In 1898 the United Kennel Club was formed with the express intent of providing registration and fighting guidelines for the now officially- named American Pit Bull Terrier. Later, those who wished to distance themselves from the fighting aspect of the breed petitioned the American Kennel Club for recognition of the Pit Bull so that it would be eligible for dog shows and other performance events. The AKC conceded in 1936 but only under the stipulation that the dogs registered with them be called "Staffordshire Terriers", the name of the province in England in which the breed supposedly originated. Upon acceptance of the breed, many people dual-registered their dogs with both the AKC and the UKC. Lucenay's Peter (the dog that starred in the Our Gang series) was the first dual-registered Pit Bull/Staffordshire Terrier.
The UKC evolved, eventually beginning to register other working-type breeds, and later holding shows similar to those of the AKC. Currently, the UKC is the second largest purebred dog registry in the United States, complete with strict bylaws that ban anyone who is convicted of dog fighting. The American Dog Breeders Association was formed in 1909 because of certain fanciers' opinions that the UKC was not doing its job protecting and preserving the Pit Bull breed as they felt it should be preserved. The ADBA's goal is the same now is at was then: to register, promote and preserve the original American Pit Bull Terrier fighting-type dog, although like the other two registries, they officially frown upon the illegal act of dog fighting.
The AKC eventually closed its studbooks to American Pit Bull Terriers. For a short period in the 1960's, the AKC reopened its studbooks to American Pit Bull Terriers. In 1973 the AKC added the prefix "American" to the Staffordshire Terrier's name in an effort to distinguish it from the newly recognized Staffordshire Bull Terrier. Today, the AKC only allows registration of those dogs with parents registered as American Staffordshire Terriers. In April, 2010, the UKC closed its studbooks to the AmStaff and no longer allows dual- registration. The ADBA allows registration of AmStaffs, but the dogs carry the original name, "American Pit Bull Terrier."
Today the Pit Bull has evolved into a marvelous working and companion dog, used for purposes as varied as those it originally performed. Pit Bulls are employed as police/armed services dogs, search and rescuers, therapy animals, and livestock workers. They compete in all manner of organized dog sports, from herding to agility to conformation to obedience and the bite sports like Schutzhund and French Ring. They make loving pets for children and seniors, and everyone in between. They are indeed one of the most versatile breeds on the planet. Much of this is owed to the activities it once performed. The harshness and physical demands of the activities molded a strong, healthy, stable animal, one anyone should be proud to own.
The Working Pit Bull/Diane Jessup
History of Fighting Dogs & Fighting Dog Breeds/Dieter Fleig
This is the APBT/Richard Stratton
Evolution of the Bulldog/VH Ross
A New Look at the contribution of the eastern brachycephalic breeds to "bull breed" history/ Carl Semencic with Don Fiorino ("Dog World" magazine, March, 1984)