Pit Bulls and Ring Sports

So many people argue that putting Pit Bulls in any aggressive activities can enhance their “inherent aggression.” This can be true with dogs that show signs of aggression, but by nature, most Pit Bulls and bulldogs are friendly, outgoing, and lack overt aggression.

Ring Sports showcase the dog’s courage, control, and stability, as well as the handler’s control of the dog.

Ring sports are very competitive, and it can take years of training to prepare a dog for the ring. Training consists of determination and patience, but never force or pain.

Originally, ring sports consists of phases-agility, obedience, protection, and bite-work- that were used as tests for utilitarian dogs typically used for police work. In the ring, the dogs must walk off-leash and without a collar except during the heel exercises. The dogs must pass each phase.

Excessive praise and petting will also result in point deduction. Points can be lost for excessive praise and petting, multiple commands, incorrect commands, or failure to perform the exercise correctly.

Control must be emphasized the moment the handler and dog step onto the field and must not end until they stop off the field.

Training for Ring Sport competitions is extensive.

Common exercises include:

  • Heel on a leash
  • Heel with muzzle
  • Long sit/down
  • Food refusal
  • High Jump
  • Palisade
  • Long Jump
  • Positions
  • Thrown Retrieves
  • Unseen Retrieve
  • Seen Retrieve
  • Send Away
  • Guard of Object
  • Face Attack (decoy attack)
  • Fleeing Attack¬†(decoy attack)
  • Defense of Handler¬†(decoy attack)
  • Attack with Gun (decoy attack)
  • Search, Hold, and Bark with Escort (decoy attack)
  • Stopped Attack (decoy attack)

The bite-work phase with a decoy requires the dogs to bite and quickly release and retreat, which is something the true bulldogs and Pit Bulls are not willing to do. In order to assert this control, the handler must spend serious time training working their the dog.