The word alapaha is derived from the Timucua Indian word arapaja which means ‘waiting for fall’. Of course, a professor of languages might argue that alapaha means the home of the bear or the home of the alligator. But meanings change over the years, although words stay the same. So now, the true meaning of alapaha is ‘waiting for fall’. The Alapaha Blue Blood Bulldog breed is also known as the Otto Bulldog. Let us study some cool facts about this lesser-known bulldog.
Facts about Alapaha Blue Blood Bulldog or Otto Bulldog
- The Alapaha is an old dog breed that might have been reared by the Timucua Indians. Some experts believe that they were brought from England by early settlers and plantation owners of the South. The Old English Bulldog may have been an ancestor of the Alapaha.
- As stated before, the word alapaha is derived from Timucuan arapaja where ‘ara’ means bear, and paha means ‘house’. Over the years, the ‘r’ might have been changed to ‘l’. The dogs had first been developed near the Alapaha Creek which is formed by the Alapaha River.
- These sturdy bulldogs were extensively reared by plantation owners to guard their plantations. By 1700s, they also functioned as companions and catch dogs for hogs and cattle.
- The term ‘blue blood’ in their name comes from their noble demeanor.
- By 1985, the breed almost faced extinction and had it not been for the efforts of one Ms. Lana Lou Lane, we probably would not be seeing the Alapaha Bulldogs anymore. She approached the Animal Research Foundation in Texas to ensure they had a plan for the protection and survival of this breed. However, she may have also cross-bred the remaining dogs and that might have affected the purity of the bloodlines.
- Today, the breed is recognized by the American Rare Breed Association and there are probably fewer than 700 Alapahas left today. Outside of the United States, this bulldog is not known.
- The reason why they are also known as Otto Bulldogs is that Otto was a popular name for many generations of these bulldogs and after one died, another Otto took his place.
Physically, the Alapaha Blue Blood Bulldog is very similar to the Johnson Bulldog or the American Bulldog. Males weigh about 100 lbs and bitches weigh about 80 lb. They are muscular, athletic dogs with different coat colors like black, white, blue marbling, buff, brown, and spotted. Some dogs also have the ‘glass eye’ which may have come from crossbreeding with the Catahoula Leopard dog that was usually kept on the farms and plantations.
Where to find an Alapaha Blue Blood Bulldog
You can find reputed and registered breeders on the official website of the Alapaha Blue Blood Bulldog Club (ABBA). Research several breeders before buying. Make sure you ask them questions like: Are the puppies registered with the ABBA, whether they provide health screening records, and if they can provide at least 3-generation pedigree on the prospective breeding pair.
Alapaha Blue Blood Bulldog vs. the American Bulldog
Depending on whom you ask, you might hear different viewpoints about Alapaha Blue Blood Bulldogs and American Bulldogs. The only fact is that, physically, the Alapaha is smaller than the American Bulldog. Temperament wise, both bulldogs are similar. Some feel that both varieties are aggressive. However, aggression is never a characteristic feature of any dog. Whatever aggression there might be, would likely come from improper breeding or due to puppy mills. That is why it is important to choose a good breeder. Both, Alapaha and American Bulldogs are loyal, loving, and protective dogs. Ask a breeder or owner who has kept both types of bulldogs and you will likely be told that the Alapaha is more stable and consistent of the two breeds.
The Alapaha is alert, brave, loyal, and intelligent. They look fierce and aggressive but are loving dogs that get along well with kids. People often ask if these dogs are dog-aggressive. The fact is that Alapahas are territorial and protective. If they feel a dog is showing aggression, they won’t hesitate to fight back. Again, as stated before, dog aggression usually results from improper breeding and environmental ‘defects’. Some owners purposely train their bulldogs and guard dogs to show aggression. In reality, with proper socialization and obedience training, you can ensure that your Alapaha Blue Blood Bulldog grows up to be an affectionate, dog-friendly and child-friendly household companion you deserve. You will always feel safe with an Alapaha near you.
You need not run a marathon with your Alapaha Blue Blood Bulldog, but he does need daily exercise. Unlike the English Bulldogs, these dogs do not get overheated or develop breathing issues in hot weather. So you can easily work with them under all weather conditions. Regular exercise is as beneficial for you as it is for your bulldog. Walk your pet around the block or play a game of fetch with him. Hide a toy and have your dog find it. Exercise and games will not only keep him mentally stimulated, but they will also prevent boredom and unwanted behaviors such as excess barking. They will also strengthen the bond between you and your pet.
Training your Alapaha Blue Blood Bulldog
All puppies should be trained by six months of age and the Alapaha Blue Blood Bulldog is no different. The sooner you start training, the better it would be for you and your pet. Start with crate training as it ensures safety for you, the puppy, and your home. An important tip for housetraining is ‘always be consistent’. Always take your dog in the same area, use the same command, and use a lead unless a fenced-yard is available. While it is important that you discipline your pet, it is equally important that you never scold, shout, or hit him. Keep training positive and reward-based.
All mammals with hair/fur shed and the same goes for the Alapaha Blue Blood Bulldog. Although his coat is short, he will need regular brushing to remove loose hairs and dead skin. Brushing also keeps the oils underneath the coat stimulated so that it looks shiny and healthy. Clean your dog’s ears from time to time. Daily teeth-brushing is essential to prevent foul odor and cavities.
Deafness and blindness are common inherited health issues in many bulldogs and the Alapaha is no different. They also suffer from hip dysplasia. The life span of the breed is 12-15 years.