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Key Breed Facts
Intelligence / Trainability
Children and Other Pets
Caring for a Alapaha Blue Blood Bulldog
Average Cost to keep/care for a Alapaha Blue Blood Bulldog
Breed Specific Buying Advice
The Alapaha Blue Blood Bulldog is a rare breed that boasts having a distinct and unique look about them which is thought to be very much like the bulldogs of times long past. There is quite a bit of controversy as to how the breed first came about, but what is known is that these charming dogs are extremely versatile and make wonderful companions and family pets. However, anyone wishing to share their home with a Alapaha Blue Blood Bulldog would need to register their interest with breeders because very few well-bred puppies become available every year.
There were several breeds that were used to create the Alapaha Blue Bulldog which included some of the oldest bulldog breeds. The Olde English Bulldogge and the White English Bulldog being just two of them. Other breeds used were the Lana Lou Lane Alapaha, the Old Southern Bulldog, the Bandog which was a Mastiff cross English Bulldog, American Bulldog and Pitbull crosses all of which went into the mix.
The main enthusiasts of the breed who through their dedication and endeavours produced the Alapaha Blue Blood Bulldogs we see today include Paul Papalardo, Greg and Linda Hermes, Marvin Arnold, Joe Reda, Marker Nicholas and the breeder of Paulette Designer Bulldogs. Their goal was to create and develop a bulldog that was not only pleasing in appearance, but one that was bulkier in type that boasted being aloof around strangers and a dog with an even temperament while at the same time retaining a high prey and guarding drive. The bulldogs also needed to be intelligent enough to recognise when something or someone was a threat and when things were okay.
The ancestry of the foundation bulldogs that were used to create the Alapaha was not recorded, but what is known is that many of the strains used during the 1960's and the 1990's no longer exist today. With this said, much of the history of the breed remains a bit of a mystery, but most reputable breeders and enthusiasts of the Alapaha Blue Blood agree about which bulldog breeds were used to create them.
Many people, however, believe that the Alapaha existed in the United States for around 200 years and more especially in the southern part of the country, but there are no records of the breed prior to 1979. It is thought that back in the early days, they were bred to work driving cattle and other livestock as well as to guard and keep vermin under control.
The Alapaha has been known by several other names which includes Cowdog, and Catahoula Bulldog. Thanks to the endeavours of breed enthusiasts based in the American South, these handsome dogs were saved from extinction when a serious breeding programme was set in place and they were given the name Alapaha Blue Blood Bulldog before the club established a breed standard.
They have always been referred to as "catch dogs" because they were used to drive quarry or livestock towards hunters, so they could capture them. These powerful dogs have always remained a popular choice in America, but they are still thought of as a "rare" breed even in the States. Up until now, the Alapaha has not been recognised by The Kennel Club (October 2017), but their popularity over recent times has increased to such an extent that Alapaha Blue Blood Bulldogs are high on the list of being preferred family pets and companions in the UK.
Anyone wishing to share their home with an Alapaha Blue Blood Bulldog would need to register their interest with breeders and agree to being put on a waiting list for the pleasure of doing so because even though they are incredibly popular, few puppies are available every year.
Height at the withers: Males 48 - 66 cm, Females 48 - 66 cm at the withers
Average weight: Males 30 - 45 kg, Females 25 - 30 kg
Alapaha Blue Blood Bulldogs are powerful dogs and they boast having large square heads and compact, extremely muscular bodies. Their heads are broad with a well-defined stop which adds to its square appearance. Foreheads are wide which is typical of the Bulldog breed. They have thick, broad muzzles that taper ever so slightly to a large, black coloured nose. They have a reverse scissor bite and their eyes are medium in size being anything from round to almond shaped and set well apart on a dog's face. Eyes can be any colour, but a dark brown is the preferred colour and eye rims should be black too. Ears are either small or medium in size and set high on the head. They can drop down, be semi-pricked or rose ears are acceptable too.
Their necks are muscular and powerful with a slight arch at the crest before tapering gently from the shoulders to a dog's head. Dogs often have a slight dewlap on their necks. Shoulders are extremely strong and well-muscled with shoulder blades being well laid back. Front legs are heavily boned and muscular.
