OFRN — The NeverEnding story

The importance of the Irish strain in the history of the American Pit Bull Terrier and what makes the selection for the Old Family Red Nose dogs different from other strains that came from the same region.

OFRN — The NeverEnding story.

In this article I will share everything I learned after years of research and by talking with several breeders of different strains that emerged from Ireland imports and Old Family Red Nose dogs, so get ready for a long and exciting journey through the history of these dogs.

It is known that many breeders kept their blood base predominantly Irish but did not call themselves OFRN breeders, throughout this article I will bring examples of these breeders and explain a little about what differs on the traits derived from the preservation of William J. Lightner’s old Irish blood done by Bob Hemphill also known as “Mr. Red Nose”.

William J. Lightner with Timmy

In my last series of articles, we learned a little about the possible origins of Old Family Red Nose dogs in the United States and the importance of the work done by the Colby family with the well-known Colby’s Galtie “The Irish Dog” and Colby’s Tige, two of the most influential strains behind CH Ferguson’s Centipede, known for giving rise to bloodlines from breeders that sign their names in the history of the OFRN dogs like Jim WilliamsD.A. McClintock, Bob Hemphill, Bob WallaceDan McCoyBob O’Neal (Hemphill’s associate), Art E. LimbeckJ.M. Corrington, F.H. Sanders and later Jake Wilder; But the protagonist behind the history of these dogs in the United States was Lightner, it was to preserve his old Irish blood that Dan McCoy and Bob Hemphill went in search of these dogs.

CH Ferguson’s Centipede bred by L.C. Owens off of Arthur Harvey’s stud (both Hemphill’s associates) and owned by Dave Ferguson and Earl Tudor
Jim Williams old Ad showing Williams’ Black Girl when she was bred to Tudor’s Black Demon and announcing his Lightner stock “… I have one of the purest of the old Red Lightner breed of dogs, they are as game as they come. I have 2 Lightner females bred to my good Lightner dog…”

“The Old Family Red Nose were Irish dogs, but not every Irish dog was an Old Family Red Nose.”

Based on the principle that these breeders were looking for dogs that carried the traits that were showed in the old Irish blood bred by Lightner in the past, we understand that even with tight breedings off of Colby’s Galtie being easier to find at the time, this was not what they were looking for, in fact one of the last dogs that emerged from a tight breeding on “The Irish Dog” was Colby’s Dime, one of the most important Irish studs during the 1950s but yet not the same as Lightner’s old Irish blood.

Bob Hemphill (in the left), Bob O’Neal (center) and Gaboon Trahan (in the right) talking in a diner

Understanding the difference between Irish dogs and OFRN dogs

To be clear about the differences between these animals we need first to understand which bloodlines arose from strains that came from Ireland to the United Sates that did not come from the same stock as those bred by Lightner, even before the creation of the term Old Family Red Nose by Dan McCoy and the beginning of preservation of the strain done by Bob Hemphill.

The story of these dogs started with Irish immigrants fleeing Ireland during the event that became known as the “Great Famine” or “Irish Potato Famine”, which occurred during the years 1845 and 1849.
With their arrival in the United States, many of these immigrants brought dogs from their homeland and it was them and their descendants that started the breeding of Irish dogs in the United States; Irish breeders like Jim Corcoran and William M. “Bill” Shipley became known for their strains from their home country.

Tom McGough’s Bob AKA Bob, the Fool — Red/rednose male

One of the first dogs result from the combination between strains from different countries in Europe (that we have records of) was McGough’s Bob also know as “Bob, the Fool” owned by Tom McGough, 1/8 of his blood was off of Lloyd’s Turk (imported from England by Charlie Lloyd in 1845), but at the time “Bob, the fool” was known to be a Irish dog leading us to believe that at least 3/4 of his pedigree may have come from pure Irish strains.

