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Nowadays, dog fighting is illegal in the United States. Although that doesn’t mean it doesn’t take place illegally. Many underground dog fights are still organized as a form of gambling or ertainment. There are many reasons people are drawn to dog fighting, the main reason is for the money. Major dog fights have resulted in more than $500,000, and it’s not unusual for $20,000 – $30,000 to change hands in a single fight. Usually the pups trained from promising bloodlines bring in the biggest amount.
Dog Fighting is making a comeback in a big way in the U.S. It is estimated that there are on average about 16,000 dogs that are killed each year because they have been bred to fight for gambling or entertainment in these organized dog fights, and that number continues to grow. The Federal Canine Sports Fighting Task Force reports that it is a growing problem in each and every state in the United States and fear that without the help of good citizens, the growth of the “sport” is not going to slow anytime soon.
Many dog breeds were developed in an attempt to come up with the ultimate fighting machine. A good dog for fighting is usually large, low, courageous and have enough game to get in the ring and fight, but yet still be loving and peaceful towards humans.The dogs who are most commonly bred for fighting are generally the Akita Inu, American Pit, Bull Terrier, American Staffordshire Terrier, Neapolitan Mastiff, and many others. Dogs who are used for fighting are usually penned and chained. Many of the dogs are taunted or starved in order to trigger extreme survival instincts and encourage aggression. Just since 2010 there have been 168 reported cases of on going dog fights, and those are just the ones we know about.
There are many different tools used to train a dog for fighting. For example, treadmills, dogs would be made to run in place in order to increase cardiovascular fitness. Catmill, dogs are chained to a pole and forced to chase a piece of bait in circles. Spring Pole, dogs strengthen their jaws by dangling from a piece of hide on a rope. Chains, the dogs have chains wrapped around their necks during all of these tasks used to increase upper body strength. Lastly drugs, vitamins, and supplements. Dogs are given performance-enhancing supplements like liver extract, vitamin B12, creatine monohydrate, steroids and speed.
Fights can take place in a variety of locations and at any time. They may be impromptu street fights in a back alley, or carefully planned and staged enterprises in a location specifically designed and maintained for the purpose. Usually the fight takes place in a pit that is between 14 and 20 feet square, with sides that may be made of plywood, hay bales, chain link or anything else that can contain the animals. The flooring maybe dirt, wood, carpet or sawdust.In a more organized fight, the dogs will be weighed to make sure they are approximately the same weight. Handlers will often wash and examine the opponent’s dog to remove any toxic substances that may have been placed on the fur in an attempt to deter or harm the opposing dog. At the start of a fight, the dogs are released from opposite corners and usually meet in the middle, wrestling to get a hold on the opponent. If they do, the dogs grab and shake to inflict maximum damage. Handlers are not permitted to touch the dogs except when told to do so by the referee.
Fights can last just a few minutes or several hours. Both animals may suffer injuries, including puncture wounds, lacerations, blood loss, crushing injuries and broken bones. Although fights are not usually to the death, many dogs succumb to their injuries later.Unless they have had a good history of past performance or come from valuable bloodlines, losing dogs are often discarded, killed or simply left with their injuries untreated. If the losing dog is perceived to be a particular embarrassment to the reputation or status of its owner, it may be executed in a particularly brutal fashion as part of the “entertainment”.
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