Dog the Bounty Hunter Speaks


Door Exclusive: The Dog’s First Interview Since He Was Muzzled

We love The Dog. When Dog the Bounty Hunter was kicked off the air by the A&E Network for using the n-word, we thought it was a bad call and said so. We think, in fact, that Dog the Bounty Hunter may be the best reality show in the history of that much maligned genre. When the Door’s own Bob Gersztyn found The Dog around Christmas time, he was at a low point in his life and ready to talk about God, who was in the process of kicking his ass. In fact, we found out in this interview that the nickname Dog is actually derived from God spelled backwards, and was given to him by a gangbanger called the Preacher.

We found out a lot of new things in this interview.

Dog The Bounty Hunter was raised by an abusive father and a Native American mother who was devoutly pentecostal. By the time he was in junior high he had embarked on the path to perdition, becoming a member of the Devil's Disciples outlaw motorcycle club at the age of 15. At 24 years old he found himself locked up in the Texas state prison for first degree murder.

After he got out, he sold Kirby vacuum cleaners, then started bounty hunting on the side for beer money. After three divorces and countless girlfriends, he ended up, improbably, as a celebrity guest speaker at Tony Robbins seminars, and when he tracked down serial rapist Andrew Luster in Mexico, the resulting news coverage led to his own reality show on the A&E Network.

dog in church
The Dog and Beth in church.

As Joe Bob Briggs described the show in these pages, it is “simultaneously the most conservative law-and-order show this side of Cops, the most liberal social-action show this side of a PBS documentary (‘I am what rehabilitation stands for,’ says The Dog), and a constant fount of entertaining Christian witness, beginning with the bounty hunter prayer circle, in which he prays for the safety of his bounty-hunting family, then asks God to protect various characters with names like ‘The Animal’ who are about to be caught in the pincers of a Da Kine manhunt (Da Kine is his bail bond company in Hawaii.)

But the climax of every episode, and the emotional high point of the show, is the long ride to prison in Dog’s van. The handcuffed perp usually sits in the middle back seat next to Dog, who offers him a cigarette and then says something like ‘How long you gonna let the crack control ya, man?’ And that unleashes some amazing moments . . .”

All of this and much more is documented in Duane "Dog" Chapman's autobiography You Can Run But You Can't Hide, but there was a dramatic coda to the book last fall when one of his many relatives publicized a secretly recorded tape of The Dog saying the n-word several times as he ranted about his son’s black girlfriend. That resulted in the cancellation of the show, followed by a very public series of apologies by The Dog, often before all-black church congregations, and never once did Chapman say “Put me back on TV because I’m popular.”

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In every case he said, “I’m asking forgiveness from every brother who felt hurt by what I said.” He had the balls to show up one day at the Congress for Racial Equality (CORE) in New York to apologize in person, and the employees there ended up posing for pictures with him. At the end of his public humiliation, he was finally reinstated (new season starts July 16th). One of the things he reveals in this interview, for the first time, is that his experience with the n-word caused him to stop swearing as well.

The life of Duane Chapman is a combination of the sacred and the profane that’s never boring, but one thing we wondered is why The Dog would talk to us instead of some place with more readership. The answer? Because our cab-driving blogger, Bob Gersztyn of Salem, Oregon, convinced Chapman that, in his druggie days, Gersztyn had sniffed more tubes of Testors (airplane glue) than Chapman had.

Dog Closeup

THE WITTENBURG DOOR: When did you first commit your life to Christ?

DUANE LEE “DOG” CHAPMAN: My grandmother was a missionary and of course raised my mother to be a Christian, so from I guess about birth I was brought up in the Assemblies of God.

DOOR: Did you ever make a commitment, come forward, or do anything like that, at some point?

DOG: You mean ask the Lord into my heart?

DOOR: Yeah.

DOG: Probably five, six or seven years old. I used to do it when I was seven every weekend.

DOOR: How many bounty captures do you currently have?

DOG: Well, we have over six thousand.

DOOR: What makes you the world’s greatest bounty hunter?

DOG: You have to read the book to hear that story. That would take an hour. If you want to find out about a bounty hunter, of course, that's what I am first of all, the book is about what made me, and how come I am one, and some of the things we've had to face as a family and as a person, and how did I get through those things by my faith in God.

DOOR: I found the book mind-blowing, to say the least. Especially the way that you go to scriptures you wouldn’t necessarily think of in difficult situations.

DOG: I use the Bible probably every conversation, I constantly think about God all day long, and it is 99.99% of my life.

DOOR: What about all those four-letter expletives you use when you’re arresting somebody? Is that the one per cent that’s not in the Bible?

"My people are those people on the cross with Jesus,

the thieves. That's who I'm responsible for.

That's like my congregation, you know what I mean? My ministry is to the thief.
I used to be ashamed of that, and then I read the part where it said,

'The first shall be last,
and the last shall be first.'"

DOG: Blessings and cursings do not run out of the same mouth, so from now on I will not use those words, or try my hardest not to, because all along that was wrong.

DOOR: For anyone who’s seen your show, that’s kind of hard to believe. You take down every perp with at least the word “mother------.”

DOG: I thought that, you know, in the circumstances I was in, God looks upon the heart, and of course, from the abundance of the heart the mouth speaketh, so I was completely wrong and God has proved that to me and took me to the woodshed and believe me, brother, you don't want to go there with him. So I am not going to use those words no matter what circumstance I'm in anymore. I'm going to try not to. I've used them for many, many years so, you know, if I say "F" someone, I don't mean literally that. But because the word is bad I'm not going to use it, because it hurts people’s feelings, and since I stopped swearing a couple of months ago, even someone who swears at me, it kind of, I can feel the, it's different, you know what I mean? So, I quit using it. I quit doing it.

DOOR: Wow, that's incredible.

DOG: That has to be, you know. That has to be. You can't do that.

