The following article can be found in the book entitled ďAmerican PitbullĒ by Steidl
Floyd Boudreaux has been involved with American Pit Bull Terriers from the time of his youth. A perfect southern gentleman and devoted family man, he has been raising dogs from the Boudreaux bloodline that has been his hallmark since the late 1930ís.
The Interview: Mr. Boudreaux speaking
Iíve been working with the breed over half a century. I also have chickens. My dad had Ďem before I did, and then I had Ďem before I went to grade school. My son too. Itís always been a family affair. We do it on a shoestring, keep all the dogs on the same yard. But this is just a hobby. Iím a stone setter by trade, and my son does the same. Custom work is what I do, and Iíve been at it for a long time. My next birthday Iím going to be seventy.
Iím located in the ďhub cityĒ-Lafayette, Louisiana. Itís a bit warm, but I got it fixed pretty nice for the dogs. I have a kennel for them, plus I have what we call a ďlean-tĒ that they can get under when it gets warm or cool or whatever. I donít have many dogs, and I donít breed many either-I donít mass produce. Every now and again, when I need a litter, I just kinda breed one. Iíd say I have twenty dogs right now, counting puppies. I donít have any favorites, I sure donít. In terms of working with these animals, good old common sense will carry you a long way-I donít think it takes a rocket scientist. ĎCourse Iíve been very fortunate to succeed with the dogs and the chickens. And no, theyíre not ferocious. I wouldnít keep nothing thatís ill-tempered in the chickens or the dogs. I got neighborís kids and grandkidsÖHell, they all play here. So I have no use for that. Itís not my cup of tea.
And the dogs donít take as much work as people think. First thing in the morning Iíll pick up all the waste and make sure they have water before I ride off for the day. Then I do the same when I get back in the evening. Before we even have any supper, weíll just clean up with the dogs and make sure everything is secured and everybodyís got water. The grown dogs, we feed once in the evening. We feed the young ones twice a day. And the little bitty ones, all their kennels and brood pens have self feeders, so they can eat all want at any given time.
With the birds, you show both males and females, but mostly the males. Theyíre just dominant-in all walks of life itís the same. You show the more outgoing animals. ĎCourse you can get to where they get spoiled, the dogs and the birds. My grandkids have one dog that they call by the name of Girlfriend. Sheís a national champion puller dog, but sheís only twenty-nine pounds-and sheís a house dog. These dogs sure enjoy the weight pulling. They pull on command. In other words, you canít touch them, you canít force them, you canít threaten them. They all do this on their own, and if they choose not to do it they just donít . I would never force an animal to do anything that he wouldnít do on his own.
Floyd Boudreaux written by James Crenshaw from
ďMy Life and Times with the American Pit Bull TerrierĒ
This gentleman should need no introduction to anyone who has ever known anything about a bulldog. Floyd is a third generation dog man (the only one I have ever known of ever, and quite possibly another generation after him in Guy, and it wouldnít surprise me if Adam carries on.
I have known Floyd for over 30 years. Needless to say, he has bred more good foundation dogs, as well as good performers than anyone living today and probably in the history of the breed. He is certainly a man of the old school where oneís word meant something. This family has sacrificed more than most ever have to keep these dogs.
I remember Floydís son was injured on the job, his wife or daughter had an auto accident and the other became ill at the same time. When everyone was well and home, the family took a vote to see if they would keep the dogs. With huge hospital bills to pay, most would have declared bankruptcy and started over. But not the Boudreaux Family. They elected to keep the dogs and to work overtime or whatever it took to keep them and survive.
The following are parts taken from Interview with Floyd Boudreaux taken From Fat Billís ďBook Of InterviewsĒ
How many of us can say that his daddy had Bulldogs for more than 40 years? How many of us can say without exaggeration that he played an important role in developing a line of dogs that have stood the test of time and become the backbone of some of the best performing bloodlines around these days? One of the very few that can answer these questions with a positive ďYes!Ē is Floyd Boudreaux from Lafayette, Louisiana. We sat down & talked to Mr. Boudreaux about his most famous dogs, like the Blind Billy dog, Boze, Eli, Ox and many more. For the first time, Mr. Boudreaux is without any doubt a very knowledgeable Dogman and has bred, raised & handled some of the best ever to cross a pit. Stay with us & read about the living legend Mr. Floyd Boudreaux.
