ALAPAHA BLUE BLOOD BULLDOG BREED 101!
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Where does the Alapaha Blue Blood Bulldog come from?
First of all, why the name Alapaha Blue Blood Bulldog? The dog was named after the Alapaha River in Georgia where it originated. And even though it does share many features with the awesome American Bulldog, it is very much its own autonomous breed. As the American Bulldog already had official standards by the time the Alapaha was established as a new breed, its creators went with the name Alapaha Blue Blood Bulldog.
We can assume that these middle-sized, muscular dogs resemble – in body and spirit – the now extinct Old English Bulldog: A keen catch dog that lived to work and to engage hogs, Bulls, Bears and whatever other animals it was sent after by its owners.
In many ways, this original Bulldog lives on in the Old English White Bulldog of today – who has played a bit part in creating the Alapaha. Back in the day, when cotton plantations flourished in the southern United States, Old English White Bulldogs were the farm and ranch guardians of choice: Intrepid catch dogs used for driving and controlling cattle as well as magnificent guardians, these Bulldogs were known to be quite aggressive. In the years to come, they were crossed with local dogs whom their owners deemed remarkable enough to produce high quality offspring. The breeds that were crossed with the Old English White included various southern working dogs, for example Cur dogs and Catahoulas, but also the American Pitbull Terriers of the time. Originally, the dogs resulting from these breeding efforts not only were ranch dogs, catch dogs and livestock guardians, but also trusted family companions.
And whilst this unique “new” breed is said to have been around in the southern United States for around 200 years, the first documentation of the Alapaha Blue Blood Bulldog was only in the year 1979. And even though these dogs were bred for purpose rather than looks, today’s Alapaha Blue Blood Bulldog is a remarkably beautiful and well-proportioned dog. Adults can weigh between 55 and 90 pounds and measure 18 to 24 inches at the withers. Which translates to a weight of between 25 and 41 kilos and a height of 46 and 61 cms. Females can be quite considerably smaller and lighter than males.
Alaphas have sturdy and very muscular bodies with broad heads. Contrary to other bully breeds, their natural drop ears are never cropped and tails are not docked. Their beautiful short and stiff coats come in a variety of colours such as Black, White, Grey, Fawn and Brindle. However, the preferred colours according to breed standards are blue merle, brown merle as well as red merle. The preferred eye colours are blue or so-called marble (which basically means that brown and blue are mixed in one single eye).
What is their temperament like?
In terms of temperament, Alapaha Blue Blood Bulldogs are close to the Old English White Bulldog. However, over time, breeders have made an effort to somewhat soften the considerable aggression running in the Old English White Bulldogs that were used to create the Alapaha. That said, there are still blood lines in existence today who incorporate the extremely keen prey drive and natural aggression of these original southern States’ Ranch guardians. Despite the similarity in name, it is worth noting that the highly energetic Alapaha is very far removed in temperament from the calm and mellow English Bulldog of today.
So, what exactly is the temperament of the Alapaha Blue Blood Bulldog like? As we said, these dogs were bred for purpose, which used to consist in driving cattle and catching hogs, as well as guarding their owners and their estates. This in itself gives us a vivid impression of their very intense nature: Born to work and equipped with a sky-high prey drive, Alapahas are no dogs for the faint-hearted. Owning one of them comes with a high level of responsibility, because animal aggression in general and dog aggression in particular are prominent in these amazing Bulldogs. When it comes to their readiness to protect and quite aggressively defend their owners, their flock or their territory, the Alapaha is on par with the Rottweiler.
Whilst not suited for an inexperienced owner, this naturally confident Bulldog can make a superb family guardian when guided by a calm, consistent canine leader. Very affectionate and devoted towards the family, this dog is very territorial and has a strong dislike for strangers stepping on the property. For that reason, a high and secure fence around your backyard is a necessity. This not only keeps you Alapaha Blue Blood Bulldog safe, but also any humans, dogs, cats, or wild animals passing by. The same applies when on walks: Even well-trained dogs of this breed can be quite aggressive towards other canines. Due to their superior strength, attacking Bulldogs can easily kill other dogs. To avoid this, it is advisable to always walk you Alapaha on a leash.
When exercised enough, Alapaha Blue Blood Bulldogs are fairly settled and calm in the home. And they absolutely love spending time in the house, together with their family. In fact, they are so devoted to their people that keeping them outside of the house - in a kennel or on a chain - causes them suffering. Of course, this is the case with many dog breeds who form strong bonds with their owners. However, in the case of the Alapaha Blue Blood Bulldog, such solitary confinement can raise their natural aggression to a level that is no longer manageable. Which then leads to the dog being put down and the breed being brought into disrepute.
