The Alapaha Blue Blood Bulldog (ABBB) is a relatively modern breed that serves to either preserve or replicate the original plantation dog of the old south. The actual lineage and origin of the breed is disputed among the various organizations that market it and/or claim to have the only “Pure” version of the breed. What is known is that the breed was so named prior to 1979 for the Alapaha River that ran near the home of Lana Lou Lane, a dog breeder from Rebecca City in Turner County Georgia.
Documented history and early American photographs provide sound evidence that a species of Bulldog resembling the Alapaha has existed in America for over two hundred years; mainly in small pockets of the south. This is a statement that, minus the Southern reference, would hold true for the majority of modern bulldogs breeds currently in America today. Whether or not the modern Alapaha Blue Blood Bulldog is the actual embodiment of these early plantation dogs is a matter of dispute resulting from the documented crossbreeding of other breeds into the line for the purpose of increasing its marketability during its early history.
The progenitors to the Alapaha Blue Blood Bulldog, like many American Bully breeds is believed to be the now extinct early American Bulldogs that were at the time known by a variety of regional names. These names included the Southern White Bulldog, Old Country Bulldog, White English Bulldog, Mountain Bulldog, Country Bulldog, Hill Bulldog, White Bulldog, and English White Bulldog. These early bulldogs likewise are believed to be the descendants of the now extinct Old English Bulldog; a breed notorious for its violent temperament and popularity during the 18th century as a pit fighting and bull baiting dog in England.
The first of these dogs are believed to have arrived in America during the 17th century as noted by the story of Governor Richard Nicolls (1624-1672); the first British colonial governor of the New York province who used them as part of an organized city wide wild bull round up. The inherently dangerous nature of cornering and leading these large dangerous animals required the use of bulldogs that were trained to seize and hold upon the bull’s nose until a rope could be placed around the larger animal’s neck.
It was also during the 17th century that immigrants from the West Midlands of England, escaping the English Civil War (1642-1651), emigrated to the and comprised the majority of settlers to the American South bringing their native bulldogs with them. In their native England these early working bulldogs had been used to catch and drive cattle as well as guard their master’s property. These traits were preserved in the breed by these working class immigrants who utilized their dogs for a variety of tasks such as farm guardians, stock dogs and catch dogs. Though at the time these early dogs were not considered as an actual breed by today’s standards but had become an indigenous generic Southern bulldog type. Pedigrees were not recorded and breeding decisions were based upon the individual dog’s performance at its required task. This resulted in a divergence of bulldog strains as they were selectively bred to fulfill different roles.
The Alapaha Blue Blood Bulldogs lineage can be traced back to a combination of four divergent types of these early Southern Bulldogs: the Otto, Silver Dollar, Cowdog and Catahoula Bull strains. It was Lana Lou Lane’s desire to preserve the dog of her grandfather [Papa Buck Lane] and her marketing savvy that lead to the Otto strain most often being identified as the progenitor of the modern day Alapaha.
The Otto Strain like most early American Bulldogs descended from the Southeastern Mountainous stock dogs brought over and used by working class immigrants. Initially, the Otto strain was relatively unknown to the general public as its use was limited to rural southern plantations where it was used as a stock dog and varmint eradicator. As with most utility or working dogs, the main goal of early breeding was to create a dog that was perfectly suited for its designated job. Undesirable traits such as cowardice, shyness, and noise sensitivity were bred out while strength and physical soundness were bred in. Through selective breeding by individuals like Papa Buck Lane, Alas Kittles, J. M. Cel Ashley, Louis Hedgewood, Walter Nations and David Clark the Otto strain was refined to create the perfect working plantation dog. This strain can still be found in use and in relatively pure form in the isolated areas of the rural south.
In describing the loyalty and versatility of these early Otto type bulldogs owned by her grandfather Lana Lou Lane states:
“My Daddy would always say that Papa Buck [her grandfather] had bulldogs all his life as long as he could remember and all of the males were named Otto. Papa Buck always had an ‘Otto’ by his side. My Daddy said that Otto would look after the family, house and plantation. When he was in the woods at work, he kept watch over that operation too. After Papa Buck’s death, Otto was found on many occasions sitting on Papa Buck’s grave continuing his ever faithful duties to his undying master…He continued his duties until an untimely death from a broken heart. Otto would only allow family to come to the grave…The last Otto was the sire of Bouncer, who was the dog that was bred to my Polly to produce Henry. Bouncer was a very aggressive dog. When I was a little girl he’d almost scare me to death.”
However it was the Silver Dollar strain, created by William Chester, that probably had the greatest impact on the creation of the modern Alapaha Blue Blood Bulldog. Mr. Chester described the Silver Dollar strain of bulldogs as:
“a cross between the Old Mountain Bulldog from the Big Sand Mountain area in NE Alabama and Lookout Mountain area in Southern Tennessee, Colby Pit- Bulls and Catahoula Leopard Dogs he’s had for thirty years, used for rounded up his cattle.”
