Saturday, November 30, 2013

Letter to Floyd Boudreaux from Don Mayfield

November 30, 1989

Hello Floyd,

Today is the day after I received a copy of the Jan. - Feb. 1989 American Pit Bull Terrier Times. I had been told by a number of different ones that you had said a number of things about me in the interview you gave the Times. I became so interested that I subscribed for the Times, that was the first of August 1989. As of yet, I have not been sent any issues, but a friend of mine did send me this Jan. - Feb. issue yesterday for me to read your interview.

Floyd, I must say that your dog ain't changed you very little, as to the way I read your interview. I told Phyllis, I said you know Floyd’s more of a liar than I thought he was, but you know it could be that he ain't such a liar, it could be that maybe he just got a bad memory and he just gets things mixed up. And Floyd, you remember how crazy and upfront Phyllis is. She said you think that all you want to about that Prince of a Man, but you're as wrong as you could be. Floyd knows every lie he is saying in that interview.

So, what I thought I would do is write you this letter as I read over this interview and point out just a few of the many things I read and feel I know I can prove is wrong, with facts!

First, let me tell you Maurice Carver matched his first time in 1952, the Skipper dog. Eli Jr. was eight months old when Nirider deal him from Jerry Clemmons. And in that litter there, was more than four pups. Nirider got one male as a puppy, he jumped out of a two story window at six months old and killed himself one day when he seen another dog walking down the street. That is when Nirider then deal for Eli Jr., and at that same time or a month or two later he deal Jerry for Spook. She quit cold 4 or 5 different times in rolls when Nirider roll her in this area. Floyd, I could go on and on one thing after another of things such as what I have pointed out to you, it is like I see it throughout the interview. What I want to write to you about are the more direct things that you said that much more ways involved me.

First, lets start with Eli from him to me being confused as to the Bullyson vs Benny Bob match. Let me first say that the match with Danny Burton and Raymond, the Danny dog was black and was owned by the Plummers, Raymond’s dog was white and was called Whitey’s Ford, Danny’s dog was called 500, no dogs there that day were called Lightning IV.

Floyd, you know as well as I know how Eli was bred. It is just like Leo told me, Curley Hayes told me and a number of us in the core knew the true breeding of Eli. Jr. Bush told Curley Hayes that you told him the true breeding on Eli. Floyd, you and I talked about this in the years when the game was all talking about it. Like I said, more than one told me how they knew for sure that Eli was out of Cry Baby. But like you always knew me, ain't no one dog deal going to rile me. With me, I could have forgot the matter, but when the stories began being told to the beginners of the eighties, the way that you, Bobby Hall, and a number of different ones who ya’ll be dealing with in the ways of lies, lies, lies. Well that’s when I began to do a bit more writing to the true stories into the game.

As I told you in the last letter I wrote to you, that you never answered when I sent you the copy of “Rednecks”. I wrote the story A Rose is a Rose after Sonny Sykes and I got together in Mississippi in 1979. Sonny told me how he was getting back in the game. Sonny and I were always a little different with our friendship. We were close, but not to close, it has been with Sonny and I in a way where we have always had lots of respect for each other. I told Sonny to pick himself a pair of pups from a litter that I had coming from a litter in Chicago. The pups were some high dollar purebred family bred pups at Paul Sofiakis’ yard. I had bred these dogs for a number of generations and know their breeding value. Sonny and I never been the kind that would lie to each other. It’s like no matter what we talk about, we talk to each other in the way as to the truth with each other.

I had told Paul all the stories about Eli and about our deal you and I had with Cry Baby and the pups. But to Paul it was more like just another story about the question marks in many pedigrees. After Sonny Sykes and I had talked in Mississippi, I deal him the pair of pups. Sykes and Paul later got together for a visit in Chicago. As I was told by Paul the next day when he called. Paul said Sonny and I was together all day yesterday, he said Sonny and I drank some red wine and did lots of talking about old times. Paul and Don said that story you told me about Eli and you sure were right, Sonny told me that he seen Eli when he was on Cry Baby, when the litter was near three weeks old. Sonny said that Floyd gave Sonny pick of the litter and told him not to tell anyone how they were bred. Sonny said for some reason he never got to get with Floyd to get the pup he had picked. Sonny Sykes said the next time he saw Eli was when you matched him into Jack Smith in Mississippi. Sonny said that after the match, you came to him and told him that Eli was the pup that Sonny picked out of the litter. I remember that match very well, Leo and Curly both came to me and spoke of how Eli and Cry Baby looked alike. Curly came to me five minutes into the fight and said out, “Hell son, you told me all the pups out of Cry Baby died.” I said, “what can I say, Curly, I got eyes too.” Well Paul talked on and on as to what Sonny talked about. A few days later, Sonny and I talked and I told him I always knew that Eli was out of Cry Baby, but I never told your story about seeing Eli when he was a puppy in his litter on Cry. Sykes said yep, Don that is the truth it happened just like I said, I just never had no reason to tell you about it till now. Don you know me, Sonny said I will tell it to you only one way. 

Thursday, November 28, 2013

Interview with Pat Patrick

S.T.P's Grand Champion Buck, Lewis' Grand Champion Catfish, Anderson's Champion Tonka, Patrick's Champion Assassin, Ozzie Steven's Champion Rastus, Boyle's Champion Bobby Jr., Paynes' Champion Black Annie, Kincaids' Champion Princess and the list goes on and on. Pat Patrick has bred probably more champions than any other man alive and his reputation of being one of the best breeders in the world will be a hard act to follow. Patrick's main stud dogs were Indian Bolio and Patrick's Tombstone. These two dogs not only proved to be game winning Pit Bulldogs, but in Patrick's hands turned out to be first class producers of equally good dogs. We at the Times feel that Patrick deserves lots of credit for his outstanding record of breeding good dogs. In the next few pages, we asked Pat about his experience on this subject and we hope you will enjoy reading his answers.


PAT, WHO WERE THE FIRST PEOPLE YOU BOUGHT YOUR DOGS FROM? 


Keith Allen sold me Tater and Faith and Indian Sonny sold me Red Baby's dam, a bitch named Goldie. Maurice Carver sold me Diamond and Don Mayfield sold me Tombstone. Also, I got Dolly from Don Maloney and Grand Champion Hank from Danny Burton. I bought my first dog from Adolph Torres of Los Angeles back in 1967. He told me his dogs were bred for fighting just as their ancestors had been bred for perhaps more than 22 years. Arny Steinberg showed me the dogs of Clouse bloodlines like Tater and Fatih and other dogs that he and Keith Allen owned at the time. They were very game, long winded dogs. Later, I discovered the Maloney dogs like Tombstone and Dolly and the Bolio dogs. It really is a matter of trial and error. I went by what I saw and heard from other good dogmen. I've tried lots of different bloodlines and always try to stay with the bloodlines that consistently produce a high percentage of good to great bulldogs. I have settled on the Maloney dogs, the Bolio dogs and the Tater and Faith lines because these bloodlines have always worked the best for me and produced good individuals. I also like the dogs that come from Indian Sonny's Corvino dog, Crusher and the old Carver dogs with little or no Bullyson bloodlines in them. The reason why I bought Tombstone from Don Mayfield was because I talked to Bert Sorrells and Indian Sonny and other California dogmen and they all said he was one hell of a dog. 


WHAT QUALITIES ARE YOU LOOKING FOR IN A DOG? 


