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Web was created by law on
01/05. Website is maintained by the Rios family.
ALL OF OUR AMERICAN PIT BULL
TERRIERS ARE ADBA REGISTERED.
Razors Edge was started in MD and DC by Dave
Wilson and Carlos Barksdale. They started out with game dogs. They researched
everything they could find and read every book publicized at that time. The also
subscribed to many dog magazines like the ADBA Gazette, even some underground
ones. They called nearly every breeder that they could find and questioned them,
If it said Pit, they were on it. They already owned some unpapered BYB Pits.
They even had there own Pit club and went hiking and other things back in the
woods. Eventually they got enough money to get some real papered, good
bloodline, game dogs. They purchased some of the best around at the time. Even
paid $3500 way back then for a Grandson of the great "Plumbers Alligator",
mainly Mayfield lines. Dave and Carlos were very heavy into the game lines and
had dogs from Hemphill to Wilder blood. These were big game dogs.
Later on they hooked up with George Williams in DC and purchased a dog they
named Diablo, from Wildside Kennels. Diablo's dad was a bigger catch dog, "Hollinsworth
Bull". His mom was a game girl names "Wildsides Ms.Leaky". This was the turn
around time when Razors Edge started adding more size. The first ever registered
"ADBA" Razors Edge breeding was from his Mayfield boy Zeus to a Mayfield girl
name Jinx. Jinx was actually given to friend back then named Curt Plater, now
CLP Kennels. He owned the first ever Razors Edge dog. They would lose contact
after this for many years before hooking up again. They banned Pits in PG County
and Dave was forced to move. Eventually through Dave’s job in the Pet Store
industry he landed a mangers job at a Pet Store in VA. He had to move to VA and
still resides there as Razors Edge Kennel.
Dave managed a Pet Store, worked as a professional dog trainer, and still bred
bigger ADBA game dogs. Basically, he bred his own pits now. He also put fliers
in the Washington Post explaining what the breed was and what Razors Edge was.
Dave met a guy name Ron Smith who came aboard and took Razors Edge to another
level. Dave saw this blue dog named "Steel Town Blue Monday" and was hooked! Ron
already knew every UKC and AKC breeder under the sun. He had been researching on
his own for years. So this man had all the pictures, info, etc…. He had fliers
and pictures from every AKC and UKC breeder from Coast to coast. He literally
had pictures of almost all the dogs in all these pedigrees. That man really was
the "Pit Guru". He first contacted Cock 'n' Bull Kennels, the ones that produced
Monday. They turned them onto people in Cali with that blood. Candace Eggart was
one. Candy sent pictures of what she had and what she had going on. Just to give
you a time frame, She sold a dog years later to Tony Moore named Showtime!
Showtime went on to be one of the foundation bitches in the Greyline bloodline!
So this was years before Greyline was even around.
They went to every breeder on the East Coast. Up north to Bobby Morehouse, Beth
Jones, a friend of his Lee Fitzgerald, Flying A's, Minot's Ledge, etc. they
actually purchased a blue brindle female named "Sadey" from Minot's Ledge. This
litter was had an extraordinary pedigree. The top half were mainly Flying A's
dogs like "Oreo" and "Reo Speedwagon". Dogs he had seen and liked. You could see
in the extended pedigree how these dogs stemmed from Ruffian dogs. Then you
could see how it went back even further from the AKC Ruffian dog to the UKC
Colby dogs. This top half of the pedigree actually showed how Pits eventually
were registered as Staffs! Dave thought that was cool to see on paper and in a
dog he owned. Then the bottom half of the ped went right back to Stratton dogs.
Dogs like Going light Barney, dogs he grew up reading about! Thanks to Richard
Stratton, Then behind them were the same Colby dogs he saw on the top half of
the pedigree. So he had this dog that showed the history of the Am. Staff and
the directions the Colby line went in the UKC. he also purchased a male named
"Razors Edge Blue Maxx". His top half was a dog named "StoryTime's Upon this
Rock" AKA "Peter" Peter was a dog bred by Beth Jones. He was a big dog, but
kinda ugly. They bred him to "Wassuc's Farm Maggie May". Dave really liked this
compact girl. He researched her lines and found she was Ryan. When they got to
see the Ryan dogs they were surprised to see they were game dogs. They were AKC
registered Staffs, but they still bred for game dogs! This was something Dave
had never seen, I'm sure that's why the AKC people didn't like that line, .
