Saturday, August 31, 2013

Wildside's Miss Rufus

The article below belongs to Ed Faron and is from the book "The Complete Game Dog."

Usually when we write a story about a dog, it is a dog that is important to our yard, or a dog that made a big name for itself in some way. The following story is about a bitch we do not even own anymore, and don't have any of her offspring or descendants on the yard. However, a lot of people have asked us what ever happened to her and we thought her story would be an interesting one to tell.

Wildside's Miss Rufus was brought to me by Bobby Baliel shortly after Thanksgiving a few years back. I had traded him a pup off a breeding I had done with Garner's Lever Red for a pup off his Crissy bitch, who had been bred back to her father, Hargroves' Rufus. Rufus was an inbred Midnight Cowboy dog that won six or seven and was an absolute destroyer. He had been bred to Stltner's Laverne (a daughter of Hughes' Gator) to produce Crissy and her littermates. Crissy lost her only match to Payne's Ch. Slinky in one hour and twenty-three minutes and was awarded Gamest in Show. The puppy he brought was a jet black, leggy, funny looking little pup. I named her Miss Rufus. Three days later, I came out to feed her and found her hiding in her barrel, depressed and sluggish. On the way to the vet, she spewed projectile, bloody diarrhea all over the seat and door of the car. The vet said it was Coronavirus, though looking back we believe it was probably Parovirus - it was too intense to be Corona. Either way, Miss Rufus spent nearly a month at the vet's. He could not get the diarrhea to stop. When I finally brought her home, she wasn't much more than a skeleton and everyone said that I should just have her destroyed.

She was hot as a firecracker from a very early age. When she was eight months old, we walked Garner's Ronnie up to her and Miss Rufus hit the chain and grabbed her before Ronnie even had a chance to bite her! She was the first pup I had ever had that did this. She came in heat and we decided to breed her to old Amos Jr. but when we backed her up to him, she went crazy! She managed to spin her head around and locked on my lower leg, and we never did get her bred.

Miss Rufus was also one of the two bitches Animal Control officers threw into a crate together when we were busted, despite being warned not to. Needless to say, they immediately had a full-scale war on their hands!

She made the local newspaper while the dogs were imprisoned at the animal shelter by escaping while her cage was being cleaned and nailing another bitch through the bars of her cage. This fight was probably one of the reasons it was possible to get the dogs released on bond.

After the bust, I turned Miss Rufus over to D.C. He rolled her twice and then matched her at 34 pounds when she was twenty-two months old. She went into a Red Boy bred bitch; this way a very good bitch but miss Rufus destroyed her in fifty-eight minutes and the dog died the next day.

I did not attend the match, being on supervised probation after the bust. Everyone told me afterwards that Miss Rufus was a fantastic bitch; she got on the head and rode it for the first ten minutes or so until she wore the other bitch down and then she went in and worked the chest, legs, brisket and everything. She broke both of the bitch's front legs and even reportedly broke several of her ribs. Willie B. told us that the bitch she beat had been the best Red Boy bitch he had ever seen.

Her second match was at a big convention, the Warpaint Show in Mississippi. It was a big-money match and the opposition was so confident in their bitch that they reportedly bet over five thousand dollars in side bets before the match began. They picked up a dying dog in thirty eight minutes. Miss Rufus took "Best Female In Show" and was awarded a plaque.

Everyone we talked to told us Miss Rufus was an ace. She was due in heat and we decided we wanted to get a litter off her before going for her championship. We bred her to D.C.'s Cotton dog, a son of Ch. Chinaman ROM who had won three and gone to a three hour and forty minute draw with Bluegrass Kennel's Wrangler in his fourth. Cotton was a brutal rear-end dog, he loves to work the groin and he was the dog that killed Lever Red's brother Keeper Red. Cotton was also the only dog who stayed more than fifty five minutes with Wrangler, who won at least seven matches.

Miss Rufus raised six jet black puppies; she was an excellent mother for the first few days but after that she was an idiot! She would come charging out of her house barking at every little noise, scattering puppies everywhere.

Two of the puppies went to D.C. as a payment of the stud fee, we kept two , and one went to Tom Garner. The best looking bitch went to Bangkok, Thailand, and from what we understand, was the first game bred bulldog from the USA to be brought into Thailand.

After she was back in good health, we started talking about bringing her out for her third match. We wanted to condition her ourselves, but decided that the only fair thing to do was to offer her back to D.C., as he had done all the work in schooling her and winning the first two with her.

D.C. hooked her up to go into Norman K. at 34 1/2 pounds. Norman had a bitch that had won four, beating Rebel Kennels, Larry Miller, and D.C., and had killed all of her previous opponents in under an hour. D.C. was convinced Miss Rufus could beat her. Mountain Man advised us against it, he knew about Norman's dog and told us Miss Rufus didn't have a chance, but our attitude was "well, he hasn't seen Miss Rufus" and we gave D.C. the go-ahead.

We also decided that we would go to this one, it would be the first match I'd gone to since the bust. It was supposed to be very private, but of course with something that big, word got around. When we pulled in to Mountain Man's place the evening of the match, there were already about fifty people present, and still more arriving.

Miss Rufus was weighed and washed. She looked good; her coat shone and her muscle tons was good, but she did look a little bloated. When she was faces in her corner waiting for the other dog, Chris noticed she had a thick, greenish discharge coming out of her. We were about to ask D.C. about it but at that point, Norman K's bitch was brought in.

Her name was Bandit, she was a red bitch and the biggest 34 1/2 pounder we have ever seen. Every last ounce of body fat had been taken off this bitch and she looked more like a heavily muscled skeleton than a dog. When we say that bitch, we looked at each other grinning and figured it was going to be a short night. There was no way a dog could be brought down that fine and have and mouth left.

We were in for a surprise! The dogs were released and Miss Rufus went right to the side of the head, like everyone had said she would, and started riding it. She looked tiny next to the other bitch, she wasn't a big dog for her weight and could have easily made 33 1/2 pounds. For about five minutes, she looked great, and then Bandit got to her. She had one of the fastest, hardest mouths we'd ever seen, and she snapped one of Miss Rufus's front legs like a twig.

Miss Rufus, no on three legs, got on her head again and Norman's bitch made a bad turn - she actually appeared, for a moment, to be running from Miss Rufus. We had been told the bitch made bad signs and it was one of the reasons D.C. was so confident of winning; he felt Miss Rufus would frustrate her and hurt her bad enough to stop her. A turn was called and acknowledged by Mountain Man who referred this match. The dogs were handled and taken to their corners.

We heard from different people after the match that the other bitch had quit before, and that her owners would not even breed her because of it, but she was also an absolute killer in the pit.

Our bitch was busted up pretty good already, and on three legs with one broken at the wrist, but she was still on her feet and working the head pretty good, and the other bitch apparently couldn't stand getting bit. The dogs were faced and Bandit was released. She stood for several seconds and then our handler released Miss Rufus. Miss Rufus charged across the pit and Bandit came out to meet hr and started taking her apart again.

D.C. told us that in all her previous fights, that Norman's bitch would hesitate on her scratches, and then pile her opponent up into the corner. He released Miss Rufus to keep her from being hit in the corner and smashed into the wall, as he'd seen Bandit do to the other bitches.

We aren't criticizing D.C. or saying we would not have done exactly what he did ourselves, but the fight was still fairly even at that point and we'll always wonder if Bandit would have stood the line for that first scratch, and we would have won the match.

Miss Rufus spent most of the rest of the fight on her back and Bandit broke her other front leg high up in the shoulder, as well as one of her back legs, in the knee joint. The only leg she didn't break she chewed all to hell. She had literally scalped Miss Rufus, tearing a big chunk of skin off the top of her head alongside one ear.

Miss Rufus scratched with one leg gone, then two legs gone. She did not make any turns. Bandit hesitated on each of her scratches, but not as long as she had on that first scratch. She was way ahead and she knew it. When she came across, Miss Rufus would try to side step her and snag her by the ear, but she way pretty much wrecked.

We didn't pick her up, and we can't really say why. Maybe we were still hoping Bandit would quit on one of her scratches (highly unlikely at this point) or maybe we were just mesmerized by what was going on.

After the half hour mark, our bitch wasn't really trying to fight anymore and Bandit had her whining and signing. At this point, just before her scratch, she looked right up at us as if to say "get me the hell out of her." We knew that there was no way we were going to win this match. When they got a handle, we talked with D.C. in the corner and he agreed to pick her up if she made her scratch.

When he stood her up and faced her, she was limp in his arms. She was not in shock (though she was going into shock), she was just physically trashed. When Mountain Man said "release your dog", he did and she fell over on her side, flopped around a bit like a fish out of water and was counted out. At one point while the count was on, D.C. clapped his hands over her face to try to get her attention and she snapped at his hand.

The match was over, Norman's Bandit was the winner in forty-four minutes. At this point, people came pouring over the pit wall, to congratulate the winners, settle their bets, or whatever. Bandit's handler was cleaning her up in her corner and D.C. just left Miss Rufus where she was laying.

Only about half of the people present took notice to what happened next. We ourselves weren't even watching until we heard someone yell for D.C. to grab his dog. Miss Rufus had apparently used the pit wall to prop herself up and staggered across the pit towards Bandit's corner. She was about halfway there when D.C. grabbed her.