Gameness. The desire to keep fighting when a dog is hurt, tired and losing. That is the most important quality. Endurance, often called stamina or natural air is the next most important quality in my book. I like a smart fighting dog that can adapt to his opponent. Speed, strength and good balance in a dog contribute to a dog's wrestling ability. A hard bite and the ability to keep biting hard can certainly help a dog to win. I like a dog to stay after his opponent that has quit, a good finisher. A good head fighter is my favorite style because they can often win without getting hurt much. A good head dog can be effective against any other style. Indian Bolio was the best head fighter I've ever seen and he was also the best stud dog I know of. I sometimes hear other dogmen say this dog or that dog would have easily beaten Bolio. I don't believe it. He was the best all around fighting dog I ever saw pound for pound.  



WHERE DID YOU GET BOLIO FROM? 


Bolio was taken from Indian Sonny's yard after some kind of dispute with some people I can't name. I had no part in this. Sonny and I did not like each other too much, but again I had no part in taking Bolio from his yard. Any­way, the people who took Bolio from Sonny had trouble keeping Bolio after he bit a kid. They brought Bolio to my yard for safe keeping. If the situation was reversed, I know for sure Sonny would do the same. Maurice Carver had bred Bolio together with Eddie Klaus and I believe Floyd Boudreaux and Bennett Clayton owned the dog before Sonny did.  


PAT, CAN YOU TELL ME WHAT GOOD DOGS BOLIO PRODUCED? 


Yes, number one, he produced Ch. Greb, an extremely rough, hard biting, dead game dog. He was a chest dog mainly. Number two, Kincaid's Ch. Princess, almost unbeatable at 39 pounds. She was a hard mouth dog that fought the head and the legs. Number three, Ch. Dagon. He was a son of Tuffy and killed dogs in less than 30 minutes. He liked the chest, throat, stomach, kidneys and face. Number four, Patrick's Chen Lang. He could fight like hell at full speed until his opponent was exhausted. He was strong and very fast, but a light biter. Number five, Patrick's Bully Boy Bob. A brother to Ch. Dagon, an all around talented dog at his best on the nose. Number six, Patrick's Red Baby, a very talented and hard biting head dog that has produced many good dogs herself. Number seven and eight, Pinky (a litter sister to Red Baby) and Baby Spike. Both of these dogs were similar to Red Baby. Number ten, Kid's Blackie, a brother to Ch. Princess and Chen Lang, with a similar style and ability. Number eleven to fifteen, Pretty Girl, Boogie, No Name, Pin Head and Bertha. They were all sisters to Ch. Princess and they were all just as good as she was. Number six­teen, Ch. Kramer, a son of Sable, a real good and all around fighter. Fast and skillful. Number seventeen, Commander White Head. He was 7/8th Bolio genes. A hard biter on the legs and head. Number eighteen, Rojo a son of Gr. Ch. Hope. He killed dogs with his chest and shoulder holds. Number nineteen, Kincaid's Rollo. He was a game, long winded dog and an extra hard scratcher. Rollo was a son of Ch. Princess. Number twenty, Patrick's Kona, a daughter of Boni Maroni (Tonka's sister). Kona was an ACE, very fast and strong with a hard bite. Number twenty one, El Dos Bits Cortaro, an inbred son of Bolio. He was never matched for money but he is very game, with great natural air. He bites hard and is a good head dog. There were a lot more outstanding Bolio dogs, but I've bragged enough about him for one interview.  


IF YOU HAD TO BREED TO A MALE DOG OUTSIDE YOUR OWN KENNELS, WHICH ONE WOULD YOU PICK AND WHY? 


There are a few good ones I would like to breed to some good bitches, one of them would be Smith's Red Rock. He is a Pit ACE with the Gameness and head fighting style I like. He is an inbred Ch. Tonka dog and I already own his sister Anderson's Rose and all her pups turned out game. Another dog would be Diamond Jim's Luther. This dog is very heavy in Carver's Ironhead and he was bred to my Rose bitch when Diamond Jim owned her. From this breed­ing, came some great dogs. Also, Rodrigue' Ch. Midnight. This dog has taken some good dogs out very quickly. He is a very well bred dog with perfect conformation for combat. Another dog I like is Allen's Gr. Ch. Robert T. He has the head fighting style I like and he is a blend of the 'Carver's Black Widow and my Tater and Faith, Bolio and Tombstone blood. He proved his great stamina in a three hour win. 


WHEN AND WHY DID YOU BUY ANDERSON'S CH. TONKA? 


CH. Tonka was about seven or eight years old when I bought him from Ronnie Anderson. He is out of Tombstone and Red Baby, this, plus the fact that he is a very good fighting dog and a hell of a producer, convinced me to buy him from Ronnie. I can't keep track of all the dogs that he produced because Ronnie bred him often before I got him, but I will name you a few that I know of. When he was bred to Sherwood's Blondy, a two time winner herself, he sired Ch. Shawn and Ch. Willie Booger. When bred to Anderson's Raven, he produced Ch. Billy and Ch. Buck. He also sired Ch. Bocephus and CH. Samantha who is still being campaigned. Ch. Tonka is not recognized as a R.O.M. in the Sporting Dog Journal and that's a real rip-off. He should definitely be R.O.M. and I'm sure if he were a Georgia-bred dog he would be!  


WHAT WAS YOUR RELATION TO ANDERSON, CARVER, INDIAN SONNY, OR OTHER DOGMEN? 


Anderson and I did business together and I considered him a friend of mine. I purchased one dog from Maurice Carver on a weekend visit to his place, I wish I had purchased more dogs from him at that time, because I believe he had the best dog yard in the world from about 1968 to maybe 1978. Indian Sonny has lots of knowledge and experience and I like the bloodlines that he uses. Carl Whin runs a smaller yard, but he also knows how to breed good dogs. I believe that these people are good breeders and I respect them for that. Floyd Boudreaux and Gary Hammonds also have great knowledge and experience and many famous dogs have come from their yards. Bobby Smith of Texas always had good dogs in his yard and he has probably seen more fights in his life than anybody else. Ron of the U & S Kennels in Europe is a very intelligent breeder and he is putting out some of the best dogs in the world. Mike Harrison, Darrin Steel, Bruce Foster and Navarro will be breeding outstanding dogs in the future.  


WHAT DO YOU CONSIDER MORE IMPORTANT, PEDIGREE OR INDIVIDUAL PERFORMANCE? 


To me, pedigree and individual performance are equal in importance. All dogs have their own genes, different from other dogs, even his own brother, I think the better dogs have the better genes most often. Sometimes, a very good dog comes along with not much quality in their pedigree. Maybe he is a throwback to some of his few good ancestors, but a dog like this is never a good producer. I would not use a pit ACE for breeding if he did not have a solid pedigree. I would not use a super bred dog for breeding if he was not game either. For best results, you need both good breeding and performance. There is no compromise.  


HOW DO YOU DETERMINE THE QUALITY OF YOUR DOGS AND ESPECIALLY IN THOSE YOU SELL AS A PUPPY? 


First of all, the dogs I use must show the traits we talked about before like gameness and determination to keep fighting while under pressure. When I breed a well bred game male to a well bred game female, I have all the confidence in the world that the pups I sell have a good chance to be game too. Due to the strict laws, I can't roll or match dogs and I must, and do, obey these laws. However, my breeding stock is all proven game even if someone else did the testing. I cannot legally fight dogs or sell them to fight and I obey this law but it's not illegal to breed proven game dogs or retired champions and this is what I do. Ch. Tonka is a good example of this. He won three matches in front of many people in another part of the country and when he came to me on my yard, he never had another tooth in him. I don't like these laws, but they exist and I obey them for my own safety.  


WHAT CAN YOU TELL ME ABOUT TOMBSTONE? 


