A-lap´a-ha Blue-Blood Bulldog Association
Official Breed Standard
Background: It was developed in the southern enclaves of the United States during the late 18th century. The breed originated from crosses of the now extinct Old English Bulldog and one or more of the local herding breeds like the Catahoula Leopard Dog and Black Mouth Cur. The breed has been known by a series of names such as Otto, Cow Dog, Silver Dollar, and Catahoula Bulldog. It was originally bred for the sole purpose of coursing and catching wild and unruly cattle, afterwards establishing its self on the farms, ranches and plantations as an all around utility dog (i.e. guard dog, livestock working dog and varmint patroller). It was not bred to put on threat displays or to look a certain way. But, it did need the right equipment to take care of its real bulldog duties. It needed to be strong enough to catch and hold ornery cattle and athletic enough to catch hogs that were allowed to free range in a semi-wild state. The Alapaha is a functional and unexaggerated bulldog with a square head, broad chest and prominent muzzle. It is dutiful, highly trainable, possessive and attentive which makes them eager companions for children. They are protective of their property and establish their territory at a young age, always demanding attention. They are not suitable to kennel situations, preferring the role of devoted family companion. These bulldogs are intelligent, athletic, and suspicious of strangers. Training and socialization are recommended at an early age. The Alapaha is hardy, resistant to disease and requires minimal grooming.
General 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 hostile 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 covered by patches it can range from the 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: 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.
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.
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.
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.]
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.
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.
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.
Body: Square, robust and powerful. The Alapaha is a broad, wide dog, but this width should not be exaggerated. The chest should be deep with a good spring of ribs. 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.
Hindquarters: Very broad and well muscled and in proportion to the shoulders. Narrow hips are a very serious fault.
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.
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.
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.
Feet: Of moderate size, toes of medium length, well arched and close together, not splayed. Pasterns should be strong, straight and upright.
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.
Coat: Short, close, glossy and stiff to the touch.
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).
Disposition: Alert, outgoing with a self-assured attitude. Some aloofness with strangers and assertiveness toward other dogs is not considered a fault.
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. Any tail with more than 1 break (pump Handle) or deformity that is visible or can be felt. An undershot greater than 1/2 an inch.
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.
Point Breakdown for Judging
proportion 10 points
temperament 10 points
total of 20 points
size and shape 10 point
muzzle 5 points
teeth 5 points
total of 20 points
neck 5 points
shoulders 5 points
chest 10 points
back 10 points
hindquarters 10 points
legs 10 points
feet 5 points
tail and coat 5 points
total of 60 points
Grand Total of 100 points