What was your first dog and when was the first time for you to leave Louisiana with these dogs to fight into something other than local competition?
I remember my first dog was a brindle female, her name was Flossie. I started at a very young age, but the first time for me to fight a dog in the fast lane must have been when I took Stagger Lee to San Antonio to one of Maurice Carverís shows. I wnt into a guy named Steen and he had a dog called Roho. We had that dog beat, but he kept pushing his dog in the corner with his knees each time when it was his time to scratch. Maurice was the referee and I said ĎGentlemen, be sure not to push that dog anymore, you have pushed him for the last timeí. If I wouldnít have said anything that time, who knows what might have happened!
What was the best dog you ever owned?
They ask me that all the time, itís tough to answer but I think Iím partial to my Boze dog. I probably had a few that were as good, but I always like him a lot. He won twenty seven rolls for me and he was always the smaller dog but they couldnít beat him. He also won one contracted fight. One time, Jerry Clemmons and Douglas Nirider brought a dog that was nineteen pounds bigger than Boze, and that big dog would bite through car tires. When we put them down, it was a joke, Boze was a fast hardmouthed dog; he would fight high in the shoulder and destroy a dog quick. During the day time he would usually sleep with the puppies around the house and I always thought he was a little shy, just like Blind Billy. One time he won a fight in just six minutes, that was in New Orleans. We had ten matches that day and he beat a dog of Jerome Hernadezí , he just wrecked the dog, it was no contest. Boze was out of Scrub and Candy, after that fight they claimed that their dog wasnít conditioned. I donít know, but mine was ready to fight. I matched against Jerome three time and won twice, Jerome was a Dogman and hard to beat.
Blind Billy Dog?
Blind Billy was born in 1952 and I bought him 1953. My uncle had 4 ace roosters and we traded them with Earl Tudor for Blind Billy. He was a son of Dibo, and he wouldnít fight until he was two and a half years old. He really was not blind. His eyes had always been a little weak, and in his last contest he was blind, yes. I won a real good match with him in :26 or :28. Then the second time, I was very young them, they tried to fool me. It was pretty dark in the place where the pit was set up and it was my turn to scratch Billy. Earl Tudor jumped up out joy when Billy was scratching towards the other dog. He was about halfway when he turned around to look at Earl and hit the pit wall. He never stopped looking for the other dog, but was counted out and lost that fight. We didnít get the trophy that day but Billy was the best dog in the show and from then on they called him Blind Billy. Like I said before, his sire was the Dibo dog and I believe Howard Heinzl had something to do with that dog, Dibo was stolen when he was young and sold to a black man who owned a restaurant. Diboís real name was Runt and when he started at the age of 4 they picked him up again and matched him.
What about your dog named Ox?
Ox was a very smart dog; he was a superb ear dog and also very game. When I turned him loose he never missed that ear. A long time ago we matched him in Mexico. He was matched for $16,000, which in those days was a lot of money. I was matched into District Attorney of Mexico City, he had a good little dog and he told me that his dog would break legs and said that it was going to happen to Ox too. The only comment I had to make was that if Ox would turn him loose he wasnít going to break anything. Ox was smart and I am convinced that he would have stayed out of trouble, the only thing Ox couldnít do was talk. Thatís how smart he was. But the show never came off because of a couple of punks from California who were involved in other activities and had been followed by the authorities. This was just not another convention; it was going to be the one of the greatest get togethers in a long time. There were two or three super dogs to be matched. The trophy alone for the winner cost $2000 and was made by Larry McCaw from California. Plus the fact that nobody brings a dog that far when they are not satisfied with the dog at home. After that, we sold Ox because we needed money to buy a new place. He went to a man from Florida named Bob Johnson. One week after he took him, he called to tell me he put 3 dogs on Ox. He said he sopped the first dog in 20 minutes, the next one went a little over half an hour and the third one Ox fought like he just started, so they picked him up. He told me Ox was a very game dog, I told him I assumed he was game but didnít realize he was that game. People donít seem to understand that even the very best will often quit if you stress them hard enough, itís just a matter of how much you put on them. There is no sense in killing them while testing them because there is something like a breaking point. Some dogs that have never been used because they quit at home might have been great dogs in the pit under the right circumstances. Lack of knowledge, thatís what it is! Ox was a polished ear dog and could keep himself out of trouble, but most other cogs couldnít stand this kind of abuse. These dogs are just flesh and bone like anything else; most men donít even recognize an Ace dog when they see one. A lot of fellows will take all the good out of a dog when he is still young, and then later condemn him for not being a good one. They try to condition a dog on a treadmill when they are half drunk and watching TV. Now that Iím back on the subject of schooling, I took the Devil Dog of Oklahoma and rolled him no more than 9 minutes and later I used him to whip Chicken Sam, he used a dog that I saw fight for three hours. Sometimes when you see an all beaten up dog, people say thatís a bad one! I say, No sir! Thatís a bad one that passed on him. Thatís the way it goes.