However; Dave loved it! Bully, game, blue, staffs! Now that's what I am talking
about! Maxx was there boy from this blood. Now Razors Edge was big ADBA game
dogs, one UKC Blue Brindle girl, and a Big hot Blue Fawn AKC boy.
In Va there was Sharon Stone of Cloverhill, who had the biggest Staffs Dave had
ever seen! Her old stuff was huge! Too tall for what he was looking for, but
huge! They changed years later and went more showy. Paco, was in Dave’s opinion
actually a throw back of her older days. Ginny York, Pam Perdue, GiGi, the
Garretts, etc….they visited them all. Even went down to Florida and checked out
Marsha Woods. Met KC Courtier of Watchdog Kennels. Eventually, went up to Md and
met Kimmar Kennels. As soon as Dave stepped on the ranch, he knew he had found
the build he was looking for! The Razors Edge package was almost complete.
Razors Edge also had been advertising in the Washington Post for many years.
Some young dudes from DC used to come down and hang out and bring their dogs.
Edwin Salinas and Joey Nevils were two of them. These guys had been buying dogs
from Kimmar and mixing their own stuff in them too. Kimmar used to have an ad in
the post under the Pit Bull ads, it said "Petey pups". They didn't want their
dogs to be labeled as Pits; but they advertised directly under Pits? Hmmmmmm?
Not as Staff? Anyway, local people knew the deal and picked up a lot of her
dogs. Joey, Edwin, Joey's pops, and their boys had a bunch of these dogs. Even
some old friends of Dave’s Jerry and Gerrold had yards with these dogs. They all
had game stuff in the mix. dave tapped into a lot of their dogs as well.
In Kimmar's yard he learned a lot about breeding and genetics. Dave spent every
weekend there for almost three years, and actually put on a training class for
all her buyers every Sunday.
Razors Edge had been breeding now for a few generations and even used a lot of
her dogs from other people in the mix. Ron, also had some York dogs, and some
other AKC stuff, they experimented with. Before they got Knuckles or any of
them, Razors Edge was already in the game. Kimmar actually used there dog Maxx
for some breedings. Eventually we purchased around 15 dogs from her line,
including Knuckles and Rage. While these pups were growing, Razors Edge already
had it's formula. They just wanted a different head. They were not given papers
on some of these dogs and they had to be UKC registered instead! This is where
Razors Edge became heavily involved in UKC. Dave started searching for a better
head and came into some Watchdog stuff. KC was not breeding anymore, so he had
to find that blood somewhere else. he bought dogs from Grapevine Kennels, and
also hit up Hughzee's, who he believe later on became Chaos Kennels. They had
been talking to Pam from Gaff Kennels for a few years, and really liked a boy
name Seiko! So they got a dog from her. So Dave experimented with a lot of lines
and different dogs. Razors Edge started having a real consistent look. The heads
were big, but they still wanted them to be a little blockier. A few generations
later it was pretty much there.
So by taking combinations of dogs and bloodlines
Dave eventually got to the style of pitbull he wanted, now called "Bully Style"
of Pitbulls, Meaning large in size, such as a large head, wide chest, short
blocky muzzles, large, but not over done bone, and a shorter back, but at the
same time correct as the United Kennel Club and American Kennel Club judge by.
Razors Edge purchased a pup from the breeding of Kimmars Catt Man Roo and Pam’s
White Path China Black. These two dogs produce a few dogs in the litter that
helped to promote the Razors Edge line, dogs such as: GR CH Razors Edge Throwin
Knuckles, CH Razors Edge Inna Rage, and Razors Edge Sapphire Lil. Another
breeding that produced one of the most famous Bitches in the history of Razors
Edge was between Ch. Jackson’s GMJ Mr. Brooks and Razors Edge SilverSadey of ML
which produced GR. CH. Razors Edge Sadey’s Paddington and also Kim's Blue Dekota.
