Gottiline – The history of one of the most famous bully bloodlines

Notorious-juan-gottyHistory of Gottline

The Gottiline Pitbull Bloodline, otherwise known as the Gotti Pitbulls, have become one of the most popular bloodlines in American Bully Community.  This bloodline was started by Richard Barajas of the West Side Kennels.  He actually owns the first sire, The Notorious Juan Gotty.  Back in 1997 he bought Gotty for an amount of $1,300, from Tony Moore.  Richard probably didn’t know at the time what a great buy Juan Gotty was.  Tony owns the Grey Line Kennels in Los Angeles.  The Greyline foundation female was name Showtime.  Showtime was the mother of Gotty’s father, “R Greyline’s Raider 2.  Raider passed away when Gotty was only 7 weeks old.  At 7 months, Gotty was the proud sire of his own litter.

The foundation of the Bloodline

This was just the beginning for Gotty’s long line of fantastic foundations.  If you’ve heard these names, Coldens Blue Rhino, Felony, Pate’s Blue Beast, Gottiline’s Monster, Do Good Big Boy, New Trojan’s Dillinger, and many others not mentioned, these are just some of the foundations of Gotty.  In all, Gotty has sired more than 900 UKC registered American Pitbull Terriers.  Starting out with Juan Gotty, the Gottiline bloodline is not only spread all across the US, but also the world, including China, Canada, Japan and the Philippines.  Gotty will surely be known in history as one of the bully style movement’s greatest dogs.

Richard Barajas of Westside Kennels
Richard Barajas of Westside Kennels

The birth of the name

So, the Gottiline Pitbull Bloodline is named after The Notorious Juan Gotty.  Only the “y” was changed to an “i”.  The look of the Gotti is very distinctive.  They are easy to tell apart from the other pitfull bloodlines.  The Gotti has tons of mass and is very stocky and also girthy.  They are heavy, thick and shorter than other pitbulls. The head is brick-like.  It is extremely broad right between the cheeks, and the head sits on a well-defined and amazingly thick muscled neck.  The broad distance between those cheeks is created to house those powerful jaws.

After the amazing neck, the chest is well-sprung, deep and thick.  Even though the Gottis are extremely full of muscle and are stocky, they are still agile which proves their total strength.  According to UKC regulations, blue eyes are not accepted along with the mearl coat.  The eyes need to be perfectly round.  Cropped ears are optional although most of the Gottis have them cropped.  The UKC does not accept any with docked tails.


Appearance of the bloodline

Many pitbull lovers say that they can’t tell the difference between a Razors Edge Pitbull and a Gottiline Pitbull.  A trained pitbull eye can tell the difference with no problems.  A Gottline has a more bulldog type of a look.  Their coloring may often have oil spotting or oil specking on the coat.  This is very apparent on a white Gotti.  This isn’t always the case on a Gotti, but there are many that have this feature that doesn’t appear on the Razors Edge.

westside monster
One of Juan Gotty’s most famous sons – Monster Jojola from Top Dogg Kennels. Monster was another great producer for Richard Barajas. In some people’s opinions, he was a better looking dog than Juan Gotty, as well as a better producer. He was an extremely muscular and correct dog that passed his awesome structure on to his offspring. He can be found in thousands of dog’s pedigrees all over the world.

The personality of the Gotti is also the personality of a good temperament.  With pitbulls still carrying that reputation of being dangerous and aggressive dogs, the Gotti is the absolute opposite.  These pits are bred without the aggression and fight that pitbulls were used for in the past.  Now they are considered to be loving pets in anyone’s home.  They are good with children and even other dogs if the dogs were raised together.  The Gotti will be loyal to his family and property and will used his strength and power to protect both.  Many people wouldn’t consider a pit to be a lap dog, but even these Gottis will sleep on your lap and be content to give and get loving attention.  There are still pitbulls bred to fight, and the fighting still goes on even though it is animal abuse and also illegal.  Hopefully one day there will be no more pitbulls or any other dogs used for these purposes.

There are other bloodlines that are related to the Gottiline pitbull bloodline.  Gotti is the foundation for Mikeland’s Kracker and Gator and also Kingpinline’s Goliath.  Besides these unique lines, he is also the foundation for many of the bully pitbulls that weigh more than 70 lbs., considered to be the XXL bull pitbulls.

