AMARILLO, Texas (KAMR/KCIT) — “We try to educate everybody, that’s why we get them out, and we try to say that this is a totally different breed. This is the American Bully, they’re a lot less energetic. There’s a lot of good temperaments in the pit bull, but totally different.”
Gaines Bullies Kennels Partner Donald Gaines started a dog kennel three years ago because of a deep love for animals, especially the American Bully dog breed. Gaines said his love for the breed stems from how friendly and playful the dogs are.
They’re also champions. After going with another kennel partner and his bully to a show an American Bully Kennel Club (ABKC) show in Kansas, Gaines’ second bully, Pearl, won a showing on her first time participating, and it was purely coincidence.
“We got there, and was just walking around looking, and a handler said to me, ‘how old is that dog?’, I said, ‘she’s nearly two years old’. He asked, ‘do you mind if I take her in the ring today?’, I said, ‘no, that’ll be fine’,” Gaines said. “I called my son and I said, ‘man, Pearl’s getting in the ring today! They said she’s the best Bully in the world.”
What started out as a road trip tagging along with a friend and his puppy, turned out to be the start of something special for Gaines, his kennel partners, and Pearl.
“She went to her first show and they were passing ribbons out, and Pearl takes the blue ribbon,” he said. “Then Pearl went against the best females int he other classes and just kept winning and kept winning.”
But the winning didn’t stop there. Gaines’ Bullies Kennels partner Michael Green’s Bully, Betty Lou aka Bad Betty, is already champion too, and she’s not even a year-old yet.
Bad Betty, who turns 10 months on July 7, has won shows in Kansas, Arkansas, and South Padre Island.
“In Arkansas, she picked up 110 points and five majors,” Green said. “So after that, she was at 140 points and six majors under her belt. So, from there, it was just finishing it off. We just needed 10 points to make her a champion. So we went down to South Padre Island at an ABKC show, and finished it out on the first show.”
Bad Betty has went up against competition who is older than her and has won several first place ribbons and ABKC majors.
Green said as rewarding as it is to have a dog win shows and rack up championships at a high level, it is definitely not an easy journey.
“If somebody wants to get in to showing dogs, first off, they’ve got to start with a good breeder,” he said. “Next thing is, buy the best puppy they can possibly get. Hours and hours of training. Hours and hours of training. Stack box, walking. At least a hour twice a day, and on weekends, three hours of walking. And, then from there, find you a good handler. After that, all you need to do is cross your fingers and pray.”
Gaines said that ABKC is the registry for American Bullies because Bullies are not recognized by the American Kennel Club. According to their website, the ABKC measures the dogs by several criteria including height, head size, body composition, neck and attitude, just to name a few.
Gaines Bullies Kennels partner Braxton Gaines said the process in raising championship show dogs is worth all of the hard work.
“It’s just been incredible, it’s been an incredible process just watching them,” he said. “From the start, we knew we had something special, and we just kind of put in the time and work that was needed with them, and gave them great homes and lots of attention. And it’s been cool watching them mature and grow into what they’ve become.”