For most people, when they think about the “bulldog” breed, they think of a dog that’s short, bow-legged, and have saggy-looking skin on their faces. Bulldogs are also known for having a shorter lifespan than other breeds because of their small gene pool. If you love the bulldog appearance but don’t like the health problems associated with the breed, the Alapaha Blue Blood Bulldog can be a good pick.
The Alapaha Blue Blood Bulldog or simply ABB have longer legs and leaner bodies. They are known as a family dog, a companion, and a protector. Perhaps the best adjective to describe this breed is “courageous,” since original breeders of this dog wanted a strong and brave dog that would protect their stock against wild animals or thieves. Now that we know something about the ABB, is it the right choice for you? We’ll find out soon enough.
In this article, we will talk about the basic information you should know about this dog. It should be noted that this breed is not ideal for first-time dog owners, so having relevant information can prevent you from committing mistakes with this breed.
Adaptability: High; can easily deal with change
Trainability: Moderate; training should start in puppyhood
Health: Average; major health concerns include hip dysplasia, deafness, and entropion
All Around Friendliness: Very good
Exercise Needs: Above average; not an apartment dweller
|Dog Breed Group||Guard Dog|
|Height||Males: 20 – 25 in ( 51 - 63 cm) |
Females: 20 – 23 in (45 - 58 cm)
|Weight||Males: 70 - 100 lbs ( 31 - 45 kg)|
Females: 50 – 75 lbs (22.5 -34 kg)
|Lifespan||12 - 15 years|
ABBs are powerful dogs. This can easily be seen from their square heads and compact and muscular bodies. At first glance, they look like any other bulldogs—especially since they share broad and well-defined foreheads with the breed. However, ABBs are built taller and leaner. They also do not have the “wrinkly” look of bulldogs or the “exaggerated” overbite.
ABBs look like gentler and softer versions of the typical bulldog with their thick, broad muzzle, reverse scissor bite, and medium-sized almond-shaped eyes that are set widely apart. The head sits on muscled shoulders that are clearly strong. Their necks are thick and powerful while their front legs are heavily-boned and muscular.
Their coat is short, glossy, and sharp to the touch. The preferred coloring is 50% white with color patches. ABBs that are predominantly white are also acceptable. However, an all-white ABB is not acceptable unless he has coloration in his eye rims, lips, and nose. Accepted color patches include fawn, brindle, black, red, and gray.
Despite their jowls, this breed does not drool—which is good news for many dog owners. They also require minimal grooming because of their short-haired coat. They have an athletic and powerful build but don’t need a lot of exercises. They still need it, but not in large doses like some other dog breeds.
If you like the bulldog looks but don’t like the health issues typically associated with the breed, the ABB can be a good choice for you. They are a quiet and well-behaved breed with a fantastic temperament. They thrive in most homes especially if they are given ample exercise and entertainment.
However, the ABB may not be a good choice for first-time dog owners. The ABB might be brave and loyal as a companion and friend, but they are also big, powerful, and protective. Inexperienced owners might find their stubbornness too intimidating especially if training is delayed.
Loyal and affectionate
Good around children
Intelligent and easy to train especially with an expert and if done early
Not very demanding when it comes to exercise
Can be aggressive towards other dogs
Can suffer from anxiety if left on their own
Natural watchdogs and don’t need any training to protect
There were several breeds that created the Alapaha Blue Blood Bulldog, including the Old English Bulldog ad White English Bulldog. They have existed in the United States for over 200 years and were primarily used as “plantation dogs” that guarded people and livestock.
Unfortunately, they were also used to track and catch runaway slaves. They were referred to as “catch dogs” because of their job description.
Buck Lane was a farmer who lived in Rebecca, in south-central Georgia, on the Alapaha River. He loved this dog because he thought they represented a noble breed, which is why he gave them the name “Blue Blood.”
When Lane died, his family continued breeding the dogs until his granddaughter Lana Lou died in 2001. By this time, the breed was established and accepted as a separate breed by the American Canine Association but not by the American Kennel Club.
Today, interest in the breed is growing not only in the United States but around the world. Interested owners need to enlist their request with breeders early because there are not many puppies available for adoption.
The breed standard for the dog is described as “athletic power-packed medium-sized dog” with the absence of excessive bulk.
The ABB is substantial and looks powerful, but the dogs do not have a lumbering gait. In fact, they are agile for their size and light on their feet. An ABB should be able to move with determination and power to give the impression of great strength for their size.
Adult males usually measure 20 to 24 inches at the shoulder and weighing around 70 to 90 pounds while adult females measure 18 to 22 inches and weigh approximately 55 to 75 pounds.
Because of their size and muscular stature, the ABB needs reasonable exercise and space. These dogs are not ideal apartment dwellers, but their need for space is not very large.
Generally, a small yard will be enough, but it needs to be secure and well-fenced (around 6 feet high and well-burrowed). This is because ABB dogs are not very friendly towards unknown dogs and will be very happy to respond to aggression.
See Also: Best Electric Dog Fence
Personality and Character
ABBs form a strong bond with their families and masters but tend to be quiet with strangers. Early and frequent socialization with dogs and other humans is essential.
The ABB tends to be territorial and protective so strangers and other animals might not be to their liking. However, if they are used to other pets and people, they are friendly and playful.
ABBs need a firm hand in their training which should start as early as possible. Education should start as soon as puppies arrive at their new home. Basic rules should be established and should not be crossed. Rules have to be taught early to ABB puppies because it is harder to teach older dogs especially those that are bigger and more powerful.