Tombstone was a deep game dog that won a come-from-behind fight in the hands of Don Mayfield against a dog that was considered unbeatable. I used Tombstone as a stud dog and he sired many good dogs. When I bred him to Bolio's daughter Red Baby, he produced Ch. Tonka who was a very hard biting nose dog. In the same litter were Ch. Snubby,Wilson's Ch. Crash and Dugan's Ali. He won twice with the head fighting style that was the trademark of this litter. Then there was Falcon Eddie (a one-time winner) Merrit's Snapper (a one-time winner) and also Crum's Cremator, this female won two matches and no takers after that. Ruth's SMASH was also out of TOMBSTONE and RED BABY and he won at 48 pounds. He was foolishly matched into a 58 pound dog and he was killed in this match. Eight pups out of this one combination won 17 matches and lost only once. Tombstone also produced Lewis' Gr. Ch. Hope, she was out of Ch. Catfish. Hope could do it all, her combination of wrestling and hard biting, stamina and gameness was too much for all the 40 pound bitches of her day. Furthermore, he produced three males that won about ten matches between them when he was bred to Ozzie Steven's Precious. There was Ch. Tuffy who was Hope's brother. He was not fast or smart, but strong with good air and plenty of gameness to get the job done. Tombstone was also sired Pool's Ch. Teresa who won five, but lost one.  


WHAT IS THE BEST DOG IN YOUR YARD RIGHT NOW? 


Patrick's Homer. He is a son of El Dos Bits and a pure Clouse bitch named Romero's Cricket. His parents are dead game. I purchased him from Gene Wright. Gene had won twice with him when his opponents were picked up in less than 20 minutes. He also collected some forfeits. I bought Homer in his prime or else he would surely have made Grand Champion at 30 pounds. I would really like to take this opportunity to thank Gene for selling me this great little dog. His pups are very game talented dogs and he will be a R.O.M. soon.  


WHAT DO YOU BELIEVE TO BE MORE IMPORTANT, THE STUD DOG OR THE BROOD BITCH? 


I really believe that both male and female are equally important. They both contribute 50 percent on average to the genetic make-up of the pups and that's why both pedigree and quality of the individual dog must be of first class.  


WHY DID YOU SELL Gr. Ch. Hank TO ANDRE GIROUX? 


Well, I bought Hank from Danny Burton after he won his title and I bred him to several of my good bitches. He sired some good dogs when I bred him to Red Baby; but however, on the average, Hank did not sire the percentage of good to great dogs that some of my other stud dogs did. I offered him for sale and it so happened that Andre Giroux made me a good offer for him and that's why I sold him. Hank was sired by Ch. Assassin when I bred him to Red Baby. 


BESIDES THE DOGS THAT WERE SIRED BY BOLIO OR TOMBSTONE, WHAT OTHER WELL KNOWN DOGS DID YOU BREED? 


Quite a few, for instance; Gr. Ch. Buck, he beat the Rebel's Gr. Ch. Rebel's Sandman in his last match in three hours 12 minutes. He was out of Patrick's Golden Boy, a son of Keno and out of a bitch I named Red Lady. Keno also sired Payne's Ch. Black Annie when I bred him to Slick. Keno himself was sired by Tombstone and he was a very game dog, but never matched. When I bred Bull Boy Boy to Blitz, I got Steel's Ch. Hammer and when bred to Mabel, he produced Boyle's Ch. Bobby Jr. When I bred Four Bits to Blitz, I got Wichita's Ch. Blaze. Another stud dog of mine named Boli Jr. sired Dann's Ch. Bj. and Gr. Ch. Ojo Azul. I bred Patrick's Jose to a bitch from McHarry and that produced Sorrells' Ch. Shaft. Patrick's Henry produced Stevens' Ch. Rastus and Chances' Bobby Mcgee. I also bred Patrick's Billy to a bitch of Arnold Steinberg and from that combination came Steinberg's Ch. Jodi When Bully was bred to my old Sable bitch, he produced Steven's Ch. Tammy. All together, I believe I bred more than 30 champions and that is not counting the truckloads of one and two time winners that came out of my brood stock.  


WHO DO YOU BELIEVE IS THE BEST DOGMAN ALL AROUND? 


That's a tough question to answer, perhaps, well I believe that Bobby Smith from Texas is one of the very best dogmen in the USA. He is a knowledgeable and honest man and he and his sons know how to put one in shape too. Another guy that is very dedicated and also a very good conditioner is Ron Ulvelink from U & S Kennels in Europe. I believe that these two men are as good as anybody else when it comes to breeding and shaping a good Pit Bulldog. There are others with a high percentage of wins, but you also hear a lot of rumors about these guys doing this and that and to me, a good dogman is an honest man that takes pride in his dealings. Buy the best breeding bitches you can find and breed them to the best males in the country, even if you have to travel with the bitch and pay a stud fee of $500 or $1000. Try to learn from the dogmen that have proven themselves as the best, year after year. 


Everybody needs to learn by experience and experienced people are very important to a beginner. Have faith in your beliefs and stick with the proven bloodlines that have been winning today and yesterday and your chances will be that you will win tomorrow. 

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Interview with Gary Hammonds

When talking to somebody who owns a pit bull terrier, it is unavoidable that the subject of pedigrees come up. Pedigrees make up a very important aspect of breeding any type of animals, but especially so with high performance animals such as pit bull terriers. When it comes to breeding and raising puppies into full grown, healthy dogs, some people seem to have more success that others. Anyone who has experience in the field will tell you that it takes a lot of time, money and patience along with plenty of common sense before any good results will come off. Unmistakably, Gary J. Hammonds from Texas is one of the very few that can look back at a very successful career, breeding a high percentage of good dogs. Some of the better known dogs that he bred are such as Frits Jansen’s Champion Spike, which turned out to be one of the best producing dogs in Europe. Ronnie Anderson’s Champion Spade, Champion Smiley and Champion Goose. But the dog that Gary gained the most fame with is, without any doubt, the Rufus dog who proved to be one of the best producing male dogs in the World. Gary is known to be a very scientific breeder and is most famous for his Alligator line of dogs which are still playing an important role in the breeding program of many serious breeders around the world. During my trip through North Texas, I decided to look him up and ask him about his experience on the subject of breeding dogs. Upon arriving he spontaneously agreed on doing an interview. While Gary was finishing his last preparations for the weight pull of the following day, I started to ask him the next question:

Gary, why have you chosen to breed the Alligator bloodline?


Years ago, I had access to a bunch of dogs and I had mainly Bruno/Heinzl dogs. I could have taken Bullyson and good Corvino bred dogs, but I've seen the Alligator stuff and really liked what I saw. The main thing that I liked so much about these dogs; Soko, Renee and Alligator was that they were smart dogs, they were hard to hurt, and they were real game dogs. This was 10 or 15 years ago. The sire and bitch to these dogs were not really impressive, they were Nig and Satin Lady, but together they certainly produced some good dogs. I didn't like either of them as individuals, but they sure produced. At this moment, I have about one hundred and ten dogs and most are bred from this bloodline.


Some people that I have spoken to told me that Nig was a cur. What do you think about this? 


I've heard the same thing. I don't know if it was true. But, too many people tell the same story that it had to be true. See, Nig was one of the last of the Tudor stuff. Nig was heavy Jeff and Baby breeding, so when you got down to that end and you wanted to breed to that stuff you were pretty much limited and Nig was, I suppose, the best producer of them all.


How did you get started with these dogs? 


