The Story Of Mims’ Dinah


I would like to tell you about a dog that has not had much written about it,

nor has the dog been given much credit, nor do I know this day whether the dog is dead or alive, even though I technically own the dog. I would lay this brood bitch up against any in the country or around the world today and I believe that she is as good as any, and as game as any. The brood bitch that I am talking about is known as MIMS’ DINAH. Her father was the great dog SNOOTY, and her dam was the great MIMS’ HANNAH PATCH. Before I get too far along let me back up and tell you how I came to respect the line of dogs that this dog represents.

At some time back around 1980 or so a fellow by the name of Max Coats was able to get HANNAH PATCH away from Carl Mims. I have been told that Max traded Carl a car for the dog, but I have never asked Carl about this part of the story. Anyway, this dog was a tremendous brood bitch, especially when bred to the great SNOOTY dog. That breeding had been made twice and produced some incredible dogs. But, that is a whole different story which we won’t get into here. I went by Max’s house one day and here was this incredibly vicious black and white dog just foaming at the mouth, and running frantically back and forth on this cable run just trying to get loose. There was no doubt in my mind that if that dog got off the chain that it would do everything in it’s power to kill me. And I will say that over the years, that bulldog was the most vicious one that I have ever seen, or ever expect to see. Max told the story that he had to feed the dog hamburger for over a week inside the air kennel before he could calm her down enough to get her outside. This was after he tried to get a friend of hers to get her out. The “friend” came real close to losing his hand! Anyway, she was an incredible specimen, and I knew that if I ever got the chance I would love to have something off of her.

Well, as it turned out, Max ended up with one of those dogs off of the SNOOTY/HANNAH PATCH breeding. This was the dog known as KATIE. And, just like her mother she, too, was one of the most vicious dogs that I have ever seen. I put this dog on the cover of the first Gamedog Digest that I put out, and she was a beautiful specimen of a dog. You can read about her in Pit Bull Anthology or in some of the books that Dick Stratton put out. She was a truly game, classy bitch. And, she had this thing for guys. The fact was she was jealous like a woman. She could tolerate men around Max, but don’t let a woman come by. It is hard believe but it is true. Well, I also had visited with Carl and he at that time had another of the litter, a dog he called HALF PINT. Carl always said that anyone was welcome to have HALF PINT. All they had to do was get her off the chain. Well, no one ever took him up on this proposition and he bred some good ones off of her. By now you are saying, “what does this have to do with DINAH?” Well, I’m coming to that. About this same time I printed a rather lengtyh article about Bishop Hillard, giving Bishop credit for some thing that other people had taken credit for. You can read this story in Pit Bull Anthology Part Two. Well, Bishop called me up one night and told me that he greatly appreciated the article and that he would like to send me a dog to show his thanks. I about dropped my teeth when he told me that he had one of the dogs from the SNOOTY/HANNAH PATCH breeding that he wanted me to have and her name DINAH. I had heard Carl mention this dog and how good she was, and so I figured I would get the story straight from the horse’s mouth, so to speak. Bishop told me that the dog had been game tested shortly after they had gotten the dog from Carl. She scratched on three broken legs. You may say that this is an exaggeration, but if you know about any of the rest of the dogs from that breeding you know that they were all game –– and more than one did take their death. Well, he indicated that the dog had produced several multiple winners on the west coast, but they had not been given much press in the dog magazines. And, if I can jump ahead a bit, let me say that here within the last year or so you may have seen where a dog out of her made champion.

I am referring to Wild Bunch’s MR. PAIN. This dog is out of DINAH and sired by Hammond’s BUTTERFLY (PLUMBER’S ALLIGATOR/FLORY’S SUSAN RENÉE) and the breeder of course was The Godfather. The point I want to make is that this is just one of many dogs that did well for the fellows on the west coast.

Getting back to my story, I was tickled to death that Bishop wanted me to have this dog, but then reality set in and I could see HANNAH PATCH, KATIE and HALF PINT, all trying to eat me alive. I said, “Bishop, all those dogs are maneaters!” He said, “Not this one, I guarantee it.” Well, a few week went by and the day came for me to pick DINAH up. I arrived at the airport and there sat the air kennel. I eased up to the front of the kennel, and there was this dog that was the splitting image of KATIE, and I just couldn’t believe that she would be any less vicious. I got her home and rather gingerly I eased her out of the kennel and got the shock of my life. She was the most loving, affectionate dog that I have ever seen, and she never made the first move toward anyone as long as I had her here at my house.

During the time that I had her here at my house she only came in heat one time. I bred her to a double son of SNOOTY that I had and the breeding didn’t take. I won’t try to guess whose fault that was. Anyway, shortly after that time I had my rather infamous run-in with the powers that be and I had to get rid of all my dogs. Well, I could not sell this dog as she was a gift, and I wanted her where I could get my hands back on here so I farmed her out to a fellow that I had known for a long time who I thought would do me right. He goes under the handle of Acme Kennels. The deal was that no pups would be sold, and that they would all be put to the test, and that I was to get half of any litter that was bred. Well, he had a dog there by the name of HOBO. This dog was bred by Ralph Greenwood from a stud dog that he had and a brood bitch that Acme Kennel’s owned. Acme suggested that we go with that breeding and I agreed. When it came time to split the litter I didn’t have the facilities to keep my half (which by that time had shrunk to two pups) so I agreed to have them placed in the hands of some people who would do them right, and I was told that I would be kept totally up to date with how they did, and what they did. Well, I have never heard the first word on any of these dogs from Acme. I do know that the HOBO dog was stopped, and I see in the Sporting Dog Journal of Nov.-Dec. 1988, that ACME’S PSYCHO, a son of HOBO was defeated by JAY’s BISON. This may or may not be one of the pups from this litter. I have also been told that at least one other breeding was made with DINAH, but I have yet to hear the first word about the dog, even though I had been by Acme’s house on more than one occasion. This is really not the way I would have the story end. DINAH was born on 1 September 1979 and so I doubt that she will breed many more pups if she is even still alive, especially in that she was only coming into heat about once a year. The point I guess that I am trying to make is that here is a dog that produced many great dogs, perhaps even to the point of being a Register of Merit dam, but because of the lack of publicity, promotion, and bad luck she was never given the credit that she deserved. I am sorry that I never was able to breed her up to her potential while I had her, but I am thankful that I was able to own her for a time. And, more importantly, the way that I came by the dog is what I will always remember. Men have paid great sums of money for much lesser dogs, but I was given the dog as a sign of one man’s friendship. And, for this is why I will always remember MIMS’ DINAH. I am the BLUESBREAKER.