We asked Mountain Man what he thought, after the match, and he told us that many good bitches would have gone over the wall around the ten minute mark against Norman's bitch. He said if we didn't want Miss Rufus, he would take her in a minute.

Tom G. worked on her with us that night and we got her stabilized; there was more of that nasty greenish pus, she clearly had some sort of infection. Saturday morning we managed to get her to lap up some soup and empty out and figured she was vomiting and alarmingly weak. We risked taking her to the vet, making up a story about someone giving us the dog. I'm sure he knew we were lying, but he agreed to meet us at the clinic.

After examining her, he said "Hell, this little dog was deathly ill before she got beat up!" She had a bad uterine infection, so bad that her system was being poisoned by it. Her abdomen was distended because her uterus was swollen and bloated up with gas from the infection. He wanted to spay her but we persuaded him to try to treat the infection without spaying her. He agreed, at least for a few days, as she was so sick at the time it's doubtful she would have survived the surgery, anyway.

She pulled through. Her legs healed better than we thought they would, but she never really looked the same. She'd been a super athletic little dog (although maybe just a bit too much on the fine-boned side) with long, straight front legs. Now she looked like something someone had put together from a kit in a hurry without looking at the instructions. The infection was still there even after a month of medication and repeated trips to the vet to flush her out and infuse antibiotics into the uterus itself. It never really did clear up, and we were skeptical she would ever be able to have puppies again.

Miss Rufus was not the same dog on the day of that match as she had been for the first two matches, and there's no doubt the infection had played a part in what happened. It would be really easy to make excuses and say "if she hadn't been sick, she would have beaten that dog" but the truth is, we don't know if she could have beat that bitch on the best day of her life. We could see how this bitch had killed four dogs before Miss Rufus.

As far as gameness goes, we would have to say Miss Rufus was "pit game" from her showing that day. She did get up and go across after the count was over, and because she was so ill the day of the fight, we gave her the benefit of the doubt.

At the time, we felt she was a very game dog, but though we still would not call her a cur. We've seen too many dogs since then that would have taken what she did without a whimper, thinking they were winning right until the end - that's what true gameness is all about. Of course, we've also seen plenty that, as Mountain Man said "would have gone over the wall after ten minutes".

The fact is that Miss Rufus was ruined mentally as well as physically in that match and she was never really the same dog after she recovered. We wound up trading her to Mountain Man a few months later, and she was rolled again against a good bitch. When that bitch hit Miss Rufus, it looked like someone knocking over bowling pins. She re-broke her shoulder almost immediately and Miss Rufus was off her feet from the start and never got back up. They broke it up fast and Miss Rufus was struggling in Mountain Man's arms trying to get back to the other dog, but she really didn't even look like the same dog we'd seen go before that third match.

Mountain Man eventually sold Miss Rufus to a guy up north, and to the best of our knowledge, she is well alive and well - and has produced several litters among which were at least one match winner as well as some good prospects. Though we don't feel shy had any place on our yard, she is a well-bred bitch that did show to be a fairly good dog, and she should be able to produce some good ones.

Friday, August 30, 2013

Don Mayfield's Keep

When I first got into the dog game and worked my first dog, I worked him with roadwork and walk. I showed up with a top conditioned dog and won in 1 hour, and 10 minutes. The next dog I worked was with a treadmill plus roadwork and walks. She too, was in good shape and won in 1 hour and 15 minutes, if I remember correctly. I lost one the same day but it was not because of my conditioning.

The next thing I found out when working a dog is that they can be put in shape most anyway a person sees fit. Since I was working on a job most of the time, the next thing I started working on was an easy way to work a dog. I had seen everyone else's way of working a dog by now, but I had something else in mind. I wanted to work a dog like a wild dog would if he had to hunt and kill his food, more so like big cats do, or like an eagle. They make their kill when they are very thin with no fat whatsoever on them. This is the time when most wild animals kill for food. Their blood count is on a natural high and there is no fat to make them breathe hot. This is when when they are their sharpest and make their kill. Their condition at the time of the kill will not return until they are ready for their next kill. In between times, the wild will tend to get fat and slow and lazy and they will have miss after mill until they lose all of their fat and get sharp, hunting and working their bodies into shape.

In my way of thinking, the cat mill was the machine I was looking for. Frank Fitzwater showed me his, he had a big wagon wheel on a hub with a 2 x 4 sticking out about 12 feet with a chain out in and another 2 x 4 in front of it with a box attached. Frank told me that it was a cat mill but nobody he knew would use one because they were afraid they would half kill their dog and they you could never get the dog to the pit in one piece.

At this time every dog man I had met worked his dog with a harness on them and myself, being a newcomer, also worked my dogs with a harness on them. Besides, it looked good on a dog. A harness has its own place for the dog. And the only place I found to use it is when taking a picture.

I liked the cat mill I had seen at Frank's but I could plainly see that it was very out dated. I then went home and made one with 20 feet from the center of the track. I still nearly killed the first dog I worked on it even at 20 feet. I then dug out my track and put a bank three feet high on the outside of the track. This did the trick and when my dog would run hard on the mill, he would run up on the bank. When he slowed down, he would walk or trot in the bottom of the track. I also had a drain to keep the water out of the track.

The cat mill had its downfalls, but for ten years it had every top conditioner in the game asking me how I worked my dogs. The first ones were Leo Kinard and George Saddler, in fact they both asked me the same day. That was the day I won with the first dog I had ever work on it. The match went 2 hours and 16 minutes with my dog scratching 27 times and never taking a deep breath or never off his feet. The same dog had won his last match when worked by his owner Frank Fitzwater, but was labled a cur, something Heinzl had bred to sale and make a little feed bill money. This dog had been tried when he was 2 1/2 years old and would not fight. Frank bought this dog known as Fitzwater's Goldie for $15.00, as they were going to kill the dog. When I won with Goldie, he was over 7 years old. Goldie was the sire of the Zeke dog, which was the sire of the Indian's Bolio, the dog Pat Patrick stole.

I worked dogs on this cat mill for 10 years and the trouble I had keeping feet under a dog, you would never believe. So, from then on I started looking for something that would out do the cat mill.

I went a little to the treadmill until this welder friend of mine called Maverick and myself built a cat mill 57 feet from one side of the track to the other, with both sides of the mill 28 1/2 feet from the center and both side the same so the weight would be the same. With this mill, I was able to improve my conditioning, but I was still having trouble keeping feet under the dog. After trying many different things, I found the only thing to do would be to put something in the track like hay and let it rot. It made a good soft track. I was still having trouble keeping shoulders under my dogs and with this mill, I was knocking out more than before. The mill is free wheeling and when a dog runs on it hard, then slows down, the mill will keep on going fast and will go over the dog pulling the shoulders out of joint thus, crippling them for a few day, this is about the time I found out what a harness was good for so I went over to a good wide working collar. This time my dogs started showing up with a much stronger neck and a fast mouth. I was beginning to see more of what I was looking for. For a while, I would quit using my common senses and I would walk my dog from two to five miles before I would work him. This took a lot of time, so something had to go. This is when I quit walking my dogs from two to five miles and started walking them about one mile with a 100 foot light weight rope and the dogs would walk about the same. I then started walking my dogs less and less until I got to where I am at now. About 25 yards, I found that all the talk I had heard about the 'walk your dog or he would not be in shape' was about to become a thing of the past. With the cat mill keep, this is true.

At this time, I had worked three dogs for one show. I then worked five dogs for one show, then six dogs, then dogs again, with all the dogs showing up in top condition. Out of 20 dogs worked on my cat mill, only 3 lost. About this time, I started noticing a cat mill in almost everyone's yard. More and more people coming by and taking notes about the cat mill and the keep I was using with it.

I learned a lot from other people like George Saddler. He told me to work a dog in the same way for 3 days before increasing his work again. By listening and understanding, it helped me with my keep. Earl Turdor once told me that the best thing for a tired dog is rest, this too helped my keep. Later you will see how two small bits of advice from the two top conditioners ever in the dog game helped me with my keep, after I had understood what I had learned from them.

When you start working a dog for a match, you need 10 weeks of good work to have him ready and fit. You never go to a vet, the entire keep you start out by working your dog for whips and hooks, then 5 days later, worm him for tapes and rounds plus hooks, 5 days after that, worm him again for whips and hooks, then 5 days later worm him again for tapes and rounds plus hooks, this should have him clean. You will worm him one more time at 2 1/2 weeks before the match, each time you worm the dog, give him 3 cc. Combiotics and when you worm your dog, make it after you have worked him then rest him the next day, giving him dry dog chow with castor oil (one ounce over his feed) and always have fresh water for him to drink.

Start your dog out slow on the mill. Keep a milk jug in front of your dog, letting it bounce just out of reach for the dog. The kind of jug I am talking about is a one gallon plastic jug, tied with a good rope from the front arm where the coon is in the pin. Put this jug on the mill after you get your dog working 30 minutes.