John McDonald’s famous Gas-House dog Grip” It’s said that his dam (a white bitch) was stolen from Irish immigrants at the docks of Boston, his story was an inspiration for the fictional book White Monarch and the Gas House Pup

Some old historians may miss the name of W.S. Semmes, his strain was a combination between the Gas-House and Jack Burke dogs, although they had many Irish ancestors in its foundation like The Gas-House Dog AKA McDonald’s Grip imported in 1870, one of Mr. Burke’s main studs was a dog named Rafferty, a strain brought from England to Canada by a famous dogmen named Harley, which later gave birth to the “Rafferty” dog purchased by Mr. Burke from W.K. Farren of St. John, N.B, Canada and then sent to the United States.

The Semmes’ Famous strain of Fighting Dogs are a combination of the Old Jack Burke, Waterford Jack and Biddie Strain, with an infusion of new blood obtained from Old Man Harley of Canada, whose dogs were the sensation of England and this country.
— W.S. Semmes

W.S. Semmes’ used to advertise his bloodline as “The Dogs that made Mississipi famous”. In the photograph Semmes’ Colonel — Red/White male

Mr. Semmes was the record holder of consecutive winning whitin the breed at the time, with 19 victories and no losses.

John GalvinJohn NoonanJohn DuffyJames Edward Maguire, Tom McGoughPat ConroyThe Farmer brothers, Mike Redican, Harry Collagan and Ed. Donahue were know to bred pure or heavy Irish dogs in the past, while others were successful in combining strains from Ireland and England since the beggining of their work, as in the case of Con FeeleyJack BurkeGeorge C. Armitage and John P. Colby himself with his Irish strain by Colby’s Galtie (as we learned in the Part 2 of my series of articles about the possible origin of the OFRN in the United States) in outcross with the English stud White’s Teddy owned by Jack White and that was bred with CH Colby’s Pansy another bitch owned by J.P. that goes back to early Irish imports, the result of this combination with both strains from England and Ireland are the famous Colby’s Pincher and Major.

William Shipley’s Pearlie also known as Pearlie Noonan bred by John Noonan and owned by Bill Shipley
Pat Conroy’s Duke — A great dog around Chicago at about the turn of the Century — White male

In 1901 the same breeding took place, once again, but now giving birth to Colby’s Mag that was later bred to Colby’s Tige keeping the blood heavy Irish but not pure as Colby’s Galtie or Pansy, that’s because “Mag” was sired by White’s Teddy and although “Tige” have come from predominantly Irish breedings, he was already the result of the same combination of English and Irish strains of the past, with his pedigree going back to Burke’s Tanner great-grandson of Lloyd’s Turk.

Colby’s Tige — Whelped in 1896. Sire, Colby’s Paddy; Dam, Colby’s Jennie. Pit Weight, 35 Lbs. Bred and owned by John P. Colby, Newburyport, Mass

A breeder rarely mentioned in history but who played a relevant role in the history of the Irish strain was John Duffy, the dam side of his most famous dog GR CH Duffy’s Jack comes from a breeding between Gas-House (McDonald’s) Grip and dogs from a breeder called Hektor Connor.

GR CH Duffy’s Jack later owned by John Kennedy of Oak Street, Winchester, Mass. White with red marks male

Even without much information about the breeder, it is worth mentioning that one of his ancestors is a dog called Connor’s Black & Tan, “coincidentally” GR CH Duffy “Jack” is the main blood behind Colby’s Black and Tan Mack and can also be found behind the pedigree of Colby’s Dinah, two dogs that manifested the Tan gene within Colby’s family of dogs; We also know of Curry’s (Colby’s) Man-O-War a Black and Tan male with a white mark in his chest but he didn’t have the blood of Duffy’s “Jack” behind his pedigree, in this case what these dogs shared in common was that they were all known to have come from heavy Irish breedings.

Mike Redican old Ad showing Redican’s Dixie — Buckskin and White with red nose female. Notice that Dixie’s grandsire was a dog named Degnan’s Black and Tan, again we can see the relationship of the Tan gene associated with Irish dogs

I believe that Duffy’s “Jack” may be one of the origins of the so-called Widows Peak, in which breeders of Irish strains who kept their selection within the same traits mentioned by Bob Hemphill in his family of dogs, started to produce dogs exhibiting a primitive gene, the A-Locus also known as Agoutti responsible for manifesting both the Sable and Tan gene.

