This dog came around at the time that I was looking for an ADBA or UKC conformation dog. I had been involved with family bred game dogs that were not let out to the public for some time, but I did not know anything about the dogs. I purchased Bear off of the side of 1-15 near Barstow, California. And, like I said, I was interested in finding a conformation dog. I raised Bear with another pit, a female I called Gypsy, a DeCordova bred dog. He grew up to be a strapping young male winning multiple times for me in both UKC and ADBA conformation rings. It was at this time that I met Dick Jordan, or my grandfather in the dogs. Bear was off of his Caesar bred to a pure Hemphill bitch, and both it turned out, were pit winners. During my time around the ADBA show ring, I met up with Drop Of A Hat Matt, and almost Immediately we became friends and are still to this day. Matt sold me a dog directly off of Killen’s Cid. This dog was not from his breedings, but was sold by him for a friend. I was now wanting to get into the game, and Matt was a good person to get me started. I did not have Bear with me at this time for some reason or another, so he did not see him. I told Matt that I would like to roll the dog from him, but he turned out to be a rough no-scratching dog that in turn was useless to me. During my conversations with Matt, I had told him about Bear and that I thought I had a good one. After several good natured jokes about an old-family dog, we got together and I put Bear onto a dog bred down from Going Light Barney. Bear put this dog out and Matt said that I should show him in the real ring as he put it. Several years later, Matt ended up being the one to say he did not think that Bear was as good as he was. Matt hooked up a match for Bear as a stand in for a catch weight match. Mind you, Bear is a 59 lb. match dog not as reported in the SDJ where he is listed as a 49 lb. dog.
I had no experience in shaping a dog for competition other than what a good eye might do for you. Matt spent many patient hours on the phone talking me through my keep, especially for a match that he did not think that I would win! I traveled to Matt’s house on judgement day. Matt got us hooked into the Oakland Funkmaster’s Famous Amos, a 2x-winner bred down from the Rebel’s Hazel dog, Weigh in time came, and I brought Bear in dead on at 59 lbs., and the Amos dog came in dead on at 59 lbs. When we washed, we washed Amos first, and he was impressive. He looked to be a warrior. My heart sunk as we washed Bear, a pretty conformation dog that had only been rolled a couple of times. Chacho was the ref and called release your dogs. I was so intimidated that I almost forgot to release my dog. Bear went straight to work on Amos’ head. The other boys wanted to put, more money up on their dog, but I didn’t have it and no one would back this unknown Bear. Much to their surprise, Bear settled down into a solid fighting style and once Amos began to wear down, Bear shot to the stifle and into the chest. A turn was called on Amos, and he ran a good scratch, and I thought that we would be there for awhile. Bear was fighting hard in, the corner for his scratch which everybody thought was funny since I am a little fellow. Bear scratched like a rocket straight into the back end and Amos refused his next scratch at :28 minutes making Bear a one time winner. Shortly after the first match, I was transferred to North Carolina where I didn’t know anybody. On a shot, I contacted Scratch Me Kennels, who I call a close friend within the dogs, and he hooked me up with G.B. and his Big Red dog. This was a catch weight match, and they brought their dog in at 66 lbs. I brought Bear In at 61 lbs. Red put It on Bear for the first 15 minutes with Red deep in the chest with Bear hitting the floor for the first time that I had seen. Things weren’t looking so good and bear started to turn the fight back into his favor shooting into the legs and chest. By :25 minutes, Bear was on a down and out opponent, and G.B. picked up Big Red. It was too late, though, as Big Red expired after the fight. I believe Red was a true game dog as he never thought or acted like he was out of it, trying to scratch when he couldn’t. Red hurt Bear good and later x-rays showed he had fractured Bear’s chest.
Bear’s third match was Into the Untouchables. I want to say that these folks are good people and I am glad to have met them as they have been as nice to me as any. They brought a dog named Brutus which I know nothing about except that he was a brindle and in real good shape. I had the good fortune of meeting with Carolina Kennels at this time, and they had given me some good advice with Bear. Bear controlled the fight working the head and then shooting for the chest. They picked their dog up at :28 minutes, and I was told that he expired shortly after. Once again, these are good people and their record tells the rest. Bear was now a Champion, my first and only match dog. I had retired Bear at this time, but John from Old Spear contacted me and said he would like some. I considered for a while and decided that we would give it a shot. They brought in a smaller dog than I had for a catch weight match. They told me that they thought Bear was a piece and that he would quit.
Well, their E.T. dog lasted longer than any opponent, but at :36 minutes, E.T. was out of commission and Bear was now a 4x winner after totally dominating the match. E.T. made a flaky courtesy scratch and Old Spear asked for another which I agreed and E.T. toed the line. Once again, I contacted my friend, Drop Of Hat Matt to set up his fifth. After a match fell through, Matt called me and told me he had another catch weight male raring to go on a four time winner. This dog was owned by Scott, a fellow I had met once before when I was in California. He brought a 3x winning Snooty bred dog named Budster who was reputed to be an excellent head dog. Budster lived up to his reputation, but Bear, who was conditioned by Matt and handled by myself proved to be the rougher of the two shooting straight into-the stifle and privates. After :20 minutes of this, Budster had enough and refused his second scratch. Thus the story of Grand Champion Bear. He is the first match dog that I have ever, campaigned on my own let alone to win five contracted and reported matches with. I would like to thank a couple of people who helped me along the way. Carolina Kennels and Scratch Me Kennels for all the good advice and pushing me to learn how to bring out the best of my dog. And last but definitely not least, Drop Of A Hat Matt for all of his patience and friendship. My hat is off to you Matt. Just for grins and giggles, I thought I might add this to an already lengthy story about a good dog, Bear recently placed second in his weight class In Riverside, CA’s ADBA weight pull with a pull of 5,200 pounds his first time out, and won his class in conformation too! Guy