When I was 3 years old, I had a Bulldog that saved my life. He pulled me out of a bar ditch that was flooding and without that dog, I would have drowned. He was not a full blooded top line Pit Bull, but he was ¾ pit and ¼ farm dog. He thought he was 100% Bulldog and looked like it too. He would jump on anything. His name was Tipp. That’s how I got started with Pit Bulls and I have had a love affair with them ever since.


How do you feel about heavy inbreeding? 


I sure like inbreeding. It's a tool that if you take it a generation or two far you will lose what you are inbreeding for. Those types, those characteristics, that are linked with inbreeding, many times, are lost due to too heavy inbreeding.


What do you do to prevent this from happening? 


With every generation, you take a hard look at what you've got and you decide if the individuals from that generation are good enough to breed back to the previous generation, like; father to daughter, mother to son, or whatever and if you can't justify it then you don't need to carry it on any further. Although, you could very easily cut-cross in that generation, or even introduce a catalyst blood to that family of dogs to keep it vigorous. Sometimes that’s the only thing you can do.


What’s the catalyst factor in your breeding program? 


I've used Bullyson and Bruno/Heinzl as the catalyst and with good results. Right now, I've got a little stud dog that is out of the Nigerino type stuff. Jolie Blond bred to Mitzie and I think that's going to be a good catalyst along with the Ralph dog that I have. He is down from Pedro. I think either of these can be good catalyst blood. Pedro is from that Rascal type breeding and he was owned by Garner.


What is the main quality you are looking for in a stud dog? 


An ability to reproduce. The qualities that a dog has to have in today’s environment, whether it's pit environment, catch dog, weight pull dog or whatever. The qualities I breed for are gameness and intelligence, a good example is Gary and Christi, Athens and Saigon. Saigon is a tremendous weight pull dog and comes from a good family of dogs, he is straight out of my stuff. But, you don't see many of my dogs that are good weight pull dogs.


There is a lot of growing interest in breeding dogs for weight pulling, etc. It seems that most of these people are not interested in gameness and other traditional qualities. 


No, they aren't. But of course there are a lot that are just pulling dogs. For instance, a lot of weight pull dogs are straight stifled UKC type dogs that would have a hard time with the more fighting type dog whether it be a good fighting dog or not. At the APBA Nationals, I see more and more of the pull dogs that look like the old fighting dogs with the roached back and long legs.


Do you make a distinction between a fighting dog and a stud dog? 


In my opinion, what you need in a stud dog, whether he is a fighting dog or not is a dog that can reproduce. Sound, genetic structure both between the ears and in the heart, and also, the body has to be sound. Too many times people lose track of this and they breed to Champion so and so or Grand Champion, etc., but because of their title, it doesn't mean they will be able to produce that type of dog. So, what I look for in a stud dog is a relatively tight genetic pool, and a family rather than two or three good individuals.


But that means you have to by pedigrees and you know as well as I do there are a lot of dogs out there with fake pedigrees on them! 


Yes, I use pedigrees, a great deal, but it's not just what you see on paper. Like the dogs I've messed with, I've seen their grand-parents first hand, as well as the parents and other similar bred individuals and I've used those dogs instead of the dogs from another part of the country that I was not sure about the pedigree.


About pedigrees. Practically all of your dogs go back to Maurice Carver stuff. There are a lot of rumors about him mixing up pedigrees when he was still alive. Since you work a great deal with pedigrees, do you believe to know the true ancestry of your dogs when it goes back to Satin Lady, for instance? 


I believe so, and I'll tell you why. It was too screwed up of a breeding, as far as on paper, not to be the truth. If you look at Satin Lady, she was a scatter bred bitch out of Ironhead and Black Beauty. She was a big black bitch and I asked Maurice about it on one of my visits to his place. I asked him; “Maurice why did you make a breeding like that?” And he said, “Well son, I tell you, I thought it would be good.” Maurice had a way of mixing blood on papers and pedigrees and whatever it took to make it work. I think that part of the reason for Maurice putting out bogus pedigrees was to keep the secret to himself. I sincerely believe that the pedigrees on the dogs that I use to be right. If they're not, it's too late to worry about it anyway because I'm 3 or 4 generations away from what Maurice owned or sold to old man Williams, like the Satin Lady bitch and others, but I will say this, in the seventies Maurice Carver was the best breeder in the country. He bred more dogs in those years, first class dogs, than any other 5 top breeders in the country. But, as far as the pedigree thing, I really sincerely believe it's no more than Maurice's way of keeping his secrets secret. He would sell you the cake, but keep the recipe.


What about your Howard Heinzl dogs? 


They were certainly good dogs but, and I hate to say this, they lost a lot of what they were famous for in the sixties and seventies. It is no fault of Howard because he bred with some real good dogs with nice genetic backgrounds and put it together the way it was suppose to be. I think he lived and bred those dogs just too tight and they played out. It would click if you would cross it, but Heinzl kept it pure. The stuff he used before and what I liked so much was line bred; 50/50 Colby/Dibo. That combination was hard to beat. My Taffy bitch was one of those combinations. She was a hell of a dog and I saw some more that were bred the same way, that would make the owner proud. She was a double Musty bred dog off Bat and Twiggy.


Texas is a very big state with an awful lot of Bulldogs and a great number of dog men. Some claim the best dogs and breeders are in Texas. Do you agree with this? 


I think we have a tremendous base in Texas because there have been a great deal of breedings between the top dog men from Texas, Oklahoma and Louisiana and to a lesser degree in Mexico. When you have a situation like this and the competition of the last 40 or 50 years right here in Texas between top dog men, it's only logical that you come up with some top notch bulldogs and dog men. Also, another thing that has made the Texas dogs so good is that several breeders from here went out to buy dogs from Corvino, Heinzl, Tudor, Kinard and Boudreaux. All these very good bloodlines were put together so it's just the situation that arose. I'm sure at some time in history, there will be another spot in the world the dogs will be just as good as the dogs in Texas are right now, but they really have to do their work to get there.





PART TWO: GARY J. HAMMONDS


If you were to breed a bitch outside your own yard, which male would you pick? 


Right now, I'm picking the Macho dog up from Gary. He comes from Rick Burns and he is a Thibodeaux bred dog. This man bred some very good dogs down from the Clint stuff and that Stompanato blood that he had. I sure like what Macho produces. There are several good stud dogs around the country that I'm sure he wouldn’t be afraid to breed to. One of them is a little dog here in Dallas; the Jap dog. He is a Grand Champion and goes back to some of my blood that I used several years ago. He should be a good producer. Two other good ones are the Wino dog in the North East, and Greenwood’s Oscar in the North West. Patch Eyed Pete would be worth a gamble too. There are a few others I would like to try, but I probably will not for the simple fact that I've got several dogs on my yard that I like very much.


Who would you describe as being the best breeders in the country? 


I can think of a few that I consider very good breeders. Pat Patrick would of course be one of the better breeders. He is a real scientific breeder and has proven himself in the fact that he probably produced as many good dogs as anybody. There are a hundred people who breed some good dogs, and especially in Texas you have a great number of good breeders. (I hate to name one for overlooking the others) but Jim Uselton is an awful good breeder. I don't know if he is still breeding it, but the Red Bill line has been real good for him. Also, someone else I have a tremendous amount of faith in is Wendell Trussels. Through the years, I've seen Trussels' bred dogs that were not suppose to be good, but they were sure good dogs. Also, from what I understand, Sorrels and Girley Crum breed some good ones.


What was your relation with Ronnie Anderson? 


