The American Pit Bull Terrier (APBT) is a true gamedog, and should not be confused with the dogs commonly but falsely labelled as "pitbulls." Game dogs have existed for hundreds of years, and the APBT we know today resulted from "Bull-n-Terrier" crosses produced in the United States of America (USA) by cross breeding bull-baiting dogs and game terrier breeds imported from Europe and Ireland during the 1800's. By only breeding the best working individuals produced from those crosses, dedicated breeders in the USA utilized performance based selective breeding strategies to refine this new population of game dogs. This breeding methodology concentrated the genes responsible for producing the desired traits into a refined gene pool, resulting in a more prolific population of superior canine gladiators. With competition driving the evolution of these new game dogs, they not only outperformed game dogs of the past, they also more consistently produced offspring with superior structural soundness, excellent health, mental stability, exceptional athleticism, great wrestling skills, a powerful grip, toughness, endurance, tremendous drive, and extreme determination (aka..."gameness"). These dogs became recognized by the UKC in 1898 and by the ADBA in 1908 as the "American Pit Bull Terrier." Bert Sorrells' close friend, Ralph Greenwood, purchased the ADBA in 1973, and today the ADBA is managed by the Greenwood family.
In 1936, the AKC recognized many of these same dogs as the "American Staffordshire Terrier;" however the AKC excluded rednose dogs. While the APBT was continually competing as a game dog and bred to meet the performance standards required by such activities, the American Staffordshire Terrier was competing more in the show arena and less in the performance arena. Breeding standards drive the evolution and divergence of all breeds, and as time passed the performance of Am Staffs began declining as they lost the essential traits required of game dogs. Meanwhile, the performance of the APBT was continually evolving as ultimate game dog. Given the amount of divergence that has occurred due to having different niches with different selection criteria, the APBT and Am Staff have today without question diverged into two different breeds despite sharing common ancestry.
In 1976 the Animal Welfare Act was passed, and due to legal pressures now placing serious punishments towards particular types of game dog activities, by the 1990's many of so called "APBT enthusiasts" gave up their interest in game dogs completely. Others became more involved in the UKC show arena and their breeding practices became more along the lines of the AKC Am Staff. While the UKC dogs were still registered and known as "APBTs" by the UKC, many true game dog enthusiasts tend to look down upon the UKC registered dogs, and no longer consider the UKC dogs true APBTs due to repeatedly falling short of being true game dogs when tested since the UKC registered dogs were generally no longer bred to game dog standards.
Meanwhile, those seriously committed to true game dogs registered their dogs pretty much exclusively with the ADBA. In addition to this, APBT enthusiasts were also now forced to either risk serious punishments for participating in activities that were outlawed or find a new means of testing the abilities and will of their dogs, such as hog hunting.
What is a "game dog" one may ask. Well, if you have ever heard the question, "Are you game?," then you know that question simply means, "Are you willing?" As a result, gameness is most easily defined as the willingness to continue a task despite stress. The abilities of an individual are irrelevant if the individual is not first willing to perform the task at hand. As a result, the willingness of a game dog is its most essential trait, making gameness typically the most sought-after trait that APBT breeders seek to maintain or enhance within their breeding program.
I first met Bert Sorrells in 2003 during a visit when we bred one of our female dogs to Sorrells Ch. Pokey. During this time, we fed Mr. Sorrells' yard for about a week, and got to know his entire yard at that time. During our visit, we discussed several things pertaining to his line of dogs as well as several of his philosophies, some of which are mentioned elsewhere throughout our website. It was about a year later that we purchased the dog pictured above, Sorrells' Captain Skip (click HERE to see his pedigree), directly from Bert Sorrells back in early 2004. It should be noted that Sorrells' Captain Skip played a major role in the early development of our American Sentinel Bandog program.
It is my honest opinion that Mr. Sorrells developed one of the most proven and versatile lines of game dogs, which has excelled not only in traditional venues, but has also done extremely well at hog catch, treadmill racing competitions, wall climbing competitions, weight pull competitions, and even in IPO/SchH competitions/titles. These versatile game dogs also make great canine companions.
We maintain a population of very high quality APBTs that are not only purebred, but our pit bulls are also exclusively from game bred stock with track records of exceptional performance. We selected our preferred bloodlines and foundation dogs by itemizing our goals and objectives for these dogs. The first requirement for our APBTs was to be true to type, meaning they must display the traits required of their ancestors. Next, we reviewed bloodlines known to produce specimens that were larger than the breed's average size range, as we use our dogs for hog catch work or protection work. The additional size provides better control of the larger opposition our dogs would be expected to subdue. After examining many bloodlines, we chose to focus on the Sorrells' line as our foundation.
Educating one's self about the ancestral lineage of the game bred APBT is important, for without this knowledge one fails to understand what it took to produce these dogs and how important it is to protect this gene pool of dogs. We are pleased the recorded heritage of our APBTs can be directly traced back through working camps all the way to a time when some of the first game dogs were imported to the USA. Never-the-less, even the best bloodlines produce some individuals that should not be bred. For this reason, performance based selection musts still be used when selecting breeding stock; therefore, all of our dogs must pass intense performance based assessments and hip X-rayed screening.
By line breeding on Ch. Sorrells' Pokey & Parker's Big Daddy (Sorrells), our goal is to develop a line of catch weight game dogs that breed true to the history of the APBT, but with a bit more size.
One of my mentors in the world of the APBT is none other than the legendary Madison "Maddog" Parker. Madison has a lifetime of experience as a conditioner and handler of working APBTs, and played a major role in the breeding, conditioning, and/or handling many of the legendary dogs in the Sorrells line of APBTs registered under Bert Sorrells' name, including Ch. Uncle Bud, Ch. Joe Testament, Maddy the Mouth, Ch. Raisin, Ch. Sailor, Ch. Johnny Walker Red, and others. Today Madison owns and operates BulletProof Kennels.
With over 40 years of experience breeding working class APBTs, "Pat" Patrick's line of dogs is quite possibly behind more lines of "pitbulls" than any other breeder from the modern era. When it comes to one's knowledge of what it takes to breed quality working class animals, there is not another dogman in recent history that I respect more. Mr. Patrick's ability to recognize the natural genetic potential of working prospects is excellent. I appreciate his extensive knowledge and experience. His willingness to openly share such knowledge and experiences with those that earn his respect is very generous.
I am pleased to announce that Mr. Patrick thought enough of our program to have purchased several of our dogs, including both our APBTs and our American Sentinels. Mr. Patrick informed us that our American Sentinels are the only other breed of dogs that he has witnessed to displayed the same level of drive and intensity he saw in his game bred dogs. I consider it a great honor that he is a repeat client and that he thought enough of our program and friendship to have also sent me his 2000 ADBA Dogman Hall of Fame plaque as a thank you gift...a gift I will undoubtedly & proudly pass down to my son.
What Madison Parker & Pat Patrick have to say about Lee Robinson at ASC.
American Sentinel K9, LLC - Creator of the American Sentinel as the premier family K9 companion guardian. The American Sentinel is the most tested and proven bandog in existence today, and performs very well in protection dog applications or as a canine hunter (aka..."catch dog") of dangerous wild game, such as wild boar.
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