Dave used Ch. CloverHill’s Watuka Spirit AKA Paco and bred him to Paddington,
which produced the legendary CH. Razors Edge Purple Rose of Cairo, the most
famous dog of all the Razors Edge dogs today in my opinion. Razors Edge Kenna
Claddaugh, Razors Edge Top Notch Chino, Razors Edge Chi Chi of Trueblue, Tonka
and Jigga and Iced Mocha are also productions from this breeding.
When the time was right the grand champion knuckles was bred to Paddington,
which produced another female, named Viagra. Viagra was bred to the legend Cairo
and produced one of my favorite males Razors Edge V’s Lil Ro, AKA "RO". They
also produced Cai, Diva, Caira and a few more. RO lives his own legacy today in
producing some beautiful dogs such as suarez bulls paco and genuine Edge's
Toxic, and Titan Kennels Titan, just to name a few of my favorite males out of
him. A friend of mine at Bully Loaded Kennels also has a son, Quake, and
daughter, Faith, off of him that will be very nice when there older. Cairo was
also bred to a few other females but I won’t name them all just ones that come
to mind, some of the important ones in my eyes, such as the Cairo and Koi
Breeding. Koi who is out of GR CH Knuckles and Dakota (Paddingtons sister), was
bred to Cairo and produced Rage, Neela, Brooklyn, Shamrock, Rolli, Rosetta, and
Diamond. Cairo was also bred to tiki and produced a male by the name of
Hennessy. Cairo was also bred to my friends dog trixie of blackout kennels in VA
and produced his male Gooda, Bo at Bow Wow Kennels,Denile at Razors Edge Kennel,
one of my personal favorite females of Razors Edge bloodline and two others that
go by Bosko and Bun. The cairo side of razorsedge is just a fraction of the
bloodline. The line has been taking in different directions but everythang
basically stems from the knuckles, paddington, and rage blood.
Another well known producing dog is Razors Edge CLP's Short Shot, Short Shot is
off of Buckshot and Rage, and is also a grandson to Knuckles on Buckshots side
and Rage is Knuckles sister. Shortshot has done a few breedings is his life,
such as Diamond, and more recently Paradise and Steel. there is also sections of
the blood that are almost like a line in its own depending on what your looking
for, you got the Cairo side, the shortshot side, the you got manu side, dozer
daisy line breedings, which all of this basically ties into each and every dog
produced from razorsedge yard in the very beginning! You just have to connect
them all together. It's the facts of producing outstanding dogs from the start
and putting time and effort and lots of money into building a dream.
Razors Edge Kennel has been involved in learning, breeding, showing, training
and raising the American Pitbull Terrier for well over 15 years and it keeps
getting better! Razorsedge will not die! It will live on through Dave’s kids,
friends, and mainly in his dogs! Razors Edge is a bloodline for everyone, it
offers show quality dogs, bully correct dogs, bully dogs, and overdone dogs,
overdone meaning extreme bone, head, and chest, at the same time very nice dogs,
but dogs that would not be able to win in the show ring. So if you want a real
pitbull where there females outdo other kennels males go to Razors Edge Kennel
and they can point you in the right direction!