Could you tell us the full story on the Eli dog?
I will tell you the full story on the Old Eli Dog, how he was bred, his parents, his pups and so on? I will tell you the true story as it is, and I have witnesses that that can tell you this is the truth. If this not right Iím the brother of Martin Luther King. It makes me mad that they got the story of him and his sons Bullyson and Eli Jr. turned around. Not for myself, I know better. I lived; but the future generation that is coming behind us doesnít know anything about the truth and have to rely on what they are reading. Thatís why I am so glad I can do this interview in the Times. It takes a small man to to lie and change a story, I am telling the truth about how them dogs are bred just like I always told before. Eli was a pretty good individual and after his match against Jack Smith in Cleveland I brought him home. We doctored him up and then a sheriff from Mississippi tried to buy him, but I wouldnít sell him. Then, the next day, Raymond Holt of Texas and his wife Sharon came by to buy him, but I gave Eli to my friend Jr. Bush from Alabama. He loaned Eli to John Cotton from Chattanooga, Tennessee; they were friends at the time and thatís where somebody stole Eli. I gave Eli to Jr. because he is a real high class dogman, a good example for a lot of other so called Dogmen. When Eli got stolen, Cotton gave Jr. $1,000 and told him to go and buy another dog. He said that if there was a dog he liked that cost more, he would make up the difference. There are a lot of stories about what happened after this, when Eli got stolen from Chattanooga. I think he went from Chattanooga to Memphis, and from there on, I just donít know for sure; but I feel that some of that bunch in Memphis had something to do with it. I just donít know what happened with Eli but I feel very strong about this. And I wouldnítí say it if I didnít believe it myself. I truly believe that Eli was the sire of that Grand Champion Zebo dog. They were too much alike not to be true. At one time I gave a nice red puppy to Jerry Clemmons; he is a friend of mine a I still think a lot of the man. He took the pup, kept him for six weeks and then sold the pups. He came here and I gave him another pup that I had here in the Blacksmith shop, I called that pup Spook. She was out a litter that killed each other when they were still very young. He kept her for about two months at the most, when she came in season for the first time he brought her back and I bred her to Eli. They had four pups; three black and one brindle, two males and two females. One of the males was Bullyson, the other was Eli Jr, and the bridle was Brendy. She bit the hardest of them all and she was the biggest; she could break a dog down in less than 3 minutes. Brendy was awesome, a Bulldog! As bad as a man has ever seen. She beat a dog one time like she was having breakfast; Iíve never seen anything like her again. The other female in the litter out of Spook and Eli was a black bitch named Lady. She was my kind of dog and I think the best in the litter. Both Bullyson and his brother Eli Jr. , was a much better producer. He was just not bred to good selected bitches, but he was definitely a better dog than Bullyson. He didnít care if he was getting bit because he was going to bite you. Red Wallings was the owner of Bullyson when hew was matched into his son, Benny Bob. Maurice conditioned him, but he was not fit ot fight, this is wahat happened; Maurice had Bullyson and bred him to a bitch named Beth at his place. A few weeks after that, Bullyson got bit by a rattlesnake and his head was as big as a Texas hat. Also, there was this big old dog at Mauriceís place that got off the chain, and Bullyson, who was in a kennel, was fighting with this dog through the fence and messed up his teeth and gums. Just before the fight with Benny Bo b we checked his blood count and it was down to 33. Benny Bob was a bridle dog and Bullyson a black dog, the match was at 52 lbs. but Bullyson was only a 48 or 49 lb dog. The fight was reported in Pete Sparksí Magazine and also in the book that Mayfield put out at the time; but it was not until Mayfield wrote that little book called ďRednecksĒ that he came out with all that nonsense about a black dog against a white dog. I think he was confused by another match between Danny Burton who had a black 54lb dog and Raymond Holt, who had a white dog called Lightening IV, who was owned by a black man named Chris. Eli Jr. was sold to Douglas Nirider when he was 17 months old for $400; he won his first match on a broken leg in Oklahoma. If Bullyson would have been in good shape against Benny Bob I think that would have been a hell of a fight. One time, I had a dog called Napoleon and I rolled him with