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With a small genetic pool, breeding of this dog is careful and regulated making it quite a rare dog. Believed to have originated in Southern Georgia, the Alapaha Blue Blood Bulldog is a relatively new breed of dog.
The Alapaha Blue Blood Bulldog is not the same breed as the American Bulldog, but it is often confused with it. It is surmised that the Alapaha breeding programme was an attempt to resurrect a working type dog used on southern plantations in the 1800's. This 'Plantation Dog' was a mixture of English Bulldogs bought over with settlers in the 1700's and Pit Bull Types whose strong physical make up and courageous temperament made them a good guard dog in these remote locations.
Originally thought to have come from the area around the Alapaha River in Southern Georgia, the resurgence in this breed of dog is thought to have been thanks to the efforts of a Mr Buck Lane, who was an aficionado of this type of dog, with his most loyal companion being called 'Otto'. It was said, by the Granddaughter of 'Papa' Buck Lane, that when he died, Otto took up a vigil over his grave. It is reported that Lana Lou Lane then took over the mantle of her Grandfathers work, continuing the breeding programme of this breed.
There is some argument in America between members of the Alapaha Blue Blood Bulldog of the proposed exclusivity of the bloodline produced by the Lane family as the founding members of this breed, with other breeders claiming their stake in the history of this breed, with Mrs Lana Lou Lane being a registered breeder up until her death in 2001.
The Alapaha Blue Blood Bulldog Association Club was founded in 1979, and while it has a loyal band of followers, mainly in the US, it continues to be classed as a rare breed of dog.
Average height to withers: Males between 20-25 inches and females at least a couple of inches smaller.
Average weight: Males 32-41 kg, with females being smaller at between 25-34kg.
The Alapaha is a well developed and muscular breed of Bulldog, with a similar broad forehead to most Bulldog breeds. The ears are dropped and triangular and the face features quite prominent round eyes, with a distinctive muzzle which has loose gums giving rise to a characteristic Bulldog style face. The shoulders are relatively high, the back strong, straight and long, leading to a whip like tail. The overall impression is one of an athletic, powerful dog.
The coat on this breed is stiff, short but glossy. The preferred colour by breeders is at least 50% of the body covered in white hair, with the remainders being either solid or merle brindle, blue - black, blue, black, red, chocolate, fawn of tri coloured.
Loyal, courageous, protective, alert and intelligent are the words commonly used describe the temperament of this breed. Given the breeds history of guarding, it is a common assumption that they must also be aggressive, especially when coupled with the inclusion of Pit Bull Types in their history. While dogs raised in a certain manner to amplify this side of their nature can be found, when raised in a stable and loving home, the Alapaha can be remarkably loyal and loving towards it s family pack and can be quite good with children. As a first class watch and guard dog, they are frequently employed in this position but are gaining in popularity as a family pet.
They can be very stubborn and single minded. Because of this, they require a strong leader whom they can respect and who will provide consistent leadership. Training and socialisation are imperative to live sociably within a family unit with children and other pets, although supervision is always recommended between children, other animals and this breed. Training methods must be positive and rewards based to nurture this dog into a well rounded individual and to sideline the more aggressive tendencies.
On average, a healthy Alapaha can live up to 15 years of age. They are quite sturdy and healthy dogs, who are mainly prone to certain eye conditions including Entropion or an inversion of the eyelids, and a condition named 'Cherry Eye'. Cherry Eye is a generalised inflammation of the tear duct which is commonly found in many breeds with round or prominent eyes, causing sore looking and sometimes painful redness of the eye itself.
Minimum grooming of the short coat is necessary. Brush occasionally to remove any dead hairs as this breed is an average shedder. Bathe only when necessary. At least a daily walk is recommended, preferably more, as they are an athletic, active dog who will enjoy exercise and interaction with the family.