BULLY KING Magazine caught up with the owner of Double L Kennels in between flights, and the producer, ABKC Judge and fellow dogman provided a lot of insight. For the Full Interview pick up Issue #5 On Sale Now!
WHERE ARE YOU FROM ORIGINALLY & WHERE DO YOU LIVE NOW?
Originally I was on the east coast, upstate Pennsylvania to be exact. That’s where I built my name put in the work and paid my dues, but I have always shown the Midwest love and attended Midwest shows because I was born in the Midwest. I live in Kansas now, which is where my family is from. Matter of fact I was born in Oklahoma and have a deep Native American vein in my gene pool so coming back to Kansas was just life coming full circle, as they say.
WHEN WAS DOUBLE L KENNELS ESTABLISHED & HOW DID YOU DECIDE ON THE NAME “DOUBLE L?”
I would say Double L Kennels was established in 2005, but I had American Pit Bull Terriers and no website or anything like that, Facebook wasn’t around back then. I would say I was officially established as an American Bully owner/breeder in 2007, almost a decade with this breed and close to that on the show scene. The name came from my last name and my partner at the time last name, they both start with L so Double L Kennels was just natural. As we all know as people and with relationships they grow and change and sometimes fade away, the partnership is no longer but I will always be DOUBLE L.
WHAT INSPIRED YOU TO GET INVOLVED IN THE BREED?
I grew up with multiple Bull Breeds in my household, with dogs duties from the age that I could carry a shovel, from Neapolitan Mastiff to American Pit Bull Terrier I was raised with Bull Breeds. The desire to own and breed APBTs was always there and I owned my first one on my own at the age of 21, which at that time I thought I would always be dug in deep with that breed. I would say the Internet had a lot to do with my interest being peaked by American Bullys, the first time I say a Bully it was online, a video posted of Juan Gotty at only a year old.
As soon as I watched the video I couldn’t get him out of my mind, I woke up thinking about what it was that made that dog and how I could get one. The deeper I researched the more the fire grew until I found a female for sale and couldn’t help but make the call and drive 11 hours one way to buy her. Once I found the breeder I bought my foundation male OVI’s RAIN of DOUBLE L Kennels, I was devoted to the American Bully and passionate about creating the best version of the breed that I could.
DID YOU HAVE A MENTOR OR GUIDANCE WHEN YOU 1ST STARTED?
The first couple years of being in the breed I didn’t really have anybody that I would say mentored me, but I was not getting the results I intended at the time so maybe that had a lot to do with it. As I grew and learned though and became deeply involved in the ABKC show ring I picked up a couple different mentors, Len Evans from LYCAN Kennels has always been somebody I could turn to for knowledge about the old school look and the foundation of the breed itself.
As far as breeding the biggest influence for me has been the failures of other breeders. I watch everything and I see everything and I try to be as objective about things as possible so when I see what is working and what is not from other breeders and the productions from certain combos I remember what worked and what didn’t. Jamie Sweet has been a big influence as of late, opening my eyes to what it takes to really get consistent with my breeding program, and what it takes to be an objective, knowledgable judge. In the show ring Rolando Mata, Ron Ramos and Dave Wilson have all in some ways taken me under their wing and guided me though the last 7 years or so. All of these men being accomplished handlers in the ring I guess a guy could have done worse.
ON TOP OF BEING A HIGHLY RESPECTED BREEDER, YOU’RE ALSO INVOLVED IN JUDGING.. HOW DID YOU GET INVOLVED IN JUDGING? HAS THIS INTERFERED WITH SHOWING YOUR DOGS?
|Double L’s Loki Owned by Lashonde Bernotas|
I never had any intention of judging at first, until about 5 years ago the thought really hadn’t crossed my mind, but after some time on the show scene and learning more about the breed and the standard and the judges, I felt the best way for me to make the biggest impact on the breed and its future was to be a judge. My goal now is to be the most knowledgeable judge on any given weekend no matter the crew I’m working with, I feel as a judge and being someone who has a major influence on what gets breed for the next generation it is not only my responsibility to have as much knowledge as I can but the responsibility of ALL judges. I feel like not many take it as seriously as I do but I am not worried about that, I am focused on educating and doing what’s necessary in the ring as a judge to help the breed and registry and all the breeds within the registry move in a positive more consistent direction. I wouldn’t say judging has had much of an impact on my showing dogs or competing, bad luck has interfered more than anything. I am going to be showcasing some young talent from my program the rest of this year(2016) and all year next year (2017).
No I don’t. I have never been one to focus on what bloodline a dog comes from, I focus on what traits each individual dog brings to the table, the positives and negatives, and what traits are strong in their pedigree. Not what names are in the pedigree but what traits are strong, the traits that are consistent from the parents and the litter mates to each individual dog. I’ve seen scatterbred dogs that are some of the best examples of the breed and tightly bred dogs of a certain line that look nothing like what the line was intended to look like. In my opinion the dog itself is what makes the pedigree valuable not the other way around.
WORD ON THE STREET IS YOU’VE LAUNCHED A PRETTY BADASS PODCAST, CAN YOU TELL US ABOUT IT?
Yes sir! I just debuted a new brand called The BullNAChinaShop that features The BullNAChinaShop Podcast, the BullNAChinaShop TV YouTube channel and the website www.BullNAChinaShop.com . I am really focusing on educating the community on Bull Breeds and showing them the lifestyle people who are devoted to those breeds live. I have been blessed to experience so many things because of my dogs and so many others have too and I want the world to see the power that the breeds and the show scene can have. The barriers that are broke down, the borders crossed and the life long relationships that have been built because of these dogs have changed so many lives. I think it’s about time the rest of the world knows about it. You can follow BullNAChinaShop on Facebook HERE
I also feel the community as a whole need a source of real information, correct information from experienced dog men, raw and uncut information from people who have hands on real time every day experience to share. The podcast has taken off so fast it’s a great feeling to see that the community feels the same way and is open to seeking and soaking up knowledge. I cover everything encompassed in this lifestyle, from scooping shit to whelping puppies to the trips and experiences that come along with and from living this lifestyle.
The YouTube channel is the visual companion to the audio podcast, I have clips and excerpts as previews from the podcast but also I have featured dogs and featured events. The videos are shot and done by me in a raw way to show the experience through the my eyes, wether it be a great example of an individual dog in any one of the bull breeds or events I’m attending and covering myself. The website is a hub for both the podcast and YouTube channel where I can blog and post informative articles and contact me personally! There is no registry affiliation or governing body it’s just me and the many guests I have talking about real issues and having raw conversations in order to better help the bull breeds and the people within those breeds be as successful as possible.
ANYTHING ELSE YOU WOULD LIKE MENTIONED?
I just want your viewers and the people that support me know that I am truly grateful and appreciative of all the love you show me and my dogs and the new brand. The feedback over the years has always been helpful and the support is what keeps me going and pushes me to be the best dogman and judge and now an educator that I can be. Just know this ceiling is high and if we all do things together as a community we can literally do anything.
For the Full Interview including advice, tips, opinion and experience on linebreeding, backbreeding, including Double L’s early lineup that laid such a solid foundation.. Pick up Issue #5 in the BULLY KING Magazine App today.