Uncut with Jay Cutler: Dog the Bounty Hunter Explains His Nickname, How He Got Into Bounty Hunting

by Chris Haney

We’ve got a guest that needs no introduction on Uncut with Jay Cutler this week as Duane Chapman, better known as Dog the Bounty Hunter, joins the show. Host Jay Cutler spoke with Chapman at length about his life, bounty hunting career, and new ministry called “Light Up the Darkness.”

Of course, most of Chapman’s fans know him from his popular A&E series, Dog the Bounty Hunter. From 2004 to 2012, the reality TV show followed Chapman’s daily experiences as a bounty hunter in Hawaii and his home state of Colorado. During his podcast appearance, Cutler gets Chapman to open up about his famous career.

Chapman shares the story of how he got into bounty hunting while serving time in prison in his early 20s. He speaks about how his newfound career kept him out of jail and away from his biker gang lifestyle. Dog the Bounty Hunter also shares more about his early days on the job as he worked to put food on the table for his family. That’s why he was capturing up to six bounties per day in the earlier years of his career.

Fans who have always been curious about Chapman’s nickname, Dog, will also be treated to its origin story. Without giving it away quite yet, it dates back to his days with the biker gang, which Chapman joined when he was only 15 years old after running away from home.

Finally, the reality TV star also breaks down how his A&E series got started. Chapman talks plenty about the popular show that led to several spinoffs and has made him a household name over the years. We’ve got that and a lot more with Dog the Bounty Hunter on the newest episode of Uncut with Jay Cutler.

Dog the Bounty Hunter Shares How He Got His Famous Nickname

Duane Chapman grew up in Colorado and had a rough childhood to say the least. By the time he was only 15, Chapman joined the Devils Diciples Motorcycle Club (DDMC) and ran away from home. Yet even though he grew up in an abusive household, his family did make sure that he went to church. That’s where the foundation for Chapman’s faith began, which is still a huge part of who he is to this day.

While the biker gang wasn’t exactly a good influence, Chapman never strayed from his faith. In fact, he was well-known within the group for talking about his religious beliefs. Therefore the president of the motorcycle club had an idea for Chapman’s nickname.

“I always spoke of God my whole life,” Chapman explained on Uncut with Jay Cutler. “So the president said, ‘Listen, you’re very loyal, you show up for every fight, you’re man’s best friend, and you always talk about God. So we’re going to name you God spelled backwards as Dog.’ So like dog, as in man’s best friend.”

The 69-year-old bounty hunter went on to share a recent story about a conversation he had with a preacher. Chapman knows he’s been blessed in life, and he doesn’t take that for granted.

“Some preacher asked me the other day, ‘Why are you spoiled with God?'” Chapman continued. “Cause you wouldn’t believe some of the miracles God’s done for me. And I said, ‘Well, who else carries around his nickname?’ So it all fit together in one package.”

Duane Chapman Explains How He Became a Bounty Hunter

As previously mentioned, Duane Chapman got involved with a biker gang while he was just a teenager. His affiliation with the group led him to get caught up in some trouble from time to time. But none more so than when he was convicted of first degree murder in 1976. He served 18 months of a five-year sentence in a Texas prison for being the driver to a friend who was part of a marijuana deal gone bad.

Yet his early troubled years are what helped form the man that he is today. While serving time behind bars, Chapman made a conscious decision to turn his life around. Additionally, a random encounter in prison chasing down a cellmate is what started Chapman on a path to bounty hunting. His friend in prison had just lost a family member and attempted to make a run for it. Chapman saw guards taking aim for his friend and took action.

“I saw the 30-30 rifles from the towers gonna gun him down. So I took out after him and tackled him,” Chapman shared on Uncut with Jay Cutler. “A lieutenant was right behind me with a .38 pistol just getting ready to shoot me. And he saw what I was doin’. He thought I was running with him. As [my friend] fell to the ground, the lieutenant threw down these handcuffs and said, ‘Hook ’em up, bounty hunter.'”

In a way, you could say that was Chapman’s first chase down even though he didn’t know it at the time. There would be thousands more to come over his more than four decade-career. 18 months into his sentence, he got out of prison and the first thing he did was get a badge and look up the Top 10 Most Wanted fugitives.

“And then I went to the post office and got a copy of the Top 10 Most Wanted,” Chapman added. “About two months later, I caught one of them, and then the FBI took over and started training me… So, 44 years later, I’ve arrested over 10,000 fugitives and never killed anyone.”

As they say, the rest was history. Dog the Bounty Hunter talks about that and much more on the newest episode of Uncut with Jay Cutler. Make sure to watch his entire interview in the video above, or tune in and listen on Spotify, Apple, or wherever else you listen to your favorite podcasts.