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Subject: Re: Food For Thought

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Date Posted: 10:03:10 03/01/06 Wed
In reply to: FTJ 's message, "Food For Thought" on 19:41:55 02/28/06 Tue

>About the Red, Red Nosed
>Written by Richard F. Stratton
>* Appeared in the January-February, 1975 issue of
>Bloodlines Journal.
>No one really knows when these dogs first came to this
>country, but the great breeder William J. Lightner
>once told me that his grandfather raised them before
>the Civil War. It is quite possible that they were
>even here during the Revolutionary War. In any case,
>it is clear that dogs of this breed came from various
>parts of Europe, specifically Spain and Sicily. But
>little is known about these earliest importations,
>because nothing was written about them. (Books and
>periodicals containing information about dogs were
>rare in those days.) Their existence can be inferred
>from artwork, however. The most famous importations
>were from Ireland, and were generally made by the
>Irish themselves after they emigrated to this
>country.(The bulk of the Irish pit dog importations
>coincides or closely follows the great Irish migration
>that resulted from the famous potato famine.) Most of
>the Irish dogs were small and very closely inbred, but
>their gameness was proverbial-especially that of the
>group of strains that was known as the Old Family. The
>following article Ion the Old Family Reds (just one
>segment of the Old Family bloodlines) is reprinted
>from Bloodlines Journal.
>THE STORY OF THE OLD FAMILY REDS. It has always seemed
>to me that the good old Pit Bull is a breed that is at
>once primitive and futuristic. He looks no more out of
>place in the ancient landscapes of 16th century
>paintings than he does in the ultra-modern setting. It
>is beyond my capabilities to imagine an end to him,
>for every generation seems to supply a nucleus of hard
>core devotees completely committed to the breed. In
>any case, you can look into the murky past, and you
>will find it difficult to discern a beginning place
>for the breed, and, fortunately, the future seems to
>threaten no demise either.
>Ours is a breed that has a definite mystique. Part of
>it, no doubt, stems from the fact that it is an old
>breed and deeply steeped in tradition. Old strains are
>a particularly fascinating part of this tradition, and
>the Old Family Red Nose is one of the better-known old
>The appearance of the red-nosed dogs always attracts
>attention, but it takes a little getting used to for
>some people to consider them truly beautiful. However,
>no one denies that they radiate "class."
>Characteristically, a dog of the red-nosed strain has
>a copper-red nose, red lips, red toe nails, and red or
>amber eyes. Some think the strain was bred for looks.
>Others consider any dog that just happens to have a
>red nose to be pure Old Family Red Nose. It is hoped
>that the following will dispel such notions.
>About the middle of the last century there was a
>family of pit dogs in Ireland bred and fought chiefly
>in the counties of Cork and Kerry that were known as
>the "Old Family." In those days, pedigrees were
>privately kept and jealously guarded. Purity of the
>strains was emphasized to the extent that breeders
>hardly recognized another strain as being the same
>breed. For that reason all the strains were closely
>inbred. And whenever you have a closed genetic pool of
>that type, you are likely to have a slide toward the
>recessive traits, because the dominants, once
>discarded, are never recaptured. Since red is
>recessive to all colors but white, the "Old Family"
>eventually became the "Old Family Reds." When the dogs
>began coming to America, many were already beginning
>to show the red nose.
>The "Old Family" dogs found their way to America
>mainly via immigrants. For example, Jim Corcoran came
>to this country to fight the world heavyweight
>champion John L. Sullivan, and stayed to become a
>Boston policeman. He sent for dogs from his parents
>back in Ireland, and his importations and expertise as
>a great breeder have earned him a prominent place in
>American (Pit) Bull Terrier history. Many other Irish
>immigrants also sent back to their families to request
>for dogs, and the "Old Family" and related strains
>became firmly established in the United States.
>At this point, there are several factors that are
>somewhat confusing to a student of the breed. For one
>thing, the term "family dogs" was used in two ways: It
>could mean a strain of dogs that was a family unto
>itself that was kept by a number of unrelated people
>in Ireland, or it could refer to a strain of dogs that
>was kept and preserved through the years by a family
>group. However, the old Family Reds seem to be of the
>first category. Another point that arises is that with
>all these importations from Ireland (and there were
>importations from other countries, including Spain),
>where do we get off calling our breed the American
>Bull Terrier! Well. ..that's a point! The breed does
>not really belong to anyone country or even anyone
>era! However, I don't believe many people are in favor