History of Amstaff/Blue APBTS
In Wayne D. Brown's book HISTORY OF THE
AMERICAN PIT BULL TERRIER, on pages 25 and 26 he note’s that in the late 1930’s
one of the most important bloodlines of Pit Bulls were the Lightner dogs. He
illustrates that in the conventions of 1936 and 1937, there were Lightner dogs
of the dark variety and Lightner dogs of the red nose variety, and a classic
confrontation of the two. When Bob Hemphill wrote Lightner that they were going
to use Hall's Searcy Jeff, of the red nose Lightner strain, in the Oklahoma
Convention of 1936 at Medicine Park Oklahoma, Lightner wrote back that the red
nose blood in Jeff was as game was would ever be bred, and, further that the
black and blue breeding in (Runyon's Colorado) Imp (II) was as game as would
ever be bred...So, the contest between Hall's Searcy Jeff and Runyon's Colorado
Imp II at the Oklahoma Convention of 1936 was a classic confrontation between
the red nose Lightner dogs and the dark Lightner dogs. Earl Tudor handled Imp
and he proved to be game. Jeff had punished Imp severely around the head and
nose and Tudor picked him up. However, he scratched Imp and he went across with
his nose bumping the ground, unable to get his head up, but he took a foothold
on Jeff. Jeff beat Imp in 54 minutes. Later, Hall's Searcy Jeff was to beat
Imp's brother Colorado Dan, also...After Searcy Jeff had beaten Colorado Imp II
and Colorado Dan, their owner, Jeff Runyon, quit the game and sold his dogs.
This is one of the few times I have ever found in literature, blue dogs before
1936. The year 1936 was the year the AKC finally recognized the, as it was then
known, Stafforshire Terrier. This was the year that the red nose dogs defeated
the blue blooded dogs. The dogs of this blood was sold but it is not said who
to, although it is mentioned that at least some of these dogs found their way to
Joe Corvino who, for a time at least, was involved in the formation of the AKC
American Staffordshire Terriers. Dogmen wanted winning GAME dogs back then, and
Imp certainly proved his gameness that day against Jeff, in a stumbling scratch.
Many a true dogmen would have been more than happy to have an Imp bred dog in
their yard. Back then game losers weren’t penalized, and were worthy of being
bred. I know that AmStaff people regard the red noses with abhorrence, and I
also know that Game folks today don't care for the blue color. Actually most of
them can’t stand it at all because most of the time (but not always) a blue dog
stands for being bred for looks and looks alone. I do have to wonder though what
the American Pit Bull Terrier would look like today if Imp II had won that fight
compared to the American Staffordshire Terrier?
Whether or not people want to believe it, blue is a legitimate color in the
American Pit Bull Terrier gene pool as evidenced and show further more by the
Blue Paul, or sometimes called blue Poll. A Scottish strain now extinct, but
whose descendants clearly live on in today’s blue dogs.
These solid blue or solid red Scottish gladiators resembled the fighting
Staffordshires of England but could weigh twice as much. The blue dogs were
known in Scotland as Blue Pauls, and the reds as Red Smuts. The name Blue
Paul derives from a Scottish yarn about the pirate Paul Jones who reportedly
brought the dogs from abroad to the district of Kirkintilloch.
The dogs were popular with the gypsies of that district who maintained that the
dogs originally came from the Galloway coast, lending more color than blue to
the Paul Jones tale. Like the bull and terrier breeds from which they derived,
the Blue Pauls were game to the death in the ring. These dogs remained mute even
at the height of battle, very much like the Tosa of Japan.
In appearance, the Blue Paul was similar in appearance to the Bullmastiff of the
late 1800s. The dog was a smooth coated cobby dog weighing about 45 lbs (20.5
kg), standing 20 inches (51 cm) at the shoulder. The head was large, the muzzle
short and square. The jaws and lips were even, without overhanging flews. The
stop was slight: eyes, dark hazel. The ears, set on high, were invariably
cropped. The face was wrinkleless but the eyebrows were contracted or knit. Mr.
James B. Morrison of Greenock, England reported that the last Blue Paul
exhibited was shown in the late 1880s."