Wiz Hubbard with GR CH Corvino’s Braddock — Brindle Male

Years later but yet before the creation of the term OFRN, we could see the breeders Walter Komosinski, I.D. Cole, Robert “Bob” MenefeeJack Williams, Joe CorvinoGene FulkersonClyde MasonWiz Hubbard and J.M. Trice, just to name a few, keeping the Irish blood as predominant within their lines, originated from the same breeders who have made this combination in the past.

CH Tudor’s Fighting Peter the first UKC Pit Champion

Even though Earl Tudor have never sought to bred for predominant Irish blood, he was very fond of the strain that had a big influence in his work, dogs like CH Tudor’s Fighting Peter sired by “The Irish Dog” can be found behind CH Ferguson’s “Centipede” pedigree, Tudor’s (McClintock’s) GoldyCH Tudor’s Black Demon bred by J.M. Trice (mentioned in the old Ad by Jim Williams at the beggining of the article being bred to his female) and Tudor’s (Corvino’s) Goldie (an outcross between Shipley’s Irish dogs with Tudor’s predominantly English stock) were all dogs coming from heavy Irish breedings and used in his successful trajectory.

McClintock’s Goldy (later called Tudor’s or Sylvestris’ Goldy). One of the Pits greatest 35lb females. — Red and white
J.M. Trice with CH Tudor’s Black Demon — Black and Tan male

Howard Heinzl from Phoenix, Arizona (a good friend of Mr. Tudor), also built his bloodline based on heavy Irish breedings.

Reverend Howard Heinzl holding Heinzl’s (Colby’s) Boom Boom
CH Heinzl’s Kayo sired by Colby’s (Heinzl’s) Tinker x Colby’s (Heinzl’s) Scarlet. Photo taken in 1949

One of his most famous stud was CH Heinzl’s Kayo, born from tight breedings off of Colby’s “Galtie”, Heinzl’s Tony was a pure Lightner dog, a bitch named Heinzl’s Red Girl was the result from the outcross between Jack Williams dogs and Bob Wallace work off of Wallace’s Madam Queen and Hadley’s Dot, owned by Howard M. Hadley, D.A. McClintock’s nephew.

Jack Williams with his dog Tim — Red and white male
H.M. Hadley with McClintock’s Lady in Red on the day she was shipped to Grady Wilder — October 26th 1942
Hadley’s Red Jacket from H. M. Hadley, one of the Presidents of the Staffordshire Terrier Club within AKC who played an important role inside the club, taking Wallace’s dogs to AKC’s studbook and for been responsible to end the conflict between Staffordshire Terrier and Staffordshire “Bull” Terrier breeders, changing the breed’s name in 1972 to “American” Staffordshire Terrier
H.M. Hadley with Jaggers also known as George’s Jaggers his name can be found behind D.A. McClintock and J.M. Corrington bloodlines that later would give rise to Holland’s Kito the sire of Clouse’s Kito Jr known to be the foundation stud of the work done by Bert Clouse
Old Ad from H.M. Hadley showing Hadley’s King

Another very important breeder was Robert “Bob” Lee Neblett, that never called himself an OFRN breeder, his bloodline was built off of heavy Irish breedings done by Harry F. Clark and J.P. Colby dogs through his foundation stud GR CH Neblett’s Bucky McCoy combined over the years with dogs that emerged from the aforementioned Colby’s Dime.

Mr. Bob Neblett and Neblett’s Duke McCoy in 1975
In this pic it may be Robert Kelly or Fred Schroeder (left) and Lewis Cronker (right) with GR CH Bob Neblett’s Bucky McCoy

Bucky McCoy blood goes back to GR CH Clark’s Old Trump also known as Armitage’s Kager, 3/4 of “Kager” pedigree came from Irish strains of J.P. Colby but not from Galtie, his predominant genetics was off of tight breedings between Irish dogs of the past like The Gas House Dog AKA McDonald’s Grip.
His work is considered one of the best preservation of the Irish bred dogs whitin the breed.

