Alapaha Blue Blood Bulldogs are commonly referred to as Molosser dogs. Dozens of present day breeds can trace their lineage back to this ancient dog, but what does it really mean to be a Molosser? In this article, we'll take a look at the Alapaha Blue Blood Bulldog's links to the Molosser and trace its history from ancient breed to Southern Georgia.
Molosser breeds are those that are solidly built, usually large dogs that probably all descended from the same stock. Although the name comes from Molossia, which is located in present day Albania, its true origins have been lost with time. There are those that claim that Molossers are descended from Tibetan Mastiffs, but there is little evidence to support this theory. Assyrian bas-relief carvings that date from the sixth century BC resemble the early large, sturdy dogs, and others believe that they originated in Asia, where large dogs where known to have been used for protection. Wherever they came from, their arrival in present day Great Britain could be as early as the sixth century BC.
The earliest recognized Molosser breed is the English Mastiff. Historians believe that the word Mastiff evolved from the Anglo-Saxon word "masty," which came to mean "powerful." Like most Molosser breeds, this dog is heavy boned, has a short and well-muscled neck, pendulant ears, and a short muscle. The Mastiff was, and still is, a large, intimidating dog, and was used for centuries as a fighter, notably in dog fighting, bear-baiting, and bull-baiting.
Some considered the Mastiff to be too slow to be effective in bull-baiting, so it was crossed with other breeds available and the Old English Bulldog was created. While it was smaller that the Mastiff, the Old English Bulldog nevertheless resembled the Mastiff thanks to its short muzzle, short and muscular neck and compact body. It was the Old English Bulldog that made its way to America with the American settlers in the 18th century. Some of these Bulldogs settled on plantations in Southern Georgia with their families, and are considered by many to be the ancestors of today's Alapaha Blue Blood Bulldogs.
Today, Alapaha Blue Blood Bulldogs are considered by most to be a Molosser breed. While they are not as large as many of the Molosser breeds, they have many of the same characteristics of Molosser breeds. Some of these features include the short muzzle, its thick and muscular neck, the pendulant ears, and the muscular, compact body. While most Molosser breeds are larger than Alapana Blue Blood Bulldogs, there are certainly smaller Molossers, most notably the Boxer.
Because we can draw a direct line from Alapaha Blue Blood Bulldogs to Old English Bulldogs and English Mastiffs, there should be no question that Alapahas should be included in the grouping of Molosser dogs. That means that we can consider Alapaha Blue Blood Bulldogs to be descendants of some of the oldest dogs in the world.