Many people claim that the Blue Paul is now extinct. It may very well be extinct
in its pure form, but they were probably crossed with The Pit Bull Terriers in
England and Ireland, and the Pit Bull Terriers were brought to America from
Scotland. In 1857, McCaffrey imported the dog Spring from Glasgow, Scotland to
America. At that time Glasgow was the center of Blue Paul activity. In 1858, in
Rhode Island, Spring won a fight in 1 hour, 35 minutes. In 1859 he won a fight
in 2 hours 15 minutes. In 1860, in Boston, he beat Tom Story's dog in 2 hours 40
minutes. Spring was bred to Maid of Erin, who was an imported bitch from Dublin
Ireland and produced Young Spring. Young Spring won a fight in 1 hour 15
minutes. In 1862 he beat Sheffield George's dog in 3 hours 17 minutes, in New
York. When Spring was bred to John Mahon's imported bitch he produced Jeff who
won a fight in Providence, Rhode Island in 1 hour. He later won against miller's
dog in 1 hour 10 minutes. In 1864 he won another fight in 1 hour 10 minutes.
Dick, another son of Spring, won a fight against Spring's Hope in 1 hour 17
minutes. Power's Violet was imported to America from Scotland by her Scottish
owner and, on January 10, 1892, beat a dog named Spright in Massachusetts. They
fought at Catch weight. Her size, plus her name which indicates a dark blue
color, leads to the possibility that she might have been a Blue Paul.
If the above dogs were Blue Pauls, their bloodline was surly continued in
America and others were probably imported to America, England, and Ireland as
Brown also writes in his book that W.C. Roper bred some game dogs from stock
sent to him by Jim Williams and Bob Wallace. Some of Roper's dogs were silver
buckskin in color, such as Silver Jack and Roper's (William's) Silver. Roper's
Silver won 4 fights at 58 pounds, and another Tudor's Black Jack (16xW) was,
according to Earl Tudor, from a Delihant's Paddy/Wichita Mike bloodline. His
sire was Black Tige who was sired by Blue Mike. Blue Mike was out of Miss Blue
who was sired by Imported Roger out of Henry's Blue Mary. The sire of Blue Mike
was Wichita Mike who was out of Henry's Blue Madge and sired by Henry's Black
Demon. Several pages later he writes "As we have seen, Tudor's Black Jack was
important to the Tacoma line but he was also important to the Ruffian line of
American Staffordshire Terriers. He was not only important in the development of
pit dogs, including the Dibo line, but he formed the basis for the Ruffian
Someone new to the breed always ask what the difference is between an AKC
American Staffordshire Terrier, and a UKC or ADBA American Pit Bull Terrier?
When told to the truth, the true history behind the breed most say they don't
fight their dogs so why should they even have to know all that stuff? The truth
is, if you own a Staffordshire or a American Pit Bull Terrier, it is
irresponsible of you not to know the truth, the true history behind the breed.
In Richard Pascoe’s book, "The American Staffordshire Terrier" he mentions that
there are five major lines in the foundation of the American Staffordshire
Terrier. Tacoma, X-pert, Ruffian, Crusader, and "California" which is not
actually a line, but a combination of lines. The Tacoma was developed by Charles
Doyle and Al Brown beginning with the whelping of Tacoma Jack in 1927. The
Tacoma line is influenced by Corvino blood early in its history. The Tacoma line
is known for its courage and working ability.
The X-Pert line traces its pedigrees back to Colby, Feeley, Corrington, Tudor
and Morris. Alberta and Cliff Ormsby began the line with the whelping of
Ormsby's Madge in 1930. The Ruffian line was started by Clayton Harriman in 1938
with the whelping of The Ruffian, bred by F C Klump. The Ruffian line was
influential in the development of many other lines, notably E C Ringold's
Gallant line, beginning with CH Gallant Ruff and the Har-wyn line of Peggy
Harper which finds its foundations in the breeding efforts of Harriman and
Whittaker. One of her greats was CH Sky King of Har-Wyn ( half X-Pert). The
California lines were strongly influenced by Ruffian and Gallant. Early breeders
appearing in California pedigrees include Steele, Gregory, Freese, Farley,
Wiswall and Harrison. CH Harrison's Bozo boy was bred by RC Steele and whelped
in 1936. The Chatworth Kennels of Ray and Ina Harris include dogs of Freese,
Harrison and Wakefield derivation. Rossmore's Naughty Knight, who sired the
foundation of the Crusader line, was bred by Gladys Smith. The Crusader line was
started in 1950 by Ike and Jean Stinson. In 1955, Smith's breeding of CH
Rossmore's Naughty Knight x CH Gallant Susie Q produced CH Knight Crusader, CH
Knight Bomber and CH Knight Patroller. All of these dogs played a major role in
the development of the Crusader line. The development of all other kennels in
the breed come from combinations of these original foundation lines. Notably
Sertoma, Archer, Sierra, Tryarr, Willynwood, White Rock, to name a few.