Bullyson when he was at my place. Bullyson was an 18 lb bigger dog but Napoleon held his own for a little while. It didnít go very long because Bullyson was coming on hard. Later I won with Napoleon in the same show when Bullyson won over that Sir dog that was handled by Bert Clouse. I remember one incident with Bullyson when he was at my place; Jerry Clemmons brought the dog to me to be tested and one day while I was cleaning up around his chain, he tried to bite me. Before he could put his mouth on me I hit him hard with a shovel and knocked him out. After this happened, he never, at my place, tried to bite anyone again; If a dog is a man biting dog, I donít like them and if they try to bite me or my family, itís a dead dog. Jerry had Bullyson when he was a young dog and he was sort of hyper.
What about Trahanís Rascal?
You see Trahan never owned that dog, it should be Boudreauxí Rascal, like he is registered. I still have his papers here but I donít care if the rest of the world thinks of him as Trahanís Rascal. Anyway, I owned that dog and I crossed him with Blind Billy. Now Rascal wouldnít start when he was a young dog, and as a matter of fact, he was stolen one time but because he wouldnít fight, they turned him lose. I saw him in 1957 when I got out of the service and he fought against a big black dog that was out of Cannonís Black Shine and those dogs. At that time we were all arrested, but in those days it was just a misdemeanor, there was nothing against Bulldogs really. Rascal was owned by S.P. and I traded one of Rascalís sons for him, a young dog called Rascal Jr. This pup only had one testicle, but S. P. took the pup and later sold him. The man that traded Rascal to me is still alive. Rascal produced that Country Boy dog, marciano and several other good females. As a matchdog I think Rascal was probably a little overrated. He was a game dog, red and whit in color. He was also a bad ear dog just like Country Boy.
On the subject of schooling, how did you go about this?
I donít think you can change a dog a whole lot after her is born. All you can do is sharpen his ability a little bit you canít make him game. Now people say that it is a risk to breed a young untested bitch, well I bred Spook her first time in heat. She was never tried before but she produced some exceptional dogs. I think it is like this: they have he genetic ability to produce good, or they donít, not matter how they are themselves. There is just one ace every hundred or so and the rest are just mediocre dogs, thatís something you always have to keep in mind. What happens now is that all these fast lane dogs with hard mouths are doing away with all these old game dogs, going right through them. But I still prefer gameness more than anything else. Anybody can breed dogs that will bite hard and are rough but is more difficult to breed dogs that will stay. With a game dog, you have a shot at the money and there is no monopoly. There is no one that has cornered the market on these dogs, dogs are just like humans, and Iíll that to you: You can have two brothers, one a gentleman and the other one thatís not even worth the powder it would take to blow him up, and still they come from the same father and mother. So, with these dogs, it is the same. You are going to have dogs, each with his own character, and what we try to do is to get the good genes together. We would like all of our sons to be president, but the chances are so few. If a dog doesnít perform at an early age there is nothing you can do about it. My dogs are basically late starters and as a rule of thumb, your late starters make a better dog. I want a young dog to show a pretty strong interest in what we are doing before I start them out. This is how I schooled my dogs: They must be ready to understand what is going on and the desire to do it. When they are willing, I start to school them a few times and when I think he is ready I put everything on him. Iím serious; Iíd put a big dog on a little one and most people will tell you Iíd put tow or three dogs on one if I wanted to test him. I had to see a dog to satisfy me, not please somebody else. I have used dogs that I rolled 8 or 9 minutes but if they give a reason to take a longer look, I certainly will. Who knows if a dog will make one more scratch enough, you pick him up and to your satisfaction he goes like a bullet and stands the line the next shot. Who is smart enough to say he is gambling? One bit of advice to young men that start out in these dogs would have to be ďlearn to have patienceĒ. Let your puppies grow up before you make a decision on them. You canít expect a child to do a manís job, you have to give them a fair shot. If I was to use a dog for serious money, I would wait until he is 2 or 2 and