Knox is an American Pit Bull Terrier and Boxer mix from Marysville, Ohio and a graduate of the Homestead Dogs 2-week Basic Dog Obedience and Socialization Training Camp. Kowabunga, Knox!
American Pit Bull Terrier
A dog with an identity crisis…and they don’t care.
The American Pit Bull Terrier, or Pitbull, or Pit Bull Terrier, or Pit Terrier, or Pit Bull, or American Bull Terrier. They also take “Pitties”, Pit, Half-and-Half, Bull Baiter Dogs, Old Family Dog, Yankee Terrier and Rebel Terrier (well, maybe not this year).
Likewise, national and international dog registries vary on categorizing this breed. The Pit Bull is commonly mistaken with the American Staffordshire Terrier. The American Kennel Club and Continental Kennel Club do not recognize the breed. The United Kennel Club (UKC), however, lists the Pit Bull as dog #1 on it’s registry and the UKC is reported to have started as an organization because the AKC dissed the Pit Bull.
Pit Bulls can’t even get good press. While commonly fingered for other breeds, or mixed breeds, mis-deeds, some bad pack leaders take advantage of the Pit Bull’s exceptional skills for dog-fighting purposes, some of which make national news.
That’s a shame. In addition to their versatility, Pit Bulls make tremendous family pets that are eager to please, fun-loving and great with children. In fact, the UKC states the Pit Bull may not be the best guard dog choice as they are extremely friendly and highly unlikely to show aggression towards humans.
Pit Bulls are highly intelligent, eager to please and responsive to training. They are a high-energy dog with an instinct to chase after any species that’s not human. This can be problematic on walks or in other social settings. But with lots of exercise and a little training, they make a fine addition to the pack.
The Boxer, a fighter and a lover.
The Boxers we are familiar with today got their name because of the unique way they use their front paws when fighting or playing. But they weren’t bred for playing.
As with many breeds, their earliest ancestors date back over 4000 years to the Assyrian empire when they were utilized as “war dogs”, prized for their powerful build and impressive courage. Over the centuries, they spread across the European continent and were categorized as Molossian dogs, which included any breed with a muscular build and heavy head.
By the middle ages, the German and English were refining the breeds’ hunting skills which resulted in the ancestors to the Bullenbeisser (Germany) and the Mastiff (England). Bullenbeisser’s were particularly skilled at downing and holding larger prey and became valued as a hunting pack dog.
The English continued refining the breed and eventually mixed the Mastiff with faster hounds, which produced the Great Dane. Naturally selected smaller Bullenbeissers were later mixed with the Mastiff as dog fighting became a thing, resulting in both the English Bulldog and the Boxer.
Today’s Boxers are a little smaller and would prefer to curl up with you at night after a hard day of work or exercise than battling bulls, bears and boars…go figure.
Boxers are highly intelligent, high energy and love their humans. They seem to take naturally to guarding playing children. They can be a little bouncy when playing, though, which can be hazardous to toddlers and elderly. Boxers are generally known not to get along well with other dogs, or sometimes Boxers of the same gender. A little socialization and training reveals why Boxers are one of the favorite dogs in the United States.
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