It was also one of his Silver Dollar line dogs “Blue Boy”, purchased by Lana Lou Lane, that sired “Lana’s Marcelle” the dog that would later be advertised as the foundation sire of her line of the Alapaha Blue Blood Bulldog. This would later create scandal as Lana Lou Lane, the self-professed creator of the breed, claimed to have bred “Blue Boy” herself out of (Ham Bone × Magnolia) in her submitted pedigree documentation to ARF (Animal Research Foundation). In actuality, the truth was that “Blue Boy” was sired by William Chester’s “Black Jack”; a large 82 pound Silver Dollar dog that also sired “Chester’s BOSS”, and “Waldron’s Samantha”; two dogs that were also used in the breeding of the modern day Alapaha Blue Blood Bulldog.
Mr. Chester believed that all of his Silver Dollar Line dogs should be game tested vigorously on live-stock as part of the breeding and culling process. Although the majority of his dogs were considered to be man-aggressive- a trait he deemed undesirable, the mixture of Catahoula x Catch-weight American Pit Bull Terrier x Mountain dog was deadly.
The Cowdog strain created by Cecil Evans was the result of his desire to create the ultimate working stock dog. In the 1940s there were several failed breeding attempts to create a dog with the prerequisite aggression and endurable working catch dog characteristics he was looking for. He came to the opinion that the current strain of Ol’ Southern Whites he was using in his breeding program had been diluted to the point that many of their enduring qualities had been lost when compared to their English counterparts. So he set about a search to find a line of bulldogs that still retained original bull baiting power and tenacity; something he believed the local bulldog strains were missing and didn’t produce in their offspring when crossed with his cattle coursing cur dogs. He happened upon an article by a Mr. Clifford Derwent of London, England who at the time was trying to preserve in his bulldogs the savage qualities of the Pit Fighting and Bull Baiting era.
Mr. Evans purchased a few of Mr. Derwent’s bulldogs and with the help of his brother-in-law, Bob Williams, successfully developed what is known today as the Cowdog strain- a coursing Cur working English Bulldog cross. The Cowdog strain is considered by many to have been instrumental in the development of pre-registration Alapaha Blue Blood Bulldogs.
The Catahoula Bulldog commonly associated with Kenny Houston- the owner of a Big Game Hunting outfit in Florida- was in actuality created by a cowboy and sportsman named Howard Carnathan in the 1960’s. Mr. Carnathan the owner of both bulldogs and Catahoula Leopard Dogs admired the intelligence, endurance, speed and high spirited nature of his Catahoula’s but was disappointed with the breeds’ natural aloofness towards strangers and soft bite. In order to create a better dog that exhibited the best traits of both breeds he infused Bulldog into his Catahoula lines to create the Catahoula Bulldog. Of the cross Mr. Carnathan stated:
“I needed a dog that would be a companion and protector to my children and home yet I also was in need of a dog that would help with the farming duties. The Catahoula Bulldog fit my purpose exactly”.
Mr. Houston began breeding them after having purchased a few from Mr. Carnathan and studying his breeding practices. The breeding conducted by Mr. Houston consisted of Old Southern Whites crossed with Catahoula Leopard Dogs as he tended to like large, athletic dogs in the 90-100 lb. range. He felt that at this size they had the endurance and speed to run with the big game, while maintaining the strength necessary to handle themselves once the prey was bayed.
The most famous pup to come out of his breeding program was “Blue Muskee” (sire: DUDE × dam: Silver) who in turn sired “Miller’s Blue Ox”, the unknown sire of Lana Lou Lanes “Lana’s Sylvia Lane” and “Quinlan’s Hank” as well as countless other dogs that were bred by Lana Lou Lane. This particular dog was of special interest to Lana Lou Lane for the blue-merle coloration that often times appeared in his offspring.
It is from four strains of indigenous bulldog and the desire of a dedicated group of Southerners to preserve them that the Alapaha Blue Blood Bulldog was born. These individuals’ banded together to form the Alapaha Blue Blood Bulldog Association (ABBA) in 1979. The initial founders of the organization were Lana Lou Lane, Pete Strickland (her husband and first cousin), Oscar & Betty Wilkerson, Nathan & Kathy Waldron and a few others with dogs from the surrounding area. The initial Articles of Constitution from 1979 for the ABBA, complete with Lana Lou Lane’s signature, list her as the clubs acting secretary.