DOOR: It's hard to quit once you're in the habit.

Dog in Contemplation
The Dog in Contemplation

DOG: You can quit, though. You just pretend, I mean, you wouldn't do it around Mother Teresa, Billy Graham, or my father or mother, so I just pretend. Or Jesus. If he was sitting here I wouldn't say pass me the "MF" ketchup, you know what I mean? So, I'm acting like, of course he is always here, but when you put yourself in that realm, that's how I'm beating it.

DOOR: An interesting passage you referred to in the Bible is Matthew 4:19, where Jesus says to the disciples, “I'll make you fishers of men.” It's your scriptural foundation for being a bounty hunter.

DOG: When Jesus died on the cross he was crucified with two thieves, and one, of course, said, if you're God get down off of here, and the other one said, please help me out, brother. Jesus said nothing to the one, I don't think, but he said to the other, “Tonight you'll be sitting down with me and my Dad in heaven.” So, my people are those people on the cross with Jesus, the thieves. That's who I'm responsible for. So, each time I go out and capture a thief or a criminal I have to tell them, you know, I don't try to pound Jesus down their throat but I have to tell them I was once a thief, and that I saw the light, and there is a light for them. That's like my congregation, you know what I mean? My ministry is to the thief. I used to be ashamed of that, and then I read the part where it said, "The first shall be last, and the last shall be first.” My guy could be in the front line so you've got to really be good.

DOOR: What is your favorite part of the Bible?

DOG: My favorite passage is a very small scripture, "Jesus wept." He wept because he loved the rich man so much that he saw a lot of him in that guy, and he just tried to get him, and Jesus just had so much love for people that when the guy turned away Jesus broke down and became human and cried.

"And then I got alone with God and I said,

'Now, listen, if we don't find her we just televised that prayer,

and God, you're going to look real stupid if I get out there
and I can't find her again

cause it's your fault,

DOOR: I think that was Lazarus actually, which brings me to another question, who's your

favorite Bible personality?

DOG: I think David is my favorite. I just went through what John the Baptist did. John the Baptist came out of the jungle or the forest, wilderness, eating locusts and swearing, right?

DOOR: I think that he quit swearing when he came back from the wilderness, but go on.

dog beware

DOG: So I used to tell my mother, "Mom, you know, John the Baptist swore," and she said, "Yes, son, but he got his head handed to him on a platter," and I used to forget that. He was in that cell in jail, and I think Jezebel was the queen that was getting married, and he called her a whore from the cell and she said, "Go bring me his head." And so Dog Chapman went through what poor John went through, not physically, but they handed me my head on a platter, too, for my mouth! So that is one of my most favorite guys. But I love David, as David was a good repenter, and David had a personal relationship, I think, with the Lord, and David was a poet like I am, kind of. David was a human being, and always made mistakes, but God forgave him, and made him a great person, and I just really loved David from childhood, too.

DOOR: I didn't know that you wrote poetry.

DOG: Yes, I do. Its private stuff but I rhyme a lot, too.

"From the abundance of the heart

the mouth speaketh,

so I was
completely wrong and God has proved that to me

and took me to the woodshed
and believe me, brother, you don't want to go there with him."

DOOR: Kind of like rap?

DOG: Well, they call ‘em Dogisms.

DOOR: Can you give me one?

DOG: "With blood in one eye and a tear in the other, he'll hunt you down and call you brother."

DOOR: That's pretty good. How did you get your first television program?

DOG: For fifteen years or so, I have been working on a television thing because I'm a performer, right? For about fifteen, sixteen years we tried to get some kind of television show, or acting job, or something like that. Then we were famous in our own cities, and our own states where we went to and arrested people where everyone knew the Dog. Then in 2002 we started chasing Andrew Luster, who was convicted on eighty-six counts of rape, and my family caught him in Mexico, and once that became international news there was a show starring Ozzy Osbourne, The Osbournes. My wife hooked up with Sharon Osbourne, and Sharon told Beth this would be a great show, and of course we wanted to do this so we took a chance.

DOOR: Do you currently attend church?

DOG: Yes. Probably every other Sunday. We go to church, different ones. Same religion, different ones, is all. I have Pastor Tim Story that I see probably once every two weeks, and then I talk to Reverend Jesse every day. My Aunt Iris is a Christian, she's in her eighties, and I talk to her constantly. So, I believe. My kids are in a religious school, a Catholic school that I like in Hawaii, so all my children are in a private Catholic school so they learn the basic foundation of God, and so I don't have them in public schools. I never have.

DOOR: It says in your book that you want to be seen as a moral man of virtue, yet you are still seen as an ex-con, convicted of first degree murder. How do you deal with the stress of that?

Dog booksigning
The crowd at Dog's book signing.

DOG: Well, it's been thirty years. I didn't really do it. It's a matter of record, I heard the shot. I was in the car. I think if had I pulled the trigger, or been standing there when it happened, it would have made more of an impression on my mind. What the impression was is of the guy dying, and the prison. So once I got out of there I wasn't like really guilty, it wasn't like a planned execution. It was a drug deal gone bad. I was guilty for being there at the time at that place. I didn't plan it, once I got out I'd done my time, it was a mistake on everybody's part so it wasn't on purpose. Then after going to prison and doing that, and living with that for many years, I couldn't get a job. I became a Kirby salesman, Kirby vacuums, and I couldn't get a job, because you have to tell people about your record. So it's a terrible thing. There's probably no one, I don't know anyone in the whole world that went from the prison gates to television, except for me. I don't know anyone that was ever convicted of a crime like that, so I don't think any other human being unless they had the faith in God that I do could be convicted in this age of murder, and get out and become a success. It's very hard. It's something I recommend not to do. You just can't do it. It's impossible. But, because of my religious background, my faith in God, my trust in God, my sincerity that God knows, I'm molded by God as a soldier in God's army, okay, and because I say the reason I picked A&E is because they let me say, "In Jesus' name, Amen." A lot of other bigger networks didn't want me to say "In Jesus' name" because everybody doesn't believe in Jesus. Well, I was taught that most every time you have to end the prayer with "In Jesus' name" or he doesn't hear it, so that's how I was taught. Whether I believe that or not I still had to stick up for Jesus and say "In Jesus' name, Amen." When you do that, that little word, Jesus, carries a lot of authority, and a lot of power behind it, and me with a dirty mouth, you know, Jesus said, if you're going to say that, I'm going to clean you up. It's whew! I'll tell you brother, you don't want to go through that, either. I'm kind of a guy that went through a lot of stuff. I am very happy, and God has blessed me, and there's no doubt, no doubt, that miracles happened in my life but I would not want my children, my family, my friends, or someone who doesn't know me to have to go through what I went through, at all.