How intelligent and trainable are Alapaha Blue Blood Bulldogs?
Here is where our discussion of the Alapaha Blue Blood Bulldog gets even more exciting. The simple answer to the question how intelligent and trainable these marvellous dogs are, is: EXTREMELY intelligent and trainable! Whilst many other descendants of the old English Bulldog – like the English and the French Bulldog - seem to have inherited a strong stubborn streak, the Alapaha’s trainability is flawless.
These dogs are natural high achievers when it comes to pretty much any training program you can possibly put a dog through. Owners and breeders report that their Alapahas took to obedience and guard dog training like a duck to water: They perform beautifully in disciplines like French Ring competitions, Schutzhund-Training as well as Companion Dog Training. Especially French Ring is a very demanding canine sport that requires the dog to have extremely high levels of guarding abilities, obedience and impulse control. Usually, the star of French Ring competitions is the Belgian Malinois – due to its nearly unparalleled levels of intelligence and trainability. For any other breed, especially a bully-breed, to perform so well in these kinds of canine sports, speaks volumes about the immense potential of the Alapaha Blue Blood Bulldog.
Of course, again, it does take an experienced handler to bring out this potential in the dog. But it is precisely the combination of intelligence and trainability, in combination with the breed’s natural aggression, that make them such an outstanding guard- and personal protection dog. Perhaps an even better one than even the famed Malinois itself, as the Belgian Shepherd lacks the natural aggressiveness and tenacity of the Bulldog.
Are Alapaha Blue Blood Bulldogs healthy dogs?
In general, the Alapaha Blue Blood Bulldog is a robust and healthy dog. However, as they are a very strongly built bully breed, they can suffer from hip and elbow dysplasia as well as heart conditions. Also, they are prone to skin problems, congenital deafness and an eye-condition called entropion (which basically means the eyelid rolls inward).
Therefore, choosing a breeder who not only tests his breeding stock for dysplasia, but also for heart, eye and hearing conditions, is crucial. You basically want your breeder to provide you with documentation that your puppy’s parents have been cleared of all these health issues known to affect the Alapaha Blue Blood Bulldog.
The life-expectancy of the breed usually ranges from 11 and 13 years.
To ensure a healthy growth of muscles and bones, Alapaha puppies should be fed a diet with a high protein and fat content. In fact, a raw food diet is perfect for them – preferably with products sourced from organic farming: Out of all the possible diets for your dog, raw food has the highest nutritional content. In case feeding raw is not an option for you - a high quality grain-free kibble is the second-best solution.
How much exercise does the Alapaha Blue Blood Bulldog need?
These dogs need A LOT of exercise to stay healthy and well-balanced. If not provided with enough outlets for their energy, they can turn extremely destructive in the house: Their powerful Bulldog-jaws can easily and quickly tear apart the interior of your home. But there is an even greater risk with this breed: An under-stimulated Alapaha may well channel its pent-up energy into aggressive behaviour towards humans or animals. After all, these dogs are proficient catch dogs by nature – fearless and confident, and ever ready to strike, should the opportunity present itself.
When given enough vigorous exercise and mental stimulation in the form of walks, play and obedience work, Alapaha Blue Blood Bulldogs are quiet in the house and happy to just be around their favourite people. But we should keep in mind that these dogs are high level athletes and they need to work their muscles on a daily basis. Therefore, average levels of walks and playtimes that would tire out the average dog will not suffice for this breed. Here is where smart tools come in handy, such as a spring pole, flirt pole or even a treadmill for dogs.
What are their grooming requirements?
The very good news is that the glorious Alapaha Blue Blood Bulldog hardly requires any grooming. Even when they spend a lot of time outside, Alapahas have the tendency to stay amazingly clean. Because of the texture of their short and tight coats, they do not accumulate dust or dirt.
Of course, if your Alapaha Blue Blood Bulldog does manage to get itself seriously dirty – for example, by rolling around in mud or, in the worst case, in some sort of manure, a spray-down with a garden hose is advisable. Due to the breed’s sensitive skin, you want to only use a mild dog shampoo for such an occasion. Of course, especially if you allow your Bulldog to share the house with you as is advisable with this breed, a weekly brush is recommended. The best tools for the very short coats of the Alapaha are mitts and soft natural bristle brushes. During shedding season in spring and autumn, more frequent brushing might be required to keep those short hairs from getting onto the floor.
The amazing Alapaha Blue Blood Bulldog is perhaps THE most keen, driven and yet trainable bulldog breed in existence today. At the same time, when socialized and trained well, these powerful dogs can make superb family guardians: With the proper guidance and leadership, Alapaha Blue Blood Bulldogs make remarkably loving companions who are a pleasure to live with.