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How important is Gameness to breeding? Lets ask Pat

a good read but somehow he forgot to mention the importance of hip testing and titles for selective breed standards, he could sure learn a thing or two on these forums, lol


I have been studying the different methods used to produce winning dogs for 15 years. I’ve also read everything I could find on the breeding methods and ideas of the past. I’m sure many of the readers have made the same study. I think most of the successful breeders agreed that deep Gameness was the most important asset a dog needed to win. Some breeders even said Gameness was the only thing to breed for. They said hard bite and talent were not passed on consistently, but Gameness was. In fact if a dog had too much ability, they wanted no part of him for breeding. He was considered to be biting extra hard from fear. I have been breeding my own dogs long enough to have some ideas of my own. I think Gameness is the most important thing to breed for if you want your dogs to win consistently. I think the other assets are important and they are passed on just like Gameness. Next to Gameness, I would rate endurance, stamina, natural air or whatever you want to call it, the most important asset a dog can have. Two dogs can both be in equally excellent condition and one will just last longer than the other. If a dog runs out of Gameness, he loses. If a dog runs out of gas, he loses. After Gameness and stamina, I rate ability next in importance. By overall ability, I mean the dog that can get his holds in while avoiding punishment himself. Wrestling ability helps a dog get the hold he wants or gets out of a hold. A smart hunter knows how to pace himself and when to go on offense or defense. He can also change his style if he has to. A hard bite will help any dog win. However, I would put hard bite behind Gameness, stamina, and all around ability in importance on the average.

I don’t believe an extra hard biter is biting hard from fear. Many very hard biters like “CH. MARCEL” have proven very Game when they could not win. A hard biter is just as likely to be deep Game as a light biter. I’ve noticed that rough curs appear to have more bite and ability than they really do. The reason for this is that they don’t pace themselves at all. They use all the power and bite they have, and after 20 or 30 minutes they low down and then quit. If you see a dog like this for a short time, they are very impressive. A Game dog with just as much ability won’t show you everything he has in 20 minutes. He will save something for the stretch like Alex Arguello. I believe all these assets (Gameness, stamina, ability, and bite) are transmitted genetically to the pups. A dog’s genetic makeup is a product of the dogs in his background. “TOMBSTONE” was a Game dog with an average bite, but he sired such exceptional hard biters as “CH SNUBBY,” “CH RENO,” “GR. CH. HOPE,” and “CH. TONKA.” Why? His sire was Maloney’s “TOOT,” one of the all-time hard biters. “TOOT” was a son of Tudor’s “SPIKE” and Carver’s “BLACK WIDOW,” both very hard biters. Another son of “TOOT,” Maloney’s “DAVIS” (Greenwood’s), was an average biting Game dog. “DAVIS” produced the famous “CH. OUR GAL SUNDAY” Bitch and other hard biters. A dog can be a very hard biter, but if none of his littermates and few of his ancestors bit hard, then his pups probably will not bite hard on the average. If a dog is a hard biter from a line of hard biting littermates, then he will probably produce lots of hard biting pups. This would be true for the other assets as well. The gamest dogs usually wins, but sometimes they don’t. there have been plenty of times when a Game dog has been cut down by a dog of much lesser Gameness. The less Game dog is not Dead Game or even deep Game. He is winning all the way and he is Game enough not to quit when things are going his way. I can’t agree with breeding for Gameness alone. A Game dog with little ability will usually beat the rough Cur. But what happens when a Game dog with little ability meets a dog that’s almost as Game with a hell of a lot more ability. I think you know what happens.

Breeding for hard bite over everything else gets popular now and then. This theory says that if you Keep breeding super biters together you will get dogs that easily destroy their opponents. Gameness is secondary in this theory. It’s more popular lately than it was say 20 years ago. Some breeders claim they have developed these super biters. They call these dogs awesome. They are much too much for mere Game dogs and win their hunts in 20 minutes or less, so they say. These breeders are almost always fairly new in the Game or not too bright if they have been with the dogs for a while. They have little respect for a dog that needs two, three, or four hours to win is harmless according to them. If one of their dogs wins a long one, however, they say it proves their dogs have gameness.

