Pit bull is the common name for a type of dog. Formal breeds often considered in North America to be of the pit bull type include the American Pit Bull Terrier, American Staffordshire Terrier, American Bully, and Staffordshire Bull Terrier
Many of these breeds were originally developed as fighting dogs from cross breeding bull-baiting dogs (used to hold the faces and heads of larger animals such as bulls) and terriers. After the use of dogs in blood sports was banned, such dogs were used as catch dogs in the United States for semi-wild cattle and hogs, to hunt and drive livestock, and as family companions.
Pit bulls were created by breeding bulldogs and terriers together to produce a dog that combined the gameness and agility of the terrier with the strength of the bulldog. Widely reported pit bull attacks in popular media have resulted in the enactment of breed-specific legislation in several jurisdictions. In some cases breed specific bans have been reversed or prohibited by state legislation
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