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 The Color Of Gameness

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Sadieblues
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PostSubject: The Color Of Gameness   Sat 08 Nov 2008, 2:50 am

The Color of Gameness
by Richard F. Stratton

It is hard to believe now, but I do remember as a youngster how I couldn't quite understand the more experienced pit dog men's preoccupation with gameness. I was more impressed by flash, agility, and talent. My thought was, " Give me the talented dog and let the other guy have the dead game dog!" Now, I know that I am getting old, because I worry about the younger Bulldog men being so preoccupied with barnstormers and not giving sufficient commitment to gameness. There is consolation in the fact that, if these young guys stick around long enough, they, too, will come to appreciate gameness.

I'm going to have more to say in a later article about the nature of gameness and just why it has always been deemed so important by the experienced pit dog man and is even treasured by people who simply want a Bulldog as a pet. For this issue, I simply wanted to discuss color.

Almost all dog men develop a preference for a favorite color in their favorite breed; however, that preference is always quite changeable–depending on what color their most recent favorite dog was. There are some misconceptions, too, about certain dog men favoring a particular color. For example, most people think that Bob Wallace had a particular predilection for red, red-nosed dogs. As a matter of fact, he did greatly admire the Old Family Red Nose line, as his original strain was partly founded on it. But his greatest all-time dogs were Searcy Jeff, Toney, Pistol Pete, Hillbilly, and Madame Queen–all of them brindle dogs. Only King Cotton, who was white, and Curly, who was red and red-nosed, deviated from the brindle pattern among his all-time great ones, so, although Bob certainly appreciated the red ones, he liked the brindles, too, because so many of his good dogs had been that color. One of the last dogs I got from him was Wallace's Star, a black-faced brindle female.

In addition to the fact that dog men develop a preference for a certain coloration, some of them develop a prejudice against a given hue. One pit dog man, who probably just as soon wouldn't be named, swore up and down that he never saw a game red nosed dog in his life. Now his favorite stud dog, and possibly all-time favorite dog, is a red-nosed dog.

I have heard dog men claim that only certain colors within certain strains were game. Some genetic traits can be linked like that, but I think gameness is far too complex a trait to be linked to a specific color. One dog man, who liked black dogs, even cited some scientific evidence which linked a dark eye to the "fast-twitch" type of muscle cell. Examples to support the speculation were the cheetah, a very fast animal, with a black stripe running through the eye, and certain other fast predators. I was unimpressed by that part of the evidence, as I was familiar with many predatory animals, some of them of the ambush type, who all had that line through the eye. To me, it always seemed that the line through the eye was an adaptation toward camouflaging the eye. Prey animals are very much aware of eyes, and it helps predators to have their eyes partly concealed or made to look smaller. Still we have had plenty of good black dogs, including one of my all time favorites, Grand Champion Hope.

At the other end of the spectrum, that most knowledgeable of dog men and a very valued friend, the late Howard Heinzl, never cared for black dogs, and he insisted that black was not a Bulldog coloration. Believe me, I never argued with him, but black is depicted in extremely old pictures of Bulldogs, and, besides, black can come from other colors, from buckskin crossed with cinnamon red, for just one combination. Some of Howard's favorite dogs were white, as some of his best had come that way. His Polly and Dutchess were examples of that. Also, Howard's favorite all-time dog man was John P. Colby, and old "J.P.'s" favorites had been his Pincher and Galtie, two white dogs with black spots.

As for Tudor, he liked any color, as long as the dog was a good one. The only exceptions were the red, red-nosed dogs. Not that he couldn't appreciate them, but he didn't like the color. He admitted that Centipede was truly a great dog but lamented what a shame it was that he was one of those "yellow-eyed, red-nosed dogs." Even Lightner, perhaps the single person most responsible for the emergence of the red-nosed line, told me he never liked the looks of them and got rid of them because of that and because of the fact that they were running too big. How ironic then that this very coloration became a badge of distinction during the era of Wallace and Hemphill and O'Neal, not to mention Jim Williams, and remains so unto this day!

As for me, I know I have the reputation of liking the Old Family Red Nose dogs, and I do as a strain, but they are not my exclusive favorites. I think some of the prettiest dogs are the tawny red colored dogs. If they are well built, this coloration makes them look like young mountain lions. I also have a particular preference for pied dogs, like Dibo's grandsire, Gimp, and Jimmy Boots, not to mention my own Hoover dog, who was a beautiful animal in his youth. Now, like me, he is beginning to lose his beauty!