These guys never have a win record to back up their theory. In fact, no really successful breeder who bred a large number of winners ever bred his dogs with hard bite as the main goal. Yes, there is some truth to the theory of the awesome dog that wins without needing Gameness. But it never works on a large Scale over a period of time. Here are some reasons why it doesn’t work. First: the hardest biters are freaks that bite harder than almost any ancestor of theirs. They almost never throw dogs that bite as hard as they do. Did “JIMMY BOOTS” ever throw a dog that bit like he did? No. Mangrum’s “SHORTY” was the hardest biter I’ve seen, but none of her pups bit like her. How many sons of “ART” bite like he did? None. Usually these super dogs throw harder-than-average biters, but no super biters or freaks like themselves. Second: no dog, no matter how awesome, can count on a quick easy win every time. “JIMMY BOOTS” and “BENNY BOB” has squashed their early opponents like bugs. When they met each other, they went over two hours. Gameness, stamina, and conditioning played a bigger role in the hunt than bite did. “BENNY BOB” did more damage, but he lost in the stretch. A hard bite is like a boxer’s hard punch and must be delivered on target to do any good. Sometimes the hardest dogs to beat are dogs like “BRADDOCK” or “BOLIO” that never let hard biters bite anything but air. Dogs like “CHEN LENG,” “BOLIO,” “STRIDER,” and “BRADDOCK” won’t win many hunts in 20 minutes or less. But they can beat dogs that have a long string of quick wins to their credit. “CRACKER” and “NIGGER” were terrific biters, but when they went into each other, it went almost three hours.

When two very high-quality dogs meet, it usually goes a while no matter how many lesser dogs they have destroyed in a short time. A real hard biter may win easy in the bush leagues. When he steps up in class and meets a real good dog, he will need all the Gameness, stamina, and skill he has. Hard bite alone just won’t cut it in good competition.

I have five dogs I use for stud dogs a lot. Only two of these five bite exceptionally hard. The other three are just average biters. All five dogs have extreme Gameness and stamina and come from a line of dogs with these attributes. When I look out of my own Yard for a stud dog, I’m more impressed with a Dead Game, long-winded dog like “JEEP” or “HOMER” than a destroyer like “PANAMA RED” or “Pit GENERAL.” Maybe “PANAMA RED” could go three hours if he had to. You know “JEEP” and “HOMER” can do it and that’s nice to know. When a breeder tries too hard to get hard biters, Gameness is going to suffer. Of course, if you can find a well-bred, long-winded, Game dog that bites like hell, you’re in business.

I breed my dogs for Gameness, stamina, and style first, and if I can add bite to my dogs without losing the first three assets, of course, I’ll do it. Also, hard bite does not seem to be as easy to pass on as Gameness. Terrific biters often seem to come from nowhere and don’t pass their bite on consistently. When you hear of an extremely Game, long-winded dog he usually comes from dogs like that. Gameness and stamina will put your dogs in the winners circle far more often than a hard bite will. The Bitch is equal in importance to the male for breeding quality dogs. I want the same Gameness and stamina in a brood Bitch that I do in a stud dog. There are many breeders who feel only the bitch’s pedigree is important and not her Gameness or ability. They will point out that Jack Dempsey’s or Joe Lewis’ mother never had a hunt. This comparison is invalid. People are not bred to hunt. Maybe Dempsey’s father never had a hunt either. We all know there are lots of Game tough bitches. Surely a Game Bitch will produce gamer dogs than her Cur sister. The best dogs of today are probably more punishing than the dogs of the past, but Gameness and stamina are just as important today as ever before.

(Pit Bull Gazette, November-December 1982)
it is a good read and I posted it here because I know most here don't approve and respect these true standards... I don't believe these standards should change and they can't change, if they've changed in breeders standards then maybe they can come up with a new breed title because they're not breeding APBT's, it's the honest truth


Good Dog
Good post Minor :D I've always juggled that thought myself... super destructive mouth over really game or vice versa.... Of course the ideal would be about both. But if you only had to pick... would you want a super game dog or just a hardcore super rough mouth? I think it was FB that said breed game and match your killers. But I might be wrong on that quote... but it sounds familiar.


Good Dog
an applicable quote from a stratton article titled the Color of gameness...

"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. "

Other breeds can match (even exceed) the bulldog in bite strength. I have recently been reading about the aerdale terrier, and especially when they were hunted heavily they were one breed said to have a heavier bite. There are breeds that arevbigger, faster, stronger, more powerful, and more athletic. None though matches them in gameness, and that then is the appeal and the standard IMO.
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