The foundation of the X-Pert line began in 1932 with Bennett's Buck x Ormsby's
Madge. Ormsby's Madge (Corrington's Bennetts Mack x Bennetts Queen) Corringtons
Bennetts Mack (Corringtons Tiger Jim Jr x Corringtons Mae Rose) Corringtons Mae
Rose was a Tudors Jack II daughter. Her dam, Corrington's Jenny Queen was a
Colby bitch. (Colby's Dan x Colbys Blinkey). Bennetts Queen was Colby through
her dam, Sharon Madge (Pitts Duke x Pitts Bebe) If you trace the pedigree back
two or three generations from there, you will find Colbys Disby, Colbys Bess,
Colbys Galtie, Colbys Nancy, Colbys Roger, Colbys Pansy, and Colbys Sally. The
X-Pert bloodline is one of oldest in AmStaffs. It was started in 1930 by
Clifford & Alberta Ormsby. They lived in Hornell, NY. Clifford Ormsby was 25
years old, and Alberta was 22 when they began their breeding program. The
foundation bitch of the X-Pert bloodline is Ormsby's Madge. Cliff bought her in
Clifford Ormsby: "...I started with this great breed when you could buy a Pit
Bull pup for $5.00. Many times this pup had flat feet, narrow chest, no brisket,
bowed legs, fiddle front, cow-hocks, was undershot and had an unreliable
temperament. You could shop around and find some desirable ones but it was a
problem to find good dominant breeders of quality...."
Ormsby's Madge was sired by famous pitbull Bennett's Mack, who was also known
as Corrington's Mack C. Bennett's Mack was Corrington breeding. His bloods was a
cross of Smith & Tudor's lines. Both lines had influence of old Henry bloodline,
that was developed by Frank G.Henry in 1890's. But Tudor's dogs were mostly
black part of the Henry line, when Charles Smith's dogs were more of the red
part of the Henry line and more outcrossed than Tudor's. Tudor's part of
Bennett's Mack pedigree was Tudor's Jack II, son of the great Tudor's Black Jack
16xW. In 1930's Tudor's gamedogs were as a sign of success. Earl Tudor of
Oklahoma, or Oklahoma Kid as most dogmen of that time called him, was just 22
years old in 1915 when he won with Jack Swift. Earl became well known dogman all
over the country in 1920's with his 16 times winner Black Jack dog and 9 times
winner Black Jack Jr. There were many breeders in that time who decide to use
Tudor's stuff in their breedings. Corrington was one of these breeders of that
time. Ok, back to Ormsby's Madge... Her dam was Bennett's Queen, a cross of
Hogan's & Pitts' lines. Hogan line was built on Henry blood. Some of Charles
Smith's breedings are behind Hogan's too. Pitts' line was mostly old Colby's
bloods with some Henry.
Clifford Ormsby was born in Hornell, NY on August 24, 1905. Alberta also was
born in Hornell 3 years later, on June 29, 1908. They were good friends in fact
they grew up together a couple of streets apart. Young Cliff had about every
animal there was to have. His first dogs were not purebred, and Cliff wanted to
have a purebred dog that had spirit. Shortly after they were married Clifford &
Alberta decided to take a pure pitbull. In 1930 Cliff went to Leonard,Texas, he
took the dog, that he wanted. This was a female from W.F.Bennett's breeding, out
of the famous pitbull dog Bennett Mack & Bennett Queen. The name of this female
pup is well known to many Am Staff breeders, ORMSBY'S MADGE. It was the start, a
In 1938 Clifford built a kennel. It was the very modern kennel for that time.