With the creation of the ABBA, the stud book for the Alapaha Blue Blood Bulldog was closed. This meant that no other dogs outside of the original 50 or so already listed in the stud book could be registered or introduced into the breed unless they could be traced directly back to those dogs. It is reported that sometime after this tension in the ABBA between Lana Lou Lane and other members began to rise regarding the issue of the closed studbook, ultimately resulting in Lana Lou Lane leaving the ABBA all together in 1985. It is believed that under pressure from her customers to produce more merle colored Alapaha Blue Blood Bulldogs, her desire to maximize their salability and her profit that she began looking into creating her own line of Alapaha Blue Blood Bulldogs by crossing Catahoulas back into her existing lines. This of course was a direct violation of the standards and practices set forth by the ABBA. As such they refused to register her new mixed breed Catahoula hybrids as Alapaha Blue Blood Bulldogs.
As to the reason for her departure from the ABBA, Lana Lou Lane states:
“I left that rag tag club because it was a group of lowly rednecks and dusty farmers who knew nothing about promoting a breed of dog. As far as they were concerned a hundred dollars ($100) was more than enough for a pup! They don’t know a damn thing about business and what people want!”
After her departure from the ABBA, Lana Lou Lane contacted Mr. Tom D. Stodghill of the Animal Research Foundation (ARF) in 1986, in regards to registering and preserving “her” rare breed of Alapaha Blue Blood Bulldogs. ARF was at the time considered to be one of many so called “Third Party” registries that would print undocumented pedigrees and registration papers on an animal for a fee. This created a loophole for individuals such as Lana Lou Lane to deviate away from the established breed club and register individually created breeds via their “Merit” registration programs.
“Merit registration” programs allow an individual to breed two separate types of dog together and call them by the name of either breed or an entirely different breed. This creates new breeds or modifies already registered ones. For example let’s say that an individual looking for a slightly more aggressive and larger Border Collie decided to mate an Australian Shepherd male to a female Border Collie female. The result would be a mixed hybrid of both types or a “mutt”. Since the books on these breeds are closed by the AKC there would be no way to get Border Collie registration papers for these mixes. Without these registration papers the individual breeder is going to find it very difficult to market and sell them as Border Collies. This is where “Third Party” registries come in with “merit registration”- which allows both parents, regardless of breed, to be registered per the breeders choosing. So if the breeder previously registered both the Australian Shepherd and the Border Collie as “Border Collies” with their organization, the offspring of these two would be eligible for full registration as a Border Collie, complete with “Third Party” registration papers to that affect. For the unsuspecting buyer that thinks he is getting a Border Collie, he is actually getting a mutt with papers.
In reference to the Alapaha Blue Blood Bulldog; the ARF registry was most commonly used by ARF registered breeders to sell a mix of the American Bulldog × American Pit-Bull Terrier × Catahoula Leopard Dog to unsuspecting buyers as full blooded papered Alapaha Blue Blood Bulldogs.
As a very savvy businesswoman, Lora Lane Lou knew that her success in marketing and selling her breed of Alapaha Blue Blood Bulldogs would depend on having sound advertising and dog showing plans; as well as a recognized registry such as ARF to register her bulldogs. For the registry she chose ARF; for advertising Dog World & Dog Fancy were used for national exposure and to announce herself as the originator of this new “rare” breed of Bulldog. In the show ring she used Ms. Jane Otterbein, to bring attention to the breed at various rare breed venues. She even produced a videotape that can still be purchased to this day via the ARF website, along with other printed materials as a way of marketing her version of the Alapaha Blue Blood Bulldog as her own creation to prospective buyers.
Of the 800 dogs that she bred as authentic Alapaha Blue Blood Bulldogs more than one third; 300 of them were mixes of her own creation ‘Merit’ registered through ARF. Although, the current official ARF policy strictly prohibits this practice; it is still said to exist to this day amongst some current ARF certified breeders of Alapaha Blue Blood Bulldogs.
The position of the Animal Research Foundation as stated on their website regarding the initial registration of Ms. Lanes Alapahas is as follows:
“When Ms. Lane began sending in her ARF-paperwork, to have her bulldogs registered as “Alapahas”, she had very-little-to-no ancestry on the dogs that she registered; therefore, her original Alapaha breeding stock was “Merit” registered. The reason being, most of the old farmers of South Georgia did not care if their bulldogs were registered or not. Therefore, if Farmer Brown had a litter of bulldog pups, and, his neighbor, Farmer Jones, wanted one, he gave him one on the condition that when his bulldog had pups, he would get a pup back. So, by this method of trading, bulldog pups were spread over many southern Georgia counties, including other southern states.”
Ms. Lane also created a kennel name for herself, which she referred to as, “Circle L Kennels”. In stating where the name originated from she declared:
“That’s the brand for our ranch; my family use to raise Angus cattle. Everyone in Southern Georgia knows that brand. My Grand Daddy started it after the fencing laws were enforced in the late 1800’s. My Daddy also used this prefix when he bred AKC Great Danes up until I was a teenager.”
