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rec.pets.dogs: American Pit Bull Terriers Breed-FAQ, Part 3/3

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Archive-name: dogs-faq/breeds/apbt/part3
Last-modified: 1995/07/18

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   + Performance vs. Conformation

   Well, no USENET APBT FAQ would be complete without touching on this
   subject, as it has been debated to death on rpd*.  Below is a post made
   by one of the authors during the "Performance vs. Conformation" thread
   that appeared on rpd* in late 1994.

   Post From: "scott david bradwell" <>

   Cindy Tittle Moore wrote:
   >Conformation is essential for performance.  The original
   >labrador standard was written strictly by field folks
   >as the exact type of dog that did best in the field trials
   >of the time.  In a different country with different field trials, the
   >dogs that do well at this have changed to follow that performance,
   >while the show breeders mostly breed toward the original conformation
   >for the old field trials.  That they do very well in the new hunting
   >tests bears me out.
   >A dog that has been bred strictly for performance can fall into the
   >same sort of pitfalls as a dog bred strictly for conformation.  Any
   >sort of extreme *will* give you problems.

   This argument, historically speaking, puts the cart before the horse.
   Performance breeding--the long-term, multi-generational practice of
   selective breeding according to the principle of survival of the
   fittest-- predates conformation breeding by many thousands of years.
   Breeding for conformation, i.e. for show purposes, is a relatively
   recent phenomenon, dating back to the nineteenth century. But
   performance breeding surely goes back to the earliest domestication
   of canines during the stone age for purposes of hunting and guarding.
   The former is a luxury of a comfortable middle class whose dogs were
   no longer essential to their livelihood; the latter was often a matter
   of basic subsistence for hunter-gatherers.

   The rule of performance breeding hasn't changed in all that time: you
   test the individual dogs to find the ones who best perform their
   assigned task and breed only these superior dogs.  It is important to
   remember that performance-breeding is not the work of a single breeder.
   It is the collective work of centuries of conscientious breeders who
   strove to add tiny incremental improvements to the achievements of
   their predecessors. Very gradually, the dogs grow into their task
   genetically, doing their thing more and more by pure instinct and
   requiring less and less training to do it well.

   If even one generation of breeders is careless and violates this rule
   of selective breeding, the achievements of all the previous breeders
   will be wiped out or diminished, perhaps irrecoverably.  It makes no
   difference whether the task be tracking, racing, or pit fighting; the
   same criterion applies.  To the members of the bull breeds list, all
   this is going to sound familiar. But I'll say it again: the proof is
   in the pudding.  For centuries, those who bred dogs for bull-baiting
   or pit fighting didn't give a damn what their dogs LOOKED LIKE.  All
   they cared about was whether or not the dogs were successful at what
   they did. That was the sole criterion for selecting dogs for breeding.
   For this reason, performance-bred APBT's show a very wide range of 
   variation in phenotype, since they were never, at least until 
   very recently, bred for conformation.  But, no matter what it 
   looked like, there's no way you would ever mistake a real APBT
   for anything else if you saw the way it fought.  The quality
   that enables an APBT to defeat any other breed of dog, even a dog four
   or five times heavier, is not evident in the dog's phenotype.  Neither
   the APBT's impressive jaw strength nor the explosive muscular power
   of its torso are enough to explain why a game 50-lb. APBT can always
   overcome a 120-lb. Rottweiler or a 200-lb. Mastiff or Tosa.  It is
   gameness, the quality of never quitting in spite of exhaustion, blood
   loss and broken bones, that enables a performance-bred APBT to 
   prevail against such odds.  No other breed has even a quarter of the
   APBT's gameness.  And this extraordinary quality could only have been
   built up gradually over countless generations by a strict application
   of the basic rule of performance breeding described above.