>of changing the name of the breed even though it is
>not strictly an American breed. For that matter, it is
>not really a Bull Terrier, either! But the name
>American (Pit) Bull Terrier has become part of that
>tradition we were talking about, and I think most of
>us prefer to keep it as a formal name for the breed.
>Back to the Old Family Reds. The first big splash made
>by the red noses was back around 1900 when the great
>breeder William J. Lightner, utilizing Old Family Red
>bloodlines, came up with some red-nosed dogs that
>really made a name for themsel ves. Now Lightner once
>told me that he did not breed for that red-nosed
>coloration. In fact, he did not even like it and he
>only put up with it because the individual dogs were
>of such high quality. Eventually Lightner gave up the
>red-nosed strain when he moved from Louisiana to
>Colorado, where he came up with a new strain that
>consisted of small dark-colored dogs with black noses.
>He had given up on the other strain because they were
>running too big for his taste and because he didn't
>like the red noses.
>At this point in our story we come upon a comical, but
>highly-respected, figure in the personage of Dan
>McCoy. I have heard old-time dog men from all over the
>country talk about this man. Apparently, he was an
>itinerant fry cook and not much of a success in life
>judged by normal standards, but he didn't care about
>that. What he did care about were Pit Bulldogs, and he
>had a wealth of knowledge about the breed. His uncanny
>ability to make breedings that "clicked" made him a
>respected breeding consultant and a most welcome guest
>at any dog man's house-even if he had just dropped off
>a freight train!
>Always with his ear to the ground regarding anything
>that involved APBT's, McCoy got wind of the fact that
>an old Frenchman in Louisiana by the name of Bourgeous
>had preserved the old Lightner red-nosed strain. So he
>and Bob Hemphill went to that area, and with the aid
>of Gaboon Trahan of Lafayette, they secured what was
>left of the dogs. McCoy took his share to the
>Panhandle of Texas and placed them with his associates
>L. C. Owens, Arthur Harvey and Buck Moon. He then
>played a principal role in directing the breedings
>that were made by these fanciers. And from this
>enclave came such celebrated dogs as Harvey's Red
>Devil and Owens (Fergusons) Centipede. Hemphill
>eventually kept only dogs of the red-nosed strain.
>According to Hemphill, it was McCoy who first started
>using the term "Old Family Red Nose" for the strain.
>Another breeder who was almost synonymous with the
>red-nosed strain was Bob Wallace. However, Bob's basic
>bloodline was not pure Old Family Red Nose. But in the
>late 40's he was looking for the red-nosed strain in
>order to make an "outcross." (Bob was a scrupulously
>careful breeder who planned his breedings years in
>advance.) Unfortunately, he found that the strain was
>nearly gone, most of it having been ruined by careless
>breedings. He managed to obtain seven pure red-noses
>of high quality whose pedigrees he could authenticate.
>The strain was subsequently saved for posterity and in
>the 1950's became the fashionable strain in Pit Bull
>circles. In fact, it was Bob Wallace himself who wrote
>an article in 1953 called "There Is No Magic in Red
>Noses" in which he tried to put a damper on the overly
>enthusiastic claims being made by some of the admirers
>of the strain. No more fervent admirer of the Old
>Family Reds ever lived than Wallace, but he obviously
>felt that the strain could stand on its own merits.
>Many stains have been crossed with the Old Family Reds
>at some time in their existence. Consequently, nearly
>any strain will occasionally throw a red-nosed pup. To
>many fanciers, these red-nosed individuals are Old
>Family Red Noses even though the great preponderance
>of their blood is that of other strains. Sometimes
>such individuals will fail to measure up and thereby
>reflect undeserved discredit on the rcd-nosed strain.
>However, as Wallace said, the red noses should not be
>considered invincible either. They produce their share
>of bad ones as well as good ones-just as all strains
>As a strain, the Old Family Red Nose has several
>things going for it. First, it is renowned for its
>gameness. Second, some of the most reputable breeders
>in all Pit Bull history have contributed to the
>preservation and development of the strain. People
>like Lightner, McClintock. Menefee and Wallace, to
>mention just a few. Finally, as McNolty said in his
>30-30 Journal (1967) "Regardless of one's historical
>perspective, these old amber-eyed, red-nosed,
>red-toe-nailed, red-coated dogs represent some of the
>most significant pit bull history and tradition that
>stands on four legs today."

John that story is 31 years old, everyone has read it a million times.

If you are that bored post on your board. What you're doing is screwing it up for people who want to learn the real history of OFRN dogs.

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Subject Author Date
Re: Food For ThoughtMike Norrod
18:42:51 03/01/06 Wed

    Re: Food For ThoughtFTJ
    06:09:08 03/02/06 Thu

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