When I was a mere thirteen years old, I studied the Armitage and Colby books, and I developed favorite dogs in each, and they were almost always brindle. Galvin's Pup was a particular favorite, and he is still my ideal of what a Bulldog should look like. Brindle has always been a traditional Bulldog coloration, even though some other breeds carry it (and they may very well have gotten it from crosses with Bulldogs), but it is usually not appealing to the general public. The point is, though, that there are different types of brindles, with different hues and shades. I prefer the gun-metal grey type of brindle, with a black face–but, surely, even the general public would like the looks of Galvin's Pup!

In the final analysis, though, it isn't the color that counts. You have to be around these dogs a while to realize that gameness is their essence. That is what you build upon; everything else is gravy. So, as for color, I think we can safely say that they come game in all colors. For that reason, I don't care about the color. Just color mine game.
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PostSubject: Re: The Color Of Gameness   Sat 08 Nov 2008, 2:57 pm

ok sun shines on every dogs but someday
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PostSubject: Re: The Color Of Gameness   Sat 08 Nov 2008, 6:36 pm

littlecountry wrote:
ok sun shines on every dogs but someday

To bad your dogs will never see gameness not in this lifetime unless your dogs are matched in the box like the old timmers did it and I dont mean 3-4 generations back in a pedigree somewhere or a fight in your yard you will never see game in your dogs you can breed chinaman out your a$$ all day long means nothing and any old dogger will tell you that buddy ... sorry keep wishing on a star reality is what it is so you can throw your red dogs right up in there with the rest of them because unless your a dogfighter breeding a strain of real game dogs proven matched and titled straight out the box you have no business talking about anyones dogs being curs or culled or less game than the rest because the truth is you don't know and never will the more you talk the more uneducated you sound . hammer
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PostSubject: Re: The Color Of Gameness   Sat 08 Nov 2008, 10:03 pm

Now, why the hell are you bashing his dogs or his program? Get a grip, girl.
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PostSubject: Re: The Color Of Gameness   Sat 08 Nov 2008, 10:19 pm

buzhunter wrote:
Now, why the hell are you bashing his dogs or his program? Get a grip, girl.

Hmmmmmm well why did he say BLUE= CULL ???? Get a grip Dude!!!!!!!! You don't come on here talk shhht about a persons dog and not expect to get it back when you say all blue dogs should be culled your talking about one of mine. If you expect me to sit back and not say anything your wrong. I am far from a punk and I have done my research to know that half the crap people say about blue dogs is BS and meant to be predjudice so when I find something positive to post you people who own red dogs got a problem with it give me a break if you can't take the heat get out the kitchen. You can't have it both ways your ready to dish it out be ready to take it that's how I see it. I don't go around talking shit about other peoples dogs and putting down peoples dogs I have my opinions about the standard but you will NEVER catch me calling someones dog a cur or saying they should be culled or they are lazy good for nothing dogs. I don't do that and I am not known for it but I know a few people on here who are. I said something tonight because Little country is out of line with his comments and since he wants to talk about peoples dogs be ready to get it back. That's why his dogs got talked about now maybe he will stop talking about someone elses
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PostSubject: Re: The Color Of Gameness   Sat 08 Nov 2008, 10:31 pm

buzhunter wrote:
Now, why the hell are you bashing his dogs or his program? Get a grip, girl.

Buz I never thought I would say this about you but your a hypocrite you got all on shades your the #1 person known to bash bullies and now you wanna cry when I say something about someone who came on this forum and so boldy stated BLUE = CULL ... Now in case you have not forgotten I happen to own a blue dog and a few others here do too!!! and that comment was uncalled for LC is know one to talk about culling lmfao ... Your sick of hearing the blue dog thing well I am sick of uneducated hillbillies talking trash about blue dogs like they are somehow inferior to the breed. So I try to promote them in a positive light by posting some great educating articles written by repsectable people.
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PostSubject: Re: The Color Of Gameness   Sat 08 Nov 2008, 10:58 pm

Okay, not taking sides, but I have yet to see any direct bashing. BUT, I aint havin' it tonight so CLOSED

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