Are dog fighting breeds naturally aggressive, OR did we make them that way?
Dog fighting was a popular blood sport which was widely practiced in the past.
Many dog breeds were developed in an attempt to come up with the ultimate fighting machine – a dog which was large, low, courageous and game to get in the ring and fight (sometimes to the death) but yet still be loving and peaceful towards humans.
After the baiting of animals was outlawed in 1835 in the UK by the passing of the Cruelty To Animals Act, dog fighting became more popular despite being illegal.
It was easier to organize and attend a dog fight than it was to attend other animal baiting events such as with bulls or bears.
Nowadays, dog fighting is illegal in most first world countries although that doesn’t mean it doesn’t take place illegally.
Many underground dog fights are still organized as a form of entertainment.
And where you find dog fights, you’ll often find a whole many more criminal activities taking place too such as illegal betting, drug trafficking and even prostitution.
Pakistan, South Africa and Russia all widely practice dog fighting despite it being banned.
“Bait” animals are often used to test how ferocious a fighting dog is and to give it some practice before a match.
Bait animals are usually either wild animals which have been caught, kittens, small dogs, rabbits, stolen pets or even animals obtained through “Free to good home” adverts.
The bait animal is released to the fighting dog and mauled to death.
The fighting dog receives no injury as the bait animal will have previously had its mouth taped closed, its teeth filed down and its nails removed so that it cannot defend itself.
The dog fighting breeds listed below are, or have been in their past, used for fighting other dogs. You’ll find many of them also listed on my Dangerous Dog Breeds Page too.
If the dog’s name is in a different color then you can click on it to go to the breed page and find out more.
Dog Fighting Breeds
The Akita Inu is a “Spitz” type of breed, sometimes confused with the American Akita.
Akita Inu dogs are strong, independent and dominant. They can be aloof with strangers but affectionate and loving with family members. They are not for the novice dog owner and require strong handling.
While there is no “one” breed officially recognized as the American Pit Bull Terrier, there are several breeds that are commonly called by this name.
American Pit Bull Terriers were acknowledged by the United Kennel Club in 1898 as their very first breed. At that point in the history of the U.S., dog fighting was considered a sport and in the dog world, to receive their “championship” they had to win three fights.
The American Staffordshire Terrier originated in England. To some, the American Staffordshire Terrier means only one thing – – PIT BULL – – and with that comes all the negative propaganda that has spread throughout the news at every level, prompting breed bands and high insurance rates.
Some male dogs can be aggressive towards other males. Historically many of them were bred to fight other male dogs, and this trait may take generations to breed out.
Also called the Indian Mastiff or Pakistani Mastiff, this is a big, powerful breed, originally bred as a working dog and for protection. It has been used in dog fighting in India. Many breeders regard the Bully Kutta as being extremely difficult to train.
Ca de Bou
The Caucasian Shepherd is a fiercely protective dog with a natural aggression towards anyone it doesn’t trust. Bred to protect flocks of sheep from other dogs, wildcats, wolves and bears.
This dog will fiercely protect whoever he believes is his family (including children, other dogs and even cats) but may attack everyone else including friends of your children who may come to visit and play.
The Dogo Argentino was developed in Argentina for big game hunting, including wild boar. He has become the breed of choice for some dog fighters, and has been given an aggressive reputation. He is banned in some countries including the UK, New Zealand, Norway, Denmark, Iceland, Singapore, Ukraine and Israel.
The Dogo is NOT recommended for first-time dog owners. He can be strong and determined, and he needs solid, confident leadership and training.
Dogue de Bordeaux is also called the French Mastiff.
Size: Large to Giant
Training: Time Consuming
Recognition: , NZKC (Utility), AKC (Working), FCI (Group 2), KC (Working), UKC (Guardian)
The Dogue de Bordeaux is an extremely old breed, probably originating in Roman times and descended from the Molosser-type dogs used by the Romans in battle. They are big, affectionate and very brave. Some people may say too brave for safety. They have a grumpy, intimidating appearance, but are calm unless provoked.
The Dogue de Bordeaux is not always tolerant of other dogs, but will rarely start trouble. However, if they are attacked by another dog, they will readily defend themselves. This quick change of behavior combined with surprising agility and fast reflexes can catch some owners off-guard if they are not prepared.