DOOR: Have your prayers been answered?

DOG: Constantly prayers have been answered on a daily basis. I look for big miracles all the time, like I pray for, I see big miracles a lot, but daily miracles, the small ones, I see constantly. I ask God, "Should I go this way? Should I do that?" When I hunt down a fugitive I find guys that no one else can find, and I kind of get alone with God and say, "Okay, now where is this guy? Point me in the right direction." I remember one time saying a prayer on television. I could not find this girl, and I said, "Lord, I've done everything I can do. Now I need your power to find her. In Jesus' name, Amen." And then I got alone with God and I said, "Now, listen, if we don't find her we just televised that prayer, and God, you're going to look real stupid if I get out there and I can't find her again cause it's your fault, right?" And, lo and behold, that afternoon we were driving down the street and the girl was walking across the crosswalk in front of our car.

dog planning

So I mean, constantly, I'm always with God appealing, and repenting, and making deals, and asking for help, and it's just, if there's not a God then I guess I'm just light in the mind. But at fifty-five years old, almost, fifty-four, you start, when people get this age, you start, you know there's a God but you wonder, is there really, am I going to die and just die, or am I going to go on to heaven? I really believe I asked God that the other day and he was like, who do you think thinks of all these things, dummy, you? And, kind of laughing with me, you know?

I was kind of like Job, you know--where were you when I created the heavens and the earth? Who do you think you are? So, it's constantly all day, and then I give praises if something good happens, and I tell the Lord thank you, you know, God Bless You, God, and I get all these goose bump feelings that I hadn't gotten. Since I've been older I get those feelings and it takes my breath away, and I like laugh and cry, like shake his hand, and get a hug, and go on to life.

"I would pretend that God was not watching.

I knew that there would be a payday,

but I thought that, you know,
God's busy in Vietnam.

He's not watching me do this right now.
But I knew, kind of knew, that God was."

DOOR: You've lost children, and I'm very sorry for that. I have seven myself and I was wondering how has your faith helped you through the crisis?

DOG: Thank you. Number one, you have faith that there is a hereafter, and there is a heaven and a hell, so based on that I hope that I get to see my baby girl again. I hope that we're just not, that we just don't live and then like an animal just die. I hope that I see her again, and I have faith that there is a God, and that there is hereafter, and that's what gets me by. There's a lot of things I've found in life, there's a healing to them. If you quit doing this, or start doing that, or read more of this, or eat more of that, but there's no healing to losing a child. There's none. As a parent, you feel like all your other babies are here and they're eating, and there's one child is left alone, and you feel like David the shepherd, you have to go out after that child that's left alone. I thought when Barbara died that she was fighting demons, and I had to help her get to heaven, and I sacrificed myself a lot, and I didn't wear a bullet-proof vest through the whole third season of my show knowing that if I took a bullet I was heading right for my baby girl to help her out. I realized that I raised her as a Christian, and that I didn't need to be there to help her out. There are some really bad things that you think about being a parent, losing a child, and if it wasn't for God I would've committed bravery suicide, you know what I mean? You know what I mean. So, if it wasn't for God in that part of my life I wouldn't be here, for sure.

DOOR: How did you get the name "Dog"?

DOG: I was in a motorcycle club, a criminal outlaw motorcycle club, criminals, and I was always, like, I wouldn't rob a church. I didn't want to rob a paperboy one time, and I didn't want to do things like rob a grave, right? I didn't want to do things like that, so I would say, "No, I believe in God, I can't go with you on that," and they would be like, "What?" I always said the blessing for food, and in a motorcycle club food is not the best. Sometimes it's old. So I think I'm eating this old pork, right? So I'd better say the blessing, in Jesus' name, and it will be okay. So I would always say the blessing for the Devil’s Disciples, that was the name of the motorcycle club I was in. And we had a guy named Preacher who was not like a preacher but he talked a lot. We had a guy named John the Baptist, he did everything backwards, and so my President of the club said, you know, you talk about God all the time, Duane, and you are very loyal, like man's best friend, so we are going to name you Dog, which is God spelled backwards. So at fifteen years old I inherited the nickname “the Dog.”

DOOR: You’ve met so many types of people, including Muslims. You met Muslims in prison, right? Do you think that our differences can ever be bridged?

dog smile

DOG: This is gonna freak you out when you ask that question, now. I believe that God is smart enough. He made us different colors. He made us different, like we can eat a cow, a Muslim cannot. We'll always be Christians, Christ-Christians, the Christian group, trying to force Jesus down people's throats. If you don't believe in Jesus you're going to hell. Jewish people sit at that wall, and they cry and they pray for eight hours a day, and a lot of Christians meet the Jewish person and they're like, you know, I really love them but they don't believe in Christ, poor guy is going to hell. I do not, as I get older, believe that is so. I believe that God is a big enough God. God said, "You shall have no other gods before me." So, that must mean that there are other gods.