   Breeding dogs for the looks that you think will enable them to perform
   a given task is a wrong-headed approach to performance breeding, yet
   this is precisely the approach advocated by many AKC breed clubs.
   These clubs try to make the ex post facto conformation standard seem as
   though it preceded the actual performance-based evolution of working
   breeds. Conformation breeding for the sake of performance only makes
   sense if motivated by nostalgia for a performance breed that no longer
   exists, having been bred out of existence in the production of a show
   dog with a only superficial resemblance to it.  As I understand it,
   such was the motivation of the various recent efforts to create a better
   facsimile of the original bulldog of yore.  Yet it makes no sense at
   all to try to improve performance by breeding according to a conformation
   standard when there is already a stock of performance-bred dogs that
   have an unbroken continuity to the performance breeding of the past--
   as in the case of APBT's.

   A lot of people who don't know APBT's wrongly assume that the things
   that make a dog APPEAR tough--a massive head, a barrel chest, and a
   thick, short neck--are what make a champion fighting dog.  In fact,
   these things are usually a detriment to performance.  In any case, you
   cannot tell by looking at an APBT whether it will be a champion fighter
   or not.  The extent of its gameness, the single most important component
   of an APBT's fighting prowess, is not a visible quality.

   Please, no flames.  This is not meant to be an apology for dog fighting.
   My only point is that performance breeding is historically prior to,
   and not at all enhanced by, conformation breeding.  Conformation breeding
   can very well complicate the challenge of performance breeding since it
   adds an extraneous criterion: the breeder must not only breed the dogs
   up to snuff performance-wise, but must also please the show judge who
   is enforcing an ideal that changes with the winds of fashion. Performance
   breeding and conformation breeding are both selective methods of breeding
   but they should not be confused with one another. 

   + Rules

   Again, the authors of this document wish to emphasize that we do not 
   condone the activity of dog fighting.  Dog fighting is illegal and a
   felony in the United States.  However, reading over the rules can help
   one gain a historical perspective of the driving force behind the
   traditional breeding goals of the APBT breeder.  This should help shed
   some light on what the APBT really is as opposed to what the media has
   portrayed him as.  If you think you might be offended by the material
   written here, by all means, skip this section and the next section as
   You have been warned.



   Rule 1:  The principals shall select a referee who is
   familiar with the rules and who is satisfactory to both
   sides.  The referee will then appoint his Timekeeper.  Each
   handler will select a man to act as his chief second or
   cornerman, whose duties are to wash the opponent's dog, and
   to remain near this dog's corner as an observer.

   Rule 2:  Each handler is to furnish two clean towels and a
   suitable blanket, to be used by his opponent.  Either
   handler may demand that the opposing handler and his
   cornerman bare their arms to the elbows; also the handler
   may taste his opponent's dog's water before or after the
   contest (up until the referee has rendered his decision on
   the contest).

   Rule 3:  No water, sponges, towels or any other accessories
   are allowed in the pit at any time, except the referee who
   shall have in his possession an adequate breaking stick and
   a pencil; also a copy of these rules.  The pit shall not be
   less than 14 feet each way, whenever possible, with a
   canvas-covered floor, upon which has been painted or chalked
   on, 12.5 feet apart, and with a center-line half way between
   the scratch-lines.

   Rule 4:  The referee shall toss a coin to be called by the
   handlers.  The winner of the toss shall decide which dog
   shall be washed first and also have the choice of corners.

   Rule 5:  The dogs shall be washed at pit-side in warm
   water and some approved washing powders and then rinsed.
   The first dog to be washed shall be brought in and held in
   the tub by his handler and washed by the opposing cornerman.
   When pronounced clean by the referee, the dog shall be
   rinsed clean in a separate tub of warm water and toweled
   dry as possible, then wrapped in the blanket provided and
   carried to his appointed corner by his handler and accompanied
   by the man who washed him.  These are the only two persons
   allowed near this dog until the dogs are Let Go.  The other
   dog shall now be brought in and held in the tub by his handler
   and washed(in the same water) by the opposing cornerman.  When
   this dog is pronounced clean by the referee and rinsed clean
   and toweled dry, he shall then be carried to his corner by his
   handler and accompanied by the man who washed him. 

   Rule 6:  The referee shall now ask "Are both corners ready?"
   If so, "Cornermen, out of the pit"..."Face your dogs"...
   "Let Go."  The timekeeper shall note the time and write it
   down for future reference.