An Alapaha Blue Blood Bulldog has a compact, muscular body with a deep and moderately wide chest. Ribs are well sprung and the topline slopes a little from the wither to a dog’s broad and well-muscled back. Loins are broad, slightly arched and short, merging into a sloping croup. Flanks are moderately tucked up and very firm. Back legs are very muscular with dogs boasting well developed lower thighs. Their feet are medium in size and round with dogs having well arched, tight toes. Tails are thickest at the base and set low before tapering to the tip. Dogs carry their tails upright when alert but between their back legs when they are relaxed.
When it comes to their coat, the Alapaha boasts having a short, dense, close lying and stiff top coat with a much softer undercoat and the preferred colours for these dogs sees them having solid white coats with patches, spotting and markings in them. The patches can be various colours which includes the following:
Dogs can have more than fifty percent colour in their coats, but all white Alapahas are also found, but prospective owners should be aware of the genetic health issues associated with "white coated" dogs which can seriously impact their vision and hearing.
When an Alapaha Blue Blood Bulldog moves, they do so with great purpose and have a slightly rolling action and gait. Dogs always give the impression of covering a lot of ground when they move and for such heavy dogs, they are remarkably light on their feet.
Prospective Alapaha owners should be wary of any puppies or dogs that show any sort of exaggeration whether in their looks or conformation. A responsible breeder would always ensure that puppies they produce are of a good size and conformation. Males should have both testicles fully descended into their scrotums.
It is also worth noting that Alapahas with fifty per cent or more of brindle in their coats as well as dogs with all black masks are not considered as being well-red as these traits are considered as being faults in the breed.
Alapahas are known to be confident, self-assured dogs and ones that are always very alert to what is going on around them. They form strong bonds with their owners and families but tend to be quite wary and aloof around strangers. They can be quite "off" with other dogs they don't already know too. With this said, in a home environment, they make wonderful family pets and excellent watch dogs because they are territorial by nature which is a trait that's deeply embedded in their psyche. As such, this protective side of a dog's character must be gently curbed when they are very young before things get out of hand.
Because they form such strong ties with their owners, they can be quite demanding not liking to be left on their own for any length of time. As such, they are better suited to people who lead active, outdoor lives and in households where at least one person stays at home when everyone else is out of the house. They are not the best choice for first time owners because the Alapaha needs to be handled and trained by people familiar with the specific needs of such a powerful and often demanding dog.
It's very important for these dogs to be well socialised from a young age so they grow up to be confident, outgoing mature dogs. Their socialisation must include introducing them to lots of new situations, noises, people, other animals and dogs once they have been fully vaccinated. It's also crucial for their training to start early too. An Alapaha is never happier than when they know their place in the pack and who they can look to for direction and guidance. If they don't know who the alpha dog in a household is, they may quickly take on the role of a dominant dog which can make them harder to live with and handle, something that must be avoided at all costs.
Their education must start as soon as puppies arrive in their new homes by teaching them the "basics" and that there are boundaries that must not be crossed. It is far easier to teach younger Alapahas the "rules" than it is to teach a dog that’s much older and therefore a lot bigger and more powerful. It's essential for these dogs to know their place in the pack and who is the alpha dog in the household, so they remain manageable.
Alapahas are not the best choice for first time dog owners because they need to be socialised, trained and handled by people who are familiar with this type of powerful, protective and intelligent bulldog.
Alapaha Blue Blood Bulldogs have a high prey drive which is a trait that is deeply embedded in a dog's psyche. As such, care should be taken as to where a dog can be walked off the lead and introductions to other animals and pets should always be carried out carefully to ensure things go smoothly. They are also known to be clever enough to differentiate between what is a threat and what is not.
Alapahas have a very playful side to their natures, they are sweet, docile being particularly good around children when playing interactive games which they thoroughly enjoy. However, care should be taken not to overdo things because they are prone to easily overheat.
Alapahas Blue Bloods are large, powerful dogs that are surprisingly agile on their feet when the need arises. They need enough space to express themselves as they should and are therefore better suited to households with secure back gardens that dogs can safely roam in whenever possible so they really get to stretch their legs.
Alapahas form strong ties with their families and dogs are never very happy when they find themselves left on their own for longer periods of time. They are better suited to people who either work from home or in households where one person stays at home when everyone else is out so they are never alone for any length of time which could see a dog suffering from separation anxiety. This can lead to them being destructive around the home which is a dog's way of relieving any stress they are feeling and a way of keeping themselves entertained. An Alapaha is an extremely powerful bulldog and therefore not only capable of doing a lot of damage to a home, but to themselves too.