On the other side of the scale, Gotti is also the foundation for pocket bulls pitbulls that weigh less than 70 lbs.  (I guess these would be the “teacup” pitbulls, but don’t ever say that to one of those smaller yet mighty bullys.)

Juan Gotty has created many unique and diverse kinds of bullys, and yet each one is exceptional in its’ own way.  They each have their unique qualities and factors that make them special.  Juan Gotty is a legend in the movement of the bully pitbulls.  No matter what the size of the Gottiline Pitbull, the bone, head and extreme girth are all factors in this particular bloodline.

Pit Bull Breeds, Types and Aggression

pit bull breeds growling pitbull aggressive

Pit Bull Breeds & Aggression

In the general public’s eyes there are two basic categories that the “Pit Bull” will fit into. Only one of which is an actual “Pit Bull”. There is the American Pit Bull Terrier and the American Bully. While these dogs derived from some of the same ancestors, they now have two completely different temperaments.

The Original American Pit Bull Terrier

The only real true “Pit Bull” is the original American Pit Bull Terrier. For the most part, these dogs are extremely human friendly. Both naturally and when socialized properly. However, these dogs are for the most part naturally dog aggressive. This is due to the fact that these dogs were bred specifically to fight other dogs. Any experienced dog fighter will choose this style of dog for fighting.

Game Dogs and Dog Aggression

The original APBT’s are sometimes referred to as game dogs or game blood. Some of the most popular game bloodlines are Colby, Carver, and the Alligator bloodline.

There are a number of Kennels that breed these pit bull breeds to preserve their original gameness and temperaments. Tom Garner is one of the most well known breeders of the original American Pit Bull and game dogs. He is pictured to the left with his dog Sassy (A 3 year old female pit bull in Orange County, N.C, on Tuesday, July 24, 2007.). Some of the other most well known breeders of  game dogs include Floyd Boudreaux, Louis & Mike Colby, John P Colby – who was breeding the “Colby” bloodline since 1888, Maurice Carver (Carver Bloodline) and Gary J. Hammonds. Gary is the founder and creator of the Alligator Bloodline. He is known to be a very scientific breeder that researches the history of his bloodlines extensively. The Alligator Bloodline plays an important role in the breeding programs of many serious breeders around the world. Gary’s most famous dog would undoubtably be his stud RUFUS who was proven to be one of the best producing males in the world.

It’s said by most of these game dog breeders that they are unable to breed true game dogs without testing their stock (fighting their dogs).

While game dogs are naturally human friendly, they have the ability to excel in protection training if trained properly. If a person was to intentionally make a game dog human aggressive, these dogs will do so in order to please their owner.

The three types of human aggressive pit bull breeds

Howard's Ver Magnusson schutzhund pitbull
Howard’s Ver Magnusson pictured above is a perfect example of a pit bull that excels in protection training and in the sport of Schutzhund with the proper training. Magnus (R.I.P) is the only Superdog in the history of the breed to earn the esteemed Schutzhund 3 title. A Schutzhund title is equivalent to obtaining four titles: The temperament test, the obedience title, a tracking title and the protection title.

Unintentionally Raised Human Aggressive Pit Bulls: These are the type of dogs are created by being socialized poorly with humans as pups, are neglected, are possible victims of abuse, are trained improperly, or a combination of these factors. These type of dogs are created by owners that have no intentions of creating an aggressive dog.

Intentionally Trained Human Aggressive Pit Bulls: Dogs that that are trained to be aggressive by humans. They may have been trained poorly, or properly. When trained  properly, then tend to excel in personal and police protection work. When trained poorly or by a person with little or no experience with protection training, it can results in an unprovoked dog attack on a neighbor, mailman, or family member. It is highly recommended that you leave it up to the professionals when it comes to protection training.

Naturally Human Aggressive Pit Bulls: For the most part the majority of pit bulls are human friendly. However, some are naturally aggressive from day one. These dogs are usually bred by backyard breeders that are inexperienced. These type of breeders usually have have little or no knowledge about breeding or the history of the dogs they are being bred. The majority of these dogs un-papered (Meaning they are not registered). Any experienced or ethical breeder does not breed a pit bull that carries this type of temperament. Only in rare instances will you find a purebred pit bull from a quality bloodline show human aggression naturally.

