Interview with Alan Scott by Casey Couturier about American Bulldogs (1999)

Discussion in 'Library and Archives' started by Igor, Aug 24, 2016.

  1. Igor

    Igor Administrator Staff Member

    Local Intranet

    To prepare for this interview, I visited the homeland of the American Bulldog in the Sand Mountain area of Alabama, and with the assistance of Mr. Darrin Jones, was able to locate and interview Mr. Alan Scott, Mr. W. C. Bailey and Mr. Jack Tate. A letter from Mr. Scott received after my visit follows on this page, and his interview follows.

    Dear Casey,
    Enjoyed your visit the other Sunday and I hope I could help shed some light on the older bloodlines of the American Bulldogs. Also maybe I answered some of the allegations John D. Johnson made about me. I hope everyone will enjoy some of the old pictures I let you borrow for your fine magazine. (American Bulldog Review).

    I am enclosing the picture and other information for the ad I want to run. The bitch in the picture is bred to Darrin Jones' male "Preacher"; he goes back to my old bloodline as does my bitch.

    One of my old friends, Don Matthews of Ft. Pierce, FL. and a few new friends, Darrin Jones of Attala, Al., Rayburn Stover of Boaz, Al, will be doing some breeding with me to keep my line of American Bulldogs as game and useful as they were in the late 60's.

    If I can be of any help to you in any way, please let me know what I can do. Because, I don't want the working ability being bred out. As you can see from your last American Bulldog Review, the story about Dixieman showed that the working ability was still there and Dixieman was the first N.K.C. Grand Show Champion. We still need to be breeding the good quality dogs with dead gameness and working ability.

    Well, I'll close for now, come back to see us when you can.

    Your Friend and fellow A.B. Breeder,
    Alan Scott

    Editor’s reply.......

    Dear Friend Alan:
    I really enjoyed my recent trip to the Sand Mountain area of Alabama, and my visit and interview with yourself, Mr. W. C. Bailey, and Mr. Jack Tate. It was really nice to find out that you were still with the living and not really passed on as the rumors had reported! Your wife Betty and yourself, W.C. Bailey, Jack Tate and his wife, Darrin Jones and his wife Christy and Rayburn Stover displayed true Southern Hospitality and were all extremely helpful.

    I especially appreciate you letting me borrow some of your personal photos of most of the foundation dogs of our breed. Most are what I consider "cover" material and will be used as such.
    We share the common goal of keeping this breed in the "working" category. With this in mind, I will gladly accept your offer of help from time to time for help to attain that goal.

    A big welcome aboard from Sheila and myself and all concerned breeders and fanciers of the American Bulldog breed!

    I remain,
    Up To Scratch,
    Casey Couturier, American Bulldog Review Editor

    A.S. is Alan Scott, C.C. is Casey Couturier, D.J. is Darrin Jones

    C.C. - "Where did you get your first Bulldogs?"

    A.S. - "The first bitch I got was obtained from J.M. Ashley who John D. refers to as “Sales” Ashley. But he was Mr. J. M. Cell Ashley. I got my first one from him and I got a lot of these others from him. And he was an old CATCH MAN! That's what he did. He farmed and he caught wild cattle for a living. Mac the Masher came from him. Big Dixie Belle and Little Dixie Belle came from him. Bailey's Gigantic Jim came from him. Me and John D. and Louie Hedgewood bred every bitch that came in heat (to Mac) from the time I owned Mac to the time he died because we wanted to get every pup, every specimen we could get out of that old bastard before he died."

    "But the old man's 84 years old now. I talked with him about a month ago and I think he's got one old dog he picked up somewhere and that's all the bulldogs he's got. He's not able to get around anymore but I carried John D. out to Cell's after I got aquatinted with him. He was an old dog trader and catch man. All those old dogs he had would catch, they were rough, Oh God Almighty were they rough. The old Mac dog, I got him when he was 10 or 12 years old. John D. made the statement in the magazine that he bred to Mac one time and that's the only dog of mine that he ever bred to. Me and John D. and Louie Hedgewood bred every bitch that came in heat (to Mac) from the time I owned Mac to the time he died because we wanted to get every pup, every specimen we could get out of that old bastard before he died."

    C.C. - "When did you start to register your dogs and where did the pedigree information come from?"

