For Historical Purposes Only

Rule 1: Size of pit, optional; to be square with sides 2 feet high, scratch line 12 feet apart.

Rule 2: Referee to be chosen before the dogs are weighed in or washed and referee to conduct the contest according to these rules and his decision to be final.

Rule 3: Referee to see the dogs weighed at time agreed on and if either dog is over top weight agreed on he loses the forfeit money.

Rule 4: Parties to toss coin to see who shall wash first, each party to furnish two clean towels and a blanket.

Rule 5: If requested to do so the referee shall search the person named to wash the dogs and then have him bare his arm to the elbow and wash both dogs in the same warm water and rinse them each in his half of the warm clean water provided for that purpose.

Rule 6: As the dogs are washed clean and dried they shall be turned over to their handlers and at once taken to their corners of the pit as designated by the referee and the referee must search handlers for means of foul play and see that he bares his arms to the elbow before he receives his dog and must keep his arms bare in such a manner during the contest.

Rule 7: The dog's owner or his representative shall be allowed at all times to be near his dog and watch to see that no harm is done him, and each owner shall be allowed to name a man or himself watch his opponent's dog and handler at all times to see he is given no unfair advantage.

Rule 8: Either dog's owner, handler, or watcher if he sees anything wrong must at once appeal to the referee and get his decision. And if any handler, watcher or owner violates any of these rules and thereby favors either dog the dog so favored must at once be declared the loser.

Rule 9: The interested parties shall choose a timekeeper at the pit side.

Rule 10: The dogs are placed in their corners of the pit, opposite corners, faces turned from each other and only the dogs and their handlers inside the pit. Then the referee shall say, "Face you dogs". Each handler must always show his dog full head and shoulders between his legs. The referee says, "Let go", but the handlers must never push or shove their dogs and handlers shall not leave their corners until the dogs are together.

Rule 11: Now when one of the dogs turns his head and shoulders away from his opponent after the fight is on it is a turn, whether they are in holds or free, and the handler must claim the turn and the referee must allow the claim if he believes it is a turn or the referee must call the first fair turn he sees whether the handler claims it or not and when the referee calls a turn he shall say, "Handle your dogs", and each handler must pick up his dog as soon as he can without breaking a hold. Handlers carry their dogs to their respective corners the referee shall say, "Face your dogs". Then the handlers must show their dog's head and shoulders between their legs, facing the center of the pit. The dog that turned first must scratch first. In five seconds more the referee shall say; "Let go", then the dog that made the first turn must be turned loose by his handler and this dog must go across and mouth the other dog. If, when he is turned loose he refuses to start at once or is he stops on the way over, or if he fails to reach his opponent must declare his opponent the winner. A handler is allowed to release his dog at anytime he sees fit after the dog whose turn it is to cross has started over. He must turn him loose when the dogs touch each other. He is not compelled to until then.

Rule 12:

  1. If neither dog has made a turn and they cease to fight after 60 seconds of no action the down dog is to scratch first, if he makes his scratch the fight is on and they shall scratch in turns until the contest is decided.
  2. If the down dog fails to scratch the other dog is to scratch to win. If he fails to scratch the contest shall be declared a draw by the referee.
  3. No handler is to handle his dog until ordered by referee, if he does, it shall be called a foul and he is to forfeit the contest to his opponent.
  4. No flash pictures or hitting on pit side shall be allowed unless agreed upon by the two contestants.

Rule 13: After the dogs are together this time either handler is allowed to pick up his dog when they are not in holds, if ordered by referee. If he tries for a pick up and either dog has a hold he must turn him loose at once. If he catches his dog up free both handlers must handle their dogs at once. Take their dogs to their corners and proceed same as at the first turn, except this time the dog which went across before is allowed to remain in his corner while his opponent makes a scratch, or goes across, and they alternate or take it turn about in this manner until one of them is declared the winner under these rules. The referee pays no attention to the turns after the first scratch.

Rule 14: If one of the dogs fangs himself, that is, if he gets his teeth hung in his own lip, his handler is allowed to un-fang him. If the dogs have to be separated for this they are turned loose again, both at the same time within two feet of each other in the center of the pit.

Rule 15: No sponging shall be allowed, and no towels or anything else taken into the pit by the handlers except a bottle of drink for his dog and a fan to cool him with. The handlers must taste their dogs drink before the referee to show that it contains no poison.

Rule 16: If the handler of either dog is seen to take anything from anyone on the outside of the pit he is to lose the battle. Each party shall have the right to put a man near his opponent's corner to watch the handler. Should he see the handler put anything on his dog he may appeal to the referee and if the referee finds anything on the dog he is to lose the battle.

Rule 17: Should either handler leave the pit with his dog before the referee renders his decision he is to lose the battle.

Rule 18: The handlers shall be allowed to encourage their dogs by voice or hand-clapping or snapping of fingers, but must not touch their dogs or use foul, dirty methods, by saving their dogs from hard fall or keeping the other handler away from his dog, or in any other way act unfairly. The referee must decide the battle against the one who does so.

Rule 19: Should the police interfere the referee to name the next meeting place.


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