The real issue of this post was whether dog fighting in any form could be done in a proper fashion and if so how would that look. I respect that for most that answer is no, no matter what. I just happen to disagree, what I do agree with is when you point out the culture of dog fighting in the past, even in its hayday it was not done properly or with the best interest of the dog or breed in mind, it was sure a hell of a lot better than it is now with class of folks involved in the sport today but I think it could be a whole lot better compared to then and especially now. So while I don't expect to change anyones mind I would like to propose the way I believe dog fighting could be legitimate endeavor.
First and foremost it has to be legal, from there the legalized sport of dog fighting has to have strong set of rules and regulations, in order to do this it would need a strong governing body that would put on and up hold the rules and regualtions for sanctioned events. The other and perhaps most important thing would be how the money is handled, one of the biggest problems in dog fighting has always been in order to make a buck you have to gamble on your own dog, in any professional sport this is a big NO NO, it causes too many problems and conflicts of interest. In order for dog fighting to be a legitimate sport whatsoever it would have to be modeled the same way any professional fight is run i.e. boxing and UFC, the amount for each opponent is agreed upon ahead of time and contractually bound, this alone would help improve and promote the mortality rate and overall interest of the dogs during and after a match.
Now I'm not going to sugar coat it I am speaking of full on dog fighting and so yes dogs could be severely injured or even killed, for me thats not the real issue, the real issue for me is raising the level of care for the dogs before, during and after a fight and raising the caliber of people within in the support while at the same time improving on the status of fighting dogs as a whole. As Diane mentioned, one of the worst problems is the fact that two dogs in a fight mean little more to those fighting them than dice. I believe through creating the proper enviroment many of these issues could be addressed.
In an ideal world if dog fighting was a legalized, legitimate sport I think it could be a very profitable one and while some may consider money to be the root of all evil it does have a way, when regulated properly to provide the best in technology and science and it tends to attract the best people in their respective fields. So imagine if you will a dog fighting convention where the best representations of the breed are brought forth, where the standards set forth address not only fighting ability but type and conformation. Imagine instead of amateurs just trying to throw whatever poor dogs they can find in a pit without proper regard for whether they even belong there, having professional that have had to put in the proper time, energy and money to go through the appropriate channels to have their dogs certified as match worthy. I could go into great detail as to how I see that working but this post is already long enough and I have more too touch on.
Again, while I could go into exhaustive detail I'm quite certain this post is already exhausting enough, so I'm just going to go over a rough draft of how I see a match being run.
First, two dogs of equal weight would be placed in a match that would be allowed to last for two hours maximum with thirty minute rounds, five minutes between each round to evaulate said dogs. If the match goes the distance both dogs would be declared game, there would however be a judge or more to determine the winner based on set perameters. Certain injuries i.e. broken leg, severe laceration or other life threatening injuries would stop to the fight. There would be a professional referee with full authority to stop the fight at any time. Any dog at any point shows any sign of wanting to quit would instantly stop the match. There would be professional handlers in each corner who have the authority to pick a dog up at any point and time, no owners or individuals with a vested interest in either dog will be allowed to participate with any duties pertaining to the match . There would be licensed, professional vets onsite for each match to supervise the condition of both dogs that are specifically trained to know what to look for, they too would also have absolute authority to end a match. Ideally onsite or at least near by there would be the neccesary medical equipment to tend to any dog.
I'm sure there are many holes in my short synopsis above about whether this would truly prove anything or preserve our breed, I assure you I have given this a great deal of thought and certainly I still don't have it all figured out but please do challenge me on any issue herein as I believe I have a lot of answers but have never had the pleasure of really working through or debating the matter with other folks, I'd like to see how well my ideals hold water
Lastly, while I do have a lot of provisions set up in my imaginary world to protect the overall life of a dog, make no mistake they are not designed to prevent a dog from truly being tested and pushed to the brink, more so than anything they are safety nets to help prevent us humans from our own nature of pushing the envelope too far. Not to say it would never happen as all the safety nets in the world can't prevent every tragedy. As far as I'm concerened a dead dog is a worthless dog but that is also why I would require the mandatory saving of sperm from every dog that was qualified and certified to be matched prior to its first fight.
Am I dreaming? Perhaps and I will say this. If everything I touched on above was not possible even in a legalized enviromnet due to one reason or another, then you're right I don't believe dog fighting has any place in America or any else for that matter because for me this is the standard by which I think the sport should be up held and the attention to quality and care our dogs deserve. I will not waiver or compromise that, even to save them.