"Back In The Ole Bulldog Days These Manbiters Were Eliminated Immediately."
I hear this over and over again, so let me just ask who, specifically, ever culled a game "man-biter" back in "The Ole Bulldog Days?"
Earl T never minded feeding man-biters, even though his wife's legs were covered with bite scars. Some of Tant's dogs would just as soon eat you as look at you. I understand Burns' dogs were even worse.
I'd like to see someone step foot on V Jackson's yard if he wasn't around.
Carver kept his share of "man-biters," as did many many other famed dogmen.
In most cases, if a dog was good enough to win, it was good enough to live, regardless of who it wanted to have for dinner.
ROCKY ALEXANDER, APBT historian and former APBT breeder
Pit bull advocates are fond of saying that the American Pit Bull Terrier is no more aggressive than any other dog, and in fact they are LESS aggressive towards humans than most other breeds. They claim pit bulls make horrible guard dogs, stating their pit bulls would lick a burglar to death. They attribute the pit bull's love and docility of humans to the dogman's need to handle them in the pit and after the match, if they earned medical care, therefore, any pit fighter that was aggressive towards humans was culled. Or so the story goes. There are two problems with this claim. First, it minimizes animal aggression and exculpates pit bulls when they randomly flex their genetic muscle on unsuspecting animals. And second, it is patently false. This blog will only address the claim's lack of validity.
The pit bull evangelists have a litany of factually challenged, emotionally charged slogans ready to use in their online war of disinformation, each more ludicrous than the other. One of their favorites is "the dogmen culled man-biters". In the Nanny Dog and the ATTS myths, there was almost a kernel of truth at the core of the myths. Yes, the Little Rascals' Petey did appear to be the primary care taker of a group of neglected, poverty stricken, mischievous children and yes, the pit bull does score higher than many traditional family breeds of dogs thanks to the sociopathic machinations of the pit bull apologia.
In contrast, the man-biters were culled and the pit bulls were not bred for human aggression myths were created from thin air, complete fabrications. There is not a sliver of truth in the myth that dogmen culled man-biters. Not only weren't human aggressive pit fighters NOT culled, but a talented man-biter was heavily bred, his stud services were in high demand and the stud fees commanded a premium. The progeny of man-biters are still sought out long after he or she has passed away. This Italian game-dog website lists their choice for the Best Ever fighting dogs, three of the five are known man-biters and the other two trace their origins to the others on their "Best" list. Some famous man-biters have their own facebook fan pages. If you happen to be a 10x winner with 3 kills and scratching on the carcass, people tend to overlook a little thing like the danger she poses to people and she is also likely to be nominated for the cover of this month's International Sporting Dog Journal. Some famous man-biters not only have a facebook fan page, they have their own promotional merchandise too.
BadRap, Karen Delise and other pit bull advocates like to lay the blame of the current trend of breeding human aggressive pit bulls for protection on the 1987 Sports Illustrated Magazine. They believe the magazine turned the pit bull from loving nanny dog into an unstable meth lab soldier, forever tarnishing his image. But pit bulls have always been used to guard/watch property. This is not new to the contemporary backyard breeders who are attracted to the pit bull's thug image. It has been done in America since the beginning. Ads placed in the early 1900's prove this. Even the treasurer of the APBT club was peddling a human aggressive pit bull. And the oldest, most respected name in the history of the APBT, Joseph L Colby wrote in 1936, "As a watchdog he is unexcelled. This book could be written five times on this one subject, in regard to the American Pit Bull Terrier as a watchdog."
But there are APBT facts and then there are the comfortable myths the pit bull apologia tell themselves and others to conceal the fighting dog's true image and hopefully improve it. The fact is, if a dogman liked what he saw in the pit, the dog lived and it was bred with the hope of producing more high performance pit dogs. I have not found a single account of a great fighting dog or even a potentially great fighting dog who was removed from the gene pool prematurely because of poor temperament and a tendency to bite the hand that fed it. I have not found a single account of a great fighting dog or a potentially great fighting dog whose owner elected not to breed because of an aggressive temperament towards humans. The media accounts of the most famous fatal pit bull attack are oddly silent on the subject of the man-killer's fate.
This 1976 match report acknowledges the existence of man-biters and recommends the use of muzzles, not bullets to manage the problem.
4th Match C. Beasley vs Starsky & Hutch M65 Ref. B. Clouse
Beasley's red and white handled by Joe Alvarado. Hutch handling a black. At the scales, while weighing the red and white, who is a bad man-eater, Alvarado lost control of the dog and headed right for Earl Maloney and bit him in the chest. Bill Carr kicked him loose and was bitten himself, very bad, just above the rib cage. That big crazy dog then headed for the crowd with his mouth wide open. Some one could have been seriously hurt if Bill Carr hadn't intercepted again, this time getting bit on the leg, through his boot. They finally got the dog under control and the match was on. Alvarado got fouled out for some bad handling in his corner and the Winner: Starsky & Hutch's black dog.
It would be a good idea to muzzle know man-eaters to prevent something like this from happening again.
