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Q & A with ABKC Judge: Rolando Mata

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abkc judge rolando mata

abkc judge rolando mata

State your name and your involvement with the breed?

Hello Bully World, I am ABKC Senior Judge Rolando Mata.  My involvement with the breed and the American Bully Kennel Club runs very deep. Most notably I have been directly involved in changes and improvements in policies and the restructuring of the registry, in recent history. I have also been a major contributor in the 2012 revision of the American Bully Standard, which in my opinion is a huge step in the right direction for this breed.

How long have you been an ABKC judge, and what inspired you to begin judging?

I have been a judge with the American Bully Kennels Club since 2009. I am also a Judge for the UKC (United Kennel Club).  I may be telling my age on this one, but I have been involved with dogs (American Pit Bull Terriers) since the late 80’s.  I would say that my general drive and inspiration is my passion for these dogs.  After competing at the highest level for many years and reaching some very admirable accomplishments in the UKC, I set out to reach as many young breeders and enthusiast as possible to share my passion and knowledge of dogs.

My first Bully Show, was a huge Atomic Dogg Show in North Carolina.  It sparked my inspiration to become involved with the American Bully Breed and “The Bully Movement”.  I must admit, I saw many cases of unfortunate dogs in less than suitable conditions, both physical and sanitary.  Many were lacking merit and soundness, as well as training and grooming.  Despite some of the needed improvement, I can still think back on that day and feel the electrifying atmosphere and enthusiasm that I felt while in the building.  It was a perfect opportunity to put my passion and knowledge to work and become an active contributor in making a positive impact in a young breed, and a very passionate community.

What are some of the main things ABKC judges look for in show dogs?

Show dogs should be exemplary specimens of the breed and serve as the future contributors to the very delicate gene pool of their respected breed.  Having said this, we as judges have the burden of responsibility in our choices, because these decisions have a huge impact on the breeds of dogs that we evaluate and judge.  Every judge should look for soundness, both in structure and temperament, as well as breed type; never sacrificing one for the other.

What would you say is one of the best things about being an ABKC judge?

Wow…where do I start?  The weekend getaways?  The travel across the country and other parts of the world?  The extra income?  All these sound great but in all honesty my trips are always strictly business, and normally are in and out.  It is sad that I travel to cities all over the country, and the world, and never have the time or opportunity to actually experience the place.  My usual show weekend consists of fighting Atlanta traffic, as I stressfully rush to the airport after work on Friday to catch a flight; then a late Friday night arrival, and sometimes extra commute travel. This seldom leaves time for enjoyment.  On Saturday it’s show time!  I am usually one of the first at the show and one of the last to leave. After a long day the best I can hope for is enjoying a nice dinner with friends talking dogs, and a good night rest to wake early Sunday morning for travel back home. All in hopes to spend some much needed time with my family, before returning to reality come Monday, when it is right back to the routine of my real job.

So could it be the money?   Our earnings of around $200 for the weekend is hardly compensation for our time spent away from our homes and our families.  However, for most of us judging dogs is something that we love to do, and after all doing a job that you love to do hardly seems like work!   I take pride and gratification in judging because every time I step in the show ring I have the opportunity to reach so many.  Having this opportunity and the ability to educate and grow enthusiasts, and help improve the breed is definitely the best thing about being an ABKC Judge.

Have you noticed any general thing that can be improved on by everyone that shows their dogs?

Of course.  Every time I judge I see so many things in need of improvement, such as handling skills, hygiene, grooming, training, and sportsmanship. The most important thing in serious need of improving, is the general education about the breed, the standard, structure, breed type, and understanding of dog shows.  This lack of understanding of the mentioned is the biggest culprit in the constant bickering, complaining, drama, and most importantly the lack of consistency and merit in the dogs we choose to bring in the ring as show dogs, as well as to use in our programs as studs or broods.  Education is key!

You also co-host a huge show every year, tell our readers about that and what they have to look forward to in 2014.

I can go on and on about this one but I will give you the short version…  ABKC’s Atlanta Bully Mania is the most fun and unique show that you will attend…point blank.  If you are not there you will miss the greatest show on earth! For the past four years, my partner Bully the Kid and I have hosted three shows per year, Bully Mania in March, Bully Independence in June/July, and Atlanta Bully Fest in October.  We bring a different flavor with each of the shows.  Bully Independence is geared more towards the serious show advocate and professional, while Atlanta Bully Fest brings back that old school outdoor BBQ feel, with a good atmosphere that were the roots of the ABKC.  Bully Mania our marquee, Red Carpet Event captures the essence of the ABKC, and the Bully Community bringing you that big show feel, where all of the who’s who of the Bully World come to mingle in harmony with a laid back party atmosphere, while maintaining a professional, well ran show, and the fiercest competition around, aside from maybe ABKC Nationals.  In fact Bully Mania was the site for the third largest Champion Class in ABKC history, next to 2012 and 2013 ABKC Nationals.  This show is also the only official ABKC Premiere Event.  This is the one…., the one and only ABKC’s Atlanta Bully Mania!

Do you have a kennel or own any dogs?