Have your dog on his pit weight; he should look on the side with no fat showing. His head should be full with no bones showing, have your dog's feed in good shape my making a mixture of one part linseed oil, one part turpentine and one part burnt motor oil. With a paintbrush, paint the feet every time you take the dog off the mill. Use corona ointment, or any good antiseptic lubricant in a salve form, then put this salve on the feet every time you put your dog on the mill and every day afterwards, even a few times a week when he is resting.

You should be up to 30 minutes now, jump your dog up 30 minutes every other day until you get him up to 6 hours. Give your dog a 30 minute rub down every time you take him off the mill. The way a dog should be rubbed down is on a small table, a little over waist high. Stand behind the dog at the end of the table and start by rubbing the front legs down, from the shoulders down, then take your right hand going under the right side of the dog to the front of the left shoulder pulling back down the chest all the way back to the top right side of the top right stifle up high in the gut. Do the same with the other hand, going to the opposite side every other time. From they're down the back, from behind the ears to the tip of the tail, and down the side of the rib cage. This way the hair grows. The back legs are the next place to rub down. Rub down the way the hair grows, from the top to the bottom of the leg. You should give each area about 5 minutes. Last, come to the head. Turn the dog around; run the head just like the rest of the body, the way the hair grows. Have a mixture of 1 pint water and two tablespoons powered ammonia alum, dip your fingers into the mixture and with wet fingers, rub the inside of the lips and gums. Trying to get as much as possible on the inside of the top lip and gums with the dog swollen as little as possible. When you rub the outside of the top lip, rub from the nose to the ear with wet fingers using the alum mixture. When rubbing your dog, rub with the light weight of the hand, using baby oil every fourth day, getting the hands wet with oil then rubbing dry, covering the dog in oil, keeping away from the eyes. Once a week, pour about 3 cc's of hydrogen peroxide solution into each ear then let him shake his head, do the same with rubbing alcohol. Make his last rub down with baby oil 5 days prior to the match. With his last rub down, two days prior to the match, stop the alum mixture. His work would also stop five days before the match. With his last week of work, jumping up to 8 hours or even 10 hours, trying to have your dog tired 5 days in front of his match, and when I say tired, I like to see them not wanting to run out of the dog house to meet you.

On the eleventh and ninth days before the match, give them 2 cc's of Combiotics and cut the work in the half. On the tenth and ninth day, give first shot after work and on the eleventh day, before the match. When the dog is up to about two hours, take the plastic jug and let the rope out so the dog can reach it. Start this after the dog has been working about one hour, teasing the dog with it, trying to get the dog to take a hold of it, as when they take a hold, it should not be close to the ground. The dog will then start shaking and backing up with the jug. You should talk to your dog for around a minute or two just like you were talking to him in the pit, watching his eyes as he will watch yours. Then letting him start to tire, never letting any slack in the rope. The dog will start walking forward, to keep him from losing the jug (by now most dogs won't need a coon in front of them, just the jug), start letting your dog have 30 minutes of jug work every other day in his work, letting the jug bounce close to his nose so he may catch it a few times as a work out. Working for at least 30 minutes and work up to about 1 hour with this jug in his mouth. End this work 5 days prior to the match.

The next work is to have your dog on a cable run from one tree limb to another if possible, about 300 feet apart, with a heavy chain of about 20 feet long and the cable 10 feet from the ground, after the 20 foot chain has been champed with a rivet. Swivels should be at both ends of the chain, and a ring big enough for a 2 inch collar to go through, a good leather collar with baby oil put on it every week to keep it safe. Have this setup as close to the mill as possible about 7 to 8 feet would be perfect, but make sure that it is as close as they can get. Have a good house for your dog with a good shade area where he can get cool air and fresh water under the shade. His house should be far enough back that his chain will not hang on his house. Always have good bedding in his house and a cool shade for the hot days. Every other day from the jug work, take a coon tail on a short, light pole and work him up to 30 minutes after starting at 5 minutes a day. Keep the tail low to the ground with the dog at the end of his chain pulling out after the coon tail, with the heavy chain and cable pulling him back. Go from side to side making your dog move fast, then slow. Do this work for 15 minutes before his mill work and for 15 minutes after his mill work. Then work him up to 30 minutes before and after mill work. This work should be ended 6 days before the match.

The walk should never be any more than just far enough to get your dog to empty before each day's work and it will get shorter and shorter. When your dog empties, get a stick and look through his dump. If you ever see blood on the outside wall, your dog has whip worms. If it is blood running through the stool, it is hook worms. If there are little white worms coming out of the stool, flat like, they are tape worms. The stool should always be firm, never hard and never loose. After you check the stool, start walking your dog to the mill sending him on. Just like you would send a dog in a match. Always try to walk him as close to the mill so he may walk to the mill after he had emptied. The feed should start with a good high protein dry food food, about 2 cups at first with 1/4 cup of wheat germ, 1/4 can mustard greens, a cup of corn bread, with vitamins of desiccated liver-tables (7 1/2 grams, start at 5 a day and work up to 15 a day), give one vitamin E (400 IU), give one vitamin C (1000 milligrams), 4 papaya digestive aids, 1 iron with molasses. Try and have all your vitamins natural vitamins, you should add to your dry dog feed as much as need be. To hold your dog at about 2 pounds over his pit-weight. Come off this vitamin E five days in front of the match. Add about 1/8 to 1/4 a cup of water to his feed, just enough to wet it, just before you feed.

Four weeks in front of the match, start with his meat, good heavy beef like bull-neck, cut the meat into small chunks about 1/2 in square. Start with 1/2 pound and add up to 1/2 pound to 3/4 pound 5 days in front of the match. Always cut all the fat out of the meat. Use only red, lean meat. Sear the meat in as little as possible and pour this juice over the meat and mix (just so it will be wet going down, but dry when it gets to the stomach).

At least two times on your dogs rest day, get a big joint bone from the butcher, boil it in water for about 20 minutes, let it cool and cut your feed in half and give this bone after feeding. The next evening after feeding him 1/2 a feeding on his rest day, take the bone away from him. When feeding this bone, always feed 1/2 feeding the day before the next day and give the bone that day. Then feed 1/2 feeding on the rest day. This bone should be fed about 2 1/2 weeks before the match.

The water should be put in front of the dog each morning, fresh and in a bucket. The first two weeks of work, walk your dog until he cools all the way down after his work on the mill. After his rub down, let him drink. After two weeks of work, put the dog in front of his fresh water and let him drink as much as he wants to until 5 days before the match. Always feed dry dog food so your dog will drink a lot of water. Always let him rink as soon as he comes off the mill after 2 weeks of work. Give one tablespoon of raw honey every three days over the feed.

This should bring everything up to 5 days in front of the match. In the next issue of Pit Pal, I will explain the last week of keep. This will show you how to point a dog. The week that will let you know if you can do it or not. For the first eight weeks, give half a teaspoon of salt two times a week, make sure you give it in their feed two days in a raw, then five days with no salt, then two days with salt. The last salt is to be given 14 days in front of the match. To understand just what the salt will do to your temperament, go without salt in your food for 14 days, then eat salt over your food an drink lots of water for three days, your temperament will change from easy and easy to get along with and friendly to a short tempered, very grippe person, the close the fourteenth day comes around.

To understand what the salt will do to the blood is to understand what a high red-blood count is and what a low-red blood count is. To know how to get a high red-blood count is to go without salt and your body will pull away from water and when your body pulls away from water, it will start to dehydrate. Your blood will start to concentrate, as you will get a very high red-blood count. In order to gt your red-blood count down low, eat salt for three days and drink a lot of water and you will see your red-blood count go down as your body will take on water once more and you will finally have a smile on your face.

The reason for a high red-blood count is that the blood will be concentrated and that means more red-blood cells to go through the body to the lungs to cool off and back through the body to cool it off, so it will keep a dog from getting hot as the hotter the body gets, the weaker it will get.

Another reason for a high red-blood count is the blood, when concentrated, the dog can get an artery cut and in just a few seconds, the bleeding will stop because the blood is so pure, it will seal, and stop the loss of blood.

So, to understand, this is a peak, that you must try and reach the last five days, is to understand what a person is talking about when he talks of drying a dog out. The last five days in front of the match, your dog should be put into a crate and kept in a quiet, cool place (I keep mine in my bedroom). The water should be given to your dog by hand, and not left in front of him. He should have soft bedding in his crate, clean and dry hay. He should weigh one and a half pounds to two pounds over his pit weight.

For the last 5 days, the feed should start to change. Feed more red meat and less Purina high-protein and more wheat germ cereal. Also, start cutting the mustard greens. The next to the last feeding should be not more than a half a cup of Purina high-protein, a half a cup of wheat germ cereal and a half a pound of red, lean meat. Cooked in no water. Should be seared on all sides, very rare, cut in one-inch cubes, with all vitamins.

The last feeding should be twenty-six hours before his match. Red, lean beef, cut in one-inch cubes with 3/4 cup of wheat germ cereal with his vitamins. The meat should be seared in with no water, very rare, but seared on all four sides with two tablespoons full of honey.