The English mastiff or Bullmastiff was originally bred to assist gamekeepers in catching poachers in England. They are calm and confident dogs, and rarely bark. They would help the gamekeeper by sneaking up on a poacher silently, before knocking them down and seizing them, holding them until the gamekeeper made the arrest.
Though reserved with strangers, they do have some impressive territorial and guarding instincts. They can be taught to attack on command, but they are not a vicious breed, and would likely subdue an intruder rather than hurting him.
The Fila Brasileiro is a big breed from Brazil, also called the Brazilian Mastiff. Like the Bullmastiff, it will seize it’s target and then wait for it’s master to intervene.
Training: Time Consuming
Recognition: FCI Group 2 , CKC Miscellaneous , NZKC Utility
We do not yet have a page on the Fila Brasileiro.
Another Pakistani breed, created by crossing a Gull Terr with a Bully Kutta. The Gull Dong is often used in dog fighting in India and Pakistan.
These dogs are very strong willed and can be VERY aggressive, so a very experienced owner is required. Due to their huge size they must be socialized and trained from a very early age to stop them being out of control when older.
The Gull Terr is also called the Gull Terrier, and is another Pakistani breed based on Terrier dogs. English Bull Terriers who were inter-bred with the local dogs to produce the breed we recognize nowadays, which was very popular in dog fighting and bear baiting due to their fearless nature.
The Gull Terr is a fearless breed which needs a strong experienced owner to be able to train and control them. They are very suspicious of strangers and extremely protective and loyal to their owners.
This the fighting dog of Japan. Due to his Japanese dog fighting history, the Japanese Tosa is banned in Australia, Cyprus, Denmark, Iceland, Malaysia, Malta, New Zealand, Norway and Turkey.
The breed is also regulated in Trinidad and Tobago and the UK under The Dangerous Dog Act, and is banned from all council properties by Dublin City Council (Ireland).
Many insurance companies will not insure Tosas or other Japanese Fighting Dogs such as the Akita-Inu.
Korean Jindo Dog
This breed originates in Korea. We do not have a page on the Korea Jindo Dog yet.
The Neapolitan Mastiff is a massive breed of dog, with weight on it’s side, but not very agile in a dog fight. They may display aggression to other dogs especially dogs of the same sex although they can be relatively tolerant of other household pets provided they are raised together.
These huge formidable dogs are fantastic protectors – in fact, they can be a bit too over-protective if care is not taken to socialize them properly. They will fight to the end to protect their owners and property.
New Guinea Singing Dog
Originating in the Pacific Islands of New Guinea. We do not have a page on the New Guinea Singing Dog yet.
Perro de Presa Canario
This breed originates in the Canary Islands of Spain, and was bred to work with livestock. The Presa Canario is a big mastiff type of breed.
The Shar Pei was bred in China, and is now famous for its wrinkly skin. Originating from the Guangdong region of China, this dog was utilized by Chinese peasant farmers to protect livestock, hunt wild boar, and also served as a watchdog that would effectively guard their owner’s home.
Their intellectual and brawny nature is what made them very appealing to the common gambler who, at the time, pitted fighting dogs against each other for sport and entertainment.
This is a variation on the Staffordshire Terrier, crossed with Bulldog breeds.
Training: Time Consuming
Recognition: FCI: Group 3, AKC: Terrier, ANKC: Terrier, CKC: Terrier, KC: Terrier, NZKC: Terrier, UKC: Terrier
On January 30 2019, the Staffordshire Bull Terrier terrier was voted Britain’s favorite dog breed in a U.K. television show hosted by Ben Fogle. This result surprised many people, including Ben Fogle himself, who was sure that the Labrador Retriever would be top dog! The ‘Staffie’ has a bit of a reputation in certain circles for aggressiveness and unpredictability – but clearly a LOT of people in the U.K. love the breed.
So why the apparent conflict of opinion about the character of the Staffie? For a start, there is that muscular and tough appearance. Most Staffies look a bit intimidating. This comes from their ancestry, as they were bred specifically for fighting by crossing a Bulldog with a Terrier.
The Tibetan Mastiff is from Tibet, and is another big, powerful mountain dog originally bred to protect sheep and shepherds from bandits, wolves and bears.
Mastiffs need a strong, confident owner for them to be trained properly, or else they may become stubborn and reluctant to pay any attention to your commands.
Extremely intelligent dogs, once their respect is earned they will be impressively loyal companions.