Jackson home until his death of old age.


To order a film, book, or learn more on this trip click here.

Many a famous people such as Fred Astaire, President Roosevelt, Jack Dempsy, Thomas Edison, Madonna, Michael J Fox, Brad Pitt, Bernadette Peters, Sinbad, Alicia Silverstone, Linda Blair, Humphrey Bogart, Usher, Mel Brooks, Ann Bancroft, John Stuart, Jan Michael Vincent, Pink (the singer), Kelli Williams (Actress from The Practice), Ken Howard (Father in Crossing Jordon - his Pit Shadow saved his life), Malcolm Jamal Warner, Stephan Jenkins, Rosie Perez, Ananda Lewis, Amy Jo Johnson, Mary Tyler Moore, Steve and Terrie Erwin (Crockhunters), Jack Johnson (Hawaiian singer), Bill Berloni (Broadway show dog trainer who has said that the Pit is the breed of choice for training), Anthony Robbins, Molly Price (Actress from Third Watch), President Woodrow Wilson, Frankie Muniz, AJ Mclean, Barbara Eden, and even Helen Keller have been lucky enough to own this magnificent animal.

(click picture to enlarge) 

Well known sports figures who own Pit Bulls include: Tennis Star Serena Williams (Bambi), Professional Basketball Players Desmond Mason (Zane, Capone), Rashard Lewis (Cookie, Angel, Ginger), Amare Stoudemire (JT, Ace, Deuce), Alton Ford (Mischif, Rosy, Spicey, Diable +3 pups with names unknown), Tamika Dixon and Mo Vaughn

There are many more famous people and athletes who own Pits. If you know of one not listed let us know for their inclusion.  

For more history and to see even more great art please take time to review this link to Furry Friends Foundation in Illinois.

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How to register and get papers on my Pit Bull

Pit Bull Adoption

Pit Bull Re-home Services

Pit Bull Rescue Development

Become a Volunteer

Reporting abuse and neglect

Pit Bull uses in Therapy, Service and other work 

Breed Specific Legislation - BSL

Pit Bull breed profile 

Is a Pit Bull right for you?

Acquiring a Pit Bull

Pit Bull breed history

The un-warranted negative stigma

Pit Bull Pictures

Pit Bull Memorial

Pit Bull Forum under construction

Pit Bull Clubs

Pit Bull Games and other fun activities

Pit Bull Training

Responsible Ownership

Pet Insurance

Veterinarian Locator

Health Issues

Pit Bull Links


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Frequently Asked Questions

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