   Rule 7:  Any dog who jumps the pit is automatically the loser
   of the contest and no scratches are necessary, and no dog is
   required or allowed to scratch to a dead dog.  The live dog
   is the winner.

   Rule 8:  Should either dog become fanged, the referee shall
   instruct the handlers to take hold of their dogs and try
   to hold them still so the handler can try to unfang his dog.
   If this isn't possible, the referee shall separate the dogs
   with the proper breaking stick and then unfang the dog using
   a pencil.  The referee will then order the handlers to set
   their dogs down near the center of the Pit and approximately
   two feet apart.  The referee will then order "Let Go."  This
   in no way constitutes a turn or a handle and has no bearing of
   the future scratches.

   Rule 9:  This is to be a fair scratch-in-turn contest until
   the dogs quit fighting, then rule 13 shall take over.  The
   first dog to turn must scratch first; thereafter they are to
   scratch alternately(regardless of which dog turns) until
   one dog fails to scratch and thereby loses the contest.

   Rule 10:  To be a fair turn, the dog accused of turning
   must turn his head and shoulders and his front feet away
   from the opponent and regardless of whether or not the
   dogs are otherwise touching.

   Rule 11:  The referee shall call all turns, although either
   handler may ask for a turn on either dog.  If the referee
   rules there has been a turn, he will instruct the handlers to
   "pick up free of holds" as soon as possible, and should
   either dog accidentally get a hold again, the handlers shall
   set the dogs down immediately and make a continued effort
   to pick up the dogs, free of holds.  When picked up, the
   dogs must be taken to their respective corners and faced
   away from their opponent.  The Timekeeper shall note the
   time and take up the count(not out loud) and also the
   referee shall notify the handler whose dog must scratch.

   Rule 12:  At 25 seconds, the Timekeeper shall call out
   "Get Ready."  At these instructions each handler must toe
   his scratch-line and face his dog toward his opponent with
   his dog's head and shoulders showing fair from between
   his handler's legs, and the dog's four feet on the canvas
   floor.  At the 30 seconds, the Timekeeper calls out "Let Go."
   and the handler whose dog must scratch must instantly
   take his hands away from all contact with his dog and also
   release all leg pressure from against the dog's body.
   And the dog must instantly start across and the handler
   must remain behind his scratch-line until his dog has
   completed his scratch or the referee has ruled upon it.
   There is no time limit on the time required to complete this
   scratch.  But, when released at the words "Let Go," the
   dog must start across at his opponent.  He may waver from
   direct line, fall down, crawl ... drag or push himself
   across, so long as he makes a continued effort and DOES
   NOT HESITATE OR STOP until he has reached out and touched
   his opponent.  The opposing handler may release his dog any
   time he sees fit after the order to "Let Go"; however, he
   must do so as soon as the dogs have touched each other.

   Rule 12A:  This is an alternate rule for those handlers who
   wish to have their dogs counted out in the corner.  It is
   the same in all respects as Rule 12, except that after 30
   seconds, when the Timekeeper calls out "Let Go," the 
   referee shall count our loud, at as near one-second intervals
   as possible, ONE...TWO...TIME(three seconds), and the 
   dog must be out of his corner and on his way before the referee
   calls "time," or lose.

   Rule 13:  If the dogs have apparently quit fighting,
   whether they are helpless, tired out or curred out, and
   regardless of whether both dogs are down or one dog is
   down and the other dog is standing over him, but neither
   dog has a hold, the referee shall ask it they are willing to
   scratch-it-out to a win or not.  If so, they shall proceed to do
   so, but if either handler is unwilling, then the referee shall
   instruct the Timekeeper to note the time and call time in
   two minutes.  If either dog breaks time, then nothing has
   changed, but if, at the end of the two minutes, the dogs are
   in the same relative positions and neither dog has a hold,
   the referee shall order the handlers to handle(PICK UP FREE
   OF HOLDS) their dogs.  When picked up, the dogs shall be
   taken to their corners and the corner procedure is the same
   as in a normally called turn and handle.  If there have been
   no previous turns or handles to establish the order
   of scratching, the dog who has been the longest without a
   hold(usually the down dog) to be scratched first, then,
   as soon as free of holds, the dogs shall be picked up and
   the other dog scratched.  Should one dog fail or refuse
   his scratch, then the dog who failed shall lose the contest.
   If both dogs fail to scratch, the referee shall call it a
   no contest, but should both dogs make their initial scratches,
   the handlers by mutual agreement may ask the referee for
   a draw decision.  The referee will then rule it a draw.
   Otherwise the contest shall continue, but in this manner:
   any time the dogs are not in holds and not fighting, the
   referee shall order the dogs to be handled and scratched
   alternately until one dog fails to scratch and thereby loses.
   No attention is paid to turns(after rule 13 is invoked)
   except as a possible chance to handle.

