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Wausau Dog Bites: What Is a Pit Bull?

In 2009, Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia published a study on dog bites in the journal Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery. According to the study, Pit Bulls were responsible for 51 percent of dog bite injuries treated at the hospital over a five-year period.

A 2001 study published in the Annals of Surgery found that Pit Bull bites were more likely to result in serious complications or death and were associated with higher hospital costs than bites from other dog breeds.

The studies say that Pit Bulls are dangerous, but what exactly is a Pit Bull?

Pit Bulls: The Story of a Dog Breed

Pit Bulls are a class of dogs that includes the American Pit Bull Terrier, American Staffordshire Terrier, and the Staffordshire Bull Terrier, as well as any other pure bred or mixed breed dog that is a combination of these breeds.

Bulldogs are known from as early as 1631, when they were used for the sport of bull baiting. This historical amusement involved tying a bull to a stake or placing the bull in a hole in the ground. The bulls’ nose was blown full of pepper to ensure a good show. One dog at a time then attacked the bull until the bull was subdued. Bulldogs were bred to be aggressive with strong jaws that would help the dog immobilize the bull.

Bull baiting was abolished in 1835, and Pit Bull owners found a new pastime, “ratting.” In this so-called “sport,” rats were placed in a pit. Participants made bets about how long it would take for the dog to kill the rats. It was important for the dog to have both strong jaws and a compact and agile body. Bulldogs were crossed with terriers to create the modern Pit Bull Terrier.

Pit Bulls were also used to fight other dogs. American settlers brought Pit Bulls to the New World for the sole purpose of dog fighting. In 1898, the United Kennel Club formally recognized Pit Bulls as a breed when the organization drew up a formal set of rules and regulations for dog fights.

This bloody history has contributed to the breeding of a potentially very dangerous type of dog. Unlike most other dog breeds, pit bulls rarely communicate the intention to bite before an attack. They are tenacious and have a strong bite with a “hold and shake” bite style that results in severe dog bite injuries.

If you are bitten by a pit bull in Wausau, you deserve accountability for your injuries. You may be eligible for compensation for your medical bills, lost income, disfigurement, pain and suffering, and emotional trauma. Learn more about the rights of Wisconsin dog bite victims in our free dog bites brochure, or call Hupy and Abraham at 800-800-5678 to discuss your own case with a Wausau dog bite attorney. The initial consultation is free.

Jason F. Abraham
Managing Partner, Hupy and Abraham