Dog fighting has been documented in the recorded history of many different cultures, and is presumed to have existed since the initial domestication of the species. Many breeds have been bred specifically for the strength, attitude, and physical features that would make them better fighting dogs.
Scholars speculate that large-scale human migration, development of trade, and gifts between royal courts of valuable fighting dogs facilitated the spread of fighting dog breeds. There are many accounts of military campaigns which used fighting dogs, as well as royal gifts in the form of large dogs.
Blood sports involving the baiting of animals has occurred since antiquity, most famously at the Colosseum in Rome during the reign of the Roman Empire. For over six hundred years the pastime flourished, reaching the peak of its popularity during the 16th century. The various animal types involved in the bait allowed for the breed specialization and basic anatomical forms of fighting dogs, which we see today.
Dog fighting has been popular in many countries throughout history and continues to be practiced both legally and illegally around the world.