I believe that God is merciful enough, strong enough, and smart enough to love everyone. Now I, being a Gentile, am bound to believe in Jesus, but I don't think a Muslim has to. I don't think a Jewish man, where my Bible says they are God's chosen people, I'd better not say nothing bad about Jewish people, then why would they be going to hell if they don't believe in Christ? I just think that those of us who do believe in Jesus Christ are going to heaven in our own way, that we should not judge because someone else--I remember coming to Hawaii in the eighties, and I walked by a Buddhist temple. All the Christians were shopping at Wal-Mart and K-Mart on the 24th of December. The Buddhists were sitting in front of their sidewalk going, hom yong, whatever, with their legs crossed and humming and I said, what are you guys doing? They said we're celebrating God's son, the birth of the Christ child. I said, I thought you guys were Buddhists? They said, we are, Brother Dog. I thought, wow, that is amazing.

dog arrest

While we as Christians are out shopping the Buddhists are sitting there praising the Lord, so I think, again, God is smart enough, strong enough, that he has developed all religions according to the race and creed, and absolutely when we, as Christians, Christ-like, believe in that, and can meet other religions head on and say, if you believe in Buddha, or if you believe in whoever, we happen to believe in Christ but there's one goal to all of us, and that's doing good for our God, and I think that's when peace will come. I got along with Muslims in prison where it was life and death. A lot of Christians have never been put in a situation where it's life or death like Daniel in the lion's den. If I didn't get along I was dead in the morning. What I said to them, and I realized that they loved their religion as much as I do mine, and they were as convinced about their religion as I was mine, that there must be something to their religion for them, and once I realized that, me and the Muslims got along perfect. Of course I survived the prison, and I'm here talking to you, but I think that's a huge step for people to take. It's also a huge step for anyone to take, but I think that love conquers all things, and I think once we all stop thinking that everybody's going to hell because they don't believe how we do, I think the world's going to be a better place. I knew that would freak you out, and I'm sorry but that's how I believe.

DOOR: I freak out daily, so it's no big deal. What do you think of TV preachers?

DOG: TV preachers? Well, one televangelist, Rex Humbard, back in the day when I first started bounty hunting, was there saying, "This guy, I see a guy right now who has got to change his whole life, and you've got to change," and I think it was like my fifth or sixth bounty hunt, and I swore that he was talking straight to me. I believe the Bible says that in the last days all men shall hear about God, shall hear the redemption story, and then here comes the Lord. So I think the best way to get it out there is through television, to get the message out there. In anything, cops, robbers, preachers, you're going to have the good, the bad, the guys who are in it just for the money, the guys who are after this and that, but I think over all the television evangelists are doing the right thing.

I mean, if your father owns the cattle on a million hills you ought to own a few, too. If they're every day talking about God, and their whole life is surrounding God, and they're praying for people, and they've got their flock, and all day long from the moment they wake up and they dream about the Lord, they get up and they pray with people all day, all day, all day, I think they ought to be paid accordingly, and they wouldn't have to worry about money. I was watching last night, the Nativity, and it's just amazing that one of the wise men brought Jesus gold, and I thought, oh man, he didn't have to worry about money. He had some money right there, and I never had thought that. Jesus, when he needed money, told, I think it was Peter, go get that dollar out of the fish's mouth. He had a treasurer, who, of course, was Judas. So, to have a treasurer you've got to have a bag, you've got to have money, right?

I think because of the cash flow with the TV evangelists a lot of people get mad, but I think if we people who do get mad want to change shoes with them and do what they do, they'd want to get paid handsomely also. Now, the ones that are like, I don't know his name [Ted Haggard], my son went to his church is why I bring it up, and he really loved the guy a lot. He counseled my son but on the weekends he was doing speed with a homosexual guy, right? Those kinds of guys right there need to be flogged, okay, beaten in the street, and need repentance. Jimmy Swaggart was a great person. He went out with a ho, you know, and everybody broke ties with Swaggart in the eighties, and he said he was sorry, we all forgave him, and then he went out with a ho again. What are you doing, Jimmy? I'd like to slap him in the mouth. Some of those guys do get exposed, but the majority of them are decent guys. I just met Billy Graham's son, and when he walked in the room the hair on your head stood on end. He shook my hand. He talked to me. It was like, oh my God! I could feel the Lord on him, you know what I mean? I think the TV guys, most of them, are trying to do the right thing.

DOOR: How has your Native American heritage affected your life?

DOG: The Native Americans believe in the Great Spirit, right? I chant a lot, like when the moon is full. I just say [makes chanting sound] "I love you, Lord." I use that part about God a lot, and I get along with him, and raise my hands in the air and dance around [makes chanting sound]. I just talk to the Lord so I think it plays a big part in my life and with God.

DOOR: You also talk a lot about forgiveness.

dog bounty

DOG: Well, the Bible says that if you do not have forgiveness your bones can become brittle, which I interpret to be arthritis. It also said it affects your diet, so the Bible said in order to be forgiven for things, you must forgive. In my life forgiveness comes along with this word vengeance, as does hope and faith. I remember, you probably read this, but I remember going to get vengeance of someone who had done me wrong, and my mother said, well, I'll see you later after you rob God. I'm like, Mom, what? Mom said, listen, God gives us everything. His house. His children. His car. His blessings. One thing God says he will not give you, son, is vengeance. So, if you take vengeance from God, you're robbing God Almighty. And from that day on until now I have not taken vengeance, and sometimes my enemies know me very well. You get to know your predator, right?

They know that I'm not a "get even" guy, and sometimes that affects me, I mean, they keep doing what they do to me over and over, but then when God does take his vengeance I literally, I don't care how bad I didn't like the person, I've never been through like where I didn't go, oh no, don't do that to them. Don't do that, Lord. Oh, that's too strong, Lord, please. So, I'm like, whoa. The vengeance God takes out are super superior to whatever I could. I'd beat him up and burn his house, right? God does things that, oh, my God, I think, let the guy make it. Right? He wasn't that bad to me. So, forgiveness is a huge part of my life. I must forgive a lot of people for things once in a while, but mostly I'm in the business of telling people that they have to be able to forgive.

