He's not a cur, he's just going in the wrong direction
Have you ever seen a dog that would whip the hell out of anything that was put in front of him, but when handled wouldn't scratch? Or, a dog that would perform with remarkable ability until his opponent was left prone and defenceless, then he would let up and walk away? One of the best dogs I ever saw was Tudor's "Spike". He was an out and out destroyer, but once he had his opponent down and stretched out, he would stop his assault and lick his adversary...If the other dog moved at all "Spike" went back to his murderous ways and if he was handled he would not, in the least, hesitate to scratch. Of course, since the other dog had also been handled, "Spike" was aware that the other dog had moved, even if only by his handler. Howard Heinzl mentioned to me, on more than one occasion, that he considered "Spike" less than a game dog because of this trait. If he was a cur, then I'd certainly like a yard full of curs just like him.
Most animal specialists, who have studied animal behaviour, all seem to agree that animals will fight one another in the wild for either sex or food. However, when one or the other adopts a submissive posture, the other will see that he is the winner and stops fighting or else allows his opponent to beat a hasty retreat, without any further aggressive behaviour. In studies done with wolves, a dogs closest relative in the wild state, this certainly seems to be the case. If the 'Alpha' male is challenged, he'll find the pretender to the death, if necessary. If either becomes convinced that he isn't going to win the battle, all that he has to do is stop fighting, adopt a submissive posture and the whole thing is over and done with. The protagonists are back to being good buddies before the dust even settles.
We must remember, that the rules and regulations that govern a contest between two dogs have been fashioned by human beings, after a pre-Marquis of Queensbury boxing match. A man who was knocked down was taken to his corner, given a certain time to regain his senses, and then walk to the centre of the ring, to the scratch line, and assume a posture that would tell one and all that he was ready to resume the battle. Much like a turn and scratch in our sport. But, that is what we humans have used as a criteria to judge a dogs gameness. There may be some recessive gene in our modern day bulldogs that still harbors that particular trait. After all, it is a common trait, of our dogs closest relative, living in a wild state. I've often wondered if a residue of that genecould be hidden in the genetic makeup of some of our modern day dogs.
Some years ago, Tommy Gill and Indian Eddie, two New England fanciers, had bred some dogs by Petronelli's "Fox", a littermate to some great dogs, including Gr.Ch."Boomerang", Art's "Missy" and Brown's Ch."Nell". They sent me down a bunch of this breeding since I had recently moved South, and now had plenty of room to keep more dogs than you were able to keep in the North. Of course, not every dog they sent me was an 'ace'. But some, like Ch."Mork", Ch."Lochen", Timmy's "Hogger", "Maple" and "Darby" were certainly a cut above a good dog. A few others seemed to be just as good that we never got around to matching and of course, there were some that were flat out rank curs. One of those that never did get matched was a 51lb dog, that Timmy called "Little Fox". The dog was a veritable powerhouse. The first time I rolled him, he ran over to the other dog and wanted to romp around and play with him. The other dog didn't want any of that nonsense and tore into "Little Fox" with a vengeance. "Little Fox" was shocked, you could see in his face that his feelings were hurt and a lot more of him was getting hurt as well.
It took "Little Fox" two or three minutes to realise that the other dog didn't want to make friends with him and for the next ten or twelve minutes "Little Fox" took the other dog apart. He had him down and was killing his inert and defenceless opponent. Then it suddenly appeared that "Little Fox" got a message, from some long repressed gene, that told him that his opponent was in submissive position, not able to defend himself. "Little Fox" backed off, crouched down on his front legs, whilst sticking his wagging tail in the air in a dogs posture of playing. We picked up the dogs to see if "Little Fox" would scratch. He ran straight over to the other dog and resumed his attempts to play with the dog. "Little Fox" would fight that dog and two others that we rolled him with, just as long as those dogs would fight back, but, at the slightest indication that the other dog was through fighting, "Little Fox" would try to make friends with them. I often thought that acting in this manner was a throwback to how animals act in the wild.
I sent "Little Fox" back to Timmy and I think that he did breed him once, before he got out of the dogs. I never found out how the pups turned out, if there were any pups. I knew one thing, I wasn't going to match him. But I always thought that if this dog was responding to some long displaced gene, he might well be worth breeding. On the other hand, there may be nothing more to the gene theory other than making an excuse for a dog that had everything to win, but didn't have the fire in his blood to scratch back to the action. It seems that many reputable breeders will not hesitate to breed to a well bred, cold bitch, but avoid like the plague a dog that won't scratch, Many times they opt to breed to a well known dog that has never even been rolled.