It is important that they know their place in the pack so that they remain manageable. The ABB is a pack dog, so their instinct is to dominate and lead. Humans need to be strong, decisive, and consistent in their training so that they can establish their role as the leader of the pack.
ABBs need constant socialization and reinforcement in their obedience training to temper down their instinct to dominate; however, they respond well to discipline. This breed is not innately aggressive, but they do have roots in fighting, so this instinct also needs to be controlled early.
If you know what you’re getting into; the ABB is keen to be part of your pack. However, a person who does not have the time, energy, and patience needed to train an ABB should not consider bringing this breed to their household.
They are best suited for people who live outdoor and active lives or in households where one person stays at home when everyone else is out. The ABB is not an ideal dog for first-time owners. They need to be handled and trained by people who are familiar with the needs of this breed.
See Also: Basic Dog Obedience Training Techniques
These dogs are also loyal and obedient. They are agile for their size and are always happy to be as active as their owners want them to be. However, the ABB has a tendency towards laziness and fatness especially if they are ignored and left alone.
Health and Potential Problems
Bulldog breeds tend to attract a host of health problems due to selective breeding and genetically inherited health conditions. These are some of the reasons why bulldogs, like the English Bulldog, have short lifespans.
However, the ABB is unique in this aspect because dogs of this breed can live from 12 to 15 years, which is longer than other bulldog breeds.
Although they are not as prone as other bulldog breeds to genetic and health problems, their gene pool is also relatively small, so some health problems can crop up.
ABBs are prone to entropion (eyelids that fold inwards), hip dysplasia (due to their stocky build), and deafness.
The ABB has a short coat that does not require frequent grooming. Combing or brushing their coat once a week will suffice to remove debris and keep it healthy.
The coat sheds a moderate amount of fur and can be bathed whenever the dog needs it. Just remember not to bathe him too often since this can damage the oils in his coat and skin and lead to skin problems.
Check his ears once a week for bad odors and signs of infection and clip his nails once they get too long. The teeth should also be brushed once a week to prevent dental problems. If you’re not sure of his grooming needs, a visit to a professional groomer can help you sort this out.
They are not high energy dogs but will still need daily exercise to prevent obesity and laziness. 20-40 minutes of daily exercise should be enough—preferably off the leash.
However, avoid taking off their leash in public places where there are other dogs around since ABBs tend to be aggressive towards strangers. The dogs should also be mentally stimulated to prevent boredom and destructive behavior.
If you get an ABB dog from a breeder, they will give you a schedule, and it’s important to stick to this routine and to give them the same food to prevent upset stomachs. You can change their diet, but it is important to do this gradually.
Older dogs are not really fussy eaters, but they should still be given high-quality dog food. Feed them two times a day (morning and evening), making sure that their food contains good amounts of protein, vitamins, and minerals.
See Also: Choosing the Best Dog Food
How much your dog eats depends on his size, weight, and level of activity. Dogs should also be given the right amount of exercise to burn off any excess calories and prevent health problems.
Coat, Color, and Grooming
The ABB has a smooth coat that sheds moderately. You won’t be inundated with hair, but you will notice an increase of shed hair during shedding season. All he needs is to be brushed once a week to remove dead hair and debris and to keep his coat healthy.
ABBs have short, dense coats with a stiff top coat and a softer undercoat. The preferred color for this dog is white with patches or spots of color such as fawn, red, chocolate, brindle, black, blue, and merle.
Some dogs have more than 50% color in their coats, but pure white ABBS also exist. However, prospective owners of all-white ABBs should be aware of possible health problems that can impact their sight and hearing which are usually associated with their genetic makeup.
Children and Other Pets Compatibility
ABBs are gentle, tolerant, and playful with children they have grown up with. However, they are also known to be exceedingly protective of their family, which means care and precaution should be practiced whenever other people come to play with the kids.
They are best suited for families with older children but not so for those with babies and young children. With older kids, these dogs can be playful and can put up with the games children usually engage in.
They also get along well with other pets like cats—provided they grew up with the other pets. In this case, this is why early socialization and integration plays a crucial part in their training.
See Also: How to Socialize a Dog
ABBs can be aggressive towards other dogs, particularly “strangers.” Care must be taken when encountering dogs they have not met before, and they should not be allowed to run free of their leashes.
Contact with other small animals and pets should also be controlled. Because of their high prey drive, they might see the animals or pets as “fair game.”
The Alapaha Blue Blood Bulldog is a quiet breed that is loyal and protective towards their owners. They thrive best when they are with their family, have enough exercise, and mental activity.
Due to their intimidating appearance, ABBs are effective and dependable watchdogs. This breed is not very friendly towards strangers and is often wary around them. They are extremely territorial and have a strong prey drive.
They also crave the position of alpha in the pack. Therefore, it should be made clear to them their rank in your family, or else, they will take over and could become the leader of your pack. This is due to their “catch dog” instincts that urge them to herd or make everybody else fall in line.
They need dedicated and early training but this pays off in the end because you will end up with a well-behaved and loyal pet that is worthy of their “Blue Blood” name.
Do you think the Alapaha Blue Blood Bulldog is for you? What do you like most about them? If you have personal experience with this breed, please share your story with us! We look forward to hearing from you. If you’d like to know what other options you have when it comes to guard dogs for families, check this other article out.