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pit bull terrier

Also called pit bull.
Origin
1940-1945
1940-45
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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British Dictionary definitions for pit bull terrier

pit bull terrier

noun
1.
a dog resembling the Staffordshire bull terrier but somewhat larger: developed for dog-fighting; it is not recognized by kennel clubs and is regarded as dangerous. It is not allowed in some countries, including the UK Also called American pit bull terrier
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Encyclopedia Article for pit bull terrier

fighting dog developed in 19th-century England from bulldog and terrier ancestry. The name is applied to several breeds of dogs, including the bull terrier, American Staffordshire terrier (also called the American pit bull terrier) and Staffordshire bull terrier. Although these dogs were originally bred and trained to display aggression against other dogs, aggression against humans was not encouraged because, even while fighting, the dogs had to be handled by their trainers. Dogs displaying this trait were not selected for breeding. However, the resurgence of dogfighting-illegal in the United States, Great Britain, and many other countries-has led to irresponsible breeders encouraging such traits in their animals and mistreating them in order to induce a vicious temperament. Well-publicized attacks on people by dogs identified as pit bulls have led to the passing of legislation in some jurisdictions banning or restricting the keeping of the breeds. Some humane societies routinely euthanize pit bulls that come into their possession, deeming them unsuitable for adoption

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Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
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5
6
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