Harry Clark with GR CH Clark’s Old Trump (Armitage’s Kager)

Shortly thereafter Frank Creed bred Creed’s Duke (heavy Corvino), with a bitch called Creed’s Iron Lady born from the breeding between two pure Neblett dogs, giving birth to GR CH Creed’s Iron Dusty AKA Ross’ Red Devil, which in the opinion of many was one of best dogs that have ever crossed the pit.

GR CH Creed’s Iron Dusty AKA Ross’ Red Devil — Red/Red nose. Photo posted by @SportingDogJournal on Facebook

Due to his quality in the breed’s original function and the genetic purity of his Irish strains, it was the perfect choice for outcrosses with dogs coming from the work done by Bob Hemphill, because even though it is possible to find Lightner dogs behind their pedigree, his predominant blood comes from different Irish strains.

CH Wise’s Maximillian ROM in 1967 — Red/Red nose with white marks male

CH Wise’s Maximilliam ROM owned by Robert and Marcella Wise off of GR CH Ross’ “Red Devil” was bred with several dogs coming from the Old Family Red Nose, giving rise to bloodlines that exist to this day.

William “Bill” De Cordova with his dog De Cordova’s White Hope

In Part 3 of our series of articles on the origin of OFRN dogs in the United States, we learned about the origin of the strains behind CH Gaine’s Turtlebuster and that his sire was the result of the work done by Bob Menefee, Clyde Mason, Gene Fulkerson and Lightner, now we also learned the origin of the dam side of his pedigree, again Irish strains, coming from Maximilliam combined with William “Bill” De Cordova’s dogs, Mr. De Cordova bred dogs from his friends Jack Williams and Earl Tudor (that was also his neighbor at the time), his bloodline was also heavy Irish.

“Bruces Jerry” UKC 189–756 Con Feeley Breeding. Payne kept this dog for Bruce in 1934

One of the individuals pointed out by historians as “Red Devil” main influence was Corvino’s Shorty, his sire Bruce’s Jerry had 6/8 of his blood coming from Con Feeley’s dogs, 1/8 coming from Mike Redican and 1/8 from pure Lightner dogs, “Shorty” dam side was Fly of Panama, the result of tight bred dogs off of GR CH Clark’s “Old Tramp” AKA Armitage’s “Kager” the same Irish breedings behind GR CH Neblett’s Bucky McCoythrough breeders Harry Clark and Walter Komozkinski who also owned dogs from Mr. Clark and George Armitage off of “Kager”.

A rare photo of Corvino’s Shorty from the book “American Bull Terriers: A Legacy in Gameness” by Frank C. Rocca II — Red and white male

It was these series of events that culminated in the birth of one of the most important dogs in the history of the breed, Hubbard’s Bouce, sire of both well-known Tudor’s Dibo and Trahan’s Rascal, remembering that even though they arose from heavy Irish families, these dogs were never remembered in history like OFRN they just came from predominantly Irish families.

Hubbard’s Bounce 39 lbs Pit weight. Sire of Tudor’s Dibo and Trahan’s Rascal, apart from Colby’s dogs, all pedigree of modern times feature these animals

The foundation of Bert Clouse “The King of the Pit” bloodline came from the work done by Bob Menefee, Clyde Mason, D.A. McClintock, J.M. Corrington, J.M. Trice and Earl Tudor, all mentioned above coming from predominantly Irish families.

CH Clouse’s Butcher Boy (Mason’s Fudge x Mason’s Mickey) in the left and Mrs. Wilder (Jake Wilder’s wife) with Butcher Boy in the right

From the modern era we have the bloodline built by Bert “Buckshot” Sorrells that also has its greatest influence coming from dogs by breeders Joe Corvino, Bob Wallace, Jim Williams, Howard Heinzl and the Colby’s Galtie strain through Ed. Crenshaw’s bloodline.
CH Fitzwater’s Goldie bred by Frank Fitzwater, mother of Klaus’ Zeke owned by Eddie Klaus was the great-granddaughter of CH Heinzl’s KayoHeinzl’s Tony and Heinzl’s Red Girl mentioned above, Klaus’ Zeke was one of the main studs behind Sorrells’ bloodline.