Ronnie was a real competitor. Ronnie was a good friend of mine and as tough as ever come down the path. One of the reasons why I think Ronnie was so good was that he had a tremendous eye for a Bulldog. He could spot a good one and tried them very hard. In his days, he was probably one of the very best conditioners in the country. He started out with some dogs that he got from me. I believe the second dog he ever owned was the Spade dog and of course he made Champion with him. He was into some tough, tough competition in those days.


What about Ronnie’s Champion Goose and Champion Smiley? 


Yes. Goose was off of Rufus and that bitch from Trussels called Midget. There were two Champions in that litter, Smiley and Goose and there was another dog in the same litter that won two and got killed the third time out. His name was Gator. When we bred Rufus to Midget, it produced all first class dogs, except one. The one that lost was 16 months old, so that happens. The best dog in that litter, and Ronnie might disagree with me, was a little dog I called Reginald. PJ ended up with him and, as far as I know, never did anything with him. Reginald was head and shoulders above the rest of that litter. The reason why I liked him so much was because he was a very smart dog and used the head to his advantage. He was a very defensive dog, plus he was a dog that could take you out.


George Gillman! 


God bless George, he and Mac were good friends of mine. He was a very good person deep down. I lived just down the road from him. George started out by buying any and every dog in the country and was just going to get there by maximizing the quality instead of minimizing. George made tremendous impact on the Bulldogs here in Dallas/Fort Worth area. He sure would keep things stirred up. He used and liked the Nig-Alligator stuff.


Don Mayfield! 


He was a top conditioner and handler. I guess I heard about him before I heard about anyone else. I had a good friend that helped me more than anybody else in getting my first dog, his name is John Langham and he told me about Mayfield. What a tremendous conditioner he was and a top competitor. I saw Mayfield match several dogs and that was pretty good. He was a hell of a conditioner. The first dog I saw him match that I was really impressed with was the Swig dog off Weldon Stockton. All of this was before there was a law against fighting dogs, somewhere in the late sixties. I saw Swig go into a little dog that Jimmie Jobe had, a dog called Rusty. Well, Rusty was an odds-on favorite. He was a hell of an ear dog and was hard to get to. I remember that Mayfield brought in Swig and he was 5 lbs lighter than I would have brought the dog in and perhaps about 2 lbs lighter than Ronnie Anderson would have brought him in. Razor was thin and one of the strongest malnourished looking dogs I've ever seen in my life. That's when I developed a great amount of respect for Mayfield as a conditioner. The dogs Mayfield had at that time were probably pretty good dogs, but he often used dogs that belonged to other people like Weldon and a lot of George's dogs. Mayfield and George made a team that were real hard to beat. I never had much dog dealings with George or Mayfield. I bought the old Bud dog from Mayfield, which was a pure Heinzl dog. He was bred like Greenwood’s Gentle Ben.


Do you believe the breed has improved over the years?


Tremendously so. I think the dogs we have today are 20 or 30% better than the dogs back in the sixties, and perhaps 5% better than the dogs in the seventies. I look for the dogs to get better if the standards are kept and if the people are responsible in how they breed dogs. Because the genetic pool of good dogs is bigger than it has ever been before. The thing that I've seen happen with Bulldogs is that the popularity has grown immensely and a lot of people get Bulldogs that don't need them. We have seen a lot of bad media on the dogs with the result that the general public doesn't look at Bulldogs as any other breed, but see them almost like a great white shark. A wild animal that is looking for something to mouth, something to kill. If we can change that image in the public eye, for what reason, and if the breed continues to exist, we have to do that. The main thing that I think is a problem and probably will be until the dogs are gone is indiscriminate breeding. What started out with a genetic pool of very, very few dogs that were man aggressive has changed into a situation where we've now got several first class dogs that are very man aggressive, that's a trait the old timers surely wouldn't have carried on. I don't know if it is all that bad a trait, but when it is in an uncontrollable man aggressive trait, it sure can cause serious problems. Man eaters in the wrong hands, are also bad for the breed.


Being a President of the Long Star State Pit Bull Club, what’s that all about? 


The club was formed years ago by Perry Reneau to create a better understanding of the breed, to sort of fight the laws that were being enacted at the time. At that same time, I became affiliated with the club. I went to Austin and spoke against the felony law, in other words, like spokesman for the club. Next time when the election came up, I was elected President and have been ever since, which has been 4 or 5 years now. We had 70 or 80 active members and about 20 or 30 workers. Most members are from this area, but also from Louisiana and Oklahoma and several other places. We can use everybody we can get, but this number of members is pitiful when you start thinking about the large group of Pit Bull owners in this Dallas/Ft. Worth area.


Where did you get Rufus? 


I got him from some people in Ft. Worth that are named Burnett. They had him as a pet, just a backyard dog. The reason why I liked him was because he was double up on that Satin Lady side of the pedigree and I figured that was the strength. I know that if you tighten the Nig stuff, you seem to lose something because I've seen the tight Nig dogs and didn't particularly like them. Some of them were good, but most were not. The Satin Lady stuff was a gamble. I didn't bred Rufus a whole lot because I didn't get him until he was 7 years old. I had Rufus for a long time before I figured out he was deaf. The only deaf dogs from the Alligator line comes from Rufus, but most of these deaf dogs are pretty game dogs. I do think it is a disadvantage for a dog to be deaf and I certainly wouldn't like to breed a line of deaf dogs, but I get one in every fifty or so dogs down from Rufus that is deaf, but they are almost all those dogs and their littermates are always game dogs.


What were the most successful combinations you have made?


Well, I was very reluctant to use the Bullyson line of dogs back years ago and one of the first people to encourage me and told me it would do good with the Alligator blood was Carver. I remember that I thought he had good luck with it and I probably would fall on my face trying, but I've had good results with it, even better than with the Alligator/Bruno cross. Rufus bred to Black Sister produced Michelle and Ch Spike of Frits Jansen, who proved to be as good a dog and also produced a good percentage of top Bulldogs in Europe. Black Sister was from Stomper and Bonnie Boots, that’s Bullyson and Eli Jr. Stomper was a very good dog, a rough mean crazy Bulldog. I don’t know if he would have been my type of dog, but I sure was impressed with him. We bred Rufus to Lucelle which was a Stomper kind of bitch and we got Ch Brutus which is registered as Simba. Also, we got Ch Tar, Allyeyson, and several other good ones. Then I bred Rufus to Maurice and we got Jay Howard’s Ch Jack. Maurice was out of Carver’s yard. And of course the breeding to Midget produced a bunch of good ones. Midget went back to Gr Ch Art and Black Georgia, so you are talking about a tremendous genetic pool and it is hard to go wrong when you breed such a bitch to a producer like Rufus.


What is your Andy L. dog out of? 


He is out of Rufus bred back to Michelle, she is one of Rufus daughters. Michelle was stolen after her first match where she did pretty good. Andy L. is a pretty good dog. He is 8 years old. Andy Leteff had a brother to him called Rooster, that was a good dog too.


What about your BRUNO dog from some years ago? 


He was a good one. I sure liked him. Everybody thought he was a cur, but he gave me 1 hour and 56 minutes against George’s Comer in Louisiana. I got him from some people in Arlington that had him as a pet. He was a little over 1 year old when I got him. He was a super dog. Intelligent and rough, and just a real good dog. The minute the fight was over with, Benny Bob, Bullyson, and the Plumbers went up to Rick Halliburton to match Bruno into Benny Bob. Halliburton said he didn't think he was interested. That shows you the quality of dog Bruno was. Benny Bob was a very good 50lb dog. Bruno lost to Gomer which was a Ch. dog, Gomer was a Nig bred dog. I believe Gomer was the first Nig cross bred dog that George used that came from Salty McKnight.


