Dog-Fighting Undercover

Dog-Fighting Undercover

2007, Nature  -   166 Comments
Ratings: 6.34/10 from 101 users.

Dog-Fighting UndercoverI was approached by the BBC 18 months ago with the idea of trying to infiltrate a dog-fighting ring in the UK. My views on animal welfare have always been strong and the thought of people fighting dogs makes me sick to the stomach. I wanted to expose these people. This was an investigation that needed doing.

But where would I begin? The people involved in this barbaric so-called sport are so close knit that a stranger on the scene arouses instant suspicion. And as for the scene - where was the scene? Where do these people meet? Where do they fight the dogs? How do you recognise a dog-fighter?

I knew very little about dog-fighting and my knowledge of the dog they used - the pit bull terrier - was limited. My priority was to research the pit bull terrier and drill myself on the dog's characteristics. I tested myself over and over again until every detail was etched on my brain. It had to be.

An anonymous source had given me information about one of the largest dog-fighting gangs in the UK - The Farmers' Boys. They're based in a small town in County Armagh, Northern Ireland called Tandragee and have been dog-fighting for years. The Farmers' Boys seemed to thrive during The Troubles - obviously the police had to concentrate on other things. (Excerpt from

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Your a C*nt
4 years ago

yes kill the fn dogs and let the retarded humans continue life.

these pitbulls are missing balance, obedience, boundaries and limitations which ALL digs need in order to live happily with humans. its the lack of this on humans part that create these attacks. Stop blaming the animals and start killing these fn idiots who treat dogs like crap. I have met many pitbulls who have a balanced life and are aware of the boundaries they are required to follow.

My next dog will be a pit bull, and it will go against all of these biased views because I know how to fullfil a pit bulls eccentric life and create the correct rules, boundaries and limitations that they need as the ANIMAL they are, not the breed they are.

Animal, Species, Breed, Name. That is how natural balance works whether you want to agree or not, it's not Name, Breed, Species, Animal.

Learn some dog psychology before you blame an animals action that has stemmed from human neglect.

Ford Rhodes
5 years ago

I am curious why they don't adress things like the below average intelligence of dog fighters. You never hear if a smart one and most appear to have mild forms of mebtal impairments or possible incest that causes them to be incapable if rational thinking.

Ford Rhodes
5 years ago

They act like it's the dogs, but they let their far left government allow inbreds to breed and torture animals and all they do is whine about how they want more "social justice".

5 years ago

Aw, I guess they put Nipper to sleep :( he looked like he was so happy to be off the chain.

6 years ago

Only 1:20 in & already decided that this DOC was definitely not worth my time. Your RACISM towards the phenomenal Pit is shameful & I am astounded by your ignorance. I am the VERY proud Mommy to a 90 lb, 7 yo gorgeous Fawn Pitt whose Father was a Showdog who won 4 years in a row! My Louie is thee sweetest, handsomest, *GOOFIEST*, most loyal Mommy's Boy of a dog/baby anyone could ever hope to have. When a Human child goes off & hurts someone else, do you say "Oh, ya...ALL children are naughty just like that one." ??! Of course not! Just like Parent's are responsible for teaching their kids how to be lovely & kind, Dog owners are JUST as responsible. Those poor sweet Pits. It's not their fault they were born with an "aggressive" looking face! Dogs only want to love & be loved. These humans are the animals, not those innocent Pits!

8 years ago

Nope, not gonna watch it! I can't STAND to see dogs getting hurt while ignorant asshats stand around cheering them on! And from what the other commenters said, it doesn't sound like the reporter did that great of a job anyways. I love my Staffie, Lunabelle - and I have no stomach for people who fight dogs!

8 years ago

I hate these comments using words such as bully breeds I have a pit and she is the sweetest thing ever to people and to other animals...including cats and I even hate cats but seriously guys ITS ALL ABOUT HOW YOU RAISE YOUR DOG if the dog is aggressive its the trainers fault if it potties inside....trainers fault, chews on things owners fault, there is no certain breed that is worse than another all about how your raise your animals, COOOOME OOON so sick of people bashing Pitts my "Moon" (my female pitts name) is the sweetest thing ever she would kiss your face off if she could this dog has never been aggressive to any of my other dogs any friends family members or even strangers...which is a little sad my other two make great guard dogs but not her she just loves everything, my girlfriend did most of her training and she did an outstanding job that is why the dog acts the way it does all about training

8 years ago

This is a horrible documentary. The only good to come from this is identifying the breeders so they can be stopped. The pit is a powerful breed that needs a experienced owner who can redirect their energy. The people who feel the need to walk around and brag about how their dog can tear apart another dog have serious issues and the dog will end up paying for it.