It was at this kennel that she owned, bred, raised and sold a variety of different breeds, such as Rat Terriers, Toy Fox Terriers, American Pit Bull Terriers [American Staffordshire Terriers], Catahoula’s, American Bulldogs, and an “American Bulldog/Catahoula” cross, known as a “Catahoula Bulldog”. However her bestselling dog was her ARF-registered, old timey plantation dog- the “Alapaha Blue Blood Bulldog”.
In taking a closer look at the pedigrees of some of her dogs it becomes apparent that in order to retain her title as the originator of the breed falsified pedigrees were submitted to ARF in order to solidify that fact. Such is the pedigree information submitted to ARF in regards to “Blue Boy” who was the aforementioned original sire of the foundation sire of her line ‘Lana’s Marcelle Lane’. The pedigree submitted to ARF states he was bred by her out of Ham Bone × Magnolia. However her own admissions in a later interview stated that:
“I bought Blue Boy from a gentleman in Central Georgia and he had the prettiest glass eyes you’d ever want to see. I bred him to my Roseanna and out popped Marci (Lana's Marcelle Lane her foundation stud) with a blue- merle & white coat with marble eyes. He was the finest example of a bulldog you’d ever want to see.”
Thus proving the fact that “Blue Boy” was not in fact bred by her, but purchased by her from William Chester of Dublin, Georgia, out of out of “Chester’s Black Jack” ×” Chester’s Missy”; both of which were members of his Silver Dollar line of dogs. In advertisements and literature she describes her foundation sire “Lana’s Marcelle Lane” in the following way:
“My foundation sire “Lana's Marcelle Lane”, is as close as I'll ever come to the "Plantation Dog" of the Alapaha River Region of South Georgia, that would have a place in today’s social life. I've bred to very choice dogs over the years and culled closely, picking and choosing for any genetic or temperamental defects. “
It is also interesting to note that Ms. Lane stated in her marketing and advertising material as the originator of the breed that she created the Alapaha Blue Blood Bulldog in 1986; which does correspond to her earliest registrations of dogs with ARF. However, her 1979 signature on the aforementioned Articles of Constitution for the ABBA serve to prove that she was aware that the breed existed prior to her claim of creating it 1986.
When asked about this discrepancy and why proper credit was not being given to the others involved in the creation of the breed such as Pete Strickland or Bill Chester she stated:
“I am the originator! I advertised in Dog World first, the book publishers only know me, no one knows anything about Pete or Bill or anybody else! That’s why I left the club because it was going know where!” […] “Why, they’ve got their thing and this is mine! People don’t want to hear about some ol’ bastards with a bunch of cross bred dogs. They want southern romance and history!”
There are still more discrepancies, as can be noted among the text of one of her last published brochures where she makes the following statement: "The Alapaha is not the same dog as American Bulldog and not to be confused with them, or to be cross bred with them.” – (Alapaha Blue Blood Bulldogs, page 5). A statement that is an outright contradiction to the fact as reported by ARF that she used and registered with ARF an NKC-registered American Bulldog, named “Arnold’s Codi” (NKC Reg. No.: C026-602) as part of her Alapaha Blue Blood Bulldog breeding program.
An excerpt from the ARF website states the following in regards to Ms. Lanes Alapaha Blue Blood Bulldog breeding program:
“In searching for her rare-breed of bulldog, she knew what she was looking for, so she produced a breed standard that would primarily describe her bulldogs; males weighing 70 to 90 pounds, and females weighing 50 to 70 pounds. Many of today’s American Bulldogs weigh upwards to 130, even to 150 pounds; therefore, the variety of “American Bulldog” that Ms. Lane selected, for her “Alapaha” breeding program, was the “White English Bulldog”. But, since she declared a solid white bulldog as being an undesirable color, these were crossed with colored “American Bulldogs, creating the “preferred” colors. “
Ms. Lane successfully used the power of the press through her Dog World & Dog Fancy ads so well that the general public truly believed that she created the breed. All of this deception was apparently done with the intent to further solidify her position with potential purchasers as the creator of the breed while simultaneously hiding the truth. As had the truth of its prior existence come out, or the fact that she purchased dogs from someone else, her claim as the originator would have been quickly debunked. Any associated prestige that came with the title of “Creator of the Alapaha Blue Blood Bulldog” would have been stripped from her and sales of her type would have most assuredly decreased cutting into her profit margin.
All the while, the Alapaha Blue Blood Bulldog Association (ABBA) continued business as usual by breeding its own line of Alapaha Bulldog from within the lines of its closed studbook, though it received little recognition for its contribution to the conformity and stability of the breed. These two separate lines of Alapaha Blue Blood Bulldog spanning numerous breed registries have served to create conflicting accounts regarding the overall early development of the breed.