Can you tell a little bit about your Vito dog, and about the brindle male called Pig? 


Vito is the ugliest dog in Texas. I won several ugly dog awards with him. He is right out of Rufus and Sue. He is a pure Alligator bred dog. He is producing some pretty good dogs. The man that has most of these dogs is Billy Haynes from Louisiana. He uses them as weight pull dogs. They are not suppose to be pulling dogs, but they don’t know that and they pull pretty good. Billy bred them even tighter than I would have and he had some good results doing it, so the Vito dog is getting so old that part of the year he is not having good sperm anymore, so I have to check his sperm before I bred him. So far he has turned out to be a very good producer for me. The Pig dog is out of Rufus and Maurice. He is a straight cross, but comes from a good family and has produced some pretty good dogs too. His sister, Harry is the dam of that Ch. Evil dog and Rufin, so I look for that to be a good foundation family of dogs for the future. I use Pig quite a bit and like what I'm getting from him. He is a smaller type of dog, although he goes back to Stompanato on bottom and Alligator on the top. Both were real big dogs.


What is the best weight pull dog you've seen? 


I've seen a couple that I really like. But up until I saw Big Head, I thought weight pulls were for the other guy, I wasn't really excited about it, but when I saw Big Head come to the track I sat down and watched him pull, I was impressed. When his owner, John Bettes, dropped the pull lead and said, “pull Big Head,” he would drop his head and here he comes. It gave me the chills to see him pull. He was strictly a command pull dog and the best I've seen.


What is the best fighting dog you've ever seen? 


That would be a very hard question to answer. I was involved with the Plumbers quite a bit. They had Alligator, Soko, and other good dogs. I got to handle Alligator in some pretty hard rolls. He was a rough “go and get them” kind of dog. He didn't have a defensive bone in his body which would probably get him killed in today’s competition, but still I think there is not a whole lot of big dogs around that could compete with Alligator. He did take the bottom to win a couple of times, went uphill and went into some dogs that would have killed him if they had been more game. I've seen a bunch of dogs I liked pretty good, but even though he is a controversial dog, I have to say that Gr Ch Art was an awfully good dog. I refereed, I believe, two of his fights, one for sure. Also, Jeremiah was a tremendous dog. I saw him win his last fight with no more than 2 teeth and he whipped a dog that Gene Ridley had that was a good one.


What is the best stud dog you've ever seen? 


I don't know, there a lot of good stud dogs, but even the best stud dog can miss and produce nothing once in a while.


If you could make a choice between Big Head, Gr Ch Art, or that famous stud of your dreams, which one would you pick? 


The stud dog for sure. The one that could produce the good ones. Breeding Pit Bulls is probably the hardest animal to breed in the world. I feel certain that dogs from game stock make better protection animals, better catch dogs, and better pets than the scatter bred stuff in somebody’s back yard. The real dogs are just better dogs. I like to think that I'm a breeder of good dogs and some of them can fight a lick.

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Interview with Danny Burton

                                         INTERVIEW WITH DANNY BURTON


He looked at me while he was talking to some men who were standing around him. The conversation must have been about bulldogs as I recognized some of the guys as dogmen from the Texas, Oklahoma area. The first time I saw Danny was about 5 or 6 years ago but at the time I didn’t talk to him. This time I promised myself not to miss another chance of meeting and talking to who I consider a real top-notch dogman. When I walked up to him he just turned around and started to walk away from the small group of listeners that surrounded him. When I approached him he turned around and looked at me as if he were saying ‘What do you want?’ (For those of you that have never met Danny before and don’t know what he looks like, let me tell you that with a little something, it would be hard to see the difference between Danny and Mike Tyson.) Danny invited me to come and talk to him at his place and so I did about four months later. Together with two friends of mine, in the middle of a hell of a snowstorm, we drove up to Duncan, Oklahoma. Danny, his wife Bernice and their two daughters Karen and Danna were all at home watching the television when we knocked on his front door. Before long, we were swapping dog stories. My two companions were from England and Ireland, so here we were on a cold Sunday night discussing the qualities of good bulldogs, but mostly listening to what Danny was teaching us about his mentor, the famous Earl Tudor, about his trip to the far east, and sharing his experience of the subject of conditioning with us. The first time I saw Danny, I was impressed with his size and reputation, but when I left, I knew better. This guy wasn’t just big, but honest and knowledgeable too. Below, you will find the interview I had with this man that told me before I started my tape recorder everything that I will tell you is the truth as I know it, and if I can’t tell you the truth as it really is, I will tell you nothing.

Danny, how did you get started in these dogs? 

When I was just a young boy I never even knew that something like a bulldog existed, not until I was about 14 years old. You have to remember that in those days you couldn’t even get a magazine on pit dogs unless a dog fancier recommended you. So, back then it was real hard to get started in any way. The first picture I saw of a pit dog was Pete’s Sparks’ Hunky dog. This is the dog he won with in Cuba. Sparks used to run an ad in the Game Cock magazines at the time, and when I saw that picture I said to myself, that’s it. My uncle was in the game cocks like a thousand other guys in this state because it is legal here. This uncle of mine had a friend who was also a game cock man, but also owned a bulldog. His name was Darryl Tabot and he told me one time he knew a real bulldog man that lived in Hobart, Oklahoma. He told me that if I was interested, that he would take me there and so he did the next Sunday afternoon. That’s how I met Earl Tudor for the first time in my life. Earl lived on something like 23 acres and Earl was… well, it’s hard to explain but Earl was very cocky, he looked just like a bad dog. When I saw Earl that first time I remember I was really scared of him. He walked around me and didn’t say a word. Earl’s place was like heaven to me. He told me he was almost out of the dogs and that he had no more than 42 dogs left at his place. His dogs were vicious, not that they would bite you, but when a stranger came along they were all excited like you turned that switch that makes them go off! When Earl was younger, he used to have more than 100 game dogs and a lot of game cocks. The next time, I went back alone and finally after a lot of visits I started to get closer and closer to him. It was Earl who took me to my first show and that was in San Antonio, TX. In those days it was just a misdemeanor and if I remember right they had five fights on Saturday and another five fights the following Sunday.

What dogs did Earl keep on his yard when you met him the first time? 

He had Spike, Jeff, Nig, Lucky and those type of dogs, plus some of those old brood bitches. Spike was already old and retired and he told me one time that Spike made him $1700 in just one month because he bred him to 17 bitches in one month and his stud fee was $100. At that time, I thought that was all the money in the world. Spike was considered the hardest biting dog of the twentieth century. Only one dog that was ever fought with Spike lived after the fight and that was Mayfield’s Old Lightning, he was busted up pretty good in his chest. It probably lasted something like 15 minutes or so. Earl always told me that each time you put a scar on a dog, you take so much out of him and he could spot a good dog real quick. Earl never rolled a dog very long so this was good enough for him. NEVER quit! I was so excited at the time and I can’t even remember what type of fighting dog he was but Tiger Dan was on top most of the time as he was a more talented dog. But, the Lucky dog came from Howard Heinzl just like the Dibo dog, but the Nig dog was Earl’s favorite dog. Earl really liked Nig and used him as a stud dog just like Lucky. Nig was a solid black dog, really good looking. Earl was already 76 years old when I met him the first time and eventually traded Nig to somebody in Witchita, TX. At that time, they changed his name to Smokey. There is a lot of controversy about the Nig dog but there were only two other people there when I rolled Tiger Dan against his sire Nig and that was Earl Tudor himself and Don Maloney. Tiger Dan was a brindle dog and a hard, punishing bulldog. I really can’t remember how long the roll took but it was real vicious and Nig never did ever quit!