DOOR: I was wondering how you view the subject of evolution because you talked about that a little bit in your book.

DOG: I do not believe in evolution. I believe that, yes, some things evolve, but not man. I know a very intelligent man who is a scientist for the United States of America in cloning of other humans, and he told me there has got to be a God, and that the DNA between us and animals has something missing that nothing could have developed into, or would still be developing.

DOG: I would pretend that God was not watching. I knew that there would be a payday, but I thought that, you know, God's busy in Vietnam. He's not watching me do this right now. But I knew, kind of knew, that God was. Vengeance is mine. I will repay. God says he will do it, for whatever a man soweth that also shall he reap. So, I'm like, he wasn't talking to me as I was young. As I got older and started reaping, I'm like, Oh my God! Why do I deserve this? Why am I here right now? Why am I in trouble about my big mouth? Why, because every creature, every Christian, my mother, right before she died she said, son, if you would just watch your mouth. So, as a young man I thought God isn't watching. It's not that important to God that I'm not going to be some guy on television. People aren't going to watch me pray in Jesus' name, and chase bad guys. I'm not going to be that, you know what I mean? God, if I only would have known, right?

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DOOR: II Corinthians 6:14 says, "Be ye not unequally yoked" and you use it as the basis for divorce. I've never heard it applied that way.

DOG: People that are prejudiced use that scripture that a white man should not marry a person of color or vice versa, woman, vice versa. As I was raised up through life the Christians would say that. You know, you can't date that girl. She's black, you're white, Duane. The Bible says be thou not unequally yoked. My mother then got me to the side and said, son, you're a half-breed. The Bible says, son, be ye not unequally yoked with sinners. So, mom would say if the girl doesn't believe in God and doesn't have any of the basics, the Ten Commandments, so on and so forth, God says for you not to be with her. I would be like, oh, really, it doesn't mean don't be with other colors? No, son, it doesn't mean that. I have seen people struggle, mostly women, with marrying guys that do not have the Lord in their heart, and it is a very hard relationship, and I've never yet today seen a relationship make it, or like the guy is an atheist basically and doesn't believe in nothing, and the woman is a Bible-thumper and believes everything she does God is watching and blah, blah, blah. The relationship doesn't go not only far, but not very long.

DOOR: Are you working on a case right now?

DOG: Oh, yeah, several. We're getting them right now. We got one the other day. Yeah, we still have to keep doing our thing. I have to keep arresting guys. I have to do that.

DOOR: You used to average two arrests a day. Is that still what you're doing?

DOG: No, I was doing two to five a day. My record is six. That's when I was young. I probably only do about one to two a week right now, and that's steady. Anybody who’s a major criminal that robs a bank, or hurts a woman or child, ends up on FOX news, CNN, he's got a problem because here comes the Dog and they all know it, too. The criminals nowadays know that if you're going to be high profile, and you're going to do really wicked, bad things, for instance, Andrew Luster, eighty-six counts of rape, the Dog is coming. Do de doo, doo de de do. The D is in the sky, I'm after him. I just get excited just talking about it. Right?

DOOR: Is the extradition thing with Mexico resolved?

DOG: Correct. The whole extradition thing is over. Viva Mexico. Please put that. Mexico dropped all charges against me, my son, and my brother. Thank God. Five years ago, almost, is when that happened.

DOOR: How come you admire the original Jesse James, the Western outlaw, so much?

"After I hear chhh, chhh, chhh, the sound of the cuffs,

and I get one look at the guy, I think I turn from Dog into Duane,

who says, okay, this guy needs to be fixed, this girl needs help.
There's got to be one good thing inside of them, and it could be

their mother, their baby, their family, their children.
I pull that out, and I expand on it, or I use that for Duane's foundation for redemption for that person."

DOG: I've read his story, and he was a bounty hunter, basically, and he was a guy that was kind of a Robin Hood, and I think that any underdog like that, I've learned, that I just am for them. If they're an underdog, I'm in line. I don't know. I'm just like that. I think if they've got a little bit of good in them I want to draw that out. You know, you talk about Billy the Kid and Jesse James, they were outlaws, but were they really? At the end, of course they were, but in the beginning, according to the history, they were not, and I think that I would never stand next to Jeffery Dahmer, right? He's caca. The day after he got saved he got killed--you see, God is not mocked. I think it's the underdog sort of thing with a little bit of goodness, and I'm always for that person. I guess that person might be me.

DOOR: In your book you talk about the difference between being Duane and being Dog. Why is it necessary for you to have those two differentiations?

DOG: It’s my wife, Beth, who tells me that. Are you Duane or Dog today? I'm Dog, I think. You know, your wife gets to know you better than anybody, right? So, I think that Dog is the relentless hunter, and I mean, you have to be, it's life or death, you never know, you have to be on key, in tune, and relentless. After I hear chhh, chhh, chhh, the sound of the cuffs, and I get one look at the guy, I think I turn into Duane, who is then, okay, this guy needs to be fixed, this girl needs help. There's got to be one good thing inside of them, and it could be their mother, their baby, their family, their children, they're named after someone who was a success, and they're a failure. I pull that out, and I expand on it, or I use that for Duane's foundation for redemption for that person.

DOOR: Well, I appreciate you talking to us.