I’ve done protection training and there is a huge difference between a human aggressive dog that can determine the difference between a criminal or threat, and a family member, and one that is downright aggressive towards all humans. The latter is looked down upon completed by experienced dog trainers and breeders alike. Any dog that shows unprovoked human aggression has a huge flaw in their temperament and should be culled from the breeding program and fixed.

This rule dates back 100 years ago when dog fighting was yet to be deemed inhumane and outlawed. Dog fighters would need to break up the dog fights without being bit, therefore they bred pit bull breeds to be human friendly.

The most abused breed

The original APBT is the breed that is most commonly found in shelters, misunderstood, bred by backyard breeders with little or no breeding experience, and used for fighting. In comparison to the American Bully, these dogs are less expensive for the most part as well. This is partly the reason why these dogs are more commonly found in shelters, are bred with no papers, and bred by breeders with no breeding experience (simply because these dogs are more easily obtained). The reason they are involved in dog fighting more than the American Bully is because for the most part, the American Bullies are very poor fighters.

The American Bully

DaxLine kennels CA
On of the most popular American Bullies is Dax from Daxline kennels. Ed Shepherd (Owner of Dax) has no interest in his dogs showing any type of aggression.

In comparison to to the Original American Pit Bull Terrier, the American Bully is a relatively new breed. This breed started roughly around 15-20 years ago with breeders like Richard Barajas (Gottiline), Ed Shepherd (Gottyline), and Dave Wilson of Razors Edge. These dogs for the most part were bred specifically for looks and breeders paid little attention to their temperaments. Breeders bred for Big Blocky Heads, Wide stances, Short, Compact, and Muscular bodies. They also bred for their blue coats since they were the most popular color with the majority of the public.

The Temperament of the American Bully

The majority of these breeders paid little or no attention to their temperaments. These breeders were not interested in these dogs showing human or dog aggression and only bred for looks. There was no use for a dog that showed aggression. Customers were purchasing these dogs solely on the way they looked and had no interest in a guard dog that was human aggressive, or a fighting dog that was dog aggressive.

Dog aggression would make American Bully Breeder’s jobs more expensive and time consuming since they would have to keep the dogs in separate kennels, have them relieve themselves, and exercise separately. Furthermore, any dog fight would potentially cost them money. If a dog was injured by a dog fight they would need to sped money at a vet to attend to the dog’s injuries. If a dog was killed in a fight, the breeder would lose a great deal of money by losing a stud dog or a producing female.

For the most part the original pit bull temperament and drive was bred out of these pit bull breeds. Not intentionally, but by the lack of attention to their temperaments. What was left after years of breeding for a specific look, and not temperament, was an extreme bully with exaggerated features (Massive head, extremely short and wide, carrying a great deal of muscle and mass), and a family and dog oriented temperament. These dogs interacted together on a daily basis with both family and other dogs making them the perfectly socilized family pet. In vary rare instances will you find an American Bully that is either human aggressive or dog aggressive.

Pitbull Strength Training and Muscle Building

pitbull strength trainingWhat Does Pitbull Strength Training Involve?

New pitbull owners often get intimidated by the frenzy long-time owners get into when they talk about weight, strength, muscles, and more. There is an entire community of competitive animals and owners who enter pitbull competitions, and even for non-competitive types, strength training is beneficial. It’s important for your dog to perform at its maximum capabilities so it is muscled and presents a sleek physique, avoids joint problems caused by poor muscle strength, and is happy and healthy.

There are many elements involved in pitbull strength training. Some people start their dogs young while others wait until they are older, then begin training. Training involves more than the pure exercises, too; nutritional supplements and proper food are often involved in the process. Every dog owner will swear by their own supplements and food! Here are some factors involved in training a pitbull for strength.

Start with a high-quality dog food or a raw diet

muscle-building-in-pit-bullsYou can’t do anything to get your dog healthy and fit unless you have the right foundations. It starts with the best possible dog food. Make sure you’re not feeding your pitbull a dog food that is based on cheap filling ingredients like corn and other grain byproducts, and ensure your dog food has lots of protein.