The dog should be walked four time a day for the first three of the last five days before the match. The first walk should be 30 minutes after day break. Walk two miles in a field with a fifteen-foot lead rope, so that the dog can walk slow and empty, taking his time. Then when starting back to the crate, walk behind him with a short lead rope of six to eight feet, letting him pull back to the crate, as you talk to him, sending him on. He should be walked the same, one hour before dark. He should be taken for a short walk of 1/2 mile between his first walk and his walk before dark. He should have his second short walk of about two hours after dark. The last two days your dog should be walked the same four times, but no longer than 1/4 mile in the morning and 1/4 mile in the evening, before dark. The walk between the morning and the evening should be 1/4 a mile, the same as the walk you take two hours after dark. But, on the day of the match, the dog should have his last 1/4 of a mile walk one hour before his match. Five minutes before the match, he should be given a very short walk to empty his kidneys. The walks the last two days, you should never send your dog on making him pull, try and save him and save all the strength he has as he will need all of it at match time.

To understand the peak you are after from the feeding and the walking for the last five days is to understand the feed. the feed went from carbohydrates and protein to protein with just enough, so the dog will weigh in on weight, keeping the stool as firm as possible, as too much feed will make the stool loose and not enough feed will weaken him. To understand the reason for this walk is to understand fully the peak you are after. Have all the inners empty at match time.

To water a dog the last five days before the match, you should give him water after his morning walk with a tablespoon full of honey in the water, letting the dog drink what you think he might need. To make weight, as he should be weighed after each walk and watered two times a day for the first two of the last five days before the match, the next two days water only one time a day making the last water 26 hours before the match. To understand the peak you are after watering, feeding and weighing your dog after each walk, is to understand how much feed and water you put in your dog before the match, the last five days while he is resting, take the water away from him slow letting his weight drop to right on pit weight. The day of the fight, if your dog starts to drop under his weight, turn the hot water on in the shower, making the air very wet, and as the dog breathes the wet air, his weight will go up, if your dog is loosing weight too slow, you should turn on the air-conditioner so the air will be very dry, his weight will start to fall.

To understand conditioning and to see a body put into the best condition possible is a thing of beauty. To put a body in condition, you have to try and get as close to nature as you can, like we say about the eagle and the condition of his body, the eagle, scoring the blue skies, overlook the land of the wild, his eyes open wide, looking for his prey as he feels the pain of hunger in his inners with his ears open wide, he can hear the chatter of his mater, as she tries to content their offspring's while they cry out from hunger. Then with the movement of an object from under the huge trees, he dives from instincts traveling at his top speed, turning his body from side to side, to miss the limbs of the huge trees sweeping down to killing a rabbit, as it sits very still with his ears cocked to hear the air being cut by an eagle. This is condition, this is survival, the only way and living thing can put their bodies at there peak it to live by the law of the land. Your body must stay as close to its peak or you will not survive to understand the meaning of the condition is to see every part of the body as its peak. That is what you are after you get a dog ready to fight for life or death.

Two small bits of advice from two of the top dog men in the dog game is to increase the work and rest a tired dog. To understand this is to understand what a tired dog looks like when he is over worked and needs a day of rest.

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Barney Fife's Keep

"Agree on a date with your opponent that gives you eight week to condition your dog. Set a specific time of the day for the match. This should be the same time of day that you will be able to work your dog. If you rise early and will work your dog at 6:00 a.m., then set the match time for 6:00 a.m. Dogs are creatures of habit and do well on a predictable schedule.

Agree on the amount of the wager. Half of this should be sent to the referee as the forfeit. always get a cash or money order forfeit from your opponent unless you know them very well. Agree on the rules, referee, number of people per side and the meeting place immediately prior to the match. I like Cajun rules with 10-30-30. This means there is a 10 second scratch count, 30 seconds in the corner between scratches and a 30 second out of hold count (bottom dog to scratch). Get a referee that knows the rules and is impartial because his decision is final. Go over the rules with the other handler and referee prior to the match. This eliminates arguments during the match. Set up negotiations directly with the person you are matching into. Do not negotiate through 3rd parties, which causes misunderstandings.

If you are traveling to your opponent, try to get a weight or bet advantage to cover the disadvantage of traveling. Also, setup a meeting spot no more than 15 minutes drive from the match site. This eliminates a long bumpy drive to the site, which disrupts the match dog.

Match high ability, hard biting dogs in cold weather. This type of match dog exempts large amounts of energy and is more likely to "run hot" or become exhausted. A long-winded defensive dog can go in warmer temperatures like 70 F. A dog can be matched at an air-conditioned site in hot weather.

It is best to set up private (ten per side) matches early in the morning. The earl hour keeps many of the loud mouth troublemakers away from the match. These bums are the ones that start fights, make bets they can't pay off and so on. Also, few dogmen are willing to get up early and work their dog, so you have an advantage if you worked your dog at this time of the day.

Pit Weight:

A dog's correct pit weight is that weight where he is at the lowest possible weight with no loss of strength or bite. It is one of the hardest things to learn in the game.

Feed and weigh your dog once per day. That means he goes 24 hours between meals. This way, your dog will be weighed with no feces in his bowels and will show his true weight. Your dog should have access to fresh water at all times. Use a calibrated test weight to best your scales once or twice per week, so you know your scales are accurate.

It will take 20-30 days to determine your dog's correct pit weight. Decrease your dog's feed until his ribs are visible and his stomach is tucker up. the dog will be within 5 pound of his pit weight. Start the exercises and daily documentation of weight at this time.

Write down your dog's daily weight on a calendar as well as any work done that day. Walk your dog on a leash for 30 to 60 minutes per day. Gradually reduce his daily feed. Pay close attention to how your dog acts and how hard he pulls on these walks. This strength or the lack of it will determine when to stop reducing the dog's feed. When any loss of strength is noticed, quit reducing the feed. See if the dog's power returns while maintaining the same volume of feed. If the strength returns, reduce the feed again and note the results on your calendar. Add food if your dog does not regain his power.

After 20 to 30 days, your do will fall on his correct weight. Experiment to see if the dog can go a pound lower or higher and note the effect on your dog's strength. If there is any doubt about the correct weight, always go to the heavier half or pound.

Bringing a dog in the pit right on weight

Few fanciers except the most disciplined can bring a dog to the pit exactly on the agreed weight. However, this can be done with dedication to the program outlined here.

You have been weighing your dog each day after walking him until he has defecated and urinated. This is before you work him. This daily weight is written on your calendar along with the daily exercises. As you approach match time, you need to know what your dog weighs at various times during the day. During the last week, weigh your dog three times per day. You will know what your dog weighs after eating, twelve hours after eating and twenty hours after eating. This way you will know if your dog is under, over, or right on the contracted weigh no matter what time of the day he is weighed.

For example, your 45 pound match dog would weigh 46 1/2 pounds after eating, - 46 pounds twelve hours later, and 45 3/4 pounds twenty hours after eating. He takes a dump and urinates and comes in at 45 pounds. If this dog is weighed at 45 1/2 pounds twelve hours after eating, he'd probably weigh in at 44 1/2 pounds or 1/2 pounds under the contract weigh. In a situation like this, you could feed a slice of wheat bread twelve hours after feeding and your dog would be exactly 45 pounds at the weigh in.

The idea is to know if you need to feed your dog twelve hours prior to the match. You can only determine this if you know what your dog should weigh during the day.

If you are traveling by car to the match site, try to simulate this trip during the keep and note how far the travel effects your dog's weight. Some dogs gain weight because they are so relaxed, while others loose weight because they are nervous during the car ride. So put the dog in the car several times each week (in a sky kennel). Dogs are like humans - they do well when their schedule is predictable.

Be sure to have accurate scales and a 50 pound certified test weight to prove that you scales are accurate. Check your scales with this test weight periodically. Sudden changes in temperature will change the accuracy of your scales as well as your dog's weight.

Always be sure to walk your dog so he has defecated and urinated prior to arriving at the match site. A dog will be too excited to empty out when he arrives at the site and will be over weight as a result.

If staying at a motel, I will walk my dog, weigh him, and drive to the match site (which is no more than 15 minutes by the car). The dog will stay in the sky kennel until the weigh in, this weigh he burns no energy until he steps in the pit. If you arrive at the match site early, leave your dog in the sky kennel keeping him warm and comfortable. Do not let him shiver to keep warm, which wastes valuable energy. Bring extra blankets to wrap around the sky kennel if need be.

If you dog is completely empty but over weight, do not attempt to work this weight off the dog. This will weaken your dog. If need be, pay the forfeit and go ahead with the match.

If your opponent is over weight, encourage him to work off the extra weight, which will weaken his dog. I will occasionally take the forfeit and go ahead with the match if the opponent is no more than 1/2 pound over weight and my dog took the keep well.

Your dog should be defecating at the same time every day during the keep. He should have no problem emptying out on schedule just prior to the weigh in. If he won't dump, place a cotton tip applicator (Q-tip) up his rectum and he'll dump immediately.

It is twelve hours prior to the match and you have driven to a motel to sleep, expecting to match early the next morning. You weigh your dog (you know what he should weigh 12 hours before the weigh in ) and he is 1/2 pound under what he should weigh. Give him one slice of brown wheat bread and weigh again. If he is still under, give him another 1/2 to one slice and weigh again. Do not give any more food or water 12 hours prior to the weigh in. If you are traveling, it is good to bring your own water with you for your dog to drink. This way there is no possible reach in to a different water supply.