   Rule 14: Fouls that will be just cause for losing a contest:
   A. To leave the pit, with or without the dog before the referee
      has ruled.
   B. To receive anything from outside the pit, or allow anyone
      outside the pit to touch or assist the dog.
   C. To push, drum, throw or spank, or in any way assist a dog
      across his scratch-line, except by encouraging him by voice.
   D. To step across a scratch-line before the dog has completed
      his scratch or the referee has ruled on it.
   E. To stomp on the pit floor or kick the pit sides, yell at of
      give orders to the opponent's dog, or(in the referee's
      opinion) do anything to distract or interfere with either
      dog while scratching or fighting to affect the outcome
      of the contest.
   F. To interfere with the opposing handler or touch either dog
      until the referee gives an order to handle the dogs.
   G. To use a "Rub," "Poison," or "Hypo" o neither dog.

   Rule 15: If there should be any outside interference before
   the contest has been concluded, the referee has full authority
   to call it a "NO CONTEST" and shall name the time and place
   the contest is to be resumed and fought out to a referee's
   decision.(The same referee shall preside.)  Also, the referee
   shall insist that the dogs be washed and weighed(in the
   referee's presence), and the dogs shall weigh at the weights
   specified in the original articles of agreement, and to do
   this as many times as necessary to conclude the contest.

   Instead of rule number 12A in which a dog has three seconds
   to leave his corner, he us usually given ten seconds to
   cross to the other dog.

   A 30-second out-of-hold count is generally used, and the
   down dog must always scratch first(unless both dogs are
   down with neither in a position of advantage).

   The pit may be covered with carpeting rather than canvas
   (rule 3), the scratch lines may consist of some of the
   modern tapes, and the central line between the scratch 
   line is often omitted.

   + Match Overview

   Again, the authors wish to emphasize that by including this overview
   we are _not_ promoting dog fighting.  Matching two dogs in combat is
   illegal in all of the U.S. and a felony on most parts.  This overview
   is the result of a post that was made to rpb and by reading some of the
   older works in the "References" section of this FAQ.  Neither of the
   authors has fought dogs nor has either author seen an organized dog
   fight.  We feel that this overview is accurate but it should be treated
   as hearsay as that is what it is.  It is included here so that the
   reader can better understand just what the APBT is and what he has
   been traditionaly bred for.  This also gives a more accurate, balanced
   account of what the traditional pit match was really like.  If you
   think you might be offended by the material written here, by all
   means, skip this section.

   You have been warned.

   In order to understand what happens in one of these contests one must
   first understand the origin of the dog and individuals who originally
   pit one dog against another.  There is a lot of speculation on this
   issue but the overal consensus among 'professional' dog fighters is
   that it was a way to find out which dog was the toughest.  Throughout
   history, men have fought one another in caged contests, with gloves,
   without gloves, with rules, without rules, etc...the tough man
   was worshiped and to be emulated in the days when it was more
   accepted by society.  So, how did they define tough?

   One aspect of being tough was gameness.  Two men would duke it out
   and if one of them quit the dual was over.  Even if the man who quit
   was physically stronger he was not considered to be tougher.
   In other instances it was not only who was stronger physically but
   who was smarter and in yet others it was physical.  So, we now have
   three components of a fight, physical, mental and gameness, or heart!
   The heart is that intangible men worshiped back then, the gameness
   to never quit until there was nothing left.  