The Alapaha Blue Blood Bulldog Association (ABBA) summarizes the origin of the Alapaha Blue Blood Bulldog as follows:
“The original founders of the breed were Pete & Herb Strickland, Lana Lane, Vernon Woodard, Oscar & Betty Wilkerson, Nathan & Kathy Waldron, William Chester, Danny Ross, Kenny Houston, Bryan Evans, Mark Williams, Robert Carpenter, Charles Bates, Arnold Miller and Archie Hobby. This is based on the pedigrees of the original fifty (50) or so ABBA registered dogs. The many contributors to the this lineage include Papa Buck Lane, Cecil Evans, Bob Williams, Howard Carnathan, Alas Kittles, Lou Hedgewood, Cel Ashley, Walter Nations, Harold Lassiter, David Clark, J. Gary Mason, Alan Jackson, Hubert Hatley, John P. Colby & Tom D. Stodghill. […] The different types of dogs reportedly used were working English Bulldogs, Mountain Bulldogs, Old Southern White Bulldogs, American Pit Bull Terriers, Catahoula Leopard Dogs (the Florida Cur variety), Black-mouth Curs (from East Texas) and Great Danes.”
There has also arisen out of the conflict between Ms. Lane, ARF and the ABBA what appears to be two separate variations of the breed. One is simply called the ‘Alapaha Blue Blood Bulldog’ (ABBB) and is the strain registered by the Alapaha Blue-Blood Bulldog Association (ABBA). The other strain is called the ‘Lana Lou Lane Alapaha Blue Blood Bulldog’ (LLL ABB Bulldog) and is registered by the Alapaha Research Center (ARC). The Alapaha Research Center appears to be the newest registry for the Alapaha Blue Blood Bulldog and is the one currently endorsed by the Lou Lane Family as the result of a falling out between them and ARF.
As stated on the Lana Lou Lane Alapaha Blue Blood website:
“THE LANA LOU LANE FAMILY DOES NOT SUPPORT THE A.R.F. ANYMORE AND HAVE FOUND A BETTER DOG REGISTRY. MR WALKER'S FRAUDULENT ACTIONS WITH THE PAPERS. CAUSED THE LANE FAMILY TO FIND A REGISTRY THAT WOULD KEEP TRACK OF THE ORIGINAL DOGS AND NOT TO MIX OR CROSS THE DOGS WITH OTHER DOGS. LANA WOULD NOT HAVE CONSENTED TO THIS AT ALL.”
Currently all three organizations (ABBA, ARF and ARC) claim to be the originators of and the only official registry of the true modern day version of the breed. They also have widely different published breed standards and fail to recognize the Alapahas of the other organizations through policies that prohibit the dual registration of dogs. Their respective positions on the issue of official registration for the Alapaha Blue Blood Bulldog are excerpted below.
The position of ARF regarding the issue is as follows:
"In November of 1986, Ms. Lana Lou Lane asked Mr. Tom D. Stodghill, the Founder of the Animal Research Foundation, to register a rare breed of an old-timey plantation bulldog, that she referred to as an “Alapaha Blue Blood Bulldog [..], so that its bloodline would not become extinct. For more than twenty years, the ARF has promoted the “Alapaha Blue Blood Bulldog”, and, today, the ARF name has become synonymous with its preservationist, Ms. Lana Lou Lane….There have been unscrupulous individuals who have used the “Alapaha Blue Blood Bulldog” name, solely for profit, and have copied intellectual property from both Ms. Lane and the ARF, to deceive the public, in causing them to believe that they are the originators of the “Alapaha”….due to the insurmountable amount of fraud that is going on, including the use of the late Ms. Lane’s last name, the ARF has determined to remain the “exclusive” sole preservationist, in regards to the future “Alapaha Blue Blood Bulldog’s” recognition, preservation, and registration….the ARF will not permit any further bastardization of the breed, via “Merit Registrations”, or “Double-Registrations”, etc., coming from another registry…” and
“…ARF was the first to "Recognize" and "Register" the "Alapaha Blue Blood Bulldog", in November 1986.…The Animal Research Foundation does not recognize these "private" organizations, nor will the ARF register their "type" of "Bulldog".
The position of the Alapaha Blue-Blood Bulldog Association (ABBA) regarding the registry issue is:
“The Alapaha Blue-Blood Bulldog Association (ABBA) is the official founding registry and breed club for Alapaha Blue-Blood Bulldog in the World. This type of dog was in danger of extinction until a small group of Southerners in 1979 in an attempt to rescue the Old Tymey Plantation Bulldog of the South founded the ABBA giving it the aforementioned name and dedicating them to preserving this exceptional type of dog. […]For the past 30 years, the ABBA has been the sole Alapaha Blue-Blood Bulldog registry/club in the World and it’s through the hard work, dedication and passion of its members that the breed thrives today.”
The position of the Alapaha Research Center (ARC):
“The Alapaha Research Center is official registry of the Lana Lou Lane® Alapaha Blue Blood Bulldog. This registry is dedicated to preserving and promoting the original Alapaha Blue Blood Bulldog as envisioned by the late Lana Lou Lane®, the founder of the breed.”