Where do you believe the rumor started? 

I believe Don Maloney spreaded the rumor because he was a jealous man and couldn’t accept the fact that Earl took a liking to me, and of course, I had Tiger Dan which was a son of Nig. Don Maloney was a friend of mine and a good dogman, but he could never accept that somebody else would have dogs as good as his. I personally don’t even breed dogs to sell and you will never see me run an ad in the mags trying to sell pups or whatever but the truth is that Nig never quit! Nig was a producing dog, and the best fighting dog that ever lived was his grandson on both sides of the pedigree. This was the Pit General dog. He was by far the best and most devastating bulldog I’ve ever seen in my lifetime.

Where did Earl get his dogs from? Did he ever tell you about what bloodline or type of dogs he liked the best? 

Yes, he did. Earl liked the Henry dogs the best. I don’t know where they come from but they were mostly black, big headed, red eyed and crazy to work. Also, I believe that his daddy had some bulldogs before they came to Oklahoma. Originally, they were from Kentucky. Back in Earl’s time, which was around the turn of the century, there were no airplanes and etc, and he told me this himself; if somebody would send him a bitch to breed to one of his males and he liked the bitch he wouldn’t send her back, but just keep her for himself. Most people were too afraid anyway to come pick her up because in those days that part of the world was pretty much outlaw territory. I’m sure that’s how he got some of his good dogs. He also bought a lot of dogs and bred some of his own when he got older. Earl was a very smart man, but also a strange man. For instance, he had no children because he didn’t want any and he once told me that the world was getting sorrier every day, and didn’t want to bring anybody in a world like this. When Bernice got pregnant, I was scared to tell him and I didn’t. Don Maloney told him.

What made Earl so bitter, so disappointed in life? 

I don’t know. Everybody respected Earl as a dogman but he would say the strangest things. His philosophy was to treat everybody like a son-of-a-bitch until they proved themselves differently. I remember I was really scared of Earl when I first met him. He had been breeding and raising these dogs for so long that he picked up some of that courage. And the older he got the worse it got. One time he told me he wanted to go out guns blazing, that’s what he said, ‘I want to go out in style.’ I remember Earl and his brother Bert got into an argument once over some dog magazines and when Bert was real sick and laying on his deathbed, his last request was to see his brother Earl. But Earl didn’t go and he didn’t go to his funeral as well. That was his way of life. To me, Earl was a special man and he taught me so much about dogs, conditioning and that kind of stuff. For instance, he told me that heat will stop a dog quicker than anything, pain won’t stop a bulldog, but heat will. Earl, most times wouldn’t roll a dog until he was 18 or 20 months old and then he would roll them for only a few minutes. To me, he was the best dogman that ever lived and it’s hard to disagree on his methods of schooling and conditioning a combat dog.

Do you believe the old time breeders were better than the modern breeders? 

I don’t know, but let me give you an example. Earl would usually take all the females out of a litter when they were born and kill them. He didn’t want anybody to be able to breed to his stuff and didn’t sell many dogs. Earl was never in the dogs for money. He was a true dog fighter and there are not many people like that around these days. If I have a bad bitch and a bad male, I just breed them to each other. I’m not really interested in pedigrees and that stuff. I like the conditioning. Maybe someday, I will get interested in the breeding, but not right now. I don’t think there is any specific bloodline or family of dogs that has got a monopoly on anything. There is good and bad in every type of breeding. I personally like the Boudreaux bred dogs. You could say that most of the dogs today come from Tudor, Maloney, Boudreaux, and Mayfield bloodlines.

Did Earl like Maurice Carver pretty good? 

I’m going to tell you exactly what Earl told me. He said he didn’t like Maurice. Earl could sit down with somebody for five minutes and figure somebody out pretty good. He was blessed with that gift. Earl was like a mind reader and thought Maurice was a bullshitter. I really didn’t understand the relationship they had at the time, but he never spoke too bad about him or spoke highly of him either. Maurice was the kind of man that could tell a story and you knew it was a lie, but it was so damn good that it really didn’t matter if it was true or not.

Do you believe that it was pretty much accepted in those days to steal a dog from somebody else? 

Well.... yes, maybe so! Earl told me that if you want to be good at anything the first thing you need to learn is how to cheat; because if you know that, then nobody can cheat you. He taught me how to cheat first, but I have never done anything like that in my life, my pride won’t let me.

What more can you tell me about the Nig dog? 

Well, Nig ended up with Don Mayfield. He paid something like $300 or $500 for the dog to Sam Kennedy and in those days that was a lot of money. Nig was a producing dog. I had the Plumber’s Alligator dog and worked him for 2 or 3 fights. He was a big black dog, and I won his champion fight with him. You could spot a Nig bred dog a mile away. Their characteristics are that when you walk up to them they would piss all over themselves, 9 out of 10 will. There were some who were kind of shy and would roll over on their back when you touched them. I bought my Tiger Dan from Earl and he was out of Nig and Womack’s Mert. He was a brindle. Earl gave Bernice a puppy that is registered as Mayfield’s Spookie, but that really is my Spookie. I don’t really care because like I said before, I’m not in the business of selling dogs and Don can do that as far as I’m concerned. But anyway, Earl gave that puppy to Bernice when she was four years old, she was solid black. Later, we bred her to Tiger Dan and this breeding produced the best dog to ever walk the earth. His name was Pit General. This dog was a true super dog, I have never seen anything like him again in my life after he got stolen.Tiger Dan won two fights for me, but Spookie would never fight. She was a cold bitch. We had two males and seven females. The females were all cold, wouldn’t hit a lick. But the males….oh boy! They were something special. Pit General had a brother that I liked better than him, his name was Satan. One time when I was at Sam Kennedy’s place, Satan got off the chain and killed three hogs and then jumped on a dog called Killer that had won four fights. They killed each other. Pit General was a 42 to 44 pound dog and at this weight he was unbeatable. He was absolutely awesome, an ace in every way. He was one of the hardest biting dogs in the history of fighting dogs. At one time, I had some good dogs. There was Ranger, a four time winner I got from Earl. This dog was a full belly-mate brother to Jimmie Boots. He was a 52-54 pound dog. Also I had Vick, Gatlin, and another one called Bobbyson. I put General on all four at the same time and he just literally murdered them all as fast as I could go and get the next one. The next day Don and Phyllis Mayfield came up here and all the dogs were in the house except General. He was the only one standing on his chain. Don said “What did you do Danny?” I told him I rolled some dogs yesterday and he said, “Why did you roll them all into each other and not into this black dog?” I said I rolled them all against that black dog and he said “What! How much do you want for him?” I sold him the whole lot, and that’s how he got General.

What happened to General after Don Mayfield got him? 

He matched him against this guy from Oklahoma. His name was Billy or something. The dog he used was a good head dog called Duke. General couldn’t get him for a long time, but when he did, he bit him in two. General was then matched into Freddie Jones’ Black Bart. In fact, Pat Patrick wrote Don a letter at the time saying that this Bart dog would take meat away from a bear and that he wouldn’t even roll a dog into that Bart dog. Don asked me at the time, what I thought about it and I told him it wouldn’t be a problem as I tried to hurt General with all I had but I couldn’t. This fight was much talked about just like the Tyson-Spinks fight, dogmen came from all over the country just to see this one. General killed Bart in 52 minutes and then after the fight, he was stolen. I got a letter from Roland Fontenot with some pictures of General and in the letter, he said that he knew the fight was over in seven minutes, because he had broken both shoulders on Bart and later on in to the fight he literally took off Bart's leg. General was a freak of nature, he would eat a dog, literally rip them apart and start eating them. He was so aggressive that he wouldn’t even breed a bitch. One time while Don went to town to do some shopping, a bitch that was in heat got loose off the chain and ran up to General. He killed her while she was in full blossom. Jimmy Wimberly found the bitch and he told me he saw how General was standing over her and just tearing her muscles out of her. I know now who stole General and several told me this was true, but I don’t want to tell who it was because it would do no good now.