DOG: This is the first interview I've given, as you know, after this incident, okay? Besides the television "I'm sorry"  kind of thing, and telling the world, look out, here comes the new Dog, this is the first one I've given so I was very, very frank. When you're caught using a word like that, or you're caught doing things, the next time you're searched you pull your pockets inside out,and go here, copper, look, I've got nothing. I'll always be that way. So I'm not cursing, I'm going to let it loose, and I'm going to be like, I appreciate you very, very much, brother, for saying that. Please, please, if my opinion on Jesus being the only religion would offend any Christian, I don't want that printed, but if you think maybe the Christians can hang with that, then it's okay. I don't want to offend someone or make little kids not go to Jesus' church. I don't want to do that. I very much appreciate you giving me this chance to talk.

DOG: Tell your seven kids I said hi, and please forgive me, and watch my show, and tell them Uncle Dog is learning that a moment on the lips is a lifetime in the heart, and they will see that Uncle Dog has changed his words. Now listen, you know how much that is testing me? Listen to me! You see how I walk with God, brother? I face the death chamber. You see how I am with the Lord? I tell you, I thought I could get away with it because I love him so much, but I can't. You see that, that the Christians won?


Nobody Important | 07:48 am on 6/25/2008

Reading your articles on the Dog tempts me to get cable just to watch him. A Christian for the rest of us, who has not only been there and done that but keeps screwing up and doing it again - just like the rest of us.

j | 02:31 pm on 10/28/2008

i serve in a church in Hawaii that Dog's pastor frequents, and Dog has come on a couple of occasions, and i've had the priviledge to sit behind pastors and guest speakers as i serve in the ministry and let me tell you I watch them with an eagle eye....when people came down to the altar,Dog ran to them to encourage them and that was the only time i saw his face light up and soften. it was really cool to see his humility.

Paul in Maine | 07:54 am on 6/25/2008

Thank you for this article. It made my morning.

Kyle in Kentucky | 02:09 pm on 3/03/2011

I second that. Dog is really an amazing person. Keep up the good work Dog!!

anita | 05:44 am on 4/23/2011

He;s so funny. And obviously mental. It would be a good job but it does actually get pretty scary. Still, good times.

jimbeaux | 09:55 am on 6/25/2008

I might not agree completely with his theology, but I sure agree with his heart. I'd drink a beer with him any day.

Andy | 12:58 pm on 6/25/2008

Me too, jimbeaux! Set 'em up!

My wife is a stone Dog fan; I used to have mixed feelings about him, but this interview helps me like and appreciate him a lot more. He's the kind of guy I think Jesus would have chosen for a disciple, a bit like Peter, James and John; rough, tough, but willing to humble himself and learn.

mike from toronto | 11:58 pm on 8/29/2008

wow what can i say, an amazin guy.. am one of his biggest fans and think what he doing is amazin.. i to grew u in simular life and with hard family in biker gangs and worked in secuirty with gangs and such so i know, what he is talking about and he is utterly amazin

Anonymous | 10:03 am on 6/25/2008

The Bounty Hunter is truly one of the most socially redeeming shows on the airwaves. I watch it. Yes, we are all flawed, Dog is flawed, the family is flawed but the message is one of Christ: redemption, repentance and forgiveness. It's what we all need.

David Williams | 11:25 am on 6/25/2008

So when are you going to organize that roundtable discussion with Dog and N.T. Wright? I'm seriously psyched about that one.

JoshH | 11:55 am on 6/25/2008

That would be cool; but I'd also like to have Jack Spong (or at the very least, Marcus Borg) in the mix.

mountainguy | 07:11 pm on 6/25/2008

hahahaha, that would be one of the coolest discussion humakind could ever have, hahahahahaha.

Flip | 12:13 pm on 6/25/2008

This kicked ass.

Thank God for the Dog. And the Door.

Maybe the Door should become the "Rood".

sea-dreamer | 07:34 pm on 7/10/2008

The Door becoming The Rood would be really interesting, specially since in Old English Rood means "the cross".

The Enemy Below | 07:02 pm on 6/25/2008

Between Dog the Bounty Hunter and Hulk Hogan,I think we've set Christianity back 500 years!!
Yawn!!A washed up Wrestler turned Actor(Hogan)and a washed Bounty Hunter(Dog);all we need is Ray Comfort;Kirk Cameron and Victoria Jackson and we've got one helluva"Wild ass Christian Circus!!".

JoshH | 09:38 pm on 6/25/2008

I hope that last part was sarcasm because...we already do! *shudder*

Anonymous | 06:06 am on 6/26/2008

Your unwillingness to accept the confession of Dog is more un-Christian than any thing the Dog has proclaimed. Many of us have to return to our roots to discover true forgiveness and love. You apparently have not reached that point and feel that you have, as James and John wanted, a place on the right hand of Christ.

Nobody Important | 06:37 am on 6/26/2008

You have a point. It's not like Christ came to find the lost or redeem the undredeemed. We need to keep Christianity pure for all the "good" people out there. What church in its right mind would accept the likes of Hogan or the Dog?

Paul in Maine | 08:32 am on 6/26/2008

I bet that reformed stripper would preach to both Dog and the Hulkster.

I'd rather hear Dog say a true prayer before a bounty hunt than listen to 100 celebrities rotely thank God for whatever "award" they are receiving.

Andy | 08:41 am on 6/26/2008

"...than listen to 100 celebrities rotely thank God for whatever 'award' they are receiving."

I'm with you, Paul; which makes what Kathy Griffin said when she got her Emmy, as jarring and offensive as it was, make a little bit of sense.

Nobody Important | 10:44 am on 6/26/2008

I imagine this lady would as well:, but it sounds like she wouldn't be welcome at Josh's church either.

Come to think of it, I doubt if I'd be welcome there.

budda | 11:41 am on 6/26/2008

Maybe you got your names mixed up, Nobody, 'cause Josh is of the Quaker persuasion. I'm pretty sure they welcome everyone. If the Friends don't except you, aint nobody gonna. Check to see how your sarcasm radar is working.

budda | 11:50 am on 6/26/2008

Oh, I forgot to ask, Nobody, how is the study on the Wesleys coming along. Deist gave you quite the head start on your schooling.