   These men also expected the same of their dogs.  The dog that would
   quit in a fight was no longer kept for breeding.  As a result there
   was an evolution that took place where the dogs would continue to
   fight even while taking a beating.  Now, gameness is not sufficient
   when faced with a stronger and larger opponent so other things began
   to evolve such as strength of bite, agility, and various other 
   things like fighting style, yes, style.  As men learned more and
   more they began to selectively breed for one characteristic over 
   another to the point that only game, athletic, hard biting winners
   were bred.  These dogs tended to be small since they were typically
   matched in buildings, basements etc...most ranged from as little
   as 15 pounds all the way up to 45 or 50 pounds.  The reason for 
   this was simple.  It's easier to physically pick up a small dog
   in the heat of battle than a large one.  So, what prevents the 
   person who is handling the dog from being bitten?  Well, that is
   part of the evolution and something else that I will explain in
   a moment.  First let's examine being in a 16 by 16 foot square pit
   trying to grab a dog that is the middle of a major battle.  What
   prevents the dog from biting the handler?  Well, it's because over
   the many many years breeders selectively bred only those dogs that
   would NOT bite the handler.  But, there was something else they
   were doing and didn't know it.  It had to do with the most fundamental
   instinct of all.  The survival instinct.  The old timers believed that
   a mean, vicious dog was never really game!  Period!  A man biter 
   was put to death immediately.  That is how strong their feelings were.

   To better understand this we need to examine the survival instinct
   as it applies to Wolves in the wild, and in order for that to happen
   we need a scenario that commonly occurs in the wild.  Let's say that
   a pack of wolves has just killed a deer and is in the process of
   eating.  Since the dogs are very hungry they just start tearing away
   at the carcass and eventually there will be a piece of meat that two
   males, (just for argument sake), will want.  Well of course there
   will be a conflict when that happens, right?  The first thing one
   wolf will do is to start something called "threat display", by
   showing his teeth and raising the hair on his back to appear larger
   than he is.  He might even growl to sound mean.  This type of behavior
   is used so that he does not have to fight.  The idea is intimidation
   first, then and only then will he actually fight.  The reason for 
   this is the ever present survival instincts.  Being physically injured
   could potentially risk life itself, hence "threat display"  You'll
   also notice that the fights the do happen are very short and almost
   never result in debilitating injuries.  Again in the interest of
   surviving.  All the slashing teeth, rearing up on the hind legs
   and so forth are variations on a theme.  The aggressiveness is 
   therefore considered threat display and as such is not, I repeat
   not a desirable trait when crafting a combat dog.  Therefore,
   gameness and aggressiveness are not the same.  I game dog does 

   * NOT show his teeth

   * NOT raise up on his hind legs

   * NOT growl or make any noise other than maybe screaming or
     whimpering due to the intense desire for physical contact

   * NOT show aggressiveness towards humans as this is yet
     again a manifestation of THREAT display.

   So, for people to say that these dogs are people aggressive simply
   because they have seen action in the pit is not because they are 
   stupid, just uninformed.

   Now we're ready for what really happens in the pit.  Let's examine
   the dimensions first.  A pit is typically 16 feet by 16 feet square
   and about 2 1/2 to 3 feet high.  The floor is usually a thick carpet
   and the walls are made of wood.  In the real world of TOP dog fighters
   there are only a handful of individuals at one of these matches.  There
   is a referee, a second for each dog, a handler for each dog and a time
   keeper.  there is a "scratch" line drawn diagonally from one neutral
   corner of the pit to the other.  A dog must cross that line to complete 
   his scratch.  There is normally a ten second time limit from the time
   a dog is released until it crosses the scratch line.  If he does not
   cross the line in the alotted time then the other dog is declared the


   At the beginning of the match, both dogs are faced into their 
   respective corners by their handlers until the referee, also in the 
   pit asks the contestants to face their dogs.  At that time the two
   handlers turn 180 degrees and face each other.  When that happens
   the dogs get sight of one another and start to get pretty excited.
   they both usually start trying to get away in order to go after the
   other dog.  The referee asks the handlers to release their dogs and
   the match has begun.  To the uninitiated it's a bit strange because
   once the dogs make contact in the middle of the pit there is almost
   not noise at all.  No growling, no raised hair, no snapping.  Just
   each dog trying to get a hold on the other.  One might grab an ear
   or a shoulder and try to wrestle the opponent to the ground.  Then,
   the dominant dog will shake his head to try and punish the other
   dog.  As the match progresses, with only the sounds of breathing,
   the dogs will swap holds, (i.e., take turns grabbing each other).