a half at least I would use him any sooner than that. The oldest dog I used was 9 years old, but you can use them up to 6 years old easy. They canít win them all, but they can take so much more when they are 3 years old, to me thatís being at a peak. I will give an example: my daddy had a dog called Nan, he matched him into Gaboon Trahan and he was using a dog named Country Boy, which was also named Peter. Country Boy was just a young dog, in :33 we beat him and he jumped the pit. I will never forget this because my dog had a broken tail. He let him get some age on him and then started to school him. When this dog was matured, hell you couldnít stop him anymore. So Gaboon got his dog back and by this time Country Boy had won several fights. One of his wins was over a good winning son of Dibo called Trooper; he beat him in a real short time. Trooper was owned by Bob OíNeal at that time. Eventually, Country Boy was matched into a dog called Bobtail and that fight went something like 2 hours. Bobtail broke his jaw and Country Boy probably would have won, but Gaboon offered a draw because he knew that the man who owned Bobtail didnít have a lot of money, and he had a wife and some kids. He knew that if he would take the money it would come from the farm. His reason to fight these dogs was to demonstrate that he had the better dog, and he had done that already, so he offered to call it a draw. The moral of this story is that we really gave Country Boy a second chance after he quit against Nan. Most other men would have shot him but age really helped this dog, thatís the hardest thing to explain to a young man who is coming into the game. Iím not making excuses for a dog that quits and Iím not like most Dogmen, who are despite their ways good people, but will sell you a pup for $2000 or $3000 and tell you to wait 4 or 5 years on it. A lot dogs are retired at that age, good or bad. No, I donít make excuses, but in turn, I had some of the best that were late starters.
What was the last dog you matched?
I guess that was the cactus dog from Grady Cummings about 15 years ago. This dog quit in :28, he had quit before but I didnít know that at the rime and nobody told me this until we were about to wash the dogs for the fight. Atlas Brewer came up to me and said, ďDo you want to know something about that dog?Ē I said I appreciate that but itís a little late. We had our money up and I wasnít trying to be rude, but if a man wants to help me then help from the get go. I would never let a man start conditioning a dog if I knew the dog was a cur, but it happened.
How well did you know Maurice Carver?
Pretty good. I saw a lot of his shows and gave him some dogs, but I never really did much business with him. He was a nice looking man and he could tell a story like no other. I remember Maurice and Mr. Jolley, from South Texas, came here one time in 1955 and they were driving a red thunderbird convertible. You had to push the car to start it and they had a big black dog named Butch with them, he jumped out of the car and was running to the highway and we had to catch him. Maurice told me he started with the dogs in 1946, one year after I fought my first dog. He and his friend Jolley went to Louisiana to fight that Wino dog that was owned by Jolley. After the fight Jolley sold the dog over here and Maurice was so angry with him that he refused to drive back to Texas with Jolley in the same car. Maurice knew a lot of good dog people and he would watch the hot young dogs in somebodyís back yard, if you had something he liked he would try to talk you out of it and then start selling them. I saw h im fight a few good ones, but he never did fight many dogs and a lot of times he would come in overweight. One time, he was matched into Mayfield and came in overweight but Mayfield said he would fight anyway. Carver refused and then sold his dog. Thatís how Carver was; Maurice was always trying to make money with the dogs.
Do you think he (Maurice Carver) misrepresented those papers to keep that a secret?
Iím sure he did to some degree. But in those days it was pretty much common knowledge that he did, and everybody that needed to know, knew about it; I did. He bred to my Blind Billy dog and thatís how he got Ironhead, Boomerang and others. They came out of my stuff. He told us that Boomerang was out of Ironhead, you see Maurice would exaggerate a lot, all the time; and he was smart enough to tell you a lie. Donít get me wrong, Maurice was a nice guy. He told me one time that he worked for the Mexican government, the border patrol, and even told my wife he worked for the Foreign Legion. But one thing is sure; he was a hell of a ladies man and could convince you that black was blue. He sure was a good salesman.
APRIL 28, 1968