There is no question that Alapaha Blue Blood Bulldogs are one of the rarest dog breeds in the world. The true number of how many of these dogs varies, depending on who you ask, but some place the number as low as below one hundred and fifty. With such a small genetic pool, there are naturally some concerns about inbreeding and making sure the breed maintains its health in order to survive. In this article, we'll take a look at why the Alapaha Blue Blood Bulldog is struggling to survive, what health concerns they risk from inbreeding, and what you can to do to ensure that you adopt a healthy Alapaha.
Everyone agrees that Alapaha Blue Blood Bulldogs are descendants of the plantation dogs that worked on farms and plantations in and around the Alapaha River region in Southern Georgia. Unfortunately, that is where the disagreements start, as there are breeders that each claim that only they are breeding the "true" Alapaha Blue Blood Bulldogs. Certainly the first to seek official recognition for the breed was Lana Lou Lane, who contacted the Animal Research Foundation in 1986 and subsequently gave the breed its name. Since Lane's death in 2001, some breeders broke away from the Animal Research Foundation and chose to register their dogs with another registry, causing infighting within the Alapaha Blue Blood Bulldog community. Unfortunately, this only serves to make the gene pool of available Alapahas even smaller. To make matters worse, Alapahas are not recognized by the American Kennel Association and many of its detractors claim that the dog is nothing other than an American Bulldog.
Because the genetic pool is so small for Alapaha Blue Blood Bulldogs, there are some concerns about health issues due to too much inbreeding. The most common of these problems is entropion, which is a disorder that causes the eyelids to fold inward. Dogs that suffer from entropion may have redness and pain around the eye, sensitivity to light or wind, sagging skin around the eye, excessive tearing, or even decreased vision because the eyelashes rub constantly against the cornea of the eye and can cause lasting damage. Cornea damage can be avoided if surgery to remove excess skin of the outer lids, but the disorder may not become apparent until the dog is six months of age, well after a puppy has been adopted.
If you are interested in adopting an Alapaha Blue Blood Bulldog, the best way to ensure that you are bringing home a healthy dog is to make yourself aware of possible defects that are apparent when a dog has been inbred. Asking a breeder about his breeding practices and how he ensures that his puppies are not inbred will also help. It is hoped that breeders in the Alapaha Blue Blood Bulldog community will soon overcome their differences so that the genetic pool can once again be widened, which will help ensure that the breed will continue for years to come, but until that time, make yourself familiar with possible defects and find a reputable breeder and you'll be sure to adopt an Alapaha that will bring many years of companionship to your home.