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Joe Corvino

Joe Corvino was one of the most famous dogmen in the history of the breed. Joe began his breeding program in the late 1920's, he started from dogs of Feeley, Tudor's and Shipley's lines and also from Armitage x Tonn's crosses. He bred numerous outstanding specimens, his gamedogs played a very important role in the history of the American Staffordshire.

Some of Joe Corvino’s most notable American Staffordshire’s are Corvino's Braddock (14xw), Corvino's Shorty, Corvino's Thunder and Corvino's Gimp

Joe Corvino bred National Specilaty Winner of 1939, Westminster Winner of 1940 Ch. Sox of Chicago (Corvino's Dick x Corvino's Darky) that was whelped on March the 1st, 1938.

In H. Richard Pascoe’s (The Little Red Book) "The American Staffordshire Terrier" printed in 1977, he mentions that there are five major lines in the foundation of the American Staffordshire Terrier. Tacoma, X-Pert, Ruffian, Crusader, and "California" which is not actually a line, but a combination of lines.

John Fonseca on the left, Al Brown of Tacoma Jack fame in the Middle and Howard Heinzel (Colby x Corvino) on the right.

The Tacoma line was developed by Charles Doyle of Winamac, Indiana and Al Brown of Modesto, California beginning with the whelping of Grand Champion Brown’s Tacomja Jack (9xw) in 1927. The Tacoma line was influenced by Corvino blood early in its history and was known for its courage and working ability.

Al Brown and Grand Champion Brown's Tacoma Jack (9xw). Jack was born in 1927.

Using Tacoma Jack and Brown’s Judy, Al Brown produced a number of outstanding dogs. Several of these, including Tacoma Jack’s Replica (4xw) were sent to Charles Doyle. Using Tacoma Jack’s Replica and other Tacoma dogs, Charles Doyle produced a long line of sound dogs with the infusion of Corvino’s Braddock (14xw) and Corvinos’s Shorty.

Tacoma Jack's Replica (4xw). Jack's Replica was born in 1936.

Some of the best included Champion Young Joe Braddock, Champion Doyle’s Tacoma Disaster I, Champion Doyle’s Tacoma Disaster II, American Kennel Council Champion Kane Tacoma Blaze, and American Kennel Council Champion Tacoma All-A-Blaze and Champion Tacoma Frivolous Sal, owned by Howard and Janice Hadley, who won the National Specialty in 1954. Subsequently Tacoma crosses have been important in all other major American Staffordshire Terrier lines.

Here is a link to a picture of Tacoma All-A-Blaze.

Mr. Doyle, who was active in the National Club both as a board member and long-time Secretary, strongly believed in keeping the American Staffordshire Terrier as game and functional as possible. Of all the American Staffordshire Terrier lines, the Tacoma dogs have easily the most outstanding record for courage and capability.

This is a photo of United Kennel Council Champion Sagebrush Tacoma Danni an in-bred Tacoma American Staffordshire Terrier. This is a link to some additional photos of Sagebrush Tacoma Danni.

This is a photo of Sagebrush Tacoma Danni’s daughter, Sagebrush Retrospect. "Boca" is a Tacoma/Ruffian cross.

This is another photo of Sagebrush Tacoma Danni’s progeny, Retro’s If You Have To Ask. “Grim” is a fine example of a line-bred Tacoma cross X-Pert/Ruffian American Staffordshire Terrier. This is a link to some additional photos of Retro's If You Have To Ask.

Tacoma by Harold Card

I got my first Amstaff in 1978. Before this time I bred functional English Bulldogs that were hell on wheels, and would actually pull down a cow, horse or bull, but had all the health problems of the modern English Bulldogs. In the late seventies, I became aware of a man who had an AKC show dog that had beaten three of Jack Kelly's ( the owner of the Sporting Dog Journal, a dog fighting magazine) in pit contests. This dog, Ironman's KO, was an X-pert bred AmStaff who had beaten the famous show dog, Ch. X-pert Sligo McCarthy twice for best of breed the only two times he was shown, and had won his pit championship. KO was inbred on X-pert Black Susie who was a pure Tacoma bitch obtained by Cliff Ormsby from Pat Bodzinowski, the well known dog fighter from the Chicago area who had Storklind kennels.