Sorrells’ Red Jerry ROM sired by Ed. Crenshaw’s stud Stu Flower a predominantly Irish blood coming from Colby and Lightner strains bred with a pure Corvino bitch called Wilson’s Old Goldie bred by Indian Sonny and owned by James Wilson
CH Sorrells’ Crazy Dugan (Wallace’s Talking Boy AKA Sorrells’ Hard Rock x Sorrell’s Crazy Mary II)
Bobby Smith with Sorrells’ Boots the Blacksmith. A pure Corvino dog inbreeding of Altiere’s Tim

One of the characteristics of this heavy Irish family are individuals that are born with the Black and Tan color, propagated by the Tan gene, and that could also be found in Redican, Connor, Colby and J.M. Trice family of dogs mentioned above, again showing examples of the so-called “Widows Peak”.

Bert Sorrells with Sorrells’ Azuma a Black and Tan male son of CH Sorrells’ Sailor

Many of the names mentioned had Irish blood as predominant at the foundation of their bloodlines and none of them called themselves Old FamilyOld Family Reds or Old Family Red Nose breeders, some referred to themselves as Irish breeders while others simply never saw the need to classify their work, thus been the main reason why we should not assume that all Irish strains were the same as the OFRN.

Efforts in search of the old Lightner dogs, the OFRN era begins

We have little information about the whereabouts of the dogs that emerged from the breeding between Lightner’s Vick and Lightner’s Pansy, on the article titled The “Old Family Red Nose” Dogs written by E.L. Mullins he mention that it was Red Howell along with Al Dickson and Joe Peace that kept the dogs result of that breeding and at some point Mr. Dickson and Mr. Peace left their dogs with Red Howell, when they were called to serve their country during the First World War (1914–1918), its said that Mr. Howell sold some dogs and sent others into the hands of trusted friends; In the end it was Red Howell, L.C. Owens and Jim Williams those responsible for keeping the old Irish blood alive, which later would give rise to the Old Family Red Nose strain.

L.C. Owens old Ad. “… This bloodline is the old family of Lightner dogs direct descendant of Vick and Pansy…”

Although the breeding between Lightner’s “Vick” and “Pansy” is the only one mentioned in the emergence of the OFRN strain, the combination between Colby and Lightner dogs were not the only that give rise to the strain. It is evident that the influence of this cross was crucial for the emergence of the OFRN dogs, but we cannot only give credit to the Colby bloodline for being used in outcross with Lightner’s.

Lightner’s Vick II was bred to Lightner’s Crazy Peggy a linebreeding in Lightner’s “Vick” giving birth to Owen’s Tanner grandsire of “Centipede”.
“Crazy Peggy” sire was Finn’s Crump3/4 of his blood came from W.S. Semmes dogs and 1/4 from a strain of unknown origin that goes back to Old Pueblo Pat; Her dam Lightner’s Lady is off of a breeding between “Vick” and Corrigall’s Papoose where you’ll find “Pansy” being bred to Lightner’s Imp a dog bred by F.L. Dunable; “Crazy Peggy” dam side was Dickson’s Black Imp his pedigree goes back to John Noonan, Mike Redican and Pat Conroy, all breeders that were not related to Colby’s bloodline but were known to breed pure or heavy Irish strains.
Although both “Vick” and “Pansy” can be found in the pedigree of “Crazy Peggy”, it did not arise from a direct breeding between the two, but had its blood combined with other bloodlines used by William J. Lightner.

Wallace’s Red Rustler an inbreeding in the famous CH Ferguson’s Centipede, her dam side was Ferguson’s Katie result of the breeding between Centipede and Peggy II

Years later Dave Ferguson bred “Centipede” with a bitch called Ferguson’s Peggy II bred by L.C. Owen, she was the result of an outcross between two famous Irish strains of the past from Jim Corcoran and Bill Shipley dogs.
Many breeders such as Bob Wallace and Jim Williams acquired and bred dogs down from this breeding between “Centipede” and “Peggy II”, they also preserved the old Lightner blood and his dogs shared the same traits of the OFRN as Hemphill’s dogs, besides the fact that both Mr. Owen and Mr. Ferguson, responsible for this breeding, were also Hemphill’s associates like it was mentioned before.

