Duane Lee Chapman, also known as Dog The Bounty Hunter and Duane ‘Dog’ Chapman, is an American television personality known for popular TV programs following his life and adventures as a bounty hunter. Dog is deeply involved in crime fighting, advocating for tough legislation to curb crime, and launching several media ventures including a new TV show and podcast.
Duane ‘Dog’ Chapman is a New York Times best-selling author. He also has a new book coming out in 2023. Additionally, he operates a ministry, Light Up The Darkness, with his wife, Francie, whom he married in 2021. So now let’s get ready and give a warm welcome to Dog the Bounty Hunter on Service Drive Revolution!
Dog The Bounty Hunter Interview Part 1: Becoming Duane ‘Dog’ Chapman
So, how did Duane get the nickname dog?
“Well, I was 15 years old. And I was a member of the devil’s disciple one percenter motorcycle club. After I got my patch, the president nicknames all the members. So when I would ride with them, and they’d flip the bird to God, I would back off and say, ‘No, I’m not doing that.’ Or I always said the blessing. Because some of the stuff they ate was terrible.”
“And so we had a guy named John the Baptist, who always wrote his Harley on water. And we had some nut that was called the preacher. So the president of my club said, ‘You’re always loyal.’ I always showed up for a fight, or whenever there were problems. You’re kind of like man’s best friend. And you always talk about God. So I got ‘Dog,’ which is God spelled backwards.”
How did he feel about that at such a young age?
Did that give Duane ‘Dog’ Chapman more confidence? Or how did he process that at 15?
“Well, I was 15. And the brothers first called me puppy. Some of the members would say, ‘Come here, puppy.’ I didn’t like that part. But the dog park was okay with me. I never thought there was anything wrong with it.”
Did he eventually start introducing himself as Dog?
“Oh, yeah. At least in that club, when you’re riding in a club like that, your name is gone. Even when I went to Texas prison and the 76 and all that, everybody called me Dog. No one ever called me by my name. And I was teased by my name when I was at school. Duane the bathtub, I’m drowning. So to be called something else, I like that.. So the only one that really calls me Duane now is my wife, Francie.
Dog The Bounty Hunter Interview Part 2: Dog Becomes ‘The Bounty Hunter’
So we know how Duane became Duane ‘Dog’ Chapman, but how did that Dog turn into The Bounty Hunter?
How’d he get to be in the top 1%?
“So I started bounty hunting in 1979. And there were two bounty hunters in America, Papa Thorn and Dog the Bounty Hunter. Since that day, I’ve arrested over 10,000 fugitives. I’ve shot about 1500 men and women with tasers and non lethal weapons. I’ve arrested people from raping a baby to murdering one’s own mother. So there is no bounty hunter at all even close to me. There’s about 6500 bounty hunters in the United States. The reason there were only two is because I started going after the top FBI agents when I got out of prison. I was in the top 10 from the FBI service, and I arrested one and they gave me 10 grand. And the FBI stepped in and said ‘Hey, wait a minute, what are you doing?’ And I’m like, ‘I’m a bounty hunter. I’m going after these guys, grant apiece.’”
“So they assigned me a federal agent by the name of Keith R. Paul. And I went to school with the feds in Blackwater. During my training, I had a meeting once a week and we went over what warrants I had, what happened in the last week, and I showed my body receipts. A body receipt is proof that you caught the guy. So Keith Paul would constantly train me. I use non lethal weapons that they provided me with, from wax to a ball to two balls with a rope in the middle. Nothing has ever worked. Mace was okay.”
“And the sheriff started getting mad when I brought a guy in because the jails felt like it. So then Colorado SWAT Lieutenant trained me in the family with a pepper bolt gun, which is four times stronger than a paintball pistol. Pepper gun will knock you to your knees, so mine is fully automatic seven shots a second. You don’t have to kill anyone unless you know somebody’s got a gun to a hostage’s head coming out the bank. I’ve shot guys with guns and guys that drew on me. I’ve shot guys and tried to stab the machete down. It never killed anyone.”
“So I’m really glad that I was not necessarily a convicted felon. But with being a convicted felon, I could probably get a pardon. But who cares about that. That kept me from owning a firearm. So I started working with the feds and working. And the feds came to me and said, ‘Listen, these bail bondsman Abraham Lincoln in 1851 or 1800 something signed a law when they made bail bonds a part of our country, that the bail bondsman may hire an agent to go out and get his runaway skips his jumps.’”
Working With The Feds…
“So the FBI first introduced me to George Lucero out of Denver, Colorado. And George had about 200 jumps. Now prior to me coming into business, if you co-signed a bail bond for someone and they didn’t show up, the bondsman took your house, your car, your money, whatever it was the courts would give. They’d send a letter to the bondsman and say, ‘Dear bail bondsman, John Doe did not show up. You got 90 days to bring his body in or pay 10 grand.’ So there weren’t any bounty hunters yet. And the feds led me to that.”
“So I started getting all the bail bondsman jumps from all over the country. Then in 81, Tony Robbins wrote the book, Awaken The Giant Within. And in that book about a paragraph and a half he dedicated it to me. And I had arrested 1000 people by that point and he was very impressed that I did that.”
“Then I met Martin Sheen. He started saying, ‘Man, you need a TV show. I cannot believe that you do this every day.’ And then I met Ozzy and Sharon. Sharon is very good. I would save the manager for the whole family. And I did a couple of appearances in the late 80s on the Ozzy Osbourne show. They got good ratings and asked, ‘Who is that crazy looking guy you call Dog?’ So then I started doing TV shows in about 1990 with Dominick Dunne. I did ‘The Secret Life of Bounty Hunters.’”
