'For Historical Purposes Only' Cajun Dogfight Rules By
'G.A. Gaboon Trahan'
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
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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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. Most people wavered this rule and used a gallon can of water and a sponge
in Texas, Oklahoma. Arkansas and Missouri in the 1960's until the felony laws were passed.
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.