Follow this schedule closely and you will bring your dog in exactly on weight, well-rested and ready to go. This example involved using the 45 pound match dog mentioned earlier. The match time is Saturday at 8:00 a.m. Feed wheat bread (one to two slices) to bring the dog's weight up to wheat he normally weighs at 8:00 p.m. each evening (46 pounds).

I do not give my dog Azium (Dexamethazone) for several days prior to the show. I give one injection of Azium S.Q. (under the skin) 2-4 hours prior to the show. The dose varies with the size and the style of the dog. The low ability dog gets a higher dose (4 mg) because he will probably win by out gaming or outlasting his opponent. Azium will cause a dog to urinate and can cause dehydration if used for more than 12 hours prior to the show.

I also do not use diuretics (drug that increases urination) to help a dog make his pit weight. Drugs of this group like Lasix dehydrate a dog, which will cause loss of strength and endurance I never dehydrate my match dog. Even if your dog is lucky enough to win, he will be much more likely to die from low volume (hypvolemic) shock. Make sure that your dog is in perfect health during the keep.He should be free of external parasites like fleas, ticks and ear mites. Clean your dog's ears with a Q-tip cotton swab. Ear mites cause discomfort and any offensive style dog should have absolutely clean ears.

The opponent of a hard mouth dog is certain to get on the ears in an effort to hold out your hard mouth dog. If those ears are inflamed due to ear mites, the pain caused by biting the ears will be severe.

Your match dog should also be free of internal parasites including tapeworms, which are transmitted by fleas. Use your local veterinarian to check stool samples for parasites and for any abnormality that develops during the keep. I use Ivermectin liquid to control hookworms, round worms, whip worms and heart worms. I prefer cattle Ivermectin which comes in 30 cc containers and can be injected (S.Q.) or given by mouth.

Droncit is the wormer of choice for tapeworms. The last worming heck is given one week prior to the match (week seven).

The cattle Ivermectin dose is 1/10 of a cc/ml per 20 pounds of body weight. So a 40 pound dog would get .20 to .25 (1/4) cc of Ivermectin every thirty days.

Your match dog's living quarters should be clean and warm. Do not keep your dog near the other yard dog. I try to isolate my match dog from any distractions so that he can rest quietly after the work out.

It is important for the handler to spend as much time as possible with the match dog. Develop a strong handler o match dog bond, which will become significant during a hard match. Take your dog with you on drives into town and watch TV together.

Be careful when using anabolic steroids on bitches to keep them from coming in heat. This can lead to an infected uterus or pyometra, which means that you bitch will never have puppies. Use 25 mg. every 2 weeks.

Do not use high doses of antibiotics just prior to the show. This will cause the normal intestinal bacteria to be killed resulting in diarrhea and weight loss. Keep a close eye on your match dog. If she seems slow or sluggish and she is not overworked, given a seven day dose of amoxicillin. This is a good broad spectrum (kills most bacteria) type antibiotic.

Again, I use one dose of Azium given S.Q. 2-4 hours prior to show. Azium (Dexamethazone) helps prevent the tissue swelling that causes hypovolemic shock. For this reason, Azium can be very useful, particularly in dog's who rely on gameness to win, by outlasting their opponent. I always use a 2 mg. of Azium on every dog. Dogs that are not high ability pit dogs get 4-6 mg. under the skin (S.Q.) two to four hours prior to the show. If you want to use Anabolics Steroids, give injections of testosterone cypionate every two week. The final injection should be after the peak work out one-week prior to the show. A good dose is 1/2 - 1 mg. per pound.

In addition to injections of testosterone cypionate, give tablets of Anavar twice per day. Give one 2.5 mg. tablet in the morning and another in the evening. A large dog (48 pounds or larger) could take two tables twice a day. Both of these anabolic steroids will increase power and aggressiveness without causing weight gain. I use a four week cycle when giving these drugs to my dogs.

Every day, your dog should be happy to see you and bursting with energy. If not, he is overt trained (stale) or is sick.


I like to keep the feeding as simple as possible and do not use any of the powders sold to enhance performance. Start with the best dry dog food you can by. All of the best brands are good. I use Purina Pro Plan Performance dry dog food. I use corn oil as my fat source and brown wheat bread as the complex carbohydrate source. In addition, I add 2-4 ounces of raw calves liver for the B vitamins and iron. These ingredients are inexpensive and effective.

A 45 pound dog would get approximately 2-3 cups of dry Pro Plan Performance, 2-4 ounces of raw calf's liver, two slices of wheat bread with one tablespoon of corn oil poured on each slice of bread. This is fed once a day after the dog has cooled down from his work out. The feeding should be at the same time as the match. If the match is at 6:00 a.m., then all meal are fed around that time.

NEVER feed simple sugars like candying, syrup or simulating products, they will cause the dog to fight hard for 10-20 minutes because of the high blood sugar level. After this time, the sugar will be broken down causing the dog to loose his strength and energy. This is called a sugar high and sugars crash. STP's Ch. Bonnie lost her 5th match into "Smiley and Me" because of his mistake.

When you weigh your dog twelve hours prior to the match and he is lighter than expected, feed wheat bread to him up to the correct weight as previously mentioned. Carbohydrates like bread can be absorbed in twelve hours. It take longer  for fats to be absorbed, so not fat should be in the feed after, the last main feeding should be 24 hours prior to the show.

When matching in cold weather, you can feed more carbohydrates than normal. The high carb feed will cause the dog to fight at a faster pace that normal and possible "run hot". The cold temperature should make it easier for your dog to fight at a fast pace and not "run hot". In hot weather, decrease the amount of carbohydrate and use more fat in the diet. The fat is less intense, long duration energy source, more suited for warm weather.

You can buy calves liver in a supermarket or from a butcher. Cut the liver in 2-4 ounce slices and wrap them in plastic wrap and freeze. Put one slice of liver out to that per day, so it will be ready at feeding time.

Do not let your match dog chew animal bones because it blunts their teeth and bone pieces become lodged in the dog's throat or intestines. Work them on the hide or give them large "rawhide bones" sold in stores.

This diet and the nutrient sources do not change during the keep. Any variation in diet can cause diarrhea, so avoid changing your feed at all costs.


My keep places a priority on strength training which is different from many keeps which works strictly on endurance. This program will improve both strength and endurance. It will attempt to avoid "staleness" by utilizing a variety of exercises and plenty of rest days. The variety of exercise will keep the dog from getting bored and keep him trying to do his best work.

I divide the exercises into either strength or endurance training and alternate these routines, here are some examples:


- Walk the dog from a leash-leash walking
- Dog pulls a chain while you walk beside him - chain pulling
- Dog runs while pulling chain next to you, your car or bicycle


- Treadmill, cat mill, jenny, turntable
- Running from a leash next to your car or bicycle
- Dog sprints after frisbee or softball
- Swimming
- Fighting the hide (I don't classify hide working)

Strength training will give your dog the power to drive into his opponent and obtain the hold he wants. It also helps him dominate his opponent by shaking and overpowering him.

Always do strength training every other workout to allow muscles to recover and rebuild. After a strength work out, give the next day off or do endurance training. Think of strength training like weight lifting for humans, which will cause muscle damage if uses on consecutive days. Different types of strength training develops different muscles even though the exercise seems similar.

An example would be a dog pulling chains and a dog dragging you while on a leash. The resistance the dog is pulling against is coming from different angles, resulting in the development of different muscles. So much the types of strength and endurance training are important not only to develop various muscles but also to keep the dog from getting bored.

Endurance training will keep your dog from getting tired during the match. A dog will quit due to exhaustion before they will quit due to punishment received from a hard biter. So obviously, endurance training is the base of a good keep. You will gradually increase your dog's endurance until the peak or maximum work portion, which is seven days before the match.

I recommend that you walk your dog from a leash during the first two weeks of the keep. Start at ten to fifteen minutes per walk and work up to one hour per walk. This toughens up the dog's pads and tones his muscles. So you leash walk for a two week pre-keep and condition for a six-week total for a total eight weeks.

I  recommend writing down all conditioning information on a daily calendar. Information included would be daily weight, type of work and length of time. Do this work, any medication given (wormers/steroids/etc.) and any abnormalities noted.

I make up my own calendars on Xerox 14 x 17 copy paper. This documentation will be a valuable reference to note your dog's progress or to look back upon to see what keep worked the best for which dog.

I have had success having my dog's pull chains using the following set up. The dog's wear a 2 inch wide collar. Attached to the collar is a 5 to 6 foot thick cotton or nylon rope. In the end is a heavy snap, which is clipped on the dog's collar. On the opposite end is a metal ring about 3 inches in diameter. Chains of recorded weight can be attached or removed from this ring.

- 10 pound chain/12 pound chain/5 pound chain

I purchased these materials at a hardware store.

I try to condition my dog to his style of fighting. For example, I do interval training (short periods of intense work followed by rest on less intense work) on dogs that fight at a very fast pace. These barnstorming dogs need to get accustomed to this type of training (like 10 to 30 second wind sprints) other wise; they will run hot during the match. A good number of Zebo and Bullyson bred dogs that I conditioned, were able to barnstorm their opponents then slow down and barnstorm again. The interval training prepared them for this type of fighting.