   At some point in the match one of the dogs might have second 
   thoughts about wanting to be there so will show some signs of
   this by doing certain things.  One of those things that we look
   for is the tail tucking.  A sure fire sign that a dog is thinking
   of not continuing.  The most subtle sign but more reliable is
   when a dog physically turns his head and shoulders away from his
   opponent during combat.  This is called a turn.  It is up to the
   handler of the other dog to point it out to the referee.  When
   that has been done the referee announces to the handlers that
   a turn has been called and that they should handle their dogs
   at the first opportunity.  This opportunity comes when both
   dogs are not in hold, (i.e., biting each other).  This is when
   each handler in unison will grab his dog by the nap of the neck
   and put a hand under the stifle area to pick his dog up.  Each
   handler then returns to their respective corners, much like boxing.
   they must each face their dogs into the corner for 25 seconds and
   then upon hearing the referee say face your dogs, turn and face
   their dogs.  The dog that turns first, must scratch first.  So,
   the handler of the dog that was called for the turn must then 
   release his dog first.


   Okay, the dog that turned first must now go across the scratch
   line to prove that he still wants to dominate.  If he doesn't cross
   the line in 10 seconds then he loses and the opponent is declared the
   winner.  This is more often than not.  Or, the losing dog will
   be too tired to complete the scratch on time.  Again, this
   terminates the match.  If a handler were to try to physically make
   his dog cross the line then again the match is over and the handler
   is called for a foul.

   + Supplies

   A good place to start looking for APBT related supplies is in the APBT
   Gazette.  Below is a list of a few places that sell APBT related supplies.
   This list is by no means exhaustive.

   Newman Leathers
   17501 East Main
   Galliano, LA   70354

   Newman Leathers makes an assortment of leather collars and harnesses.
   I don't know anyone who has purchased anything from them, but the stuff
   looks impressive in the catalog.  Owners of other Bull/Mastiff breeds
   may be interested in their collars.

   Bulldog Connection
   HC 67, Box 117
   Bruno, ARK  72618

   These are the same folks that put out the Bulldog Review.  A whole
   assortment of collars, leads, books, you name it.  A good source
   for the older, out of print books listed in this FAQ.

   Iron Pit Kennel and Supplies
   25386 Bunker Hill Ct.
   Hayward, CA  94542

   They have a catalog.  Sell misc. collars, leads, etc.
   Also make and sell spring poles and Treadmills.

   T. & E. Miller
   317 Old Morgantown Rd.
   Bowling Green, KY  42101

   They have a catalog.  Sell misc. collars, leads, books, etc.  Also
   sell vitamin supplements and Treadmills.

   Dawnrest Kennels
   424 B Gorham Rd.
   Scarborough, Maine  04074

   They sell collars, leads, books, etc.  Also has collectables
   and old magazines.  See book section for their book.

   Sporting Collars
   P.O. Box 793
   Meridian, Idaho  83680

   THey have a brochure.  They sell collars(obviously), leads,
   swivels, T-Shirts.

   Bell Dog Leather
   P.O. Box 5606
   Pittsburgh, PA  15207

   They have a brochure.  They sell collars, leads, harnesses,
   tie-out hardware, books, etc. 

   + APBT's and the law

   In the past several years, an alarming number of local jurisdictions
   throughout the United States, and indeed the world, have passed
   "breed specific" laws pertaining to "Pit Bulls" or "Dogs that are
   found to be of Pit Bull type".  These laws are written in vague
   language and range from requiring the dog to be muzzled in public
   and forcing owner to take out a special insurance policy, to the
   outright banning of "Pit Bulls".  These laws are unfair because
   they discriminate against a dog just because it is a certain breed,
   or that it "looks" like a certain breed.  These laws fail to address
   the real problems of truly vicious dogs of any breed and irresponsible
   owners.  Any current or prospective APBT owner should be aware of any
   special breed related laws in his or her local jurisdiction.  One way
   to keep tabs on, and fight, breed specific legislation is to join
   the Endangered Breed Association (see "References" section).  Another
   way to indirectly fight this mind-set is through responsible ownership.
   An APBT owner must take extra measures to ensure that their dogs are
   never running loose and make an extra effort in socialization and
   training.  The public automatically expects the worse, don't confirm
   their expatations.