    A.S. - "We started to register them after they were approved. We tried to trace back the genealogy as best as we could. And it seemed like it was along about 1973 before I registered any dogs. I think these are the oldest papers and they are the original ones I registered in 1973. But when we got back as far as we could get on a lot of these old dogs. Then the only thing I knew to do was to put like that dog's name down, and start with what we used to call a cold pedigree; a single register or a cold pedigree. So they were wanting (the NKC) a background. I called John D. and said 'Look we need to go ahead and get some of this paperwork sent in, that's the only way I know to do it.' And he said, 'Well come over here on Saturday'. So I did. When I got over there we went in and sat at his kitchen table and he said 'Here's what I've got for a pedigree on Tiny,' which was Dick the Bruiser, and he had a filled out pedigree. It had Johnson's this, this, this and this. He said here's some old.... They weren't real pedigrees but they were made out like real pedigrees. They didn't have English Bulldog pedigrees or American Bulldog pedigrees or anything like that. They were made up like genealogy pedigrees. This one sired this and all that. So he said 'what we can do is use the names of some old dogs that I had years ago in the 1940's. They're all dead and gone and in a few years it won't make any difference anyway.' "

    C.C. - "So John D. Johnson didn't make any distinction between an English Bulldog and an American Bulldog?"

    A.S. - "Apparently he didn't because I didn't know they (fabricated pedigrees) were English (Bulldogs) either until later years. I just thought they were some that he had wrote down. We didn't do it to hurt anybody. And we didn't do it to make money with them. God knows that we weren't getting but $125.00 a piece for puppies. The reason we did that was to get their registration started and as the generations went on, that would fade out. It didn't make any difference. When you get back to 7th and 8th and 9th generations, hell, it doesn't matter what's back there, no way. But that's where those names came from."

    C.C. - "I pretty much figured out what you did because I've got old bulldog books with those pedigrees in them and I realized what had happened. This is going to help people understand that this is a Southeast American originating bulldog. This is where they were developed."

    "Every dog was tested as game as we could prove them up to dead game without killing one and occasionally we did kill one."

    A.S. - "Every dog was tested just like he (JDJ) said in his interview. Every dog was tested as game as we could prove them up to dead game without killing one and occasionally we did kill one. A hog would kill him or a cow would stomp his guts out or something like that, or fall on him. I've had dogs cut down and lay there with the fight going on and be scratching to get to them. And I know other men have done the same thing. But I've had my dogs do that. But where John D. says that they were all tested, sure they were tested. But he wasn't able to do it, so I did it. I'd catch cows, hogs, it didn't matter. What we caught was what everybody else culled. When nobody else could get them, then they called us. And me and W.C. (Bailey) who you interviewed the other day, we worked together right smart. And when nobody else could get them, they called us to come get them.

    But they were all proven, they were all what you could say were time tested because as you see they were approved to register in 1970. Over here are some old pedigrees, here's Mac...September the 24, 1973. There's that Bucking Bronco Bill, September the 29th, 1973.

    D.J. - "And I think one thing that needs to be added in is that Alan did tell his customers."

    A.S. - "Oh yeah. When I started shipping Bulldog puppies, there wasn’t any paper on them. I advertised them in Gamecock Magazine. You can hear these roosters crowing around here, I'm a game chicken man. I advertised them in Gamecock magazine as protection dogs to keep dogs and coyotes and stuff out of your roosters. And I sold a sloosh of them for that. I was getting $75.00 a piece for them. And when we got papers on them I went to $125.00. When anybody that called about them and we got to talking about pedigrees or anything, I told them the same thing I told you. I said we did that to get them registered; to keep a written record."

    C.C. - "It's nice to have titles and bill of sales and the keeping of records."

    A.S. - "You've got all of that now where you didn't have it before. That's why we did it, so that they could be traced from that point on."

    C.C. - "The only alternative would have been to not even sell any pups and breed two or three generations down from that dog when you would have an actual pedigree of actual dogs and that would be impractical."

    A.S. - "Yeah, you know it just wouldn't work.”
    We continued to look at some modern extended pedigrees of modern Scott and Scott/Williamson/ Bailey/Johnson hybrid dogs..........

    A.S. - "Well I'm glad to see this in here that he (JDJ) did put in that Gypsy Rose Lee was a sister to Dixieman. You've got it in this pedigree anyway. A lot of people think that when it gets right here it stops. But that's how that pedigree stuff got started and all. It had to start somewhere. I didn't know that those pedigrees were off of English Bulldogs. I thought they were names of some American dogs that John D had written down. But I do know that he told me when I first went over there in the late sixties that when he was a kid he did have English Bulldogs. I never did think about them being English because there was no English put in mine since I had them. No English or no Terrier either."