Wind sprints can be done on the treadmill, during roadwork or while pulling chains. Sprints are very hard on a dog's paws so make sure they are in good shape prior to sprinting your dog. Because dogs become tired of interval training, I save it until later in the keep. You dog's paws probably can not take the stress of interval training until later in the keep anyway.

All exercise and the length of workout can be adjusted to suit the dog. For example, a dog might be so powerful that the weights listed for pulling might not be enough to ensure good workouts. In this case, you would increase the weight of the chains. Some dogs will not pull chains, so use another exercise. Try to use exercise that the dog enjoys and eliminate those that the dog dislikes. Dogs should enjoy their workouts.

Never work a dog until he is exhausted. When the dog is tired and gasping for breath, he's had enough work. I like to stop the work out before this point. Give the dog a chance to walk around to cool off and give as much fresh water as he wants to drink.

I often combine different exercises in one workout. Try to go from one exercise to the next with a minimum of rest so the work out is continuous. Your dog will not get a rest during the match, so he should go through the work out in similar fashion.

Changing the types of workout as well as the location will help your dog enjoy the work. Dogs enjoy variety in their exercises, just like we do. so do road works and chain pulling in different locations if possible.

The amount of work gradually increases until the peak workout which is one week prior to the show. Always give your dog a rest day after a hard workout so he can recover and get stronger. After the peak workout, the work dramatically decreases during that last week.

I like to have my dogs pull chains because it increases my dog's power. As a result, my dog's have usually been stronger than their opponents have. Walking a dog from a leash also puts strength into a dog. However, chain pulling is a more efficient use of this time. Dogs normally pull on the leash for the first 10-20 minutes and then walk beside the conditioner. A dog pulling chains pulls the weight during the entire walk. Offensive dogs use a lot of energy driving into an opponent and will tire quickly unless they are accustomed to this sort of stress. Chain pulling simulates this situations.

Do not run or chain pull a dog on asphalt roads. Use dirt roads or grass fields, which will keep your dog's paws intact. Never do strength training on consecutive days. This is like weight lifting for humans will excessively tear down muscle. Alternate strength training with endurance training or rest days.

Lazy workers will work hard if worked along side another dog. I have used non bulldog pets and young un-started bulldogs, which run loose while my match dog pulls chains. Several devastating dogs like McGee's Panther, Mike's Beast and Super Gnat's Smiley put out maximum effort during workouts when worked with another dog.

No matter how lazy the dog, there is always some form of exercise that the dog will like. Tar Heel Matt's 2 x winner Gigit did not like to pull chains on a walk. However, she loved to run her kennel chain fussing at other dogs. So, I put Gigit on a huge 20 foot chain and timed her on my watch as she drug the chain all around, fussing at the other dogs. Gigit was only 31 1/2 - 32 pound bitch.

Some dogs would not work the hide. So I'd take a dog they despised and let that dog work the hide while my match dog watched this 20 feet away in the cab of my truck. After lavishly praising the dog on the hide, I'd let my match dog take a turn at hide working. Invariably they started to enjoy hide work.

I set the height of the hide by moving the nylon rope up or down. The knots in the rope get stuck in the snap. No metal is near the dog's mouth. The height is set so the dog's front legs are off the ground while he is holding and fighting the hide. This forces the dog to work, using his neck, back and hind legs (just like in a match). A garage door spring gives the dog enough resistance, but stretches enough not to yank out a dog's teeth when he pulls back hard on the hide. The garage door spring can be attached to a tree limb or fastened to a ceiling beam in your basement.


The key to being a good handler is to stay near your dog and remain alert during the match. It is just tht simple. Being able to leap around the pit does not ensure being a good handler.

If you were in a prize fight, you would want some company in the ordeal. Dogs are pack animals just like we are and benefit from having a friend nearby. Always stay near your dog and you will notice if he is fanged (bit through his lip by his K-9 teeth).

You have developed a strong bond with your dog because of all the time you spent together during the keep. This bond will enable you to reassure your dog and control the pace at which your dog fights. Always use the same words of encouragement during the match that you have used during the keep (i.e. good boy! etc). Encourage your dog in an excited manner only if he has a deep (not a skin hold) hold on his opponent. Otherwise, just stay where he can see you and talk in a calm, soothing voice.

Constantly encouraging your dog will cause him to fight at a very fast pace and he will fight himself off his feet in twenty minutes.

If your dog is fanged, he can not bite hard because he is biting into his own lip every time he closes his mouth. Notice this immediately and inform the referee. The referee will verify that the dog is fanged and then attempt to un-fang the dog while they are still in hold. If this can not be done, the referee will order the dog's separated and the handler will un-fang his dog. I use a ballpoint pen, which I slide along the dog's gum and push down, freeing the entrapped lip. Once a dog has been fanged or had its muscle bitten, it is more likely to get fanged again due to the swelling of the dog's lips. (If your dog gets fanged in rolls, he will get fanged in a match). Azium will help prevent a "lippy" dog from getting fanged because it controls swelling. Ask a knowledgeable friend to also watch for your dog getting fanged. When a dog turns its head away from its opponent, it is a turn and should be pointed out to a referee. The referee will decide if a turn was committed and either recognize or not recognize it. If recognized, the handlers can handle their dogs when they are out of hold. Stay in position near your dog so a handle can be made once a turn has been recognized.

If you have a good scratching dog who is getting bit hard, you would call a turn on your dog to get the scratching started. The same would be true if your dog's endurance was not good, and he could benefit from a 30 second rest in the corner.

Handling skills can be developed and practiced during rolls. You will learn how to crouch, set your feet and be ready to handle without bumping or tripping your dog. I handle by approaching the dog from the rear and picking up his neck and chest with my left hand and lower body with my right hand. Grab the dog gentle; lift with your legs and turn away from the other dog as you move toward the other dog. Continue to spin away from the other dog so your dog will not get bitten. This will embarrass the other handler. Never snatch your dog or grab him roughly. The motion should be smooth and gentle.

Face your dog in the corner, stand him up on all four legs and let him breathe as you check his lips and sponge him down. Do not crouch all over your dog; let him breath and talk positively to him. If your opponent is scratch hard, release your dog so he won't get smashed in the corner. If your opponent is hesitating on his scratch, hold your dog as still as possible. Any movement will encourage your opponent to complete his scratch.

I wear the same general color as my dog (light dog - light overalls; dark dog - dark clothes). After a long match, a dog will not be able to distinguish the opposing dog from the handler and will see one blob in the opposite corner. Bulldogs will generally not scratch to a human so there is an element of illusion here.

If possible, try to handle your dog when he feels good about the match. For example, if your dog's nose is getting chewed, try to wait until he gets out of it, and works his own hold before you handle.

Pay no attention to the crowd. Concentrate on your dog the entire time. If the match is not going well, do not get discouraged because your dog will read your feelings and get discouraged as well. Just stay where your dog can see you and greatly encourage him. He will weather the storm and come back to win. However, if you give up on your dog, he will give up too.

If your dog can not win, don't leave him down to take a killing; pick him up, because your wager is already lost. There's no sense in loosing a valuable dog as well.

If your dog is driving into his opponent, but can't get a good hold, you can help your dog. When the opponent is driven into a corner by your dog, block the opponent's escape by cutting off the route the dog would normally use. Just get in the way and create and illusion to make the opponent's dog think he is trapped. Be prepared to move out of the way since you can not block or even touch the other dog. Try to create the illusion that the other dog is boxed in the corner.

Always be polite to the other handler. You will be able to get away with more rule bending that way. Always try to get the match over with as soon as possible, because the tide can change at any minute.

It's good to handle with a strategy in mind. Will your dog benefit from getting the scratching started? Or will he do better with no scratching at all? Is this the best plan to try to get in some heavy shots very early in the match or is it best to outlast and out game the other dog? This strategy determines how you handle.

When entering the pit after the weigh in, make sure that your dog see his opponent and is ready to go. If your dog does not know what is happening, the opponent dog will rush across and get a damaging hold before your dog knows what him him. I carry my dog across the pit wall and walk to the center of the pit letting my dog see his opponent. Walking backwards, I move to my corner. I never face my dog in the corner until after the dog's are released. If your opponent releases his dog before the referee's signal, wait until the last second and lift your dog straight up in the air. The opponent's dog will slam into the corner possible breaking his teeth. This is at the start of a match and not during regular scratches.

Some handlers will release their hard biter early to gain and unfair advantage on your dog. You turn their attempt at cheating to your advantage. "

* Hopefully there's no typos in this post, if you read over it and see a typo anywhere in this post, please let me know and I will correct it immediately. *

Monday, August 26, 2013

James Crenshaw's Keep

To begin with, you must have a healthy dog. This is a 12 week keep. The first 4 weeks I walk the dog 10 miles per day. I walk him everyday for these 4 weeks and feed one hour after the walk. If the show is to begin at 8:00 p.m. then I walk my dog from 5:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.. This 4 weeks is to precondition the dog and get him close to weight. It is very important to get all gut or internal fat out of him. If you can't get the fat out from his intestines, heart, lungs and liver, you can't put him in shape.