In general the Alapaha Blue Blood Bulldog would be described as a tightly built, athletic power-packed medium size dog, without the excessive bulk found in some of the other Bulldog breeds. It is light on its feet, and in the performance of its duties moves with power and determination, giving the impression of great strength for its size. Although muscular it is not stocky, long legged or racy in appearance. The male Alapaha is generally larger, heavier boned and visibly more masculine than females.
During the course of its development other breeds such as the now extinct Old English Bulldog and one or more local herding breeds like the Catahoula Leopard Dog and Black Mouth Cur were introduced into the line. Like many of its working dog brethren it was bred for performance of its duties, not for a standardized appearance. The primary considerations in breeding decisions were that the dog possessed the requisite size and strength to handle itself when dealing with large, angry cattle and that it had the speed and athletic ability required to chase, catch and hold wild hogs. A highly functional built for purpose bulldog; the Alapaha has a square head, broad chest and prominent muzzle.
Due to the various published standards of the three main organizations that are all touted as the official standard of the breed; it would do a disservice to one or all of the organizations for this author to write his interpretation into a combined standard that summarizes the views of all. As such the published Alapaha Breed Standards of these organizations has been included side by side below for comparison by the reader. The acronym for each organization is listed preceding that organizations description: (ARC)—Animal Research Center, (ARF)—Animal Research Foundation, (ABBA)--Alapaha Blue Blood Bulldog Association
(ARC) Purpose- Guardian, protector and family companion.
(ARF) Purpose- Is for "Guardian", "Protector", and "Family Companion".
(ARC) Overall Impression- Square, powerfully built, yet agile and athletic for size and alertness. Should give impression of nobility. (Thereby - "Blue Blood")
(ARF) Overall Impression- Square, powerfully built; agile and athletic for size, and alert. Should give impression of nobility; thereby, the term "BLUE BLOOD".
(ABBA) Body- Square, robust and powerful. The Alapaha is a broad, wide dog, but this width should not be exaggerated.
(ARC) Head- Large, flat across the top, square, heavily muscled in males.
(ARF) Head- Large, flat across the skull, square, heavily muscled in males.
(ABBA) Head- The overall head is box-shaped medium in length and broad across the skull with pronounced muscular cheeks. The top of the skull is flat, but covered with powerful muscles; there should be a distinct furrow between the eyes. There should be an abrupt, deep stop.
(ARC) Muzzle- Square with heavily muscled jaws. Up to 40% of total length of head.
(ARF) Muzzle- Square with heavily muscled jaws; length not to exceed 40% of the skull, from "stop" to "end" of nose, being 2 to 2-3/4 inches in length, plus or minus a 1/4 inch.
(ABBA) Muzzle- Medium length (2 to 4 in.), square and broad with a strong under jaw. Lips should be full but not pendulous, 36 to 42 teeth. [A definite undershot, 1/8 to 1/4 inch preferred. Scissors or even bite is a disqualification. Structural faults are a muzzle under 2 inches or over 4 inches, less than 36 teeth, more than 1/4 inch undershot, small teeth or uneven incisors.]
(ARC) Nose- Black to liver. 50% or more light pigment is unacceptable.
(ARF) Nose- Color: Black is the ideal color; however, "Gray", or "Liver" color will occur.
(ABBA) Nose- Color: black or liver. On black nosed dogs the lips should be black with some pink allowed. 50% or more light pigment is considered a cosmetic fault.
(ARC) Ears - Medium in size, half perked or rose. Cropping NOT permissible.
(ARF) Ears- Rose-ears, medium-size, to half-perked with forward roll, carried close to the head.
(ABBA) Ears- V-shaped, or folded back, set on wide and high, level with the occiput, giving a square appearance to the skull, which is most important. They should be small and the point of the ear should be level with the eye when alert. Rose ears to be penalized. Cropped ears are not permissible in the show ring.
(ARC) Eyes- Set well apart and prominent. Any color permissible. "Glass" or "Marble" eye preferred.
(ARF) Eyes- AlmondAmong experts, the use of Almonds, or Almond derived products in pet food appears to have been met with mixed reviews. While some feel that there is no issue and that the ....-shaped to round, medium sized. Color: Brown is the ideal color; however, "Glass" or "Marble" eyes will occur.
(ABBA) Eyes- Medium in size and of any color. The haw should not be visible. Black eye rims preferred on white dogs. Pink eye rims to be considered a cosmetic fault.
(ARC) Neck- Thick of medium length.
(ARF) Neck- Thick, of medium length.
(ABBA) Neck- Muscular, medium in length, slightly arched, tapering from shoulders to head, with a slight dewlap allowed. The neck is where the power of the dog is put to use against its opponent (i.e. livestock, vermin or manly intruders). It must be long enough to apply leverage, short enough to exert power and strong enough to do the job. Shoulders: Very muscular with wide sloping blades; set so elbows are not bowed out.