    A.S. - "When we started and you'll notice on these old pedigrees, they were American Pit Bulldogs. When we started registering them, we kept having so much trouble with everyone thinking they were terriers. Around 1977-1978 is the word "pit" was dropped off the name and they went to being an American Bulldog. John D. also made a statement in there (American Bulldog Review #1) that Mr. Ashley never did register any dogs. But after we got started, all these Ashley dogs in this pedigree they were Cell's, Ashley's Jeff, Ashley's Dixie Tammy, That's all Cell's, every bit of that is. "

    D.J. - "Who was Nations?"

    A.S. - "I didn't know him."

    C.C. - "Who was Oak Hill Paul?"

    A.S. - "He was first dog that I let Joe (Painter) have, he was out of Bill and Little Dixie Bell."

    C.C. - "A lot of the dogs behind him had a lot of brindle."

    A.S. - "I'll tell you where that came from, Wright's Rounder; he was as brindle as old Mac (the Masher) here. He was that red brindle, he didn't have a solid white head (like Mac) he had brindle over one eye, the other side was white. He had a white chest and white feet, but he was mostly red brindle. This dog here, Red Mutt, he was as red as a Boxer, but he didn't have any black markings. He was just red as a terrier (Pit Bull) but he was an American dog. You see, that was one that in later years were tested out as catch dogs. Where it says unregistered is where we started them cold, instead of getting into that shit we got into to start with. This Susie Q dog came from me, she was Johnson's."

    C.C. - "You need a consortium of breeders, to develop a strain."

    A.S. - "That's the way we were when we started; everybody that started to register them. We all worked together. There was me, John D., Louis Hedgewood, George Lee Williams, and W. C. Bailey. They were the ones working together over here, and there were several over in Georgia."

    A.S. - "We all worked together; because we all knew what each other had and we all knew what we were breeding for. If W.C. had a gyp over here that we needed to shorten the head on a little, we'd maybe take her to John D's. and breed her to Dick the Bruiser, and then we might come back with her on some dog I had."

    "If everybody doesn't get the attitude of saving the breed, then it's going to be lost."

    "We were all real close knit and worked real close together, bred together, exchanged puppies with one another, until the point where John D. blew up when I beat his ass (in the show ring). Then the breeders over here-(Alabama) still did. George Lee, myself and W.C. until he got out of it. We were all real close, Cell Ashley and a friend of mine who's out of the business now, Larry Wright who bred Wright's Rounder and a few others. Larry got in and stayed in about 4 or 5 years. Joe ended up still owing Larry a little money and still owes me some too, but we all worked together. By the way, from what I can see from the tapes Darrin sent me of the (ARBA) meeting in Georgia and the comments everybody's making in the American Bulldog Review, everybody's at each others throats, and they're going to kill the breed doing it that way. If everybody doesn't get the attitude of saving the breed, then it's going to be lost."

    We continued looking through Mr. Scott's memorabilia when he brought our attention to....

    A.S. - "I got this from the Animal Research Foundation in 1976 and that's when we started breeding the dogs and getting them registered with Animal Research Foundation. Here's the original letter that Mr. Stodghill wrote me. (Mr. Scott reads from the letter) 'We are pleased to have you as an ARF registered certified breeder. The same day your membership came in the mail we got another American Pit Bull breeder.' Now, this other fellow's (dogs) were terriers."

    C.C. - "Pit Bull Terriers?"

    A.S.- " Yeah."

    A.S. - "The letter goes on - 'I am very pleased to get three active American Pit Bull breeders all at the same time.'"

    C.C. - "So ARF made no distinction between a Pit Bull and an American Bulldog?"

    A.S. - "Mr. Stodghill didn't know the difference at first. The three were myself, this other guy and the third one was Mr. Johnson. It's a wonder that I still have this correspondence."

    C.C. - “So you registered with NKC before you registered with ARF?"

    A.S. - "Yes, the NKC was started in 1964 and it wasn't patented until either late 1965 or 1966. That's according to Mr. Hopper and Mr. Jess Butcher who later became friends of mine."

    C.C. -"Are they still the owners now?"

    A.S. -"Mr. Hopper is still the secretary, I'm not sure about Jess Butcher, and I haven't been in contact with him in years."