I do not consider myself a breeder, but I guess you can say I have a kennel.  I own True Kennels, home to UKC Grand Champions and top ranked competitors.  Although I do not consider myself a “true” breeder in the past 15 years I have produced 7 litters, which have paved the way to countless titled dogs, many ranking in the UKC’s list of Annual Top Ten Rankings, Top Producers, and one of the top scoring dogs in UKC History.  I am proud that my short breeding history has led to at least one dog that I have either owned, bred, being in the UKC’s Top Ten rankings every year since 2002.

Do you currently show any of your dogs, and are any of them ABKC champions?

I currently own only 3 dogs, two retired UKC Grand Champion males and a female who is my fourth generation, and is a great show prospect.  Now all I have to do is find the time to get her out to the show ring!  None of them are ABKC registered American Bullies.

Where would you like to see the bully game 10 years from now?

The Bully Game….in 10 years, wow what a question!  I would love to see better educated enthusiasts, who can serve as ambassadors to this amazing breed.  Education is key but will only be achieved if we as owners and breeders take pride and take charge of our programs.  We have to take the time to educate ourselves and have pride in our creation.  Another very important piece of the puzzle is health testing our breeding stock.  This is nonexistent at the time, and I hope that in 10 years it will be the standard of how things are done.  This is the way to better sound, healthier specimens of the breed, and also the way to further strengthen the gene pool of the American Bully.

What advice would you give to someone, that is interested in getting involved with the breed?

Do as much research as you possibly can about the breed, dogs in general and the breeders that you purchase from.  Be wise in the alliances that you create, for it is very important to surround yourself with positive people, that are where you would like to someday be.  Start off with the best possible, and always strive for improvement!

Do you have any other hobbies or interests?

If I had the time, I may! The dog game holds my interest because it is ever changing, always challenging and we are constantly learning.

What motto do you live by?

Always looking for improvement and striving for excellence!!!

What do you think of Bully Girl Magazine?

Bully Girl Magazine is a diverse publication that I have watched grow and improve with every issue through the past few years.  BGM, captures the essence of the culture that is the Bully World.  As far back as I can remember, going back to the roots of the Bully World, hot chicks and bullies have gone hand in hand. BGM does a great job bringing you the best of both worlds!  Half of every issue brings you the hot chicks with the Bullies, while the other half keeps our Bully Community informed with news and topics, relevant to our breed, our culture, and our community.

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Iron Bulldogs | French Bulldog Breeder – Germany

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Iron Bulldogs - Germany

State your name, and where your kennel is located.
We are located in Germany NRW Rees am Niederrhein, and our kennel name is Iron Bulldogs.

What type of dogs do you breed, and what inspired you to get involved with that particular breed?
We breed French bulldogs. We love this breed, because they fit perfectly into our family. We breed sporty, slimmer dogs, with longer backs, and more nose.

What type of diet do you keep your dogs on throughout the year?
Our breeders all get the same food. Vollmers Anti-allergy with Reindeer Meat. Our puppies get a little bit of everything – wet food, dry food, meat, etc. This way they get to know everything.

Iron Bulldogs - GermanyWhat is your favorite bloodline?
Of course, our own bloodline is our favorite.

What advice do you have for any upcoming breeders?
Breeding should not be taken lightly. You should always act for the sake of the respective breed. Breedings should be well thought out, and you should have a goal. You main goal should always be health. Breeding costs a lot of time and money.

What do you think, is the most difficult thing for people in the bullygame to overcome?
The most difficult thing to overcome are other breeders, and the envy. You need a thick coat and must make your decision. There aren’t many honest friends amongst successful breeders.

How do you think they can overcome this thing?
I’ve already been down this road. Now I have a small selection of breeders, whom I call friends and that I choose to exchange with.

Who do you look up to in the bully game, and why?
I do not take anyone as an example. No-one can really look into the cards and you never really know who is genuine. I admire honest breeders who have come to a goal through their long-term work, and have not just bought their way to the top by the work of others.

Tell us about one of your most memorable moments, in 2017 so far.
Most of all this year I am looking forward to our still outstanding cast of our own generation. From this litter we of course will reserve a puppy.

Describe how you would want things, in the bully Community, to be 10 years from now.
I would like to see everyone being fair to each other, and see more respect for health evaluations.

What separates your kennel from the competition?
Class instead of mass. Our puppies are a part of the family, just like our breeders. We are very transparent, and maintain very close contact with our puppy parents.

What other hobbies or interests do you take part in?
We don’t have much time for other hobbies besides the dogs and the family. Dog breeding is our biggest hobby. I’m still interested in photography, but only involving the dogs.

What motto do you live by?
Live and let live. One’s life is far too important to deal with the other.

What do you think of Bully Girl Magazine?
Bully Girl Magazine has a good approach. They have very interesting and informative content that runs worldwide. Keep it up!

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SoFlo Bullies – Florida

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SoFlo Bullies - Florida

State your name, and where your kennel is located.
Our names are Brian Moore, and Ted Lane of SoFlo Bullies, located in Miami Florida.

What type of dogs do you breed, and what inspired you to get involved with that particular breed?
Brian: We breed American Bullies, (pockets,standard classic) and English bulldogs. The first time I saw an American bully was back in 2008, and fell in love with the massive body structure.
Ted: Brian introduced me to the breed showing me different dogs online.