The Alapaha Blue Blood was bred to guard and protect which means they are quick to let an owner know when something they don't like is going on. However, because they are so intelligent and therefore capable of knowing when things are okay and when they are not, they do not bark unnecessarily.
Most Alapahas like swimming and will take to the water whenever they can more especially when the weather is hot. However, if anyone who owns a dog that does not like water should never force them to go in because it would just end up scaring them. With this said, care should always be taken when walking an Alapaha off the lead anywhere near more dangerous watercourses just in case a dog decides to leap in and then needs rescuing.
The Alapaha is a natural watchdog having been specifically bred to guard and protect as such they do not need anything in the way of extra training which could end up making a dog too aggressive. They are also known to be wary and aloof around strangers, but once they know the person, they are generally good around them.
The Alapaha Blue Blood Bulldog is an intelligent dog and one that's a fast learner with the downside to this being they are just as quick to pick a lot of bad behaviours and habits as they are the good ones. As such, their training must begin early and it must be very consistent and always fair throughout a dog’s life so that dogs understand what their owners expect of them.
They do not answer well to harsh correction or any sort of heavy handed training methods which could end up bringing the worst out of these powerful and sometimes strong-willed dogs. However, they do respond extremely well to positive reinforcement which always brings the best out of these intelligent and powerful dogs, especially when there are high value rewards involved. It's also essential to gently curb any protective and guarding traits a dog displays to avoid problems when they are older.
Training sessions need to be kept short and interesting which dogs find easier to cope with. Longer more repetitive sessions do not work because an Alapaha would quickly get bored and look for something more interesting to do rather than stay focused on what is being asked of them. It's always a good idea to enrol a dog into puppy classes once they have been fully vaccinated like this they get to meet lots of new people and other dogs while starting their training in earnest in a safe and controlled environment.
Puppies must be well socialised from a very young age which ideally should start when they are still with the breeder, their mothers and littermates. This ensures that a puppy is outgoing and relaxed around strangers and when they find themselves in different and strange situations. Once a puppy arrives in their new home, owners must lay down the ground rules and boundaries right from the word go so that an Alapaha puppy understands what is expected of them. The first commands a puppy should be taught are as follows:
The Alapaha is known to be gentle, tolerant and docile around children they have grown up with. However, they can become a little too over-protective of their families and more especially the kids which means care should be taken when they have friends over to play. They are best suited to families with older children and as such Pets4homes advises that Alapahas are not the best choice for families with babies or very young children.
Anyone who already shares a home with an Alapaha Blue Blood and who have younger children should always make sure they are never left together unattended. It is also crucial for parents to teach young children how to behave around dogs and when to stay away from them, particularly when there is food around or during playtime.
When they have grown up with other pets in a household and this includes cats, the Alapaha generally gets on well with them. However, they can be aggressive towards dogs they have never met before which means care must be taken as to where and when they are allowed to run free off their leads especially if there are other dogs about. Any contact with smaller animals and unfamiliar pets is best avoided because an Alapaha might just see them as "fair game" because of their high prey drive.
For further advice please read our article on Keeping Children Safe around Dogs.
The average life expectancy of a Alapaha Blue Blood Bulldog is between 12 and 13 years when properly cared for and fed an appropriate good quality diet to suit their ages.
The Alapaha is known to suffer from a few hereditary health issues which are worth knowing about if you are planning share your home with one of these powerful dogs more especially as they have quite a small gene pool. The conditions that seem to affect the breed the most include the following:
Alapaha Blue Blood puppies would have been given their initial vaccinations before being sold, but it is up to their new owners to make sure they have their follow-up shots in a timely manner with the vaccination schedule for puppies being as follows:
There has been a lot of discussion about the need for dogs to have boosters. As such, it's best to talk to a vet before making a final decision on whether a dog should continue to have annual vaccinations which are known as boosters.
A lot of vets these days recommend waiting until dogs are slightly older before spaying and neutering them which means they are more mature before undergoing the procedures. As such they advise neutering males and spaying females when they are between the ages of 6 to 9 months old and sometimes even when a dog is 12 months old before they undergo the procedures.
Other vets recommend spaying and neutering dogs when they are 6 months old, but never any earlier unless for medical reasons. With this said, many breeds are different and it is always advisable to discuss things with a vet and then follow their advice on when a dog should be spayed or neutered.