For this first 4 weeks I feed the following:

1 cup of Pro Plan (chicken and rice) adult formula
1 cup Kellogg's All-Bran
1 or 2 cloves chopped garlic
1 tablespoon chopped spinach
2 cups chicken broth
1 cup cooked chicken

Place the 1 cup of Pro Plan, 1 cup of Kellogg's All-Bran, chopped garlic and chopped spinach in a feed pan. Heat the chicken broth and cooked chicken and pour over the items in the feed pan. To make the chicken and broth, I place 15 chicken thighs in a 3 gallon stock pot and fill with water. Cook until tender and place in refrigerator when cool.

Week 5:

The walk is still 10 miles (5:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.). Immediately after the walk, while he iss still warmed up, he gets 5 minutes on the treadmill. When he comes off the mill, walk him 30 minutes to cool down. Then rub him down good and put him in his quarters. Prepare his food and feed him one hour after he comes off of the mill. (If your dog is losing excessive weight, feed more dog food). If he is dehydrated, increase liquid. However, if he is losing too much weight, it is possible you are going at the wrong weight. He should not have water between mill and feed time. But when you feed him, place at least 1/2 gallon clean water when he has access to it. The water should be changed and the contained cleaned daily. I read once where someone said the green stuff in the water won't hurt the dog.... but give him one bucket on clean and one green with algae and see which one he drinks from!

Continue each day of week 5 the same. With only 5 minutes of mill work, it shouldn't be necessary to rest him this week. But this keep is only a guide. You have to use common sense. If the dog is tired or doesn't feel good, rest him.

Week 6:

Walk 10 miles (5:00 pm to 8:00 pm)
10 minutes of the mill
Rub down

Everything stays the same (if the dog loses weight, add additional dog food). Everything else stays the same. Be sure to replace water.

Week 7:

Walk 10 miles (5:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.)
20 minutes on the mill
Rub down

Everything else stays the same expect feed:

With miles walk, 20 minutes on mill, and 30 minutes to cool down, the dog should be drying out some. At this time, I leave all ingredients the same except liquid and chicken. I put 3 whole chicken thighs (including skin) with bone removed. Broth: add 1 ounce per pound body weight (40 pound dogs get 40 ounces broth daily). Wait one hour after mill and feed. Put down water so he can drink.

Week 8:

Walk 10 miles (5:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.)
15 minutes mill
30 minutes walk
15 minutes mill
30 minute cool down

Rub down, feed an hour after mill, and replace water

Week 9:

10 mile walk (5:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.)
20 minutes on mill
30 minute walk
20 minutes on mill
30 minute walk
Rub down

Feed an hour after mill, replace water

Week 10:

10 mile walk (5:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.)
30 minutes on mill
30 minute walk
30 minutes on mill
30 minute walk
Rub down

Feed an hour after mill, replace water

Week 11:


Begin 10 mile walk at 4:00 p.m. Finish walk at 7:00 p.m.
30 minutes on mill
30 minute walk
30 minutes on mill
30 minute walk
30 minutes on mill
30 minute walk
Rub down

Feed at 10:30 p.m., replace water

Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday = SAME AS SUNDAY


5 mile walk (ending at 8:00 p.m.)
20 minutes on mill
30 minute walk
20 minutes on mill
30 minute walk
Rub down

Feed one hour after mill (10:10 p.m.), replace water


5 mile walk
15 minutes on mill
30 minute walk
15 minutes on mill
Rub down

Feed one hour after mill (10:10 p.m.), replace water

Week 12:


5 mile walk (ending at 8:00 p.m.)
10 minutes on mill
30 minute walk
10 minutes on mill
Rub down

Feed one hour after mill (9:50 p.m.), replace water


1 hour walk ending at 8:00 p.m.
10 minutes on mill
30 minute walk
Rub down

Feed one hour after mill (9:10 p.m.), replace water


Today, I put the dog in a kennel in my bedroom, keep the room cool and quiet. I take him out early in the morning for a good walk (about 30-45 minutes). Put him up until noon and take him for another 30-45 minute walk.

4:00 p.m. - walk for one hour
5:00 p.m. - feed him, put him back in kennel
9:00 p.m. - walk him just long enough for him to empty or urinate. Put him in kennel until morning. I offer him water after each walk before he goes back in the kennel.

Wednesday, Thursday, Friday = SAME AS TUESDAY


I made sure to arrive at the area of the show at least 30 (thirty) hours before showtime so I could feed the last meal there to insure my dog got plenty of rest. 8:00 p.m., 2 cc Dex, 2 mg - ml. Put under skin, NOT muscle.


6:00 a.m., 5 cc Dex under skin

All this is a guide if the show is at 8:00 p.m. Saturday

I never feed but once daily. This will keep your dog regular and insure he is empty at show time. Next to getting the gut fat out of him, this is the most important: making sure he is empty at show time. He will get hot and week if he has anything in his stomach.

To make weight, I use broth without any solids. I strain chicken brought through cheese cloth and save one pint. You can give this to him up to 3 hours before show time and it will not do any hard.

And last, this is only a guide. You have to use common sense to apply with any success.


If the dog loses weight, feed more
If he gains weight, wore more or feed less
If he is tired, rest him
If you are lazy and don't work your dog, he won't be in shape
If he is dry, add more broth
If he is too wet, decrease broth

Don't push him too fast. Work according to schedule in pre-keep to prepare him for work. Not many people have to ability to condition. I once read an article that Earl Tudor wrote which said he doubted if there was five men in the world that knew how to find a dog's weight, get the gut fat out, and knew how to condition him after he got the fat out.

I will go one step further and say:

If there are three today that know this and are not too lazy to put him in shape, I do not know them.

Sunday, August 25, 2013

Glossary of Breed Names and Nicknames

Note: The article below belongs to Richard F. Stratton and is from his book "This is the American Pit Bull Terrier."

(Note that accepted breed names are treated as proper nouns are are therefore capitalized. Breed nicknames are treated as generic terms and are therefore not capitalized. It is difficult to discourage the use of nicknames especially when the formal name is as big a mouthful as our breed's - but my suggested treatment of nicknames will help us keep in mind that they are just that, nicknames.)

American (Pit) Bull Terrier.... The direct descendant of countless generations of game dogs. Although primarily famed as a fighter without equal, this breed has proved to be useful in predatory animal control and as a catch dog and guard dog - it just so happens that he makes an excellent house dog!

American Staffordshire Terrier.... The show counterpart of the APBT. Except for some game strains that are dual-registered , these dogs could not be expected to be as game as the APBT or to have to same ability.

Bull Terrier.... A show dog that was produced (around 1850) by a cross between the brachycephalic-type Bulldog and a terrier. Despite popular opinion to the contrary, this breed, because of insufficient agility and gameness, was never consistently used as a pit dog.

Bulldog.... The  brachycephalic-type Bulldog now formally bears the name of his progenitor, the old original bulldog (now known as the American Pit Bull Terrier). Today the relationship to the APBT us extremely remote because the the breeds have been bred separately for so long. In fact, about the only thing the breeds have in common is that they are both dogs!

bulldog.... Nickname for the American (Pit) Bull Terrier. (It is important to note once again that the APBT almost certainly was the original breed that was known as the "bulldog.")

pit bull.... Another nickname for the APBT, one that has been in use for at least 200 years (probably to distinguish it from the brachycephalic-type "bull.") To further confuse the issue, the Bull Terrier people sometimes use this term to refer to their breed, apparently in the mistaken belief that their dog is, or was, used in the pit.

Staffordshire Terrier.... Former AKC name for the American Staffordshire Terrier

Staffordshire Bull Terrier.... An English show dog that is descended from many of the same ancestors as the APBT. However, it has been bred along different lines from the American Staffordshire Terrier and has very little similarity to the American (Pit) Bull Terrier.

Yankee Terrier.... A name that was concocted when the AKC refused to register that American (Pit) Bull Terrier under its own name. For some reason, this name, too, was rejected.

Saturday, August 24, 2013

Famous Pit Bulldogs

* The article below belongs to Richard F. Stratton and is from his book This is the American Pit Bull Terrier * I read over the article, hopefully there's no typos and if there is, please let me know and I will correct it immediately.


Tiger! Tiger! burning bright
In the forest of the night
What immortal hand or eye
Could frame thy fearful symmetry?

- William Blake

I have often been amused by Staffordshire or Bull Terrier people as I listened to them debate about the physical traits that make for a top fighting dog. The irony is that such people are involved in serious debate about something they usually know absolutely nothing about. Thus they tend to overemphasize physical characteristics that make a dog look tough, such as a large head or a heavily built or stock body. Most show people tend to go to extremes in conformation, and we thereby get ridiculously straight pasterns, rear legs locked forward, and tight little compact feet. I recall a show person looking in horror at a picture of "Crosspatch" (the winner of a top field trial for bird dogs) and exclaiming how cowhocked the dog was. Well... performance is proof of pudding, and if this person had ever seen a bird dog field trial, she would know that Crosspatch had to have strength, endurance and mobility in his hindquarters in order to win that field trial! So don't talk to us about conformation - especially in view of the fact that conformation people (i.e. show dog people) bear the brunt of the blame for the cruel and dreaded disease called hip dysplasia. In any case, this chapter is intended to demonstrate the degrees of physical variation in the very top dogs that have come along in the last sixty years. Unfortunately, the selections here have been necessarily limited by my own knowledge and the availability of pictures. It grieves me to leave out such proven dogs as Cincinnati Paddy and White Rock, but one was just too far back in time, and I was unable to obtain pictures of the other. To be perfectly candid, though, this chapter is intended to give a sampling of what good dogs are like more than it is to give recognition to deserving dogs. The arrangement is in chronological order, with no attempt to rank one of these dogs above another.