   + Where to find breeders

   Well, let's start off this section by telling you what not to do.
   Do not look in the local news paper and respond to an ad that looks
   something like this:

   PITT BULL PUPPIES - $150.  Large bones, big heads.  6 wks old, wormed
   and ready to go.  pager: xxx-xxxx.

   Those who place such ads know nothing about dogs, breeding, or the APBT
   for that matter.  With APBTs, as with many other breeds, bigger is NOT
   better.  Those backyard breeders who make size the chief selling point
   of their dogs are doing harm to the breed.  Those who advertize their
   dogs as aggressive are either 1) selling dogs that really aren't
   aggressive but advertize them this way, thinking that's what buyers
   expect and want or 2) selling curs that never should have been bred.
   Someone who runs an ad like the example above probably has bred his or
   her bitch to the neighbor's or friend's dog because "both dogs are
   really cool" or, worse yet, "both dogs are really big and really mean".
   Well, this is the type of breeding that has contributed to the "Pit
   Bull Hysteria" that we know today.  This type of breeding is a crap
   shoot at best.  The pups often turn out to be OK in spite of the
   breeder's intentions, but why take the chance?  In fact, I would say
   that it is _NOT_ a good idea to buy any purebred dog through the
   newspaper, and this is even more critical with an APBT.  Sure, there
   may be some reputable folks that are breeding good dogs and selling
   some of them through the paper, but they are few and far between.
   Unless you really know the fancy, it's not a good idea to go this route.

   Do your homework. Read everything you can about the APBT. (See
   "References" section).  Ask other owners questions about the breed.
   Once you have heard all of the pros and cons of APBT ownership, and
   are well aware of what to expect from APBT's in general, a good place
   to start looking for breeders is in the APBT Gazette (see "References"
   section).  However, just because someone advertizes in the Gazette does
   not mean that he/she has some sort of "Good Housekeeping Seal of
   Approval".  Start off by mailing letters to breeders asking them about
   their breeding program.  Some of the breeders offer "yard video tapes"
   that allow you to see potential sires and dams.  Another good place to
   contact breeders is at APBT-related events, such as conformation shows
   and weight pulling contests.  The Gazette lists a schedule of these
   events in each issue.  Remember, all puppies are cute so make sure that
   the cute puppy you are looking at and decide to buy is a well bred one
   from a good breeder.



   + Books

   Armitage, George C.; _Thirthy Years with Fighting Dogs_;
   Washington, D.C.; Privately published, 1936

   Colby, Joseph L.; _The American Pit Bull Terrier_;
   Sacramento, Califorina; Privately published, 1936

   Dawnrest, John; _Best of Pit Bulldog, Gamebred_;
   Scarborogh, Maine; Privately published, 1995
      This book is 465 pages long and has over 800 photos.
      It also has an extensive biblography for further reading.
      It is $66(US dollars, price includes shipping to anywhere
      in the world).  Contact Dawnrest Kennels to order a
      copy(see supplies section).

   Faron, Ed an Chris; _The Complete Gamedog, a Guide to
   Breeding and Raising the American Pit Bull Terrier_;
   Charlotte, North Carolina; Walsworth Publishing Company, 1995

      This book is probably the most comprehensive contempory
      book available on the American Pit Bull Terrier.  Ed and
      Chris are very knowledgable breeders of gamedogs and this
      book is overflowing with useful information on the breed.
      This book is a valuable resource for the novice and veteran
      owner alike.  If you are only going to get one book on the
      breed, this should be it.  Order inquiries should be directed
      to:  Ed Faron  P.O. Box 262  Lenoir, NC 28645-0262.

