1. Was Lana Lou Lane of Circle L Kennels the originator of the Alapaha Blue-Blood Bulldog? Answer: No, though she was the first Secretary of the Alapaha Blue-Blood Bulldog Association (ABBA) the founding organization which duly named the breed in 1979.
For so long, she proclaimed that she was the originator of the breed to the general public through her Dog World & Dog Fancy ads whilst the truth was hidden amongst a handful of ranchers/breeders who cared more about their livestock than puppy milling some new ‘Exotic’ rare breed! Thus, the real history of the breed was never told because as the so-called ‘originator’ she couldn’t have purchased dogs from someone else (i.e. William Chester, Kathy Waldron & Kenny Houston to name a few)!
2. What is the Animal Research Foundation (ARF), and why do they claim to be the ‘Mother’ registry for the Alapaha?
Answer: First of all, the ARF is one of the many ‘Third Party’ registries (similar to the ACA, IOEBA, OREBA, NKC, CKC, URBA, DRA, FIC and WWKC) that print undocumented pedigrees and registration papers for numerous types of animals. These registries allow breeders with no verifiable registration papers to create/concoct a breed via their ‘Merit’ registration programs.
Example: If you owned a Boxer and a Great Dane but wanted for some odd reason to register them as Alapahas, a Third Party registry like the ARF would Merit register them for a fee. Once the Merit registered Boxer & Great Dane (now Pseudo-Alapahas) were bred the offspring would be eligible for full registration. Consequently, unsuspecting buyers would have no idea that their (new Pseudo-Alapaha) puppy was a Mutt or in this case a Boxer bred to a Great Dane! This is just one example of what (The most common concoction has been the American Bulldog × American Pit-Bull Terrier × Catahoula Leopard Dog) many unsuspecting buyers have purchased as an Alapaha Blue-Blood Bulldog from ARF Certified breeders over the years!
In legal circles this is called FRAUD!!!
Note: The authenticity of offspring from such origins would be considered ‘Mongrels’ from 1st & 2nd party organization like the AKC, FCI, UKC and founding breed club registries like the ABBA.
Secondly, their claim to be the ‘Mother’ registry stems from false statements made from Lana Lou Lane before her death in 2001. The ABBA was established in 1979 as a breed club and founding registry. Ms. Lane joined the ARF in 1986 for Merit registration purposes, after she was banned from the ABBA.
3. Why did Lana Lou Lane leave the ABBA and join the Animal Research Foundation (ARF)?
Answer: Early on Ms. Lane was not what you would call a breeder. She mostly sold dogs on consignment for Mr. Chester. After some bad business dealings between the two she was left with 4 dogs in 1985. After falling out with Mr. Chester she decided to back breed (re-create) the dogs by crossing various strains of Catahoula Curs, American Pit Bull Terriers, Bullmastiffs and American Bulldogs. The ABBA has always had a standing policy to not register dogs that didn’t have heritage from the original stud files (the first 50 dogs) created in 1979. So, she contacted Mr. Tom D. Stodghill of the ARF an organization which had/has a reputation for allowing breeders to create whatever they wanted and certifying it as ‘pure’ bred. Ms. Lane ‘Merit’ registered over 300 dogs. That means out of the 800 dogs she bred more than a third were not authentic Alapahas. This is a FACT you can get from the ARF. This is also a practice that exists to this day amongst the current ARF certified breeders.
4. What is the difference between an Alapaha Blue-Blood Bulldog and an American Bulldog?
Answer: In short, the Alapaha is smaller than an American Bulldog. The overall differences are genetic and involve the ‘true’ lineage of the breeds. Many differences in the development of the breeds exist and for those who’ve had the opportunity to own them both, the difference is mostly in protectiveness and intelligence. The Alapaha is sharper and more consistent without a doubt!
5. Is the Alapaha related to or similar to the Olde English or Victorian/Renaissance Bulldogge?
Answer: No, the Alapaha is primarily a working breed developed over generations of stock-dog to stock-dog breeding programs of a select few cattlemen & farmers. The Olde English or Victorian/Renaissance Bulldogge are re-creation breeds developed for a myriad of reasons but mainly for their looks and docile temperament. The opinions of what they are vary so much from breeder to breeder, in my opinion it’s not a breed but a practice like the Bandogge (Mastiff × Pit Bull) verses (English Bulldog × to whatever). Every Olde/Victorian/Renaissance breeder has a different recipe for his/her soup!
Note: If we’re not careful the Alapaha is on its way to such demise with the generic cross-bred Pseudo Alapahas the Create-A-Breed registries are recognizing.
6. Where does the ‘glass-eyes’ (blue-eyes) and ‘blue-merle’ (harlequin) color come from in the Alapaha?
Answer: This is of great debate even amongst the founders of the breed; the consensus has been it comes from the herding breeds used in its foundation like the ancestors of the Catahoula Leopard Dog and Beauceron.