There was a water heating system in the kennel floor. He put hot water system
himself. When Clifford spoke about his kennel, he said: "Dr. Byer ( Ormsby's
veterinarian) come down and asked, "Who built this kennel, who made this kennel
for you?" I said, "I did!" He said that," this is a good layout for a small
kennel." The heating in the floor, that's the most economical heating too. You
see, you've got to put it in right. This is six to eight inches on center, I
think three quarter inch wide. I know there's about seventy elbows in it. It has
two units, there was no sense in that becouse I never divided it. I always used
the whole thing. I have a pressure pump. I can put it on automatically...... "
In the beginning of Cliff & bert's Staffordshire Terrier breeding, Cliff
wasn't interested in "showing" of their dogs. Alberta changed his mind though.
She said, " If we're going to have dogs, I'm going to show". The first dogs they
shipped to Willfred Brandon. Alberta was very interested in handling their dogs
herself. And the first super champion of the X-Pert family, shown by Alberta in
many dog shows was the legendary Ch. X-Pert Brindle Biff. He was the favorite
dog of Clifford, Alberta & their daughter, Dorothy. When Peggy Doster asked
Alberta, "What is the name of the best dog or bitch you ever bred?" Alberta
said: "Biff. He was my first dog. I suppose I'm partial. You know, first show
dog. I took him to shows all over the country. I showed him all over. I took him
all over the place & he won all over the country. I'd go in the ring and people
would say:"There goes that woman, again, with that dog"".
Alberta was licensed to judge Stafs & Boxers. She began to judging in '40'.
In 1995 Peggy Doster asked Alberta: "Why did you decide to begin judging?".
Alberta said this: " It got me out to California and it got me away from
cleaning up kennels at home. It wasn't long ago that they wanted to know if I
would come out there and judge the dogs. They had read on their catalog that I
had been out there in 1979. Wouldn't I look cute....trying to judge dogs.
.....Boxers and Stafs and any breed I can quality for, but I don't want to. You
know, too much for me, I don't want to get out there and get sick or something,
Alberta: " I was out in Califonia, judging, and I had Am Staff in the ring
that was all chewed up in his head. I said, "This dog was in fight. That was in
49', I think. And he said: "Yes, he had a fight yesterday, they fought him." And
I said "He did? He's all chewed up." I said, "Will he shakes hands with me?" He
said, "Yeah, but he shakes with his hind leg." He stuck his hind leg up to me
and shook hands."
Going Light Barney and Blue Dogs by Richard F. Stratton
Although I have been often referenced as the authority on Going Light Barney, I
must confess that I never even saw Barney in holds. I found it quite
fascinating, however, that he was one of the most controversial dogs of which I
ever knew. I think part of the reason for that fact was Barney’s flamboyant
owner, who is still alive as I write this. Although not a bad fellow, he had a
way of stirring up the dander of other dog men. Consequently, all of Barney’s
accomplishments were always scrutinized with a jaundiced eye. Since I had my
picture taken with Barney, a lot of people seem to think that Barney once
belonged to me, but such was not the case, although I did own a daughter of his
which I bred back to him. That breeding produced George, one of my finest
all-time dogs from a pit dog perspective.
It is hard to believe now, but Barney was whelped way back in the sixties, so he
is definitely an old timer. He was the product of breeding a daughter of
Johnston’s fabulous Goofy dog to a Rascal bitch. That produced Barney’s mother,
Penny, and she was nothing to write home about–possibly a cold bitch and a
trifle shy. She was bred to Rootberg’s Booger, strictly on the basis of his
being a pure Corvino dog. So it is not surprising that not much was expected of
the litter, but it produced Barney and several females which were renowned for
their gameness, one of them, Going Light Babe, winning a Best in Show down South
in a losing effort!