9 years ago

stupid question maybe but how come some of the dogs don't attack just any thing/one, they seem happy to meet people and even be around other dogs? but then in the ring they attack the other dog on sight?

9 years ago

dog fighting to me is the most heinous crime it should be banned in all countries no matter how harsh steps should be taken. i have a bull dog and i have changed his instinct, instead of fighting he loves and greet other dogs.

9 years ago

If you just watched this, please go watch "Beyond The Myth" on youtube about Pit Bulls.

10 years ago

Dog fighting came to this country from Europe. They were originally developed from mastif lines THOUSANDS of years ago under Roman rule to entertain people by fighting bulls in pits (get it?). This is a horrific and hideous activity engaged in by broken and unhealthy people, but I assure you, American's didn't teach dog-fighting to the Irish, and in fact was accepted in most polite society, just like bear baiting until around the turn of the last century.

Jugears McGhetto Jr
10 years ago

Its the Michael Vick crowd who did this to the Pit Bull Terrier breed and no one else. These dogs have sadly been ghetto fied just like America to be totally truthful about it. It's all the 'urbanization' of America that's taken place because they can't raise the bar so they've just lowered it so low anyone can stumble over it and the rest of us law abiding American citizens suffer for it all day in and day out in every facet of American life today.

There is no bar of excellence anymore in this nation. Anything goes anywhere anytime.

11 years ago

you guys all suck its not hte ****** dog its the trainer and after x amount of years they get mean around after thier about 8 or 9 they get nippy i just got rid of both of my pitbulls my mle was a big baby! and my female was more agressiv wierd

11 years ago

I watched this video today.I was horified and offended by what i saw. How can anyone treat these beutiful loyal inteligent funny breed of dog in this way. I am a first time APBT /AMSTAFF owner and very passionete about this breed of dog.I have owned Staffys and Roman Noses in the past.For over 30 years. My pitt lives with a Ragdoll cat loves Kids and is ok with most other dogs What more can u ask 4 in dog. I could ramble on 4 ever but my finger would ache.Its about time that everyone got off the Pitbull/Amstaffs back. Bring back the nannydog attitude and the trust/common sense .give this loyal breed of dogtrue respect that it deserves.Pitbulls make a better world. AUS/AMERICAN Pitbulls rule ,love them &they will love you xxxxxxx to all pittys & their responsible owners

11 years ago

People who train fighting dogs truly disgust me

11 years ago

Don't blame the breed from the evil for the humans who train them to fight and attack each other, the pitbull is not an evil breed however the humans who train then to fight show the evil of the human species.

11 years ago

Pit Bulls have the potential to be as dangerous as any other breed. They are very sweet when raised by responsible owners. I do not support the stereotyping of such breeds, every individual dog is different.

11 years ago

Dog fighting is completly disgusting, and this lady is also very ingnorant! I know some pit bulls and they are by far THE nicest most loyal dogs I have met, what they did not show is what training these dogs go through to become a fighting dog. It is horrifying the stuff these dogs go through and how they use other helpess animals to train them, including puppies, and kittens which often time they cut them up so the fighting dogs are driven by the taste of blood. Yes, some pitts are more aggressive than others but they all have different personalities just like all dogs, and people for that matter. man some of the toy breeds if those dogs were bigger they would be giving serious injuries to people! Yes these dogs have a high number for attacks on people and other animals but thats just because they have strongs jaws and have more of an impact, other breeds have just as high of a number but it is not seen as big of a deal because thier bites do not do as much damage. People should educate themselves! There is enough ignorant people in the world, I don't think certain breeds should be banned, I think people should have to get a license to own any sort of animal. Animal cruelty is sick and disgusting and so are the people that take place in it.