7. Why does the conformation vary so between the different strains of the Alapaha?
Answer: In most true working breeds this is often the case, based on the varying jobs that they perform (i.e. guard, catch-dog & companionship). For each purpose, the conformation may vary based on the ideals of the breeder. Guard dog breeders tend to like larger dogs in the 90 lbs range. Catch-dog breeders tend to like dogs between 70 & 80 lbs. that are long legged with longer muzzles to breathe while coursing game. Companion breeders tend to like the overall esthetics and conformation of ‘good’ looks rather than the function. But mostly they all have a very similar look to them. But, BEWARE OF THE CREATE-A-BREED registered Pseudo-Alapahas most of them are just that cross bred MUTTS! This has a lot to do with why they look so different compared to authentic ABBA registered dogs! The problem with these Back Bred ARF Dogs is just that. Their overall conformation & temperament vary as much as their lineage.
8. Do Alapaha’s drool a lot?
Answer: No, the Alapaha is a ‘dry’ mouth dog. The only drooling you’ll observe is when they’ve finished drinking water. All dogs drool in this case.
9. What is the life expectancy of an Alapaha?
Answer: 12 to 13 years. If physically sound you should get at least 10 active years of devotion.
10. When should my Alapaha puppy start to show real signs of a protection dog?
Answer: In most cases a well bred Alapaha pups from proven guardian ability parents (TEMPERAMENT TESTED) show signs of suspicion or aggression at about 5 – 8 months for a female and about 9 – 12 months for a male. This is a juvenile facade. It can only be enhanced through training!
Truthfully, after the dog has been TRAINED to do so! This question arises a lot because often time’s novice owners purchase rare breeds because they think they have found EUREKA or need some type of challenge! THERE IS NO BREED THAT EXIST TODAY OR EVER THAT IS/WAS A NATURAL GUARDIAN!!! If so dog trainers would have been out of business a long time ago.
11. Are the Alapahas ‘free’ whelpers and natural breeders?
Answer: Yes, with the Alapaha breeding and whelping is usually non-problematic.
12. How good are Alapahas with children of all ages (infancy to adolescence) and also do you feel this is too much dog for a family with small children or elderly visitors?
Answer: The Alapaha is an excellent family companion and is especially great around children that reside within its household. A well bred & trained Alapaha will be the most ‘affectionate’ Guard dog you’ll ever own. Extra precaution must be taken through puppy & young adult obedience training to insure that the dog is properly socialized with strangers whether young or old.
13. Do Alapahas shed?
Answer: Yes, all mammals with hair/coat shed. The Alapaha has a short dense coat that’s smooth to the touch. In cold climates they develop a winter undercoat which they shed in late spring but it’s barely noticeable.
14. Does the Alapaha have an undershot bite and if so does this hamper its biting ability?
Answer: Yes, and this is very much a part of its rich BULLDOG heritage. You’ll never see a dog with a brachycephalic muzzle without it. The correct undershot of the Alapaha is explained in detail on the Standardpage.
Many dog men have debated this until they’ve turned blue in the face. Our take on it is simple, the original bull baiting bulldog was brachycephalic based on countless drawings & wood carvings and it had no problem holding on to a 1200 pound ornery bull. Of course the bite and length of the undershot needs to be minimal for its functionality.
15. Does the Alapaha have inherent breathing problems like the ‘English’ Bulldog?
Answer: No, the Alapaha is a working dog par excellent! Its ability to run in all types of weather, whether hot are cold is well documented.
16. Are Alapahas aggressive towards other dogs and do they get along with other animals?
Answer: No, the Alapahas is a territorial breed. This should not be confused with dog aggression. Dog aggression is the unabated aggression to another dog whether it is a threat or not. A well bred Alapaha is usually what you would consider dog dominant. If it perceives a dog to be confrontational it will defend its territory whether it’s his/her master or the master’s property.
If properly socialized with other animals rather it be farm livestock or the household pet cat or bird the Alapaha can adjust to most environments. The key is early socialization and adequate training.
17. With such a limited gene pool what are the health concerns for the breed?
Answer: The health concerns are like any other large breed; go with a breeder that screen for things such as hip dysplasia (OFA or PennHip), death ness (BEAR), blindness, skin disorders, entropion and such. Also get a WRITTEN guarantee/warrantee, their word is just that, their word against yours!
And last but not least, some ‘idiots’ feel that they have to go outside the breed to get different blood to sustain them but I’ve never heard of a reputable German Shepherd breeder breeding to a Collie or a Rottweiler breeder breeding to a Doberman because he/she thought they looked similar or the gene pool was too thin.
18. What type of questions should I ask a breeder when researching the Alapaha?
Answer: These answers can vary depending on your interest. The ABBA has comprised five basic questions that all certified breeders should answer with an affirmative! Yes answers to these 5 questions will run most Scam Artist and puppy mills away!
- Are your puppies/dogs registered with the ABBA?
- Do you offer any Guarantees/Warranties in writing on your puppies/dogs?
- Do you health screen your breeding stock (OFA, PennHip or BAER)?
- Can you provide a 3-gen. pedigree on the prospective breeding pair?
- Can you provide me with at least 5 references?