Bob Hemphill bred his bitch Hemphill’s “Goldy” with a pure Clark dog called Ebert’s (Clark’s) “Teddy”, this breeding rarely mentioned in the history of the Irish dogs played a key role in the emergence of the OFRN strain and also places Harry F. Clark’s work as one of the pillars for what we know today as Old Family Red Nose.
From this breeding we have two dogs present in many (if not most) Old Family Red Nose dogs today, Hemphill’s “Little Goldy” and Clark’s “Maid”.

Bob Hemphill kept Little Goldy as a brood bitch giving rise to several bloodlines and Mr. Clark later bred “Maid” with “Centipede” giving birth to two dogs that many will recognize, Hemphill’s “Pistol Pete” and Hemphill’s “Flame”.

George C. Armitage training CH Billy Sunday in an old carpet mill

And it wasn’t just the breeding of “Centipede” that Hemphill had dogs coming from Mr. Clark. Hemphill’s “Bashful Bully” was born from a breeding between Mr. Clark’s bitch “Maid” and the famous CH Billy Sunday (behind the blood of the aforementioned GR CH Neblett’s “Bucky McCoy”) bred by Charles P. Smith and owned by Mr. Clark, it’s said that “Bashful Bully” won over Saddler’s “Smoky”, owned by George Saddler “The Mississipi Hawk”(considered one of the best conditioners of all time) in a convention held in 1940.
Another great representative of the Irish blood was a bitch called CH O’Neal’s Trexie, owned by Bob O’Neal and born from this same breeding between “Billy Sunday” and “Maid”.
Even though “Bashful Bully” and “Trexie” had no Lightner blood and for this reason can not be called OFRN, their achievements were very relevant in their time and therefore they deserve to be mentioned.

Now we learn that the breeders mentioned behind the pedigree of Ferguson’s “Peggy II” and Ebert’s (Clark’s) “Teddy” such as Jim Corcoran, Bill Shipley and Harry F. Clark were also responsible for the emergence of the strain; We also understand that other individuals were bred to Lightner’s “Vick” that were not directly linked to “Vick” and “Pansy” breeding, which ended up bringing other bloodlines to compose the work done by Lightner and later the Old Family Red Nose strain.

What were the original traits of the OFRN strain?

Nobody knows exactly who was the first to identify the traits that emerged from the old Irish blood bred by W.J. Lightner, but we speculate that it was the breeders Dan McCoy for having created the term OFRN when looking at Bob Hemphill’s dogs, and Mr. Hemphill himself for receiving the nickname “Mr. Red Nose”.

Reading to Richard F. Stratton’s latest book “Bulldog Edition”, even though at that moment dedicating my full attention to the author’s excellent writing, a little Ad in the corner of page 11 caught my eye (I imagine if Mr. Stratton placed that ad, that could easily be missed, as a gift to the reader), the Ad is from Bob Hemphill where he explain in detail what are the general characteristics of his family of dogs.

The Gamest Ever Bred (Old Family Red Nose). — Your Friend & Mine Magazine, August 1952 (original Ad)

Since I first started breeding this great family of dogs in 1927, I have, with the help of other competent breeders kept them GAME, STRONG and BEAUTIFUL.
Hemphill dogs come uniform in color but not in size. They range from a buckskin, varying shades of red to a deep copper color. Eyes, skin, hair, toenails and nose uniform in color. Occasinally I had a brindle or a red with black nose, an occasional silver bucksin.
These dogs breed almost 100% dead game when FAMILY bred. They are ABSOLUTELY safe with children or grown-ups. 90% of tem can be used for all purpose dogs and yet take their death in combat.
Bob Hemphill, Summerville, S. C.

Based on the text written by Bob Hemphill is clear what were the characteristics and qualities of his strain and we can also understand why it was so important during the transition period from combat to conformation events after the ban of dog fight in the 70s, in addition to their exceptional genetic quality these dogs had a unique beauty with their uniform standards and fine coat, combined with a great temperament around humans, what later become the reasons why many breeders chose the strain to compose their work.