What type of diet do you keep your dogs on throughout the year?
We feed a grain-free diet using Taste of the Wild, Victor dog food, and some Raw from time to time.

What is your favorite bloodline?
Brian: Louis V Line, Remyline, and Razors Edge.
Ted: Razors Edge and Louis V Line.

Do you currently show, any of your dogs?
Yes, we attend as many bully shows as we can throughout the year!

What advice do you have for any upcoming breeders?
Brian: Stick to what you like and get a mentor to help you out with breeding, whelping litters, etc.
Ted: Do good business. Don’t rush. Take your time, and study your bloodline.

What do you think, is the most difficult thing for people in the bullygame to overcome?
Brian: A lot of people are chasing trends.
Ted: There is a lot of bad breeding. People aren’t studying the bloodlines that they choose to use.

How do you think they can overcome this thing?
Brian: Believe in your vision and don’t chase the hot new bully in the game.
Ted: Take your time. Don’t rush! Know your bloodlines.

Who do you look up to in the bully game, and why?
Brian: Evans from Pompano Bully Connect. Alex and Jose from Miami Sunshine Bullies. They both have a vision to breed clean and correct bullies, and they answer any questions we have for them. We’re just lucky to have two awesome kennel owners as our mentors.
Ted: 100

Tell us about one of your most memorable moments, in 2017 so far.
Our female Zoe Lady won 1st place at the Southern Bully Bash in Orlando. That was a proud day for us here at SoFlo Bullies.

Describe how you would want things, in the bully Community, to be 10 years from now.
Bring back correct, clean bullies and the love.

What separates your kennel from the competition?
Brian: We breed what we like, and we stay as correct as possible. We don’t chase trends.
Ted: We stress being ethical and trustworthy.

What other hobbies or interests do you take part in?
Brian: Just spending time with our families.
Ted: 100.

What motto do you live by?
Brian: Live Life Take Care LLTC.
Ted: The SoFlo way of life.

What do you think of Bully Girl Magazine?
Brian: Bully Girl Magazine is a great outlet for our breed. They showcase different styles of bully breed dogs.
Ted: I love the fact that Bully Girl Magazine allows small kennels the chance to voice there opinion.

Thanks from us, SoFlo Bullies. We appreciate you guys!

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Steel City Kennels 412 – Pennsylvania

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Steel City Kennels 412

State your name, and where your kennel is located.
My name is Dandrae Pinner, owner of Steel City Kennels 412. Our kennel is located in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

What type of dogs do you breed, and what inspired you to get involved with that particular breed?
As of right now, we currently only breed American Bullies. We breed XL, Pocket, and Standard. What inspired me to get involved with the breed is I really have always been a dog lover. I grew up with them in my household throughout my childhood. Over the last 4.5 years I really started focusing on specific breeds, as I started to understand more about the pedigree and more about the American Bullies in general. Other kennels such as Zulluo Kennels, and Gullyside Kennels have always been helpful over the years and pushed me to show what I had in my yard. They taught me how to make due with what I had.

What type of diet do you keep your dogs on throughout the year?
I feed all of my dogs raw and dry food, such as Merrick Raw Infused or Victor. I try to always feed them something high in protein and fat, to keep good weight and muscle on them.

What is your favorite bloodline?
I like Gottiline the most, but they are all pretty much my favorite.

Do you currently show, any of your dogs?
I don’t currently show any dogs at the moment. However, in the future, I definitely plan to.

What advice do you have for any upcoming breeders?
All I can say is breed what you think is best, as far as your vision goes, not what you think everyone else is going for. Also, promote your dogs, and don’t be scared of what other kennels or people will say about your productions.

What do you think, is the most difficult thing for people in the bully game to overcome?
The negativity. Not everyone is going to appreciate what you do. Sometimes more exposure causes a lot more hate, which you’re going to have a lot of. You just have to be able to overcome and keep pushing.

How do you think they can overcome this thing?
Just tune them out, and focus on what is best for your kennel and dog family. As long as they’re talking, that just more exposure. Just don’t let it bring you down.

Who do you look up to in the bully game, and why?
People and kennels that I look up to in the bully game are Zulluo Kennels and Gully due to the way they present themselves. They always push what they love, and they go hard with promoting and other stuff. I respect their drive.

Describe how you would want things, in the bully Community, to be 10 years from now.
I would just like to see more people coming together, as far as the bully movement goes.

What separates your kennel from the competition?
We just do us at the end of the day. We really don’t focus on other competition. We are more about trying to make our kennel better as a whole, and take the next best step for us to improve overall.

What other hobbies or interests do you take part in?
I really just work. If I’m not working, I’m spending time with my dog family – playing, exercising, and training them.

What do you think of Bully Girl Magazine?
I think the idea of Bully Girl Magazine is great. Bully Girl is showing and doing things that other mags are not doing, and allowing people to get their vision out there, which is awesome and highly appreciated. Also, before I go, thank you for acknowledging us and taking time out to ask us a few questions. God Bless. It was a pleasure.

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