Pinscher's pit record is vague, and for that reason he has been a subject of some controversy. However, Colby always referred to him as one of his all time  great dogs, and others who were in the area during Pinscher's heyday confirm his greatness. He apparently was game and a killing punisher. Most of our dogs have him in their pedigrees if we trace them back far enough. For those who wonder about the name, there were no Dobermans back in those days, and pinscher was the German word for "terrier." Unfortunately, that leaves us with another mystery: why would an Irishman give the German name for terrier to a box headed dog like Pinscher?


Kager was bred by John P. Colby, and, as a matter of fact, was a descendant of Colby's Pinscher. That be was a good pit dog is attested to by the fact that both George Armitage and Harry Clark proclaimed him the greatest dog they had ever seen. according to legend, Kager was once the pet of a driver of a whisky wagon and rode on the wagon everywhere with his master; he thus was appropriately names "Whisky." Colby got the dog back when his master became a policeman and no longer had the time for the dog. He was subsequently sold to Armitage, who changed his name to Kager and matched him under that name. Later Harry Clark purchased Kager but fought him under the name of Clark's Tramp. Apparently, most of the breeding made to Kager were made while Clark owned him, as "Clark's Tramp" is the only way I have seen him appear on a pedigree.


Earl Tudor always named Black Jack as the finest dog he had ever seen. Apparently, the dog was no slouch, as he was many times matched with dogs much heavier than he was, and he always won. As a matter of fact, he was open to whatever was available at any weight. Unfortunately, not much is known about the breeding on this dog, but the word I have is that he was Delihant on the top side and Swineford on his dam's side. That is only hearsay, but his matches are substantiated, and everyone whom I ever knew who saw him proclaimed him the best.


This dog was proclaimed the best they had even seen by both Bob Wallace and Bob Hemphill. Jeff was a killing punisher that would nearly bite a dog's head right off. Like most bone-crushing pit aces, Jeff's deep gameness was questioned by dogmen. (Since Jeff would render a dog helpless in a matter of minutes, his matches never went very long, and his gameness was thus never proved before the public.) However, after his teeth were ruined from fighting rock, Jeff was purchased by Bob Wallace (a king's ransom couldn't have got him before that time). Since Wallace planned to base his entire strain of dogs on Jeff, he felt it absolutely necessary to game-test him. He used three different dogs in turn on Jeff, and the dog took it all and begged for more!


King has already been discussed to some extent under the section on breeders, but he's worth coming back to. Here was a dog that was the epitome of everything that is good about the American Pit Bull Terrier. It was my pleasure to have been acquainted with this particular animal, and I would give a pretty penny to have one like him. He was a fine looking dog, and, like so many other Pit Bulls, he had an ideal disposition and a real happy-go-lucky attitude. As a pit dog, he was re-owned because of his nearly unbelievable ability/ His contest against Corvino's Blackie "made" his reputation. Most pit dog men were not overly fond of the Blackie dog, as he was a "man eater," and it is part of the pit dog man's credo that a mean dog is never dead game. Blackie was putting this idea to a severe test, however, as he had beaten four fine dogs in a row! At the match between Blackie and King Cotton, the pit was wired in to protect the spectators from Blackie, and the referee carried a club to protect the men in the pit - just in case! Three handlers with three leashes brought the muzzled animal into the pit. King dominated from start to finish, and Blackie refused to scratch at the hour and thirty-one minute mark. Thus, King Cotton became an instant hero by beating a very unpopular dog that no one had seemed to be able to stop.

GOOFY: 49 POUNDS; 1960

Here was a dog that was living proof that a dog did not have to look strong to be a veritable powerhouse! In fact, Lou Johnson told me that he went out of his way before a match to let the other side see Goofy, and thus was about to drive up the odds. But Goofy was a phenomenal fighting dog with tremendous strength and biting ability. In addition, he was an extremely intelligent and ring-wise dog who had a vast repertoire of hols and maneuvers. Goofy lived to a ripe old age in the hands of Lou Johnson, and there are many dogmen around who list him as the greatest that they have ever seen.


Since my own information on Barney is somewhat limited, I have chosen to reprint an article on him here that originally appeared in Sporting Dog Journal

Although pit dog men vary in occupations, educations, politics and even in our ideas about the dogs, I would venture to say that one thing we do have in common is the dream of some day owning an "Ace." Some of the lucky ones amongst us have already attained this dream, perhaps more than once. But generally speaking, an "ace" is a once-in-a-lifetime dog. He is a dog that can whip anything his own weight and make it look easy. In fact, some of the better ones didn't even have to be matched to weight.

The pattern of public reaction to an ace is a familiar one and fairly predictable. While most fanciers are quick with their acclaim, there is always a hardcore group of diehards and skeptics. The usual comment is that the dog is cur (albiet a "stiff cur"), and that soon a dog will come along that will make him show his true colors. Eventually, credit is grudgingly given, although it may not be until after the dog has died.

Actually, some of the old-timers have a right to be suspicious of the rough, devastating type of Bulldog that wins by rendering his opponent helpless in a matter of minutes. Experienced breeders are only too aware of how difficult it is to get all the desirable components - hard bite, gameness, good wrestling ability and pit intelligence - in one dog. More often than not, if we get a hardbiting, rough dog, he turns out not to be game. If we get a deeply game dog, he seemingly can't bite through a paper bag! These qualities are not mutually exclusive, as used to be argued by some dog men, but they are statistically difficult to obtain in one dog. However, an ace is more than just all the qualities of a good pit dog combined in one dog. Usually a phenomenal ability of some kind is also involved. Thus we have Owens Tanner, a dog that would shake so hard he banged his opponent's head on the ground, completely disorienting him. Or Wallace's Searcy Jeff, who would feed an opponent his right front leg, then practically bite his head right off! Or Tudors Black Jack, a Colby-bred dog who killed opponents that outweighed him by a considerable amount. Most of us have logged in considerable time mooning over pictures of such dog, wishing we had a time machine to go back and get them! However, it only stand to reason that there is an ace or two in our midst right now - especially if we take into account the theory of large numbers. There are more people now and more pit dog men - hence, more pit dogs. We would therefore expect that there would be more good dogs, which, I think, there are. (Also, unfortunately, more bad ones! (I'm sure everybody has his own idea of a dog that might be our generation's ace. My own candidate is Going Light Barney. Barney is an eight-time winner, but more than that, he is an eight-time winner that has been open to the world and has had run at him the finest dog that were available. Because of his tremendous punishing power, many of Barney's matches have been short. But because of the quality of his opponents, Barney has gone the distance a number of times, and on such occasions he has exhibited excellent ring generalship, pacing himself, coasting, waiting for the proper moment, then really pouring on the heat!

As for his fighting style, he is an ear dog par excellence, but he has tremendous adaptability. In fact, he is one of those rare dogs that have the uncanny ability to solve any dog's fighting style and turn it against him. His wrestling ability and biting power are nothing short of phenomenal. His scratches are spectacular, but they have not been frequent, as, against because of the quality of his opponents, there have been very few turns in any of his contests. Barney was bred by Lawrence McCaw and his son Bruce, utilizing an old Corvino-bred stud dog owner by Morrie Rootberg and a bitch strong in the blood of Rascal and the fabulous Goofy (owned by Lou Johnston). In the seven years that they have owned Barney, Larry and Bruce have utilized hardnosed selectivity and saturation breeding techniques to found a bloodline based on Barney that they call the "Going Light" strain. Both men are completely committed to Bulldogs and are highly respected among pit dog men.

It may seem as though praise of Barney has been too lavish and overdrawn, but, remember, we are dealing with an ace here, and it is sometimes difficult to communicate just how much such a dog stands out. An incident involving Barney's schooling may make the point. Larry and Bruce were involved in game testing Barney and wanted to be sure he could take it. The only hitch was that he had such uncanny ability to counter a dog's fighting style that Barney didn't have much - even when larger dogs were put on him. After trying a number of different dogs with different fighting styles on Barney, all to no avail, one of the handlers suddenly had an idea. "Maybe," he said, "if we tied Barney up, the other dogs could so something with him!" The idea, of course, was dismissed as ridiculous. But the fact that it could even be suggested in earnest is an indication of how complete was Barney's dominance!

Images used in this blog are from:

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Slat Mill, Carpet Mill, E-mill - Where to Buy?

I have noticed a lot of people are wanting to know where to buy a slat mill, carpet mill and e-mill and in today's post, that's what we're going to be doing, listing some of the best places to buy them at.

Dog Trotter USA:

Here's a great tutorial on how to make your own carpet mill:

Part 1:
Part 2:

As far as an e-mill goes, go on Craigslist and find yourself a cheap treadmill and buy it, and then convert it into an e-mill (see photo below). I have no idea who this photo belongs to, it was just sent to me. As you can see, I believe pallets were used for the sidings.