    C.C. - Why did you stop selling puppies to the public?

    A.S. - I'll tell you why I got out, and everybody's going to want to know. The reason I quit breeding so many puppies, is right there. (Mr. Scott points to an oil painting of Dixieman hanging on the wall) It was when old Dixieman died. Dixieman was a once in a lifetime dog. He had more sense than a lot of folks have got. I could bring people in, and I kept him tied down close the front of the other dogs, and I'd walk somebody by him. If he laid there and didn't pay any attention, I'd show them anything on the "Dixieman was a once in a lifetime dog.

    He had more sense than a lot of folks have got. I could bring people in, and I kept him tied down close to the front of the other dogs, and I'd walk somebody by him. If he laid there and didn't pay any attention, I'd show then anything on the place, but if raised up and kind of looked at them and kind of drew up and looked at them, you was careful where you took them. He could smell a damn crook. I could put him in my truck and ride him any where I wanted to go. And when I got out I could slap the side of that truck twice and you wouldn't touch it. He'd come over the top on you. If I didn't slap that truck any kid, any body can crawl all over in the back, all over the cab, beat the damn windows out of it and he'd sit right there. When we was showing him after we championed him out, we had showed him so much he'd pout when you went to get another dog ready, cause he thought he wasn't going to get to go. My first wife had a little grooming shop and we had a bathtub, it was up about 3 or 4 foot high and you could turn him loose, it had a swinging door in between the customers and where she worked, he'd come down and be in the bathtub when you turned him loose and you could wet one side down and tell him to turn around and wet the other side down and you could soap him the way and he'd turn around and you could rinse him all off.

    But when you got to that show ring, you lead them and then you stand them and then the judge feels them and whatever. When I stood him I could go sit down over in the bleachers and he'd be right there until I called to him. Never move, that judge could look in his mouth, feel his testicles, anything that he wanted to do to him and he'd never move a hair, in those grand show champion classes. If we get time, if you want to see the dusty things, I'll go out here and pull the trophies out. But he would absolutely freeze in a show position you couldn't knock him out of it. Very seldom did I have to touch him when he posed and when he posed I'd say 90% of the time he was right. He looked just like he does in that painting. My first wife and I divorced and then it wasn't too long after that he died and going through all that and all, I just kept enough of them just to keep a little sea to have some to play with cause people would call here, they'd call at all hours of the night, and I get up at 2:30 AM to start my day. And I'm usually in bed by 8:00 PM.

    We continued to look through Mr. Scott's photo album as he reminisced.......

    A.S. - When we started and you'll notice on these old pedigrees, they were American Pit Bulldogs. When we started registering them, and we kept having so much trouble with everyone thinking they were terriers. In around 1977-1978 is when the word "pit" was dropped off the name and they went to being an American Bulldog.

    This is lady Lujo II. I was thinking that Joe (Painter) came down and got her.

    C.C. - Some of these American Bulldogs seem to produce well into their later years, because Joe got pups out of her well into her teens.

    A.S. - Some of these old dogs do because that Golden Goldy dog she was 12 or 13 and still having pups. And Dixie Belle, when Buster and them were born she was 13 or 14. She had 12 but she lost all but 4. Dixieman and King (Kong) were about the same age. We bred Dixie to Tiny, Dick the Bruiser. The first time she had ever been bred that way. The first and last because she didn't have any puppies after that. Of the four that made it, 3 were females and one was a male. So John D came over to get his stud fee puppy, and we were looking at them and he was wanting to keep King out of Tuffie's litter. And he said those puppies were too good to let anyone else have, he said we need to keep everyone of them.

    I said that's what I thought. He said he wanted to keep this male out of Tuffie, and I said if you're wanting to keep him, let me have this male, and I said you can pick two females, and I'll take the female that's left. And that's what we done. I got to looking at some old papers, and this Egans, John D had to let him have one of them gyps because he kept Gypsy Rose Lee. And I noticed in some old paper work that Egans had an Egans' Dixie Belle and she was from that breeding and that was the only time it was made, so he had to have got her from John D.

    C.C. - I wonder why John D doesn't want to admit that he ever got a dog from you or you ever got one from him?

    A.S. - I don't know.

    C.C. - That's what I assumed happened in the beginning. I didn't know what the rift was but I knew you had some of the same stock.

