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Animal Cruelty: Inside the Dog Fighting Essay

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Updated: Aug 18th, 2021

Dogfighting is an illegal activity that involves a lot of criminal activity and animal abuse. Besides the Dogs involved in the actual dog fight, other small animals are killed in the process as they are used as bait. Criminal activities include gambling which in many cases result in murder among other criminal activities.


Dogfighting is a battle where two dogs are specifically trained and bred from an early stage to fight. They are placed in a pit to fight each other for gambling and the entertainment of spectators. The fights could last for more than one hour. Dog fights normally end when one or both dogs cannot continue. At the end of the fight, the dogs suffer serious injuries that could lead to death. In most cases the owner of the losing dog abandons the injured dog to die slowly from the injuries it obtained during the fight.

The injuries inflicted to and obtained by the dogs participating in the fights are usually very severe and critical. The dogs use their strong jaws to inflict deep wounds, severe bruising and even breaking of bones to each other. Most of the dogs die after the fight due to loss of blood, dehydration, exhaustion and infections as Destreza observes “It can be anywhere from one to 45 dogs. The biggest one was one bust where we took in 178 dogs in two days. Typically, they either are recently fought and all chewed up, crusty, still bleeding, all the way to just having old scars. ……”

Dog Training

Training process of the dogs, involves other smaller animals like rabbits, cats and smaller dogs. These animals act as training bait and are often killed in the process. They are used as enticement so that they can test the dog’s fighting instincts. These animals are obtained by false pretense from animals shelters while others are stolen. The Dog usually goes through a lot of suffering as dog trainers believe that the more the suffering the dog undergoes, the more it is likely to win.

Various techniques are used to train the dogs. The dogs are trained to run on the treadmill to increase endurance and dog’s cardiovascular strength. In other instances, the dog is chained to one beam of a treadmill while a bait in form of a small animal is hanged on another side of the treadmill beam. The dog then made to chase the bait by running in circles chasing the bait. It is only after the training session that the dog is given the small animal it was pursuing. “They’ll suspend animal hides from poles. I’ve seen them with rabbit fur, all kinds of stuff. The dog jumps up and hangs on it. It gets them used to biting into the fur of another animal.” Louisiana trooper Mack Dickinson.

The dog’s back legs and jaw muscles are strengthened by making the dog jump and hang over a large pole attached to a spring hanging down where tire is attached. To build the strength of the neck and upper body, the dogs are fixed with heavy chains that have massive weight which hangs around their necks. The dogs are then made to run with the heavyweights attached. Dogs are also given drugs, vitamins supplements that provoke and stimulate them to fight. Some of them are vitamin B-12, cocaine and steroids.

The dogs are trained against one another and also against older dogs which are more experienced. Early stages of training involve encouraging the dogs to pounce at each other and engaging in quick, controlled fights known as rolls; the dogs are then challenged against stronger dogs to test their firmness or readiness in the face of exhaustion and impending defeat as the fight draw closer. If the dogs pass the test, they are ready for the fight.

Dogfighting is popular in many countries and it is practiced both legally and illegally. In those countries where it is illegal, it is because it is believed to be directly related to other crimes and violence in the community. This is because most of the criminal activities like gambling, gang violence, drug distribution and even homicide. Due to the spectators betting on their preferred dog which leads to producing large sums of money, firearms and other dangerous and crude weapons are common during a dog fight. “If you are raiding a dog fight in progress, it’s usually a bunch of guns, money and drugs all over the floor, because nobody wants to get caught with it.” Quote Sandy Christiansen, President of the Spartanburg Humane Society and a dogfighting consultant.

Dogfighting however has some effects on both people and animals in the community. This is because the dogs used for fighting are extremely dangerous and aggressive towards people and other animals. There is an increased risk of attacks on both other animals and people. Children are at greater risk because of their small body size and a fighting dog might perceive a small child to be another animal thereby attacking the child. Some spectators even take their young children to the events and this is dangerous since it can promote insensitivity to the suffering of animals, interest in violence and lack of respect.

Those involved in dogfighting go to extensive lengths to avoid being detected by law enforcers and this causes investigations to be quite difficult, expensive and dangerous. In other instances the law enforcers are frustrated because of clear law on dogfighting as Sergeant David Hunt from Ohio says “It’s not uncommon for a case to drag on for a year. Obviously, you have to house the dogs for those periods of time. They’re considered evidence of a criminal operation. We’ve spent $1.2 million for house fighting dogs from 2002 to 2007”.

Spectators are also involved in crime because they provide much of the profit associated with dogfighting. This business is kept alive through the money generated by admission fees and gambling. They are willing participants who support a criminal activity through their paid admission and attendance.

Many animal activists are of the opinion that those dogs rescued from dog fight should be rehabilitated as one animal controller suggest, “I think the important thing for people to know is that these dogs are victims and we need to include them in our circle of compassion.” Diane Jessup, a pit bull owner and a retired animal control officer in Washington State.

Dogfighting should be a felony offense worldwide as it yields large profits for participants and the penalties associated with this offense convictions are not a sufficient restriction. Dog fighters merely absorb these fines as part of the cost of doing business. The cruel nature of dogfighting should be punished severely because it is an intentional and cruel practice.


Dog Fight. 2008. Web.

Dogfighting, a booming business. 2008. Web.

Inside the blood sport of dogfighting. 2008. Web.

Fighting dog breeds. 2008. Web.

Mary Randolph (2005) Every Dog’s Legal Guide, Elsevier Publishers, United States.

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1. IvyPanda. "Animal Cruelty: Inside the Dog Fighting." August 18, 2021. https://ivypanda.com/essays/animal-cruelty-inside-the-dog-fighting/.


IvyPanda. "Animal Cruelty: Inside the Dog Fighting." August 18, 2021. https://ivypanda.com/essays/animal-cruelty-inside-the-dog-fighting/.


IvyPanda. 2021. "Animal Cruelty: Inside the Dog Fighting." August 18, 2021. https://ivypanda.com/essays/animal-cruelty-inside-the-dog-fighting/.


IvyPanda. (2021) 'Animal Cruelty: Inside the Dog Fighting'. 18 August.

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