Some Alapahas gain weight after they have been spayed or neutered and it's important to keep an eye on a dog's waistline just in case they do. If a dog starts to put on weight it's important to adjust their daily calorie intake and to up the amount of exercise they are given. Older dogs too are more prone to gaining weight and again it's essential they be fed and exercised accordingly because obesity can shorten a dog's life by several years. The reason being that it puts a lot of extra strain on a dog's internal organs including the heart which as a result must work that much harder to pump blood around a dog's system.
Alapaha Blue Bloods are predisposed to suffering from allergies and it's important for a dog to see a vet sooner rather than later if one flares up. Allergies can be notoriously hard to clear up and finding the triggers can be challenging. With this said, a vet would be able to make a dog with an allergy more comfortable while they try to find out the triggers which could include the following:
All responsible Alapaha Blue Blood breeders would ensure that their stud dogs are tested for known hereditary and congenital health issues known to affect the breed by using the following schemes:
The Alapaha Blue Blood Bulldog is not a recognised Kennel Club breed as such they are no breed specific breeding restrictions in place for them. However, all responsible breeders would ensure they only breed from healthy dogs with even temperaments and good conformation.
There are no Kennel Club Assured Breeders requirements for the Alapaha Blue Blood because the breed is not a KC recognised breed.
As with any other breed, Alapahas need to be groomed on a regular basis to make sure their coats and skin are kept in top condition, bearing in mind that the breed is known to suffer from skin and other allergies. They also need to be given regular daily exercise to ensure they remain fit and healthy. On top of this, dogs need to be fed good quality food that meets all their nutritional needs throughout their lives.
Alapaha puppies are boisterous and full of life which means it's essential for homes and gardens to be puppy-proofed well in advance of their arrival. A responsible breeder would have well socialised their puppies which always leads to more outgoing, confident and friendly dogs right from the word go. With this said, any puppy is going to feel vulnerable when they leave their mother and littermates which must be taken into account. The longer a puppy can remain with their mother, the better although it should never be for too long either.
It's best to pick a puppy up when people are going to be around for the first week or so which is the time needed for a puppy to settle in. Puppy-proofing the home and garden means putting away any tools and other implements that a boisterous puppy might injure themselves on. Electric wires and cables must be put out of their reach because puppies love chewing on things. Toxic plants should be removed from flowerbeds and the home too.
Puppies need to sleep a lot to grow and develop as they should which means setting up a quiet area that's not too out of the way means they can retreat to it when they want to nap and it's important not to disturb them when they are sleeping. It's also a good idea to keep "playtime" nice and calm inside the house and to have a more active "playtime" outside in the garden which means puppies quickly learn to be less boisterous when they are inside.
The documentation a breeder provides for a puppy must have all the details of their worming date and the product used as well as the information relating to their microchip. It is essential for puppies to be wormed again keeping to a schedule which is as follows:
There are certain items that new owners need to already have in the home prior to bringing a new puppy home. It's often a good idea to restrict how much space a puppy plays in more especially when you can't keep an eye on what they get up to bearing in mind that puppies are often quite boisterous which means investing in puppy gates or a large enough playpen that allows an Alapaha Blue Blood puppy the room to express themselves while keeping them safe too. The items needed are therefore, as follows:
All puppies are sensitive to noise including Alapaha puppies. It's important to keep the noise levels down when a new puppy arrives in the home. TVs and music should not be played too loud which could end up stressing a small puppy out.
As previously mentioned, Alapaha puppies would have been given their first vaccinations by the breeders, but they must have their follow up shots which is up to their new owners to organise. The vaccination schedule for puppies is as follows:
When it comes to boosters, it's best to discuss these with a vet because there is a lot of debate about whether a dog really needs them after a certain time. However, if a dog ever needed to go into kennels, their vaccinations would need to be
Older Alapahas need lots of special care because as they reach their golden years, they are more at risk of developing certain health concerns. Physically, a dog's muzzle may start to go grey, but there will be other noticeable changes too which includes the following:
Living with a Alapaha Blue Blood Bulldog in their golden years means taking on a few more responsibilities, but these are easily managed and should include taking a look at their diet, the amount of exercise they are given, how often their dog beds need changing and keeping an eye on the condition of their teeth.
Older dogs need to be fed a good quality diet that meets their needs at this stage of their lives all the while keeping a close eye on a dog's weight. A rough feeding guide for older Alapahas is as follows bearing in mind they should be fed highly digestible food that does not contain any additives:
Older Alapahas don't need to be given the same amount of daily exercise as a younger dog, but they still need the right amount of physical activity to maintain muscle tone and to prevent a dog from putting on too much weight. All dogs need access to fresh clean water and this is especially true of older dogs when they reach their golden years because they are more at risk of developing kidney disorders.