    A.S. - We did. I had 5 stud dogs about two years after I got started. And he had Tiny. He was the only one he had. He was bringing daughters of Tiny over and breeding them to different ones. And when I got Mac, me and him and Louie bred every damn thing we had to him, till he died. I don't know why he wants to do that, because I never mean mouthed him nowhere to nobody. And after I whipped him in that show over there, beat him in those two shows, he didn't want anything to do with me. We bred close together up until that time. He would call me and say I got a bitch over here I found up in the mountains that's out of so and so and so and so, do you want her? And I'd say, yeah I got room for her. And I'd go get her. And he'd say when she comes in I'd like to breed her to such and such dog and I'd like to have a puppy out of her. I'd say fine. So she'd come in and we'd breed her to that dog and he'd come and get a puppy or two out of her and he'd take them home with him, no charge, everybody's happy, hunky dory, let's go to the house. Now I haven't had any contact with him since 1982, and he comes out in the magazine and saying that he let me have bitches, and I never did pay him for them.

    C.C. - Who started that rumor anyway?

    A.S. - Joe Painter started it.

    C.C. - He probably didn't want anyone coming down here and getting the same stock he was.

    A.S. - I didn't really care because I was tired of folks pestering the shit out of me at that point in time. A fellow called me one time and we were talking about the dogs, and he said, by the way, (this was in the late 1980's), he said Joe Painter's telling everybody you're dead. And I said he is? My wife Betty and I, we just had a big laugh about it. That son of a bitch, you know he still owes me money, and now he's telling everybody I'm dead. We just kind of giggled at that. I didn't think any more about it, and we have been out of touch with all the bulldog people until just recently, when Don and Darrin got back a hold of me. Like I say I've had a few dogs all along, but they were just for my own personal use. Some of my cousins had them; we'd go hunting and stuff like that with them, that's all we kept them for.

    C.C. - Who first registered the American Bulldogs?

    A.S. - John D. was the first to register them in the NKC and the ARF, because his paperwork got there a day or two before mine did.

    D.J. - Who arranged the deal?
    A.S. - Oh, I did. See I used to coon hunt and hog hunt and do everything, so when the NKC came out, we had been hunting at a lot of UKC night hunts, and the NKC came out with some and we went to one or two of them. At that time they were fairly new. So I got to thinking about it and said to myself, we might get them to register them (American Bulldogs).

    C.C. - You didn't ever add in any Pit Bull Blood?

    A.S. - No, I know I hadn't.

    D.J. - I keep seeing Woods' Oso Nero.

    C.C. - It's not Nero, it's Negro.

    D.J. - And that Garret's Jo Jo...

    A.S. - That goes back into that Carver stuff.

    C.C. - You are famous right now because your name is associated with the working type bulldog. I would be very proud of that.

    A.S. - I am. I'm tickled to death!
    We continued to look through Alan's scrapbook.......

    A.S. - Right there, that Muncie puppy was one of them pups out of Bill (Bucking Bronco) and Little Dixie, Ashley's Muncie. I know these old pedigrees from here and on back, but with the new ones I'm lost. When I look a horse pedigree, I start with the grand sires and grand dams and then go back from there. There is a friend of ours that breeds Belgian horses out here, he says this one is out of this and this, and I said, what does that go back to? My wife and I, we start here and go on back. I never pay attention to what they're out of, we look at grad sires and grand dams, that's where you get you power in your breed bloodlines, and you don't get it from the two that they are out of. They can be out of Joe Blow and Henrietta as far as that goes. It's going to take me a while to get caught up on the new end of these pedigrees.

    There's Dixieman again, a good close-up of his head and there's Lady Lujo. If you look back at that old standard that we wrote, it tells what we thought the dogs should be like.

    A.S. - Here's Lady Lujo II, she goes back to Honey Gal.

    C.C. - At first we had a little trouble figuring out these pedigrees, we'd get to Dixieman and Dixie.... I've said before that I don't really care what's in the background, I trust the integrity of yourself and these other breeders, and they would have used these dogs if they weren't any good. They didn't pick a dog because it had a certain look. These dogs were chosen on their merit of having working qualities, and you had to start somewhere.

    A.S. - Leo Maxwell was a cousin of mine, you see this Maxwell's Dixie and she was bred to Dixieman. And he got John Wayne and Joe Painter got a sister I think Joe named Ma Belle or something like that. Originally she was Maxwell's Lady but Painter called her Painter's Belle.

Share This Page