Bringing Down the Dogmen

How a pair of undercover cops infiltrated the secret world of Houston dogfighting.
Bringing Down The Dogmen
Rob Rogers (a.k.a. White Boy Rob), photographed on June 28 with a pit bull from a Houston kennel. Rogers, whose fighting pit bulls were euthanized last December, began serving a prison sentence on July 29.
Photograph by Jeff Wilson

The “show” was scheduled to take place on Friday night in a field behind a rundown gas plant about forty miles west of Houston. Chris, a young dogman from the coastal town of Matagorda, was driving up to take on Rob Rogers—or, as he was known in the dogfighting world, White Boy Rob. Chris was a cocky, fast-talking black guy, maybe 25 years old. He had a beauty of a pit bull named BJ, a newcomer to the game but one that had already developed a reputation as a “leg dog.” At his last show, BJ had locked his teeth onto his opponent’s front left leg, ripped out a chunk of cartilage, and then immediately torn into the right leg, nearly snapping a bone. “Nobody can beat BJ,” said Chris. “White Boy Rob ain’t going to do nothing to my BJ.”

Rogers was one of the best dogmen in Texas, renowned for his ability to work fighting pit bulls—“bull dogs,” he called them. He kept thirty dogs at a property in Baytown and at his two-bedroom trailer in Channelview, a blue-collar suburb of Houston, where he lived with his wife and three children. As a fight approached, he would select one dog and put him “on the keep.” He would run him for an hour through a cemetery with a thirty-pound chain attached to his collar. He’d make him swim for another hour in an above-ground pool in his backyard, then put him on a treadmill to run some more. Rogers would give the dog vitamins and amino acids and inject him with anti-inflammatory drugs. He’d give the dog very little water in order to lessen bleeding during a fight and make the skin tighter and harder to bite. To keep the animal relaxed, he’d let it stay inside the trailer and sleep at the foot of his bed. “You treat your bull dog with respect and you’ll be amazed at what he does for you,” Rogers liked to say. “You can tell him where to hit another dog, and he’ll hit it.”

For this particular show, Rogers had chosen Dozer, a 36-pound male with a

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