The first few ingredients should be meats – not unnamed or miscellaneous meats, but clearly-named, preferably organic meats. As natural as possible is best when it comes to dog foods. You should also ensure you’re feeding your pitbull often enough, but not too often – overfeeding can cause fat weight gain, which is bad for any dog, rather than muscle gain which comes from a good diet and proper pitbull strength training.

Avoid dog foods that use the words meal after the ingredient. If the number one ingredient is “Chicken Meal”, it means that they use all parts of the chicken, even the unhealthy parts. Raw Dog Food Diets are also a popular choice with dog owners looking to build muscle.

More information on raw dog food diets can be found at:

Be skeptical of protein percentages

Not all protein percentages are created equally. There’s a number of cheap brands that state that their dog foods contain a high percentage of protein. However, the source of the protein can be from a downright awful source. If you compare canned food, the percentage will be higher. This is due to the fact that canned foods can consist of  as much as 70% water. If you take the water away, there is actually very little dry food left, thus canned foods can achieve higher protein percentages.

The best way to compare protein in dog foods is by comparing dry foods. You want to look at two things. The quality of the protein, and how easily it’s digested (Real meat is one of the most easily digestible sources of protein for dogs). If you are a hunter or fish you can save some money by bringing your dog home raw animal meat (Such as deer), or a piece of raw fish. These are two of the absolute best sources of protein. If you don’t hunt, you can substitute with a Whey Protein powder for dogs (Such as Gorilla Max). Protein powders for dogs like Gorilla Max are ranked as one of the best protein sources for dogs.

Make sure you’re providing enough exercise and pitbull strength training.


Any pitbull of appropriate age should be given enough exercise apart from weight-pulling and other specific exercises for pitbull strength training. It starts with walking, jogging, running, and similar movement-based activities. Every day, your dog will need to be walked twice if nothing else. It’s better to play fetch, engage in jumping and other playing activities, and vary the activities you do together if possible. A dog who doesn’t get enough exercise is more likely to be unhappy and exhibit behavioral problems like barking or aggression.

Obedience training from the very start.

You can’t do much about pitbull strength training if your dog won’t listen to you. Make sure you begin obedience training when your dog is a puppy, and seek out a professional if necessary. Obedience training involves getting your dog to sit, stay, come, heel, and other basic commands, and it is crucial if you want your pitbull to be accepted in society. Nobody wants to be on the same sidewalk as a pitbull who won’t stay by an owner’s heel when walking! Moreover, when you’re trying to get your dog to do the exercises you want, it will be far easier if your dog already listens to you and knows basic commands.

Learn how to exercise your dog.

When your dog is out of its puppy stage, learn how to provide proper exercise. Some popular exercises include springpole exercise, swimming, pull harnesses, and more. Make sure you know what weights to start at based on your dog’s weight, age, sex, and muscles. If your dog is struggling excessively, downgrade the weights and opt for a longer pulling session with lower weights. It helps to tap into a community of pitbull owners when learning how to perform proper pitbull strength training.

Use supplements to add bulk and nutrients.

Photo from Bully Max sponsored Pit Bull – Carolina Bully Farm’s ABKC Champion Miss Bouncy

If your dog is exercising and eating right but can’t seem to put on muscle weight, it might be lacking some crucial nutrient. Consider adding a supplement to your dog’s diet to help build weight and muscle and with pitbull strength training. These supplements should include real vitamins and nutrients, not shady untested ingredients, and should be produced by a company with a great track record. Pitbull-specific supplements are best, but most muscled dogs take the same style of supplements. Bully Max is the #1 Choice among pitbull owners as a dog supplement for muscle.

It’s actually fairly easy to perform pitbull strength training if you focus on the main elements – a good diet, supplements to provide missing nutrients, frequent exercise, and weight-pulling exercises. Don’t start from a very young age – let your dog grow naturally until it has significant muscle and weight gain before strength training, as starting your dog’s routine before it’s ready can cause damage. When done right, strength training will make your dog healthier and happier, provide you both with a stress outlet, and ensure your dog stays obedient and does not develop behavioral issues from not having its natural strength utilized on a regular basis.

How to choose the Right Dog Foods for muscle

While we briefly discuss what dog foods to avoid, a good place to find the right dog foods is Keep in mind, there are three main factors in a dog food that will help build muscle – Fat, Protein, and Carbs. Pay attention to these percentages when choosing a food. If you feel your dog food still isn’t providing enough protein, you can use a protein supplement for dogs (  And for pitbull strength training.