   Maffei, Fredric; _Man Meets Bulldog_;

   Maffei, Fredric; _Red Tina_;
   Winona, Minnesota; Apollo Books, 1985

   Maffei, Fredric; _The Life of Humbug_;
   New York; Manor Books, Inc., 1979

   Semencic, Carl; _Pit Bulls and other Tenacious Guard Dogs_;
   Neptune City, New Jersey; T.F.H. Publications, Inc., 1991

   Semencic, Carl; _The World of Fighting Dogs_;
   Neptune City, New Jersey; T.F.H. Publications, Inc., 1984

   Stratton, Richard F.; _The Truth about the American Pit Bull Terrier_;
   Neptune City, New Jersey; T.F.H. Publications, Inc., 1991

   Stratton, Richard F.; _This is the American Pit Bull Terrier_;
   Neptune City, New Jersey; T.F.H. Publications, Inc., 1976

   Stratton, Richard F.; _The World of the American Pit Bull Terrier_;
   Neptune City, New Jersey; T.F.H. Publications, Inc., 1983

   Stratton, Richard F.; _The Book of the American Pit Bull Terrier_;
   Neptune City, New Jersey; T.F.H. Publications, Inc., 1981

   Brown, Wayne D.; _History of the Pit Bull Terrier_;
   Dallas, Texas; Privately published, 1979

   Stevens, Bob; _Dogs of Velvet and Steel_;
   2200 Lynette Dr, Greensboro, NC 27403; Privately published; 1981

   Glass, Eugine; _The Sporting Bull Terrier_;
   Battle Creek, Michigan; Privately published, 1910

   Hanna, L. B.; _Memories of the Pit Bull Terrier and his Master_;

   Meeks, Jack; _Memoirs of the Pit_;
   Starke, Florida; Privately published, 1974

   Denlinger, Milo; _The Complete Pit Bull of Staffordshire Terrier_;
   Washington, D.C.; Privately published, 1948 

   Hearne, Vicki; _Bandit, Dossier of a Dangerous Dog_;

   + Periodicals

   The American Pit Bull Terrier Gazette.
   American Dog Breeders' Association
   P.O. Box 1771
   Salt Lake City, Utah 84110
   Four issues per year, $19 bulk rate U.S., $26 First Class U.S.,
   $28(USD) for Canada, and $45(USD) for overseas.

   Pit Bull Review(Formerly: Bulldog Review)
   HC 67, Box 117
   Bruno, ARK  72618
   Four issues per year, $24 U.S., $30(USD) Canadian, $40 overseas

   Bloodlines Journal
   United Kennel Club
   100 Dast Kilgore Road
   Kalamazoo, Michigan 49001-5597

   Bulldog Banter
   Endangered Breed Association
   P.O. Box 1180
   Albany, LA 70711

   Your Friend and Mine
   P.O. Box 1522
   Ramona, CA  92065
   Six issues per year, $30 U.S., $40(USD) Canada & Mexico,
   $50(USD) Europe & S. America, $55(USD) all others.  U.S. dollar
   money orders only, payable to T.L. Williams.

   This is the rebirth of "Your Friend and Mine" which ran from
   1953 to 1974 with Pete Sparks as the editor.  Be forewarned,
   this magazine is dedicated to the performance angle of the "fancy".

   + Breed Clubs

   American Dog Breeders' Association
   P.O. Box 1771
   Salt Lake City, Utah 84110

   United Kennel Club
   100 East Kilgore Road
   Kalamazoo, Michigan 49001-5597

      + Legal Aid in Fighting Discriminatory Breed-specific Laws

      Endangered Breed Association
      P.O. Box 1180
      Albany, LA  70711

   + Breed Rescue Groups
   If anyone knows of any other rescue groups that will accept and
   adopt out "Pit Bull" type dogs, please let me know.

   Pits for People
   Sharon Veci
   202-742-9364 (CT)

   Sara Quinn
   National Rescue Program for the ABPT  (not governed by NAPBTA)
   RR2 Box 1427
   Hinesburg,  VT  05461
   (802)  482-3869

   Jean Balsam in NJ  201-746-5587

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