I got several of KO's offspring and inbred them for five years. Realizing that KO got his type and temperament from the Tacoma blood, I searched the country for the last of the Tacoma, and in 1984 was fortunate to find a very inbred Storklind bitch, Card's Tacoma Tornado, in Florida from Marsha Woods, inbred on Embry's Watch-It, a pure Storklind/Tacoma dog. At the same time, Wayne Brown from the Dallas area of Texas, agreed to breed his 3/4 Tacoma male Brown's Tacoma Chief, to his 1/2 Tacoma female, Brown's Tacoma Storm, and sold me a male from this breeding, Card's Tacoma Jake. I bred Jake to Tornado, twice, and got six pups the first breeding and one the second. Card's Tacoma Rose was kept from the first breeding, and Card's Tacoma Hurricane was kept from the second.

Tornado was bred later to a double bred KO male that I had selected, but the breedings never took, and the KO blood is now extinct. Rose was sold to Bob Schaeffer in Indiana who bred her to his Schaeffer's Hello Chopper, the only AKC dog to ever win a ADBA pitbull Championship title. Chopper was a blend of Hercules of Harwyn blood and Sooner. A daughter of Rose and Chopper was M&M's Bad Banchee who was a three time pit winner. She was bred back to Brown's Tacoma Chief to produce Tacoma Ivory Lace, which I obtained to use in my breeding program. Hurricane, the male I kept, was a very hard biting game dog. He would bite a moving cars tire and explode it while it was going past!

All of the dogs in my yard have his blood. In the early 90's, David Kealaher in Idaho offered me Dellies Mithril North Star, a female out of Ch Mithril Dellies Ruby City, (a half Tacoma bitch out of Dellie-Woods Old Soldier who was a littermate to my Card's Tacoma Tornado,) and Ch Logues White Rock Ox Bomber (Ch. White Rock Jet Bomber X Brown's Tacoma Storm). Hurricane bred to Tacoma Ivory Lace and to Dellies Mithril North Star is the basic foundation of my current blood. The blood in my yard is about 60-70% Tacoma with the rest a blend of Rolls, Hercules of Harwyn, and X-pert. The original Tacoma was started by Charles Doyle in Indiana and was a blend of Feeley, Tudor's Black Jack and Tacoma Jack.

He later added in the 16xW time pit winner Corvino's Braddock. After his death, his dogs were stolen from his yard at his funeral, but Mike Ferris had a few obtained before Doyle's death. He sold several to Pat Bodzianowski who fought them using false Corvino papers so no one would know of the blood of the dogs he was using. After Pat went to prison for dog fighting, the blood was almost extinct until myself, Carla Restivo, and Bert Rodrigues in Illinois started to resurrect it. The current Tacoma has three major types. The Feeley type, the Hercules type, and the Tacoma type. The Feeley and the Tacoma types are typical of the Tacoma dogs produced until the 1970's when the first outcrosses were made. Ch. Hercules of Harwyn entered into so many of the outcrosses that his type is stamped into the genepool.

The Feeley type is a smaller, usually red, dog that looks much like Tudor's Dibo, who was also a Feeley dog. The Tacoma type is a larger, taller, big headed wide chested type that is very athletic. The Hercules type has a short back, lower legs, cobby body with a shorter face and straight stifles and front. Most of the Tacoma dogs are highly dog aggressive and there are many that are highly protective of their owners and family. One of my favorites, Card's Tacoma Swinging Dick, is the only AmStaff in the US to get a French Ring Brevet.

The modern Tacoma dogs are highly intelligent and very willing to work, but because of the dog aggressiveness shouldn't be in a show ring or Obedience ring. My current male, Card and Maio's Tacoma 100 Proof, is not as dog aggressive as most I've had, so I'm going to try him this summer in AKC competition. Of the old Tacoma dogs, Tacoma Jack's Replica, Ch. Tacoma Dispatcher 1 CH. Tacoma Dispatcher 2, Ch. Tacoma All-A-Blaze, Doyle's American Gangbuster, and Storklinds Otis would be my favorites. My own favorites from my breeding would be Card's Tacoma Hurricane, Card's Tacoma Bandit, Card's Tacoma Knight Templar, Card's Tacoma Soldier and Card's Tacoma Swinging Dick for males and Card's Tacoma Ginger and Card's Tacoma Pride of Joliet for females.