Looking to start weight pulling with your dog? We recommend starting your research with the IWPA (International Weight Pull Association).

Ed Shepherd of Daxline Kennels & Gottyline

The history of Ed Shepherd & Daxline ( Formerly Gottyline Pits)

Ed with his foundation stud and Champion, 21 Blackjack

Ed (Pictured to the left with 21blackjack) is one of the original founders of the breed known as the American Bully. He started breeding these dogs at a time where American Pit Bulls for the most part, were tall, skinny, and followed the APBT breed standard. When Ed first started breeding, he did some research on the internet and purchased a couple of pit bulls. He soon realized that him and his kids loved the temperament of these dogs and it was the breed of their choice from that day forward.

The Purchase of 21 Blackjack

Things really started to take off after Ed purchased Blackjack from Cruz at Bow Wow Pits. He purchased Blackjack at the time when Cruz was first getting into the Razors Edge bloodline. At the time, Cruz wasn’t interested in Blackjack, because Blackjack wasn’t a Razors Edge dog. At the time, there was no gottyline.

Cruz was most well known for his stud dog Blow, who was a Monster G son. He went on to create his own clothing line based off of his stud Blow. The clothing line is simply known as Blow Genes.

Richard Barajas of Westside Kennels
Richard Barajas of Westside Kennels with Westside’s Boogie

How Gottyline Started

Richard Barajas from westside kennels was breeding Juan Gotty at the time. His kennel name was west side kennels. So Ed came up with the idea of creating the name Gottyline for his yard.

Richard was a friend of Eds and at the time, he didn’t really like the idea Ed using the name “Gottyline”. However, he didn’t make a big deal of it and began to use the name as well. Ed chose to spell gottyline as it reads on Juan Gotty’s papers with the letter “Y”. However, Richard started using the name with an “I” and spelling it Gottiline. This is the reason you will see this bloodline spelled both ways from time to time.

Tony Moore of Blue Star Kennels and the Greyline Bloodline.

Notorious juan gotty of West Side Kennels
Notorious juan gotty of West Side Kennels

Tony is a breeder of Greyline pitbulls and bred Juan Gotty. He sold gotty to Richard when gotty was just a puppy. He was a 100% greyline dog.

The dogs Tony breeds are all well driven and far from the American Bullies that you see today. Gary Moore of Blue Star Kennels refers to dogs without drive as “Kibble Munchers” and wants nothing to do with lazy dog without drive.

Gary’s ideal dog would be able to climb trees, take down criminals, and have and extremely high energy level. This is a temperament that Ed of Daxline is not interested in breeding. This extreme drive is not found in today’s American Bullies and is only find in 100% greyline dogs, also known as old school bloodlines.

Old school bloodlines as well as most 100% greyline dogs carry the original pitbull temperament and drive. New Troijan Kennels in Los Angeles for example have 100% greyline dogs. Their dogs for the most part have extremely high energy levels and are able to preform well in dog sports such as weight pulling, and protection training.

How Ed Shepherd Created Daxline

A daughter of Ed's now world famous stud Dax
A daughter of Ed’s now world famous stud Dax

Ed started to show 21 Blackjack and soon championed him out. From popularity of 21 Blackjack, he began to start to build his Kennel. After years of line breeding and inbreeding his dogs, he created a solid recognizable look, and had a yard full of amazing bullies.

Around 2008, Ed bred West Coast Gottyline’s Romeo to his female Barbee. This is how he produced his now world famous stud Gottyline’s Dax.

After Dax began to mature, Ed realized that he produced a truly awesome stud that was his best production to date. He then renamed his kennel and bloodline Daxline

Dax is considered an extreme Bully. He has a very easy going temperament and is completely non aggressive. Ed has no interest in breeding dogs with aggressive or high energy temperaments (Also known as the original Pit Bull Drive). Dax is an ABKC champion that stands 15 inches at the withers, weighs 75 pounds, and has a 24 inch head. He is Ed’s only house dog. Ed simply states that he is too valuable to leave outside.

Ed is an ABKC judge and continues to breed his line of dogs known as Daxline.