Recently I was asked why the American Bully community hated the Pit Bull community and vice versa. It reminded me of an article I wrote years ago and how things have changed over time. Now the UKC accepts the American Bully as it’s own breed and the hatred has subsided and is replaced by an awkward level of respect for the breeds differences. Here is a taste of why the Bully Community at one time felt outcasted and targeted by the Home of the American Pit Bull Terrier the United Kennel Club.
The American Bully – Targeted By the UKC
It seems the UKC has taken a stand on the American Bully, or dogs of similar “Bully” type. With the updated breed standard issued by the UKC it seems that finding a correct American Bully within the parameters of their registry is as likely as finding out that Michael Jackson has just been hired as a kindergarten teacher. All jokes aside, the new standard counts most, if not all bully characteristics as SERIOUS faults in its latest outline of the breed standard. The Bully characteristic that has remained in the standard is that the dog should not show aggression towards people.
By stating that these are serious faults the UKC has pretty much instructed judges not to put up Bully type dogs in the show ring. Along with adding these faults to the breed standard the UKC has also updated its description of shape of eye, once again adding that the eye can be round. The UKC has also omitted any descriptions relating to dog fighting. As of right now that part of the breed history has been erased or is not worth talking about at this point in time.
The argument that the American Bully be described as a separate breed may actually pick up steam with this new set of events. For those that feel that their American Bully is still a Pit Bull this may be considered a sad day, considering that the UKC was the first registry to register the American Pit Bull Terrier.
My personal opinion is that Pit bulls have always come in different shapes and sizes. Head size, bone mass and weight have always differed between bloodlines. This new standard is too open to personal interpretation for my taste. What a judge may deem as overdone may not even qualify as semi Bully in the Bully world. Head too large seems like the most opinionated serious fault I have ever heard of. So what happens to the dogs that are in between? There will always be a dog in the UKC show ring that has a bigger head than his follow competitors, is this dog to be eliminated because now his 18 inch head is considered too big for the breed? What about the dog being shown that has too much bone compared to the refined males standing next to him? Is the breed to turn into a lot of refined, snipey headed dogs who move like gazelles?
I have always loved the variety found in the American Pit Bull Terrier; it is a large part of why I am so passionate about the American Pit Bull Terrier. To issue a standard that focuses faults on a specific group in my opinion is a like BSL within the breed. I guess this is what the army means by death by friendly fire. The UKC needs to check pictures of the dogs of the past and realize that some great dogs did have large heads and good bone. In the show ring a dogs ability to do its job should always come first, but I feel in some way the UKC may be over reaching and not even trying to hide its prejudice on the subject of Bully dogs in general.
The issue of a dog performing the task in which it was bred for, I whole heartedly believe in. Of all things pure in the show world this is the purest. If a dog does not appear to be capable of performing the task in which he or she was bred for, then yes he should be penalized. However, if the sum of faults separately does not prohibit said dog from performing I do not think he should be faulted. To state that something is a SERIOUS fault in my mind is to say that this trait is beyond highly undesirable, and I do not stand behind all the faults listed. Below I have posted an abridged version of the UKC standard, which only includes parts of the standard where SERIOUS faults have been added, for all who are interested in reading the changes for themselves. If you would like to read the entire UKC standard on the American Pit Bull Terrier you can at www.ukcdogs.com.