Was it an Oklahoma or Texas dogman? 

I really don’t want to say anything about this because you could pinpoint it. It’s out of respect that I don’t want to bring this out in the open. But the thing is, that General was a double bred Nig dog, and this, plus the fact that Nig never quit, makes me believe he was a good individual plus a hell of a producer!

What is the second best dog you have seen, Danny? 

Well, years ago I matched into Raymond Holt’s Jeremiah, and Stinson’s Art. They were both very good dogs, but I’ve seen so many good ones that it is kind of hard to just pick one or two out. Another fight that was real interesting to me was when Ralph Greenwood matched into Jim Stinson. Stinson used a black dog called Cannon. This dog was a punishing dog that I had seen kill dogs before in 20 minutes. Greenwood used Crazy Duggan, and he won the fight eventually because he was the gamest dog. A real classic match.

What about your grand champion Hank dog? 

Hank was a turning dog. He would give you heart failure every time you watched him, and I always tried to sell him after each fight but nobody that saw him was impressed with him enough to buy him. He won over Carver, Louis Cheeck, Fontenot and Chicken Sam. He beat some pretty good people. Hank was definitely a game dog. You had to kill every hair on the dog to stop him, but he never did. He would always turn real early in the fight, shut his mouth completely and turn away from his opponent 100%, but he always scratched. I finally sold Hank to Pat Patrick for $1500. Hank had two brothers, Smith and Jesse and they, just like Hank, were very game dogs too. I have never been good at selling dogs perhaps because I was never interested enough doing so, but I’ll tell you something about another dog I had. His name was Peterbuilt. He was out of the O’Brian dog and a bitch named Babe. I bred this dog myself and later Doyle Reddick ended up with him. I don’t know if it’s true about the dog quitting, but when he was at my place, he never quit. I didn't like the dog because one time he would look outstanding, and then the next time he would look like a plug. So, one time I had a bunch of dogmen at my place and we were rolling some dogs. I rolled this dog, too. He was doing pretty good and I said anybody that wants this dog can have him for free, but everybody turned around and walked away. He was about 20 months old at the time. He was no good and nobody wanted him, but what I’m saying is, that I couldn’t sell a dog if I wanted to. The same with Hank, each time I would offer him for sale nobody was interested in him. Later, I believe, I traded Peterbuilt for some other dogs, and I believe Reddick made something like $35,000 with the dog. I thought I couldn’t win with him because it’s like when I go to the rodeo they always give me the baddest horse in the bunch and every time I go to a dogfight I get the baddest dog, too. I guess it’s like what a friend told me once… “Son, you’re hard to beat and they know it, that’s why they come with the best they got.” I don’t care really, because it’s like what Earl told me, “if you’re going to be beat, be beat by a good one.” So, in other words, it’s not a disgrace to lose. It’s all part of the same game! I know I’m not going to have any easy spots and I don’t want too anyway. But it sure would help to get some bread on the table once in a while.

What about the Tonka dog? 

I won him in a bet from a guy named Lou Lewis from California. Bobby Smith picked up the pup in his truck and I kept him until he was about 11 months old. Then, Ronnie Anderson bought the dog. I had a lot of dogs at the time, plus I wasn't really sure how he was bred. He was out of Tombstone and Red Baby. Ronnie made a fortune with the dog and he was a good caliber dog. I've seen Tonka fight and I liked the dog. Also, I've seen Tombstone against Bullyson Jr. and that was a classic fight. Don really brought Tombstone in thin. He looked like a skeleton, just like a bag of bones, but Bully just couldn't kill him. Bullyson Jr. was a bad dog and was all over that red nose dog. Tombstone was a good one, but his gameness was the key, he just kept coming, no matter what Bully would do to him. Don was a real good conditioner and he could pull one down to that fine line and still have them strong. Don is responsible for some of the training techniques they use today, like the drying out methods for instance. Of course, a dog needs some moisture in his system, but you don't want him to be too wet and Mayfield really knew how to dry one out. He also introduced the catmill keep and perfected it in a way like many people are using today. Me and Don had been friends for a long time and always remained the best of friends. Don is not really the same Don Mayfield that I met when I was younger, but time changes people. Some people don't understand and maybe these people didn't go through what Don went through. And maybe they will do something worse when they get older. I want to remember him like I want to remember him, one of the greatest dogmen ever in my era and if he would come back in the game today, he would prove it to you people, too. He was really a good dogman.

What about that Alvin dog? Was it really true what Earl said, that Alvin was the gamest dog he had seen in more than 40 years? 

Yes. That was true. Earl was serious when he said that, he wasn't joking. Randy Fox had a dog called Alvin The Dog and he was a black and white Lightning bred dog. I matched into him with a dog I found in the park one time. They had four or five fights that day and Don Maloney put that one together. I remember it was snowing that day just like now, and Don charged money for all the fights except for our fight which was the last fight as he thought me and Randy couldn't come up with dogs that were good enough to look at. I really liked Don a lot, but he was a very jealous person and he had already given away the best dog in show trophy before our fight started. I believe we matched at 39lbs and the fight went two hours and twenty-three minutes. It was a very close fight all the way. Alvin won the fight and mine died right on the scratchline. It was very good, even match and Alvin produced some pretty good dogs, too.

What if you had a choice between a dead game bulldog that would still try to scratch with all his legs broken never taking his eyes off his opponent, but short on talent; or that awesome fighting dog that would practically kill everything you would put him down with in short order and start to eat him up right there in the pit. But if you put a little pressure on him, watch out, because he might quit! 

Wow..... That’s a hard question! I don't really know. I like a fighting dog, one that can win with plenty of ability to take one out quick, but a game dog will probably be a better producer, throwing a higher percentage of game dogs. Talented dogs don't breed like true game dogs do. But, like I said I like a dog with plenty of both, gameness plus ability because you are going to need both when you are going into the good ones.

What about a particular fighting style? 

I like a fast, hard punishing dog that goes to the stifles and stomach. Earl always said that the best dog is a head dog, because he would keep himself out of trouble. Probably the best head fighting dog I've ever seen was the Tornado bitch. But, I like the bad dog best. What I mean is an offensive fighting dog that will take the initiative and never stops trying to kill his opponent.

Do you believe there is such a thing as an offensive head fighting dog? 

I haven't seen too many of them. Most of these head dogs are just trying to stay out of trouble. Earl told me you can't beat a head dog, but it has to be a good one. Pit General was a real bad gut eating dog and I can't believe that anything could have kept him out for any length of time.

Do you believe it’s a bad sign if a dog makes a turn during a contest? 

No I don’t. Sometimes it’s just their style. Hank was the best proof of that. He would start turning after two minutes, yet he was extremely game. I've seen a few like that and as long as they keep scratching, I don't care if they turn or not.

What is your experience with dogs that start at a real young age. Do you believe in the saying ‘early to start, early to quit’?

Yes, I sure do and I'm going to tell you why. Most people don't have patience or the common sense to wait until these young starters get older. They start to roll them too hard at a young age, and most people will stop a 12 or 14 month old pup just because he wants to fight. I like early starters, don't get me wrong, but I’m just as careful with them as with the ones that will start after they are two years old.