Mr John P Colby was an active breeder for many years and produced some of the best dogs of his time. Much of his foundation stock was from the Gas House and Burke strains, as were the dogs of many other breeders. The difference in the quality of the dogs Mr Colby produced was the result of breeding principles he employed. Also, Mr Colby in my opinion possessed a very important attribute, which I refer to as a gift.

Mr Colby practised a simplified version of genetics, Best to Best, selective breeding

Pictured is John P. Colby Age 20.

Best to Best does not mean performing dogs alone. It entails all aspects of the dogs, from performance to pedigree. The most obvious qualities would be gameness, biting power, talent, stamina and a great bloodline. A bloodline is the result of a breeders influence.

Over the years dogs bred by Mr Colby began to exhibit physical and mental characteristics such as conformation, colour and gameness which distinguished them. These dogs were then referred to as Colby Dogs. Thus we have the Colby Bloodline. People were proud to say, “This here is a pure Colby dog”. This sounds simple; and it leads people to ask; why there were not more top breeders? I believe deciding on what is Best to Best is the key.

I’m not sure that every dog Mr Colby bred to was Dead game; and I’m equally sure he did not breed to every Dead game dog he owned. This is where the gift comes in. It seems to be an in-born sense or ability. I believe most outstanding accomplishments have been made by men who were endowed with a gift for their respective fields.

I do not believe that man knows enough about genetics at this time to produce great animals; and he most certainly didn’t know enough in the days of Mr Colby. Race horse people spend millions of dollars a year, trying to produce great horses, with only marginal success. Similarly, there is no pattern for producing Great dogs.

FriendsThe most essential qualities a breeder may possess are; dedication, a gift, a knowledge of Best to Best, and money might come in handy. If a breeder combines these attributes he is likely to produce, with luck, a great strain of dogs.It doesn’t take too much effort to recall the great Colby dogs of the past. These dogs were bred from the pit and for the pit.

But all of this brings us to a very important question; When a strain of dogs that were once highly regarded, such as Colby’s, stops producing consistently good pit dogs, is this strain still to be considered good? I have heard people say, “I know he’s a cur, but the blood is there”. While this is true in many cases, I wonder how long we can continue to breed to curs and hope to produce game pit dogs.

What is good blood and how long will it remain good if we continue to breed to dogs, who do not possess the qualities of their ancestors? While great breeders can breed to dogs who themselves do not exhibit good qualities; can the average breeder afford to take this gamble?

I have seen strains of dogs that have not produced dogs fitting this description for many years, and people who are active in the sport refer to them as good blood or good brood stock. Many seem to proceed under the assumption, that once a bloodline is good it remains good forever. Many well-meaning people have continued to breed Colby dogs exclusively, thinking all that was necessary to preserve the quality of the strain, was to breed to a dog that had the name Colby on his pedigree.

Pictured is Colby’s Jerry 1900.

I believe that we have to continuously strive to improve the strain, in order to keep it as good as it was or is. It’s an accepted theory, that in order for an institution to continue, it must change and continuously seek to improve. To preserve a bloodline, there is more required than just breeding to dogs whose pedigree shows a particular name. Change is required in order to prevent change in the quality of dogs produced. The Colby strain was developed by change.

FriendsI have heard people say, that the dogs of yesteryear were gamer than those of today. Could it be, in some cases, because we have tried to play Pat and in doing so have lost ground. The people that have bred Colby dogs exclusively for these many years, thinking they were doing what was best, have perhaps underestimated their own ability to breed good dogs.Many of them have bred dogs for 40 years or more and could have perhaps contributed much more to their own dogs, by using their own ideas and experience. New ideas are necessary in every field. Sports records are consistently surpassed by those not satisfied with repeating someone else’s past performance. Last year’s record won’t win this year’s meet.

Were the dogs of yesteryear really superior? I’m sure many dog men of the past would think we have it too easy, because we don’t have to grow secret vegetables and cook our dog’s food or boil their water. Penicillin has replaced many old remedies, making better dog care possible. I have read some diets that top dog men used. While some were good, none could compete with any good commercial dog food available in countless supermarkets. The poorest feeder today is able to provide better nutrition than the best feeder of yesteryear. We also have refrigeration and other conveniences.

It is not my intention to criticise old-timers and their methods. How many of us would be feeding as many dogs if we had to cope with the same adverse conditions? I think our mission however, is to pick up where they left off, emulating their objectives rather than their methods. The Colby dogs of the past, fit the description of good blood, as their pit records indicate. The Colby strain was developed on the principle of Best to Best. When that principle is no longer employed there is bound to be a drastic change in quality. In a very short period of time a great strain of dogs can be reduced to a strain that can do no more than refer to their pedigree and say “My great, great, grand-daddy was a pit dog….I think!”

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