(ARC) Shoulders - Of short length, heavily muscled and well tied in. Should give impression of power.
(ARF) Shoulders- Short length, heavily muscled, and well tied in with the front legs.
(ARC) Chest- Wide and deep with well sprung rib cage.
(ARF) Chest- Wide and deep with a well sprung ribcage.
(ABBA) Chest- The chest should be deep with a good spring of ribs.
(ARC) Back- Straight, not rigid or swayed. Length equal to height at shoulders, with a 1" variation acceptable.
(ARF) Back- Straight; length equal to height at shoulders.
(ABBA) Back-The back should be of medium length, strong, broad and powerful. Loins should be slightly tucked which corresponds to a slight roach in the back which slopes to the stern. Faults: Swayed back, narrow or shallow chest, lack of tuck up.
(ARC) Tail- Optimum length should reach hock. Final 1/3 of tail to have gradual upward curvature. Docking NOT permissible.
(ARF) Tail- Optimum length; should reach the hocks in a relaxed position; come over the back in an excited position. Final 1/3 of tail to have a gradual upward curvature.
(ABBA) Tail- The tail should be long enough to reach the hocks tapering to a point. It should be moderately thick and as an extension of the spine, it should be powerful. The tail will often be carried above the back when the dog is moving or excited. The tail should not curl over the back. Docked tails are not permissible in the show ring.
(ARC) Forelegs- Straight and extremely thick-boned. Balanced forward toes. Feet well knuckled up with thick pads. (Dewclaws not removed).
(ARF) Forelegs- Straight and extremely thick-boned; toes well knuckled up with thick pads. Dewclaws not removed.
(ABBA) Legs- Strong and straight with heavy bone. Front legs should not set close together nor far apart. Faults: Excessively bowed in or out at the elbows. Rear legs should have visible angulations of the stifle.
(ARC) Rear- Hips narrower than shoulders. Well muscled and in proportion to forequarters.
(ARF) Hindquarters- Hips narrower than shoulders; well musculared and in proportion to the forequarters.
(ABBA) Hindquarters- Very broad and well muscled and in proportion to the shoulders. Narrow hips are a very serious fault.
(ARC) Color- Merle and white preferred. Any color and white acceptable although solid white is undesirable.
(ARF) Color- Any color and white. "Solid colors" and "solid whites" not "Show Stock".
(ABBA) Color- The preferred color pattern is at least 50 percent white with patches of color. A predominately colored dog with areas of white is next in order of preference. The colored patches may be any shade of merle or brindle, solid blue, black, chocolate, red , fawn, seal, or tri-colored . An all white dog is acceptable, but care must be taken to ascertain that there is proper pigmentation of the skin as to insure that there are no genetic defects (i.e. deafness, blindness or problematic skin).
(ARC) Coat- Short to medium length and fairly stiff to the tough with soft undercoat.
(ARF) Coat- Short-to-medium length; fairly stiff to the touch, with soft undercoat.
(ABBA) Coat- Short, close, glossy and stiff to the touch.
(ARC) Size- Males 22-25" at the withers and 70-125 lbs. Females 20-23" and 60-110 lbs. 1" variation in height is allowed. 5-10 lb. variation is allowed.
(ARF) Size- Males: 22 - 25 inches at the withers, weighing 70 to 90 pounds. Females: 20 – 23 inches at the withers, weighing 50 to 70 pounds. 1 inch variation in height is allowed. 5 to 10 pounds in variation of weight is allowed.
Note: The male’s height should not be less than 21, or greater than 25 inches, at the withers. The female’s height should not be less than 19, or greater than 24 inches, at the withers. The male’s body weight should not exceed 100 pounds, or be less than 65 pounds. The female’s body weight should not exceed 80 pounds, or be less than 55 pounds.
Note: However, there may be on rare occasions where a male may weigh in at 110 pounds, and where a female may weigh in at 90 pounds. Therefore, these "Alapahas" can be bred back to a smaller male, or female, to normalize the Breed Standard’s body weight in the pups. But, to place the larger "Alapahas" into a "Conformation" show-ring, they would fail to meet the breed’s standard.
(ABBA) Size- The Alapaha was bred mainly for catching live-stock. A medium sized dog has been proven to be most effective for this task. 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.
(ARF) Disqualifications- "Alapahas" with the following conditions would be disqualified to be shown in a "Conformation" show; having … Docked tails, Cropped ears, Cow-hocked, Deafness, as found in "white" or "almost white" dogs,Eyelids that are turned out,Testicles that have not descended, Swayed backs,Dogs taller or shorter than the breed standard allows, Dogs heavier or lighter than the breed standard allows, All solid "colored" and all solid "whites".
