25 Devastating Facts About The Dog Fighting Industry

Posted by , Updated on October 30, 2016

As you have probably noticed according to the high number of dog-related posts that have appeared on our site, we at List25 are huge dog lovers. We have already published dozens of dog posts with a vast majority of them being nice, cute, and heartwarming. Posts such as these 25 Heart Warming Quotes For People Who Love Cats And Dogs, these 25 Heart Warming Before And After Photos Of Adopted Dogs, or these 25 Ridiculously Oversized Dogs That Forgot How Big They Are are sure to brighten up every dog person’s day. Today’s post is also dedicated to man’s best friend, but this time around, we will focus on one of the most heartbreaking and despicable things dogs are actually used for. One of the most heinous forms of animal cruelty, dog fighting is an inhumane blood-sport where dogs are bred, conditioned, and trained to fight each other for the profit of their owners and for entertainment of the perverted spectators. Although dog fighting is now an illegal activity in most of the world, it is – unfortunately – still popular in many countries. To raise awareness about this cruel and inhumane practice, we compiled this post with 25 Devastating Facts About The Dog Fighting Industry.


The origin of dog fighting can be traced to ancient Roman times. The Romans pitted dogs (usually huge breeds known as Molossus) against each other. They also forced them to fight other animals such as wild elephants, lions, bears, and bulls in the Colosseum.

ColosseumSource: en.wikipedia.org, image: wikimedia.org

Historical accounts of dog fighting in the US can be dated back to the 1750's, but it was not until the end of the Civil War (1861-1865) when this cruel sport became widespread.

dog fightingSource: en.wikipedia.org, image: wikimedia.org

Dogs who are most commonly bred for fighting are generally known as “pit bulls”: Staffordshire terriers, American Staffordshire terriers, American bulldogs, and American pit bull terriers.

pit bullSource: peta.org, image: wikimedia.org

In the US, organized dog fighting activity seemed to decline in the 1990's, but many law enforcement and animal control officials feel that it has rebounded in recent years with the internet making it easier for dog fighters to exchange information about the fights. It is estimated that up to 100,000 people are involved in the dog fighting industry on non-professional basis in the US.

dog attackingSource: aspca.org, image: c1.staticflickr.com

A dog fight can last just a few minutes but also up to several hours.

dog fightSource: humanesociety.org, image: pixabay.com

Animal advocates consider dog fighting one of the most brutal forms of animal abuse, not only for the violence that the dogs endure during and after the fights, but also because of the enormous suffering they often endure in training.

sad dogSource: en.wikipedia.org, image: publicdomainpictures.net

In South America, Fila Brasileiro and Dogo Argentino are often used for dog fights.

Dogo ArgentinoSource: en.wikipedia.org, image: wikimedia.org

Dogs used in dog fights often die of blood loss, shock, dehydration, exhaustion, or infection hours or even days after the fight.

injured dogSource: humanesociety.org, image: publicdomainpictures.net

In dog fights run by criminal gangs in the US, the dog who loses the fight - if not killed in it - is typically killed by the owner through use of a gun, beatings, or even torture.

fighting dogSource: en.wikipedia.org, image: wikimedia.org

Shockingly, dog fights (especially those run by criminal gangs) are often attended by children. Watching the brutal scenes is to promote insensitivity to animal suffering, enthusiasm for violence, and disrespect for the law.

angry-kidSource: humanesociety.org, image: Philippe Put via flickr.com

Dogs who are used for fighting are usually kept penned or chained (often with heavy logging chains), and many are taunted and starved in order to trigger extreme survival instincts and encourage aggression.

chained dogSource: peta.org, image: c1.staticflickr.com

Dog fighters often use “bait" animals (to boost their dogs' fighting instincts) who are often mauled, tortured, or killed in the process. The bait animals are usually stolen pets, puppies, kittens, rabbits, small dogs, and even stock.

dog and catSource: en.wikipedia.org, image: wikimedia.org

Dogs used for dog fights are often given a variety of legal and illegal drugs, including anabolic steroids to enhance muscle mass and encourage aggressiveness and narcotic drugs to increase the their aggression, reactivity, and mask pain or fear during a fight.

injectionSource: aspca.org, image: pixabay.com

Dog fighting is often associated with other types of illegal activities and crimes such as gambling, drug dealing, possession of firearms etc.

fire armSource: aspca.org, image: pixabay.com

In Kabul, the capital of Afghanistan, not only are dog fights legal, but they are even public and policed for safety of the spectators. However, dogs are not fought to the death, but “only” to submission.

dog attackingSource: en.wikipedia.org, image: c2.staticflickr.com

In the US, top dog fights are said to have purses of $100,000 or more.

moneySource: en.wikipedia.org, image: c2.staticflickr.com

Fighting dogs usually have their ears cropped and tails docked close to their bodies in order to limit the areas of their bodies that other dogs can grab onto in fights.

fighting dogSource: aspca.org, image: wikimedia.org

Dog fighting (as well as other forms of animal fighting) is extremely popular in Pakistan, where these bloody activities have traditionally been the most common type of entertainment. The Pakistani have even bred several dog breeds for the purpose, such as the Bully Kutta.

Bully KuttaSource: en.wikipedia.org, image: wikimedia.org

Some dog fighters add roach poison to their dogs' food so that their fur might taste bad to other dogs in fights.

dog foodSource: peta.org, image: pixabay.com

Apart from the dog fights themselves, stud fees and the sale of pups from promising bloodlines can also bring in thousands of dollars to the dog fighters.

puppiesSource: aspca.org, image: wikimedia.org

Dog fighting is legal and very popular in Russia, but unlike with dog fights in other countries, a veterinarian is always on hand during the fight and the fights are never to the death, with serious injuries being very rare.

dog fightingSource: en.wikipedia.org, image: pixabay.com

In most of the US states, just being a spectator at a dog fight can lead to felony charges.

dog attackingSource: en.wikipedia.org, image: pixabay.com

There are three basic types of dog fighters – street fighters (whose fights are usually unorganized, conducted for money, drugs, or bragging rights), hobbyists (who fight dogs for supplemental income and entertainment purposes), and professionals (who breed whole generations of fighting dogs, make huge amounts of money, and own a large number of dogs).

pit bullSource: en.wikipedia.org, image: wikimedia.org

There is a $5000 reward for reporting dog fighting to The Humane Society of the United States, a non-profit organization that fights animal cruelty.

dog fightingSource: en.wikipedia.org, image: pixabay.com

Although dog fighting is illegal in all 50 US states, more than 1,000 dogs are killed in various dog fighting events in the country every year.

boxerSource: buzzle.com, image: staticflickr.com

SEE ALSO: 25 Most Intelligent Animals On Earth »

NOW WATCH: 25 Bizarre Cat Facts You Need To Know

Subscribe to List25
Show Us Your Love
Join Over 2 Million+ List25 Fans