The Alapaha Blue-Blood Bulldog boasts having a smooth, close lying, short coat and therefore they are low maintenance on the grooming front. A weekly or twice weekly brush and wipe over with a chamois leather is all it takes to remove any loose hair and to keep a nice sheen on their coats.
It's also important to check a dog's ears on a regular basis and to clean them when necessary. If too much wax builds up, it can lead to a painful infection which can be hard to clear up. In short, prevention is often easier than cure with ear infections.
Alapahas are not high energy dogs, but they still need the right amount of exercise every day combined with as much mental stimulation as possible to prevent them from getting bored. They need anything from 20 to 40-minutes exercise a day with as much off the lead time as possible, but only in areas that are extremely safe and secure. It would be a mistake to let an Alapaha off their leads in a public area where there are other dogs because they can be aggressive towards them.
If Alapahas are not given the right amount of mental stimulation and exercise every day, they would quickly get bored and could even begin to show some destructive behaviours around the home which is their way of relieving any stress they are feeling and not necessarily because they are being naughty. A shorter walk in the morning would be fine, but a longer more interesting one in the afternoon is a must. These dogs also like to be able to roam around a back garden so they can really let off steam. However, the fencing must be extremely secure to keep these powerful dogs in because if they find a weakness in the fence, they will soon escape out and get into all sorts of trouble.
With this said, Alapahas puppies should not be over exercised because their joints and bones are still growing. This includes not letting a dog jump up and down from furniture or going up or down the stairs. Too much pressure placed on their joints and spines at an early age could result in a dog developing serious problems later in their lives.
If you get an Alapaha puppy from a breeder, they would give you a feeding schedule and it's important to stick to the same routine, feeding the same puppy food to avoid any tummy upsets. You can change a puppy's diet, but this needs to be done very gradually always making sure they don't develop any digestive upsets and if they do, it's best to put them back on their original diet and to discuss things with the vet before attempting to change it again.
Older dogs are not known to be fussy eaters, but this does not mean they can be given a lower quality diet. It's best to feed a mature dog twice a day, once in the morning and then again in the evening, making sure it's good quality food that meets all their nutritional requirements. It's also important that dogs be given the right amount of exercise so they burn off any excess calories or they might gain too much weight which can lead to all sorts of health issues. Obesity can shorten a dog's life by several years so it's important to keep an eye on their waistline from the word go.
Puppies need to be fed a highly nutritious, good quality diet for them to develop and grow as they should. As a rough guide, an Alapaha puppy can be fed the following amounts every day making sure their meals are evenly spread out throughout the day and it's best to feed them 3 or 4 times a day:
When an American Bulldog is 13 months old, they can be fed adult dog food.
Once fully mature, an adult Alapaha Blue Blood Bulldog must be fed a good quality diet to ensure their continued good health. As a rough guide, an adult Alapaha can be fed the following amounts every day:
If you are looking to buy an Alapaha Blue Blood Bulldog, you would need to register your interest with breeders and agree to being put on a waiting list because very few puppies are bred and registered with The Kennel Club every year. You would need to pay anything upwards of £600 for a well-bred, healthy puppy that has been responsibly bred.
The cost of insuring a male 3-year-old Alapaha Blue Blood Bulldog in northern England would be £58.76 a month for basic cover but for a lifetime policy, this would set you back £126.45 a month (quote as of February 2018). When insurance companies calculate a pet's premium, they factor in several things which includes where you live in the UK, a dog's age and whether they have been neutered or spayed among other things.
When it comes to food costs, you need to buy the best quality food whether wet or dry making sure it suits the different stages of a dog’s life. This would set you back between £40 - £50 a month. On top of this, you need to factor in veterinary costs if you want to share your home with a Alapaha and this includes their initial vaccinations, their annual boosters, the cost of neutering or spaying a dog when the time is right and their yearly health checks, all of which quickly adds up to over £1500 a year.
As a rough guide, the average cost to keep and care for a Alapaha Blue Blood Bulldog would be between £100 to £180 a month depending on the level of insurance cover you opt to buy for your dog, but this does not include the initial cost of buying a healthy, responsibly bred Kennel Club registered pedigree Alapaha Blue Blood Bulldog puppy.