(ABBA) Disqualifications- A dog that is blind or deaf. A male without two testicles clearly descended. A dog that is shy. A dog with a kinked, cranks, or screw tail that does not reach the hocks.
Additionally the ABBA Alapaha Blue Blood Bulldog breed standard defines the following items:
(ABBA) Movement- The gait is balanced and smooth, powerful and unhindered suggesting agility with easy, ground covering strides, showing strong driving action in the hind quarters with corresponding reach in front. The rear legs should propel the dog forward, not merely follow along behind. As speed increases the feet move toward the center line of the body to maintain balance. Ideally the dog should single-track. The top line remains firm and level, parallel to the line of motion. Head and tail carriage should reflect that of a proud, confident and alert animal.
(ABBA) Movement faults- Any suggestion of clumsiness, tossing and/or rolling of the body, crossing or interference of front or rear legs, short or stilted steps, twisting joints, pacing, paddling, or weaving. Similar movement faults are to be penalized according to the degree to which they interfere with the ability of the dog to work.
(ABBA) Feet- Of moderate size, toes of medium length, well arched and close together, not splayed. Pasterns should be strong, straight and upright.
(ABBA) Disposition- Alert, outgoing with a self-assured attitude. Some aloofness with strangers and assertiveness toward other dogs is not considered a fault.
(ABBA) Fault Degrees- A cosmetic fault is one of a minor nature. A fault not specified as cosmetic has to do with structure as it relates to a working dog. In a show or other evaluation, the dog is to be penalized in direct proportion to the degree of the fault. Any fault which is extreme should be considered a serious fault and should be penalized appropriately. Attributes other than cosmetic listed in the standard all relate to working qualities which include but are not limited to agility, endurance, leverage, biting power and heat tolerance.
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.
The loving demeanor of this breed and its desire to be a devoted family companion means that the Alapaha Blue Blood Bulldog typically does not do well in situations of prolonged confinement; like what would be found with breeder dogs at a kennel, or those that are fenced away from their family. Like many breeds that desire a close relationship as a member of the family, kenneling or prolonged fencing will cause the dog stress. This in turn can become frustration that will manifest itself in a number of negative ways such as barking, howling, digging, barrier aggression, hyperactivity or uncontrollable territorial aggression. This is a breed that due to its die hard devotion to the family needs to be a part of that family. This is not a breed that can just be left outside and ignored, with the assumption that it will autonomously protect property with little in the way of human interaction.
As a bulldog breed, early socialization of the Alapaha Blue Blood Bulldog is mandatory if there is the expectation of bringing other dogs into the household. Territorial by nature it may act aggressively towards similarly sized dogs of the same sex, though dogs of opposite sex tend to get along very nicely. Any introduction of adult dogs needs to be closely supervised to prevent fighting as each dog tries to establish its role in the hierarchy. Fighting for pack position can be significantly minimized if the owner is the undisputed pack leader and Alpha, this lessons the need of subordinate dogs to establish a pack order through fighting.
As an energetic and athletic breed the Alapaha Blue Blood Bulldog will require exercise in the form of regular play and extended walks to remain happy and healthy. When living indoors they tend to be rather inactive and sedentary so apartment life may be suitable for this large breed provided they are given and outlet such as the aforementioned outside play and walks on a regular basis. The best situation would be a home that includes at the very least an average sized yard for the dog.
As a short coated breed little grooming is required to keep the Alapaha Blue Blood Bulldog looking its best. The occasional comb and brush to remove dead hair, cut down on shedding and evenly distribute the natural oils of the coat is all that would be necessary. Bathing should only be done at the most every other week so as not to strip the coat of its essential oils. This breed is classified as an average shedder.
The Alapaha Blue Blood Bulldog is considered to be a relatively healthy breed that is hardy and resistant to disease. The intentional crossing of various types of bulldog and the lack of standardization associated with the various lines of Alapaha Blue Blood Bulldog mean that one would have to look at a broader range of problems that tend effect bulldogs in general. The most common of these is bone cancer, Ichthyosis, disorders of the kidney and thyroid, ACL tears, hip dysplasia, cherry eye, elbow dysplasia, entropion, ectropion, and neuronal ceroid lipofuscinosis (NCL). Additional congenital health defects may be found within certain genetic lines that may not be indicative of the breed as a whole.
The miracles of modern technology have provided breeders the ability to DNA test breeding animals for conditions such as NCL (neuronal ceroid lipofuscinosis and Ichthyosis. A Penn Hip (Pennsylvania Hip Improvement Project) or OFA (Orthopedic Foundation for Animals) screening is recommended for all potential breeding animals. It is always recommended that sufficient time is spent on researching the breeder and the dogs family history prior to adopting or purchasing an Alapaha Blue Blood Bulldog. This helps to ensure that the dog brought home is a happy and healthy one that will provide years of problem free devotion, love and protection for its family.