Barney had a storied career. He had been farmed out to some guy in the inner
city to raise and was rolled from the time he was six months old, something no
educated dog man would do. After he killed Two-Dollar George, a highly valued
pit dog in a pick up match when he was only a little over a year old, he was
reclaimed by his owner, who called himself Larry Light in the pit circuit. He
was matched into fast company down in Mississippi against a Carver dog and won
handily in about twenty minutes. This was the convention which also featured
Boomerang and the immortal Bolio. Bolio won best in show because he won over the
dog with the highest reputation, a dog which was thought to be unbeatable.
The controversy comes from the fact that Barney was counted out in his third
match in Dallas. Larry swore up and down that he was doped, as the dog didn’t
know where he was, and he had lost his equilibrium for several hours. Whatever
happened, Barney came back to win six in row against the best the other side
could come up with. One match was raided and the dogs confiscated. This was
before the felony laws, and the dogs were broken out of the pound in which they
were held. The match was held, and Barney won in an hour and five minutes.
Barney was dyed black and shipped to a preacher in New Mexico. Part of the
reason for all of this chicanery was that Larry was suing the animal control
people for losing possession of his dog!
Barney’s toughest match was against another ear dog, extremely well thought of,
and the match went nearly two hours before Barney prevailed. That was back in
the oil crisis days, in which you couldn’t plan a long trip, as you might run
out of fuel. Larry and his cohorts loaded up a station wagon with several
gallons of gasoline so that they could make the trip there and back without
having to stop or having to worry about fuel. I was invited to go along, but I
was not of a mind to travel in that rolling bomb! Hence, I missed my chance to
see a great match. Barney usually had an easy time with his opponents,
controlling them with ear holds until the dog was worn down, and then Barney
went in for the kill. I think it was the "quit" in Dallas that made it possible
for Larry to go on finding matches for Barney.
After the above mentioned match, a fellow named Jobe, who put out a pit dog
magazine, did a cover story on Barney. He had been there at the match, and he
dubbed Barney a "grand champion." That was the first time I had ever seen that
term used. Now, he would not be eligible for the title because of the loss in
his second match. Mitigating circumstances don’t count, and besides, Larry was
never able to prove anything.
Barney was known more for ability than for gameness, but he was game enough to
win, and the loss came under suspicious circumstances. Barney was an unusual
Bulldog in that he had an aloof personality, in direct contradistinction to most
Bulldogs. He won Larry’s wife over because he would sit up and do tricks on the
chain or in the kennel run, but once he was taken out, his demeanor changed
completely. He had achieved his goal, so the charm was gone, and he simply was
off to do what he wanted. Larry, who was a real estate speculator who owned half
the land in San Diego county, loved the deviousness of the dog. He was also
delighted that his wife, who abhorred the pit dog game, was Barney’s stoutest
ally–although she certainly never went to a match.
Barney was never open to stud, and he was never bred much, as Larry seemed to
concentrate his breeding program on breeding dogs that were down from Penny and
in breeding Barney’s sisters, in particular Babe. Larry was one of those guys
who kept track of litters by naming all the pups with the same letter, but
somehow one in this litter got named Scarlet. Although a fine pit dog, she
escaped Larry’s ownership. Another game sister of Barney was Belle, who won
As for blue dogs, most of them are sought out today by those who want a dog for
appearance. I have even heard it said that all blue dogs stem from Staf blood.
Being of a skeptical nature, I tend to doubt that "fact." One of the best dogs I
ever saw was a blue dog and his brother in a Las Vegas convention. They were
both talented and game, but I was never able to ascertain their breeding–but
they certainly seemed to have no Staf blood in them. Besides, the Staf standard
calls for a black nose, so I doubt that would be the source of the blue dogs. In
truth, there are probably a multitude of sources, as it seems to be a simple
Readers may be amused to learn that Heinzl once informed me that the last
Stratton he knew was an African-American gentleman who had a strain of blue
dogs. Again, he didn’t know the breeding on them, but Howard said they were as
game a line as he had ever seen. And Howard was tough to please!
People with a little experience are quick to denounce Barney and the blue dogs.
I would suggest a little caution in that respect. Barney may have not been the
greatest dog of his time, but he beat some really good dogs. And not all blue
dogs are alike.