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Schooling by Elvis Presley

Schooling by Elvis Presley.

Ok, so I decide to start schooling a young bulldog. I am a staunch believer in the 18 month rule of thumb, i.e., don't put them down before they are 18 months if it can be helped, unless you are ABSOLUTELY sure about the dog. But even still, it's a good idea to wait... Also, here's another thing I believe in that most probably don't subscribe too. No matter how fiery a dog is, there's "usually" another dog with which he or she will play, under supervision of course. There comes a point, always does, when your prospect stops playing like a pup and starts play-fighting with the other dog instead. It's a subtle change, but it's there. The dog no longer submits or allows himself or herself, to be dominated by the playmate, usually an older dog I trust a whole lot. If he's getting bit and it hurts, he no longer sings for the dog to release, he will work his way out instead. I have a big cold male I use just for this purpose...Who says cold dogs are useless, ha ha! Anyway, combine this rule of mine with the age factor and I know when school is due to start, so to speak.

Firstly and most importantly, I try to find a dog or b###h as close as possible to the weight of my prospect, preferably a pound or too under, depending on the relative strength of my prospect. The last thing I want is my dog being tossed around the pit like a rag doll. Thus far I've been handling Eli dogs from Black Storm Rising's Kennels and dogs off of Herman King's "New Blood" line. These two lines produce an exceptionally powerfully built animal, so this really hasn't been an issue to date. Mine usually out power anything I put them with, so it's a safe bet for me to go a pound, or two, or 3 uphill, and still have my dog dominate strength wise...This is not a TOTALLY conditioned weight by the way...If it's a match it's pound for pound - strength in my favor.

It's very important to know the dog you will be rolling with, style and mouth being the two most critical factors. I don't want a dog with too much mouth and for a first roll and if it's possible, I like to avoid head dogs, as I think a talented head dog might hold out a young inexperienced dog a bit too much for a 1st time out...That's just my opinion. Seeing that a 1st roll is unlikely to go very long at all, wind is not so much a factor as power, so I generally bring them in very strong for a roll and never just off a chain into the pit.
Ok, everything is set and the dogs are going at it. Though I've never had too, because of the measures I've taken before, I'm always ready to pick up my dog at the first sign that the dog isn't having any fun. No point in spoiling him...Secondly, if the roll dog gets a really punishing hold (say, a solid throat or nose hold) and my dog, for whatever reason is unable to respond, or work a hold of his own, I'll either get a handle if possible, or go in with the sticks and let them scratch.

The goal for the 1st is to introduce the dog to the pit and for you too see how he looks in general. I don't want a 1st timer in too much trouble, nor do I want them to just beat on the next dog either. Ideally, they should be swapping it out or have a nicely balanced exchange going, taking turns on top. Hence the importance of choosing your roll dog carefully. If all else goes well, this should be a nice introduction for any dog to the pit.
I don't like the idea of rolling one 1st timer with another 1st timer as you really don't know what you're getting into. The other dog might just have a mouth like a gator and totally ruin your prospect. Too, I've never had to start a dog that showed no signs of being a bulldog by 2 or 3, so I can't comment on how it's done, any and all advice on this particular topic is welcome.

Well, once the first roll is over and done with and your dog showed really well, the second should be with a dog of a different style, the same weight as yours, give or take a pound or two depending on your prospect's natural strength. In the second roll I generally let the dog give and take as he gets it. I'll try to get in at least 2 scratches with each roll, but 4 is about ideal, I think, if at all possible.