Pitbulls are not for everyone and should be only owned by people that know how to train them properly so they do not get this bad name, the same goes for rotti's, and any other type of these so called "bully" breeds

11 years ago

my cousin has a pit bull and a rotti and also an english bulldog and they play alongside his three kids now, and growing up too (when they were babies). They never had any problems- if anything, looking at their family, the dogs have probably had a hand in raising the kids as well lol. It really is about the owners, and not the dogs- obviously. these dogs were some of the nicest dogs ive ever met and my cousin is a nice guy once u get to know him- he looks intimidating to most, jus like his dogs.

11 years ago

This is annoying we all now know its the breeder NOT the breed for the vicious behavior. But still informative about dog fighting : (

11 years ago

Well, I live in Stockton...but thanks for the inner city pep talk.

And I actually do not own a pitbull. Nor did I make a comparison to a chihuahua bite? The severity of other attacks is found, again, in the hundreds of retraction sections of newspapers. Rarely are these attacks done by a dog that is a pure bred pit bull. LOOK IT UP. I would show you proof but I am too busy leaving snarky comments online...

The history of the breed has nothing to do with anything? Im confused. Should we just throw out all our previous experiences and assumptions out the window? Oh, thats right, you believe in stereotypes. So, certain races and genders have limited capacity and skills that serve the few? Right?

Again, documented footage of what? A dog attack. Not necessarily a pitbull attack. I feel greatly for the victim, but the harsh, sad fact is that the dog only acts that way because its been chained up and mistreated its whole life. People get off on insanity and neglect right?

Cassandra Long
11 years ago

Older times Pit bulls were left alone with little kids Yes granted pits can be dangerous, they are the sweetest most loving dogs i know and i have never owned one but i have friends that do and i also train dogs. The only reason pits have a bad rap is because m*rons treat their dogs like **** they beat them they let them starve pit bulls are amazing dogs i don't care what anyone thinks they really are, i am trying right now to speak in front of my school about dog fighting it is the worst thing in the world how would you like it if you were stuck in a pen and had to fight another person to the death you wouldn't like it now would you. Pit bulls are an amazing dogs and i will say that until i die

11 years ago

Oh my word, an old lady's dog was attacked by a crazy dog. This must stop.

11 years ago

I want to say this in a way where people who plan to watch, have watched, or have commented on this film will actually listen.
I was attracted to this documentary to see yet another take on the subject of dogfighting, but within the first minute and a half I was completely horrified- not only with the footage but the insanely inaccurate portrayal of this breed.
Based on the comments people have left, the world is still completely devoid of both intelligence and empathy.

It is true that this breed is used in dogfighting. But the reason for that is in direct opposition to common misconception. Pit bulls are extremely athletic, but their even stronger quality is their loyalty. Once considered "nanny dogs" (they would literally be put in care of children), pit bulls are, as a breed, quite similar to golden retrievers. They are thus used not only for their muscles, but their endless desire to please their master.

...And look at what they get for it.

As for pit bull attacks, they are just as common as any another dog attacks. Start checking the retractions in newspapers or magazine articles. Do you know how many times journalists assume pit bulls are the cause of something- or even just say that it was to make headlines? You're telling me that we don't stereotype? Please. And compared to the top news story, how many people pay attention to a page of retractions? Sensationalism, sensationalism, sensationalism.

I am assuming I lost a lot of you awhile ago. If you are still reading this...consider it, look up the data, contact me- either to yell at me in an ignorant rage, or to really get some facts.
I'm open. You be too.

11 years ago

I recently looked for a dog to adopt in the PA USA area. I FINALLY found a dog that did not seem to have pit bull in her. It was not easy to do. I looked into why there were only pit bulls in the ASPCAs.
Hold no to your hats...
The dog fight people need dogs who are not pits to train their dogs to kill. They cut the other dogs faces to entice the pitts.
My yellow lab has bad scares on her face. She was homeless for a time, had litters, and is a very strong alpha bitch.
I think she may have escaped the pit as a training dog.
Her name is Sugar.

11 years ago

I also hope they realize that although these dogs are fighting dogs, they are very much breed NOT to show aggression toward their handlers. This is actually specifically breed out of them. So anyone watching this needs to realize that dog aggression is very very very different than human aggressive. If you watch the pictures look how much love these poor dogs show their handlers even after all they have put them through.