Nobody Important | 03:54 pm on 6/26/2008

Right .... John Wesley was completely opposed to being actually reading their bibles and learning about it for themselves....

budda | 11:56 pm on 6/26/2008

You maybe should go back and read through the comments again.

Nobody Important | 03:53 pm on 6/26/2008

My apologies to Josh - I was referring to the comment made by Enemy Below.

Linda | 07:28 pm on 6/27/2008

I met Dog and his wife last summer at their book signing and they are really great people! I had the pleasure of hanging out with him for a few, got great pictures and I told him about my personal demons with trying to find my biological family as I was adopted and I was abused and he could relate to the abuse and how hard it has been for me not knowing your real family and he actually cried for me and we prayed together and I will admit I am not that religious. He tells me that family is everything and everything is family. A couple of days later, I heard a voice telling me to go on my PC,and something drew me to an adoption find web-site and I found a sympathetic woman who gave me a number to call and I got a woman who confirmed my mom's name and my given name at birth and I proceeded to call people in the town I was born in with my last name and an hour later I was talking to my aunt! I now have my family and I owe it to Dog, God was with us that night, he had a purpose for Dog to meet me and help me see the same light he does and I will be forever grateful to him. I e-mailed him and told him and he cried when he heard the news!!! So some people might knock Dog, and when the n-word thing cane about, my take was, he is a human being, a father first, and then a celebrity and it was meant to be a private chat and he is so good he forgave his son, whereas I don't think I would have so I am pleased he will be back and better than ever. As for "stars" thanking God, yeah that is what their PR people tell them to say.

Paul you rock!!! | 01:00 am on 6/30/2008


Anonymous | 03:41 am on 6/28/2008

People that love God and understand what it is all about buddy, Just like Jesus said love one another.

Anonymous | 12:16 pm on 3/17/2011

you are satin

More Anonymous Than You | 07:42 am on 6/26/2008


Anonymous in Illinois | 08:47 am on 6/26/2008

I have frequently watched and loved Dog's show.
I used to believe he was saved. But, eccentric.

But, now from his very own words I see he is a lost puppy.
How sad.

I hope all who have read the article and are saved will pray for the Lord to regenerate the Dog.

Only God can do this, because the dog is dead in sin and can not do a single thing to help himself be saved.

Dead in sin means dead, totally helpless.

Muslims are lost, Buddists are lost. It doesn't matter how big God is. It's the sin that is not atoned for that causes the Muslim to be lost. And they reject the atonement as outlined in the revealed Word of God.

When the Lord brings the Dog to the knowledge of the truth that Jesus IS the ONLY way to the Father, then we will see the true Gospel proclaimed by the Dog.

Not the PC version. (PC meaning Phony Christ)

Right now a Jesus of Dog's imagination is being proclaimed.

May the Lord rescue Dog, as only He can do it.

I will commit to prayer for him cause I really do like the guy.

(Dog, please, please be open for correction, you are wrong.)

I hope The Door will update us all when the Dog is truly saved.
Thank you

budda | 10:15 am on 6/26/2008

Gosh, Anon-in-Illinois, thanks for bringing us back to the fundamentals. Your words of truth apply to everyone, not just the Dog. We will have none of this "working out your own faith" stuff. Thats just devil speak for "I serve satan". Thats right people, if you don't interpret and believe the Holy Bible just exactly like me and Anon-in-Illinois, you are going to burn in hell for eternity. God will burn you to a crisp day and night for eternity if you don't get it right. But we will pray for you 'cause God loves you and so do we.

Paul in Maine | 11:12 am on 6/26/2008

Thanks Budda, it is always nice to have revered demi-gods pray to God for me. :)

budda | 11:47 am on 6/26/2008

Your welcome, Paul. Always glad to condescend my salvation through absolute truth to the unwashed heathens such as yourself. Can I interest you in a chick tract or perhaps a pamphlet on the Romans Road?

Anonymous | 11:19 am on 6/26/2008

I actually appreciate Dog recognizing his own continued brokeness and consider that one of the evidences of a person's faith in Christ alone; they continue to live beneath the Cross. Is Dog "saved"? That is someone elses determination. Those who pay lip service to the "Sola"s but somehow think they have arrived to glean down and pass judgement on those who don't meet their own particular but delusionally sanitized world seem to miss the whole point of "Christ alone".

Anonymous in Illinois | 02:09 pm on 6/26/2008

I can appreciate Dog's very correct view of himself. He does see his self as one who is a sinner. But, I believe that many will admit to being a sinner. What good is that if you are misled on which Jesus to look to for salvation?

Is salvation universal? Is it guaranteed? No. Jesus said very clearly, 'If you don't come to Me you will die in your sins'.

God's Word condemns Dog. I do not. Dog's own testimony is contrary to what God reveals about Himself. So I conclude that Dog is deluded by the more worldly friendly version of the Father.

You can't go to just any Jesus. I used to go to the phony Sacred
Heart of Jesus, Jesus. I was quite content for a long time in my delusion. Why? Because when I had a part in my status before God, it felt pretty good. It's more fun to see oneself as a sinner, but religious enough to be spiritual buddies to other lost religious people.

I wanted very badly not to have to see myself as very, very spiritually dead. But, I was very dead. And deluded.

I was so dead that only God could regenerate me from my spiritual deadness and give me a new spirit. He called me and washed me from my sins and gave me a new heart and I was changed. There was now no doubt in me that previously I had been literally bowing the knee to a false Jesus. Of someone else's imagination. I had been duped.
I would love to convey this to Dog. But, only God can.

All believers are called to testify about the good news that while we are yet sinners, Jesus died for us and saves whosoever He will, with out any help from man.