It is common knowledge that the breed was never selected by color, however at that time the breeders did not have the scientific and technological advances that we have today to identify the influence of blood on a given animal and therefore when looking for the qualities coming from Lightner’s strain, like the ability of these dogs in combat, other characteristics were identified by looking of how the genes responsible for the color propagates within the family, this being one of the ways to increase the coefficient of the ancestors of that strain, which is the origin of Hemphill’s Old Family Red Nose selection.

Seeking to keep the strain competitive, the breeders started to make outcrosses, for this reason Mr. Red Nose himself, at the end of his work, bred his dogs with individuals coming from Tudor’s Dibo, he understood that a selection by pure Irish dogs was not enough to follow the development in the role of the American Pit Bull Terrier, recognizing this he kept his family of dogs competing and winning at a high level.

“What does a Pit Bull need to be called OFRN?”, an endless debate …

Even with the pure Old Family Red Nose dogs ceasing to exist, the selection done by Bob Hemphill, over time become a guide for future breeders of the OFRN and crosses like Jake WilderGeorge SchillerEd. RitchesonShadd A. ShortMary Hammond (Sarona), Dan GibsonRon SitzesMax YeargainBill PrittsMike MorganJean Carpenter with her OFRN stock off of Sarona’s, members from OFBA (Old Family Breeders Association) founded by Dan Hanna in order to preserve the original traits of the OFRN strain, as well as several other breeders in the United States who chose to keep their selection within the traits described by Hemphill in his family of dogs.
However, we must not forget that the American Pit Bull Terrier is a Bulldog and should not be selected by color but because of his quality working, we know that the original function of the breed is prohibited in most countries, however we can still look for legal alternatives to keep the dogs working, like Lure coursingHog huntingSchutzhund and other modalities such as the Top Dog promoted by ADBA.


From all this research I realized that although the selection by the traits described by Bob Hemphill is still important, the vast majority of breeders believe that for a dog to be called OFRN, it must at least maintain its ancestral coefficient predominantly coming from the selection that originated the term, however it does not necessarily need to express the same characteristics coming from the same selection done by the breeders mentioned above, after all with scientific and technological advances, today we can study how to maintain its predominant ancestral coefficient without needing to notice the animal’s physical aspects; As I have presented in this article we have several examples of bloodlines that had their foundation in these dogs and that their breeders were not concerned with preserving the original phenotypic and morphological characteristics, but nevertheless maintained the level of quality expected from an American Pit Bull Terrier and that’s what counts.

Below a photo gallery with dogs that followed the selection done by Bob Hemphill, so you can understand some of the traits brought by the old Lightner strain:

GR CH Jim Williams’ Red Dusky (CH Ferguson’s Centipede x Ferguson’s Katie)
GR CH Jim Williams’ Red Nubby — Photo posted by @PTBB1 on Facebook
GR CH Williams’ Red Man, said to be won over 14 matchs and his weight in good condition varied from the low fifties to 61 lbs. His pedigree goes back to Ferguson’s Peggy— Photo posted by @SportingDogJournal on Facebook
Conklin’s (William’s) Red Cloud was the sire of Williams’ Sarge, you can find him behind many dogs of breeders such as Earl Tudor, Maurice Carver and Jake Wilder, he is also known for showing the first traces of the so-called OFRN Widows Peak
Wallace’s (Limbeck’s) Old Gold AKA Bubby (Wallace’s Red Rock x Wallace’s Julie) on the day he was shipped to Art Limbeck of Nebraska
Wallace’s (Limbeck’s) Old Gold AKA Bubby fully grown
Doris Wallace with Wallace’s Bad Red (Sorrells’ Dugan AKA Wallace’s Mike x Speedy’s Wallace Jan) his sire Dugan is also the grandsire of CH Sorrells’ Crazy Dugan that was showed a few photos above
Bob Wallace and his wife Doris Wallace with Wallace’s Red Brave AKA Curley in 1962
Jake Wilder with Wilder’s Red Dot

I would like to thank the administrators of the page Preserving the Bullied Breeds, who helped confirm some sources and sent some of the photos with better quality.

I hope you have enjoyed this article, my goal is to promote the study and research of the American Pitbull Terrier, feel free to contact me, we can both learn and discover new pieces of history together.

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