The Alapaha Blue-Blood Bulldog’s origin is somewhat undocumented and unverifiable before 1979. Authorities differ so completely about the origin of the Alapaha that the name itself is in dispute. However, the Alapaha is one of the few breeds that are emblematic of this storied Nation and there is little doubt that a species resembling the Alapaha has existed for over two hundred years in the southern enclaves.
The Alapaha is believed to have its origin in a recently extinct species known as the Mountain Bulldog, Old Southern White and Old Country (Big) Bulldog. These dogs were first brought to America in the early 18th century. It, unlike its “English” counterpart, was continuously bred for utility and stamina, whether it be guard work, farm work, or as a family companion. Despite their proven worth in many areas and ability to reproduce type with reliability these strains of bulldogs survived mainly in small pockets of the south, never being accepted into the show dog circles.
These Bulldogs were extensively used in the development of many breeds like the American Pit Bull Terrier(APBT), Black Mouth Cur and Catahoula Leopard Dog. It would be ignorant of Alapaha and American Bulldog breeders to think only the Catahoula and Pit Bull breeders used the cross breeds they developed in their breeding programs. Remember, being mostly a European dog the original bulldog was acclimated to a much cooler climate than the rural southern United States. Because of this inherent lack of tolerance to heat, most stockmen and hunters found that the cur-type/bulldog crosses made for a better all around dog. These cur-type dogs are mostly believed to be results of crosses themselves between Spanish Mastiff-type War Dogs, Greyhounds, Beauceron, Danish Hounds (the Great Dane) and the generic-type Indian curs (the Catahoula red-wolf hybrid) that roamed the American south. The southern United States was sparsely populated with these cur-type/bulldog crosses that were used by local farmers, ranchers and hunters. Wild cattle, feral hogs, bear and coons were among their quarry. In short, a varied ancestry befits this multi-faceted working dog.
This established strain of dog has resulted from the generations old breeding programs of several people namely Papa Buck Lane and William Chester of Georgia and Cecil Evans and Kenny Houston of Florida. The breed has been known by a series of names such as Otto, Cowdog, Silver Dollar, and Catahoula Bulldog. This type of dog was in danger of extinction until a small group of Southerners in 1979 in an attempt to rescue the Ol’ Tymey Plantation Bulldog of the South founded the Alapaha Blue-Blood Bulldog Association® giving it the aforementioned name and dedicating them to preserving this exceptional type of dog. They set about to perpetuate the breed and to establish a standard in which to breed from.
Even though the Alapaha’s job is harsh and their lives are sometimes shortened by performing their duties, they remain extremely loving and loyal family pets. They really love children and are sensitive to their owner’s demands. They are affectionate and loyal, and they thrive best when treated as members of the family. The Alapaha is a very confident dog and has no fear of people. They are very easy to train. If socialized and raised properly they will be very protective of their home and master.
Unfortunately, the Alapaha has fallen into the hands of those who thought they could use a shortcut to creating an “Exotic Breed”. A variety of different breeds were used to give the Alapaha a certain 'color', little did they know that these qualities were already running in the genetic make up of the Alapaha. Recently introduced breeds were, for example, “Blue-merle” Catahoula Cur Dog mixes, “Blue” Amstaffs, “Harlequin” Great Danes and contemporary American Bulldogs. This is very evident when you observe the overall conformation and inconsistencies in temperament of the dogs registered with the open registries (Create-A-Breed Registries like the ARF, ACA, NKC, CKC, IOEBA, OREBA, URBA, FIC, DRA and WWKC). Great damage has been done to the Alapaha as a breed with this influx of cross breeding. These mixed bred curs have maligned the overall idea (to the unknowing general public) in conformation and temperament. The Alapaha was never intended to be a “Blue-Eyed High Belly, Birddog Looking, Beefed up Terrier”.
Breeders who breed purely for the love of breed, not the love of money, who follow the same main breeding criteria, being: #1 Health, #2 Temperament and #3 Conformation.
It is because of their high intelligence and their high trainability that these dogs are natural thinking guard dogs. While it is true that they won't hesitate for a moment if they perceive that their family or property is in danger, in most cases they tend to pause and take the time to reflect before reacting to a situation, as if they are thinking through the consequences of their actions or gauging the potential threat of an oncoming presence.
If you're thinking of adopting a guard dog that can keep a cool head and won't lash out without good reason, the Alapaha Blue Blood Bulldog may be the right choice for you. Thanks to their loyalty, natural protection instincts and high intelligence, these dogs truly merit the title of Thinking Guard Dog.
A-lap`a-ah Blue Blood Bulldog Association Official Breed Standard
Appearance: The Alapaha Blue-Blood Bulldog is well put together, an athletic power-packed medium size dog (with the absence of excessive bulk). Light on its feet, it should move with power and determination; giving the impression of great strength for its size. The Alapaha is graceful and keenly alive to its surroundings. It is bold and fearless without being by patches it can range from thstile or overly aggressive. It should be stocky, not long-legged or racy in outline. The first impression one should get is that of an athletic bulldog, not one of a high belly cur or a powerful terrier. Males are characteristically larger, heavier boned and more masculine than the bitches. The Alapaha is white with varying amounts of black, brown, red and occasionally the rare blue-merle (harlequin). When coverede traditional pied markings of a patch over one or both eyes or ears, a patch on the base of the tail, to a large saddle patch and various other marks.
Size: Height and weight should be in proportion.
General: Males - 20 to 24 inches at the withers and weigh from 70 to 90 lbs. Females - 18 to 22 inches at the withers, 55 to 75 lbs.
The Alapaha Blue Blood Bulldog is an intelligent, highly trainable, dutiful and attentive breed of dog. The Alapaha is also an exceptionally loyal natural guardian and protector of the home that will fight to the death to defend their owners and their property. Having never been specifically bred for aggression they also tend to be very well mannered and docile. Known as a sweet and sensitive dog with a huge heart this breed is also noted for doing very well with children. They demonstrate the real ability to distinguish between smaller children and more mature children and to play and act accordingly. It’s natural stamina and athletic ability also mean that it can play for hours on end.
As a working breed and protector it does demonstrate a certain amount of independence and stubbornness that is not at all unexpected. As such it is probably not a good choice for first time dog owners or individuals that or ineffectual at establishing themselves as leaders of the pack. This breed is known to start establishing its territory and role in the pack from a very young age. Although highly trainable and intelligent the overall goal of training this breed should be to create a master and subordinate relationship that provides stability while letting the dog know its place in the family hierarchy. Alapaha Blue Blood Bulldogs that have been exposed to sound leadership and training from an early age are known to excel at obedience. They are easy to house train and with proper training tend to walk well on a leash.