Dog The Bounty Hunter Interview Part 3: The System & Mindset of Duane ‘Dog’ Chapman
What’s fascinating to me is how Duane ‘Dog’ Chapman had an incredible life experience. Including all of his challenges and Jael and Tony Robbins and all that stuff. But even more fascinating to me is how he is an elite. An elite in bounty hunting, in the sense that he has a system, a mindset, and an approach to it. That’s got to be only in the top 5% or even maybe even higher, but he’s very accomplished at that. And I was just curious about his system and the mindset in his approach.
What’s the process once the target is decided?
What are the first things that Duane ‘Dog’ Chapman thinks about? And what are the steps that he goes through in order to create the outcome that he creates?
“My secret is I pray and ask God to show me where they’re at. Now, he doesn’t show them to me in a chair, or smoking a joint in front of 7-Eleven. But I’ll pray and say, ‘God, come on, I gotta have a lead.’ And a thought of the mother will come in. Or a girlfriend will come in. Or a thought will come in my mind. And I go, ‘Let’s go over there right now.’ We check the mom three times. Let’s check in again. We did A&E, CMT, and WGN. After eight seasons, you’ve only got so many days to catch a person, because there’s so much money allocated per show in the season.”
“So I had about a week to catch all of them. Then they would say it took me 10 days to catch one guy, like the gang banger leader in Pueblo, Colorado. And they said, ‘Listen, we don’t have this yet. Let’s just call this the one that got away.’ And because I’ve caught them all I said, ‘You ain’t gonna do that. You’re not going to do that. Give me two more days. It was eight days ago.’ They say, ‘Okay, we’re over budget. Now I will go there, and make it to our show.’ And I ask, ‘Make it special?’ And they say, ‘ Well, if you catch him, that’s exactly what we’ll do.’ They got on the 10th day we caught him.”
What’s Duane ‘Dog’ Chapman’s system?
“So my secret is asking God, looking at visions, standing right where the guy stood before sitting in his car. All that stuff got put together and then went on. The FBI told me it wasn’t God. It’s a hunch. But I believe it’s God. But one day we did a show and it was seven days. And my son said, ‘Dad, we forgot to say the prayer.’ And because every show has a priority in Jesus’ name, Amen.”
“So we said the prayer and I said, ‘Lord, come Thursday morning, or come Thursday night, you’re gonna look pretty stupid, because I’m asking you to help me find this guy. And it’s no longer my fault. God, I’m dependent on you in Jesus name, amen.’ An hour later, we were driving down Waikiki. And in the crosswalk, he walked across the street in front of us. And of course, we jumped him and took him to jail. So my faith in that particular part of my life is humongous.”
“I know for sure my luck and I’m living my life right. And I’m turning down all the temptations. I keep temptations, a list of them in my mind, day after day. And then I go God, ‘I could have done that, I could have done that. But I didn’t do that. I didn’t do none of that. I used to do that when I was young, but I didn’t do it anymore, Lord, because I love you. So I need a favor. I need a blessing.’ And that’s how I balance my blessings, his bringing the things up to God that I could have done.”
What’s the process in order to go through that prayer?
In that process of trying to put Dog in that moment? Does Duane ‘Dog’ Chapman have to be alone? How does he spend an hour praying and thinking about it? Or how long is that process? And are there rules around it?
“Okay, I say, ‘Read that file out loud to me.’ After I’ve read it three times, then I’ll go into prayer. But you know, you can’t pull over on the road because you got a crew following you and camera guys and EMTs and all that. So I usually do it on the fly. We’re still bounty hunting. And Francie will say, ‘Go get along with the Lord find this guy.’ So it’s either that or you don’t have to be all alone and music going.”
“And it has to be in the spirit. You have to be able to get in the spirit in moments. And I told the Lord years ago, before I got to prison, ‘Right now I will live the life that my mother wanted me to as an Assembly of God.’ Because I was raised as an Assembly of God all the way. But I wanted more so I said, ‘Lord, I want these conditions. Every single person I meet is because you brought him to me. Every single person I talked to has a Name Dropper, and I’ll try to drop your name in some kind of way. Everybody, but the ones that you want to talk to you, because I plant the seed and let God do the growing right.’ That’s Biblical. So I say, ‘I want you to do that.’”
“So when I made a deal with God, I got out of prison in 1979 February. And from that moment till now, everybody I meet, I tried to drop Jesus’ name. And when I’m hunting the guy, I go, ‘Listen, Lord, you’re the one who gave me this warrant. You could have given it to Billy Bob, or you could’ve given it to John Doe. But you gave it to me. So you gotta help me find this guy because there’s something about it.’”
“And the 1000s that I captured said to me, ‘I knew you were going to do it. I had a dream that I would be sitting in the back of this car.’ I’ve had guys say ‘Listen, man, I need you so bad dog. I need the backseat ride brother.’ And I give them the backseat. So while I’m talking I asked God to give me what He would have liked me to say. Give me what you want me to do to this guy to light him up.”
If This Interview With Duane ‘Dog’ Chapman Isn’t Enough…
Then come to Top Dog 2022! Dog The Bounty Hunter will be there and I’m so excited to see him in person at the LA Live on October 21-22! Alongside Duane ‘Dog’ Chapman, we have Dr. Anthony Klotz and Andrew Bustamante. Click here to get your tickets if you haven’t, and I hope to see you all there!