That is the Jesus that the Hindus don't know. The Muslims reject. And I didn't know Him till He apprehended me and I was Born Again from above.
I still see my self as a sinner. And one who is grateful to Him who called me and gives me the power to overcome the flesh and love others enough to share the hard truth, though unpopular, and a target of criticism.
Only through Him do I grow in sanctification and maturity to be conformed into His image. And He gets all the glory.

Paul in Maine | 03:36 pm on 6/26/2008

"I like to think of Jesus like with giant eagles wings, and singin' lead vocals for Lynyrd Skynyrd with like an angel band..." Cal Naughton JR, in Talladega Nights--The Legend of Ricky Bobby.

Personnally, I like to pray to Jesus "Chuck Norris" Christ. You know, the one that will roundhouse you into the next Sabbath if you use "Debts" when saying the Lord's Prayer.

chad in olywa | 03:03 pm on 6/28/2008

What would 2 Peter 2:1-3 say???

1But there were also false prophets among the people, just as there will be false teachers among you. They will secretly introduce destructive heresies, even denying the sovereign Lord who bought them—bringing swift destruction on themselves. 2Many will follow their shameful ways and will bring the way of truth into disrepute. 3In their greed these teachers will exploit you with stories they have made up. Their condemnation has long been hanging over them, and their destruction has not been sleeping.

Come on. Muslims and Buddhists going to heaven because "God's big enough" to handle it? What a load of crap! With that reasoning why doesn't God just let the unrepentant enter, as well? Heck, let Satan (who by the way fathered the Muslim, Buddhist, et al. faith) and the other third of doomed-to-destruction angels come on in, too. God understands. He's big enough. He'll let bygones be bygones. I'm sure that is His mode of thinking because, well, I just believe it to be that way... And this is precisely what Peter, full of the Holy Spirit, was pertaining to when he wrote ALL of 2 Peter.

The same God who in an instance banished Satan and a third of the angels from Heaven did so without question and not on a matter of OUR opinion. He made it perfectly clear: There will be no other God except me. He will do the same when he judges the dead, "for many will come to me in that day saying, 'Lord, we prophesied and did many things in your name.' I will simply say to them, 'Away from me. I never knew you."

Grace and peace to all of you.

Process Deist | 09:49 pm on 6/28/2008

Chad. In order for you to understand where the writers of Peter/Jude and others, picked up their understanding of Satan and the Fallen Angels, I suggest you check out the Book of Enoch and The Book of Watchers.
These, along with the Egyptian stories that we know as The Book of Job, predate our Judeo/Christian theology.
Perhaps if you study where your Religion comes from, then you may have a better understanding where other Religions come from.
Tolerance of others, will lead to the Kindgom of God.

budda | 11:59 am on 6/29/2008

Chad, I love the "Away from me, I never knew you" verse. It lays the emphasis on God knowing us. That, my friend, changes everything. You can preach till your blue about your version of God, chad. You can say I'm going to hell if I don't agree with your theology. You can insist that you have the "absolute truth" all you like. Wail away about who is or isn't "saved". Your a crashing cymbal, son.

I have Love, and God knows me. Of this I am sure, so what have I to fear?

katy88 | 11:31 pm on 7/08/2008

you are nuts.

B.G. | 12:14 pm on 6/26/2008

I have to admit, when I first heard about what Dog had said, I was very disappointed. But after reading this article and his confession of repentence, it made me look at myself and some of the words that come out of my own mouth. I'm a christian, but I'm not very good at it sometimes.

dana111 | 02:40 pm on 6/26/2008

Thank God for forgiveness. I have never been a fan of him or his show. Also, as a black woman who has dated white men and has been called a "nigger" by their "Christian" friends and family, I was truly offended and dismayed by his apparent lack of love and his hatred for black women. After reading this article, it doesn't make me LIKE him, but I do respect the fact that he acknowledged his sin and seems to have truly repented of it. Racism, like every other sin, destroys the spirit and the soul, but if he says he has truly repented of his sins, I have no choice but to believe him and pray that the residual racism that probably still lurks inside of him is completely removed and replaced with the love of Christ.

P.S. Racism is completely incompatible with the belief in Creationism. If we believe that other races are genetically and morally inferior, we cannot believe that all of mankind were created in the image of God.


An avid fan of the Wittenburg Door

Anonymous | 11:20 am on 6/28/2008

Wow. Your argument regarding the inconsistency between Creationism and Racism really clicked with me. Thank you for sharing that.

dana111 | 02:42 pm on 6/26/2008

P.P.S- I am by no means immune to harboring racist ideas and opinions, so I too must constantly ask for God's forgiveness and grace.

budda | 11:15 pm on 6/26/2008

Hello, Dana. Great post. Having dated an african woman myself, I saw the racism in people around us too. It really opened my eyes. I knew it was there before, but I had never experienced it quite like that. Now when someone talks about racism, I pay a lot more attention.

Racism, xenophobia, and prejudice are in every nation and people group in the world. That is not to excuse our own prejudices but to make us work all the harder at eliminating them.

Again, great post, and don't give up on all of us white guys.

JoshH | 08:07 pm on 6/28/2008

I'd say one of my top heroes was a gay black Quaker who was a major force in the civil rights movement; his name was Bayard Rustin. If you watch movies about MLK, you'll frequently see a Rustin character or a Rustin-esque character. Here's a film about him that I haven't seen yet, but have heard great things:

RaeRae | 10:13 pm on 6/26/2008

God Bless Dog and his Family! Dog is a great and honorable man! Him and his family are great ppl, and I for one stand behind him 110%...And if you don't, well it is your loss! I will be in heaven one day with Lord our Savior and The Chapman's.

a child of GOD | 08:25 am on 6/27/2008

To Dana, I have read the Bible from front to back -- more than once and NOWHERE have I ever read that "racism is a sin" !!!

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