11 years ago

I havent got far into this documentary, but i do hope they plan to show Pit Bulls that are NOT human aggressive.
11 years ago

I managed to not scream or hit something watching this documentary..but just bearly.And when it got to the "He poured water over the dog and connected it to an electric wire"..that was just,wow..sadistic,heartless sons of bitches we humans are.And dont blame the dogs,humans created the breed,humans created dog-fighting and humans are the ones who think walking around with a battle-ready pitbull in the streets is a status symbol. What we are doing to these dogs is 100% unacceptable.I dont understand in any way how these people can live with themselves.My dog is my best friend and they are watching their own dogs getting ripped to pieces and slowly dying a very painful death.But these people obviously dont concider their dogs to be their friends since when the dogs get f--ked up enough,they are happy to put them out of their electricuting it after its been fought to the very max and its bearly breathing. Long comment but this pisses me of so much i had to get it out there! Its a great sadness, this "sport".

11 years ago

Illigal from any point of view, and it should be made illigal to even breed Animals for keeping them in the house, pets are kept for our entertainment, we are Human and it is not our right to enslave another living thing for our own pleasure. Im openly against of keeping pets and see it as an offence.
We need to respect the freedom which is given to all the living by God/Nature and it should stay the way it was thousands of years ago. Stop keeping pet inside the cages. Stop beering cross breeding animals. It is inhuman.

11 years ago

In the 80's it wasn't the Pits, it was the Rottweilers & Dobermans. Lately the American Bulldogs are starting to overthrow the Pits, so I assume in about 10yrs they'll be banning the AB's instead of the Pits. In the 70's wasn't the "bad breed" the Bulldogs?

Every breed gets it ever 20yrs or so. All animals fight, it's in their instinct. These dogs fight in a rink because they were under excersized & they were weeded out of their litter while looking for the alpha dogs. No dog that isn't an alpha dog would get in that rink, PERIOD.

I love dogs, and I can't bear to watch the animals fight for pure pleasure. I wish all humans that DO NOT treat dogs like they are supposed to & that do not fulfill the dog's needs would be forbidden to own/have/take care of dogs.

Dogs, like lions need stimuli of the physical & psychological kind. They also need a HANDLER THAT KNOWS THIS. Any dog (whether it's a teacup Chihuahua to a Newfoundland) that is in the hands of a person that doesn't bother to educate themselves on Canine BEHAVIOR & get off their lazy ass to do something about the dog, can turn dangerous.

11 years ago

the ban doesnt work as it outlaws the dogs. these dogs despite suggestions from the documentary are not natural fighting dogs. they are forced to fight, tied up not well fed, beaten etc to make them fight.
pitbulls make great pets but in the wrong hands can me made into aggressive animals. i would like to highlight the use of the word made,

to truly stop dog fighting the dangerous dog act needs to be scrapped and a new law brought in to punish the dangerous owners and also to save the breed.

11 years ago


I have met a pitbull once, or twice. The one I've met was not any way near aggressive. Ive patted it, and played with him.

However, when I was a kid, a german shepherd attacked me.
It jumped over the fence and started to bite my pants. I was so scared that I stood still while watching its canine teeth growling at me.
A man came by and ordered it to go back.. then I was trembling on my way home from school.

I never liked a german shepherd after that. I prefer pit bulls.

11 years ago

Cruel subject for sure...Quality of Doc = marginal.

11 years ago

No, No No! This IS B******T! They are NOT made for Fighting, they are exposed to fighting through ret*rded f****g id**ts who are bums. They can't get a job cause they are lazy, so they make money off hurting these amazing,beautiful, and smart dogs.

11 years ago

I used to own a pitbull when i was young, i now have a 17 month old daughter. i dont think i would have kept my dog after she was born. But in the right enviroment and with the right owners , they are great dogs, and would have one was she was older

11 years ago

I noticed there was a huge bias in the first few minutes of the documentary. I'm completely against dog-fighting and inbred (aka purebred) animals, but the vehemence and misinformation about pitbulls shows me the group making this film has no journalistic integrity. Very sad. Doesn't mean you shouldn't watch this film, but keep in mind the BBC is going for the 'show' effect rather than objective research with regard to the inbreed. The pit bull factory was interesting. The undercover investigator sure risked his life, though.

