American Pit Bull Terrier Glossary

Information stated below all belongs to “This Is The American Pit Bull Terrier” by Richard F. Stratton.

American Dog Breeders Association: A registry that has existed since 1889 and caters only to the American Pit Bull Terrier. Unlike the United Kennel Club, it has not denounced pit contests.

American Staffordshire Terrier: The show counterpart of the American Pit Bull Terrier. The breed was formerly known as the Staffordshire Terrier, but the “American” was later added to emphasize that this breed had developed along lines different from those of the Staffordshire Bull Terrier.
Ban Dog: A term used at one time for Bulldogs and Mastiffs. It has since been used for a newly created breed that was founded by crossing a Pit Bull with an Italian Mastiff.
Bat Ears: Erect ears, rounded at the top.
Breaking stick: A wedge-shaped stick used to “break” the hold of a Pit Bull in a fight.
Catchweight: A heavyweight, any dog over 52 pounds pit weight.
Buckskin: A very light fawn coloration (The term “fawn” is rarely used as a color designation by Pit Bull fanciers.)
Butterfly Nose: A type of “dudley nose” in which there are some spots of pigment on the nose.
Catch dog: A dog that is used for catching wild boar and rough cattle. Such dogs are especially usefull in brushy uneven terrain in which it is impractical to attempt to rope the animals. To my knowledge, no dog other than the Pit Bull has ever been successful in this occupation.
Chain Weight: The normal weight of a dog in a kennel, on a chain or (for house pets) in the house.
Chinese Fighting Dog: A strange-looking dog, weighing about 50 pounds. This breed was obviously put together with traits that were assumed to be useful in a fight. The dog has a tough hide, a dense “inpenetrable” coat, loose skin (to allow it to turn and seize any dog that has hold of it), and huge curved fangs. The editors of a humane society once said that the Chinese Fighting Dog looked like it belonged in a zoo, but they pronounced it “the best of the worst” and gleefully predicted the end of the Pit Bull. As it turned out, the breed was mere “cannon fodder” for the Pit Bull.
Cur: Two meanings: 1. Any dog of any breed other than a Pit Bull, and 2. Any dog (including Pit Bulls) that are not deeply game.
Cur out: To demonstrate a lack of gameness, to quit.
Dudley nose: A flesh-colored nose. (Note that this is absolutely not the same thing as a red nose!)
Full Drop Ears: Ears that hang down all the way (like those of Colby’s Pinscher).
Game Test: To ascertain the depth of a dog’s gameness by rolling him until he is so tired and thirsty he can hardly stand, then allowing him to prove his gameness by scratching to a fresh dog.
Keep: Another pit term that refers to the “training camp” of a Pit Bull that has been matched. A “keep” usually consists isolating a dog from all possibly stimuli and keeping him quiet except during his exercise periods.
Natural Ears: Uncropped ears. About half the American Pit Bull Terriers have uncropped ears, and most owners are erratic about whether ears should be cropped.
Old Family: A family of pit dogs that was imported from Ireland in the latter half of the last century. Examples of strains that were founded upon the Old Family were the Colby, Feeley, Lightner and Corvino bloodlines.
Old Family Reds: A segment of the Old Family Red strain that when kept pure showed a red (or copper colored) nose.
Pied: White with tan patches (with perhaps some darker colors mixed in). (Riptide Belle would be an example of a pied-colored dog).
Pit Weight: The fighting weight of a pit dog. The dogs brought down to their most efficient weight for pit contests.
Red: The term “red” is used to refer to nearly and share of fawn except very light ones.
Red Nose: A copper-colored nose usually shown by members of the Old Family Red Nose strain. (This nose coloration is also shown occasionally by dogs of other strains.)
Roll: A practice or training bout.
Scratch: A method by which a dog must demonstrate his gameness in a pit contest. The scratch consists of a dog’s specified count, which varies somewhat depending upon the rules of the match.
Scratch Line: A line drawn diagonally across the corner of the pit over which the dog to scratch must not be placed before being released.
Staffordshire Bull Terrier: The English Show version of the Pit Bull. It has been developed along different lines from the American Staffordshire Terrier, being smaller and having a squat appearance.
Spring Pole: A device for exercising a Pit Bull. It involves a hide attached to a heavy spring or a sapling pole that the dog can jump up and grab.
Tosa: A large (up to 140 pounds) breed of Japanese fighting dog. It looks like a cross between a Pit Bull and a Mastiff.
Treadmill: A device for running a dog in place. The two main types are carpet mills and slat mills.
Turn: A pit term that refers to a dog’s turning his head and shoulders away from his opponent. The various sets of rules differ somewhat in describing a turn. Some define and turn away from the opponent as an official turn event if it is simply a manuever. Others specify that the dogs must be free of holds for a turn to be designated as such.
Turn Table: A type of treadmill, not too common now, that consists of a flat round surface that turns under the dog has he runs.
Tusk: Any of the four “canine” teeth. This term is an example of some of the archaic terms that persist as part of the Pit Bull culture that has been handed down through the ages.
United Kennel Club: The second largest dog registry in the country. The organization is privately owner and specializes in Coonhounds. It sponsors the American Pit Bull Terrier but discourages pit contests.

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