Reported by Bobby D. Smith
One aspect of this particular pit bull myth that I find especially perplexing is that the group of people who most aggressively promote the man-biters were culled and pit bulls are people lovers who will only lick you to death myth are often the very same people who go to great lengths to SAVE every man-biter from euthanasia. This bizarre phenomenon is currently playing out in Godfrey, Illinois with a pit bull named Precious. After one unprovoked attack on another dog and three unprovoked attacks on humans, the battle is on to protect this man-biter at all costs, including condemning the victim, her parents and further endangering the community.
"Earl T never minded feeding man-biters, even though his wife's legs were covered with bite scars."
Surely, if a dogman had a prized pit fighter that did not exercise discretion between human and dog flesh, they would take extra precaution with it to ensure that no yard accidents occurred, especially in light of Colby's freak accident.
Thanks to the dogman's need to boast, we can lay two more myths to rest. First, the myth of the responsible dogman. Second, dog aggression does not equate to human aggression.
The life and times of legendary pit fighter and known man-biter, Gr Ch Gambler's Virgil ROM has been well documented and provides evidence that these are myths.
Here is Virgil on the chain and posing with puppies, cats, women and children.
Virgil's heir and the heir to Virgil's legacy.
What do these photos say? These photos tell me that the line drawn between animal aggression and human aggression is an arbitrary one, as is the line drawn between irresponsible and responsible dogmen.
A quote from an interview with Diane Jessup in 2001:
Jessup believes that much of dog behavior comes from their genes. “I truly believe that a dog is about 90% genetics,” says Jessup. She believes that many of the aggressive pit bulls put down in the nation’s shelters are the victims of generations of indiscriminate breeding.
I don't know how the pit bull expert arrived at 90% or how accurate it is but i tend to agree that the number is high. Whether it is 75% or 95%, I don't know but it is my opinion that it is closer to 100% than 0%. Jane Berkey and Ledy Vankavage would like everyone to believe that genetically determined behavior of pit bulls hovers around the zero percent range. That is irresponsible, self-serving and just plain crazy.
Pit bulls have been bred for so long and so intensively for the pit, that their hard-wired violent tendencies don't always discriminate between dogs and people or dogs and cars or strangers and family members. This hard wired behavior is true of many breeds of dogs, not just pit bulls and is probably best illustrated with the border collie. The border collie breed is not quite as old as the APBT, yet it is so hard wired to herd sheep, that if there are no sheep to herd, it will herd whatever is available. I have read accounts of border collies (and aussies, cattledogs, shelties) herding a variety of non-sheep animals and inanimate objects such as ants, cats, dogs, chickens, horses, rabbits, frogs, shadows, light, shoes, vacuum cleaners, tumble weed, leaves, snow, cars, carpet fuzz and HUMANS. No one is surprised when a border collie herds ants. And more importantly, no one tries to claim that it is the owner's fault for not properly training or socializing their border collie! The border collie's inability to refrain from treating children like sheep, often makes them a poor choice as a family pet, as they tend to nip while herding. The same cautionary approach should be taken with gripping dogs.
We recognize the border collie's hard-wired instincts to herd and it is dangerously foolish to deny the pit bull terrier's hard-wired instincts for violence.
"I will challenge you to show me the ped with no famous manbitters in it."
~ anonymous dogman
The following are a few pedigrees of known man biters and their first generation of REGISTERED offspring. As noted with the pedigree of human aggressive Lil Bit, not all offspring are registered, so the number of man-biter offspring is potentially much greater than indicated below.
Yellow John 66 registered offspring
Zebo 90 registered offspring
Art 63 registered offspring
Bolio 106 registered offspring
Angus (descendant of Spook & Eli) 9 registered offspring
Anderson's Spade 4 registered offspring
Mesquite Sam 1 registered offspring
Golden King's Silver 19 registered offspring
Zeljko's Yellow 3 registered offspring
Bullyson 129 registered offspring
The remaining man-biters listed below all trace their roots back to Bullyson.
Virgil 336 registered offspring
Honeybunch 44 registered offspring
Buster 101 registered offspring
Tornado 9 registered offspring
Darla's Queen 7 registered offspring
Chinaman 189 registered offspring
* Chinaman sired the greatest producer of all time Frisco. It is irrelevant whether or not Frisco was a man-biter, he passed on Chinaman's (and Bullyson's) DNA on to his 1182 registered offspring.
Yacuza's Mr Indian 83 offspring
* Mr Indian is a pit fighter in the Balkans and his roots trace back to Bullyson, Bolio, Zebo and Yellow John. He is described as man-biter and a wall jumper.
These 18 man-biters produced at least 1265 puppies.
Diane Jessup 2001 interview
Pit Bulls by Gary Wilkes
Dogmen Conversations About Man-biters and Man-Eaters
Man Eaters by Gary J. Hammonds
Dogmen Conversationsions About Man-biters and Man-Eaters
Gambler's Virgil Stud fees
Dog Fighting and Pit Bulls
John P. Colby: the fountainhead of the American Pit Bull Terrier within the United States
1909 Dog Bite Fatality: John P. Colby's Fighting Pit Bull Kills Nephew
The American Pit Bull Terrier, Joseph L. Colby, 1936
Are Pit Bulls Different? An analysis of the pit bull terrier controversy - Randall Lockwood and Kate Rindy
Diane Jessup and man-biters
Tom Garner Kennels: Chinaman
Chinaman bloodline discussion
A few historical references to human aggressive pit fighters
1976 match report
Fairy Tales from the Pit