12 years ago

well first off in the end were they walked the dog, they did it wrong your supposed to keep him on the side of your or have him behind you when walking never out in front because its like a pack thing. also american pit bull terriers r some of the nicest dogs you can own they are bread to be very very nice to humans its just a--holes like the farmer boys and that rodrigez guy who breed and train them purley for fighting. i agree tho once they capture the fighting dogs you can put them up for adoption but its nearly impossible to make them normal again after what they have done and how they have been treated so putting down seized fighting dogs is for the best.

12 years ago

Pit bulls are GENETICALLY bred and what comes out is a dangerous breed of animal period. Some dog breeds you should not mix with others to create this frankenstein like breed of dog. Pitbulls are just that this bad mixture of breed. There are alot of breeds of dog that have been known to have serious problems based on the genetics of the breed, such as a breed called the Cavalier Spaniel. The cavalier is a Pug mix, their skulls are so small that their brain outgrows the size of their skull that the dogs go into epileptic seizures and die.

But people breed those dogs because of their looks because they are just so cute. At what cost are you willing to risk cuteness or an animal suffering because that breed really suffers with their brains cramed in their little skulls. That is cruel folks. Some breeds were not meant to be bred. Pitbulls are the worst breed on this planet purely deadly. At what cost are you willing obviously it cost the lives of children and other human beings. But why do you breed them for profit. Thats really selfish and sickening. I would not think about owning one.

12 years ago

Too everyone that says "Punish the Deed not the breed" and BBC is trying to put down Pit bulls thats incorrect. When you take 25 Dogs from a kernel BREED for fighting and seasoned fighters what do you suppose should be done with them? give them up for adoption? of course not, im sorry but they must be killed and not be allowed to breed. Put one of those animals in a domestic house hold and i bet you every other pet you own is gonna die. They must be killed

Sabin Russell
12 years ago

if i see a pitbull crossing the street......
i go out of my way to run them over with my vehicle.......

12 years ago

I was attacked by a family american pit and he was brought up great, taken on miles of walks and this dog had even laid next to my baby and he would play, removing the dummy from my sons mouth, SCARY as hell when the dog turned on me and other members of the family, Iv been held at knife point before and I was more scared I was going to die when our family pit turned. I KNOW FROM MY EXPERIENCE THAT HE WAS TREATED SO LOVING! AND YET HE TURNED, I was sat on the bed next to him one min and then Im pinned down the next, he went for my throut 3 times before I managed to kick him off me, He was never hit, I KNOW IT IS THE BREED! And his brother, who didnt live with our family was even worse when he turned.. BE WARNED TO THOSE THAT STICK UP FOR THESE MONSTERS, I KNOW!!!!

12 years ago

Can sumone help me I have 2 pitbulls there great super freindly but when it comes to bones they fight eachother I dont leave bones around anymore and i brake up the fight and I am just wondering say if i left them alone or could not brake up the fight in time would they fight to death.?

12 years ago

i have a beatiful razor edge puppy thats very good around kids and loves them any dog can be evil like any person can be lets put it like this if your white and dont like pitbulls that means you dont like blacks if your black and you dont like pitbulls that means you dont like white a smart person will understand what im writing but my heart goes out to all the people that sufferd because of dumb asses

12 years ago

My question is...

How can anybody enjoy watching that?

I mean, seriously. Something must be wrong with them mentally... people who like to watch animals kill other animals.

And I agree with most commenters on this site. They need to punish the stupid, in-bred, sick people who breed the dogs. They don't need to outlaw any particular breed... unless they want to outlaw the particular breed of PERSON that finds this sick crap a worthwhile pastime.

12 years ago


12 years ago

i hope those mother f--kers burn in hell they are cruel.fuking lazy ass mother f--ker nedds his dog to fight to make money.lazy ass bitch get a job lozersss realy!!!!!!god is watching every thing what they are doing so they are f--ked up!!and they will burn in hell one day.i love animals and cant stand people doing this.why wont those people fight each other?cause they are pusssys and they still thing like they have ballls ha ha ha dum assses

12 years ago

not for dog bating but the journalist lacks serious logic in her arguments. Really idiotic

12 years ago

Good documentary if you wish to know more about dog fighters.

Downright idiotic documentary if you wish to know anything about pit bull terriers.

12 years ago

BBC sucks well as BSL...this documentary only tells one side of the whole story.