Traits, Personality and Behavior
The Alapaha Blue Blood Bulldog is maybe not the best choice for an inexperienced dog owner. In some respects he's a big lover, but he is also large, strong, intelligent, active and protective. An Alapaha Blue Blood Bulldog needs a leader who can guide him with firmness and consistency and without using force or cruelty.
Early, frequent socialization is essential. Purchase an Alapaha Blue Blood Bulldog puppy from a breeder who raises the pups in the home and ensures that they are exposed to many different household sights and sounds, as well as people, before they go off to their new homes. Continue socializing your Alapaha Blue Blood Bulldog throughout his life by taking him to puppy kindergarten class, visits to friends and neighbors, and outings to local shops and businesses. This is the only way he can learn to be discriminating, recognizing what is normal and what is truly a threat.
Begin training as soon as you bring your Alapaha Blue Blood Bulldog puppy home, while he is still at a manageable size. He is smart and trainable but has a mind of his own. A nothing-in-life-is-free program, requiring puppies to "work" for everything they get by performing a command before receiving meals, toys, treats or play, often works well with this breed. He also responds well to any type of positive reinforcement training using rewards such as praise, play and treats.
It's always a good idea to take an Alapaha Blue Blood Bulldog to puppy kindergarten followed by basic obedience class, especially if you are working with a trainer who understands the Alapaha Blue Blood Bulldog mindset. A well-socialized and trained Alapaha can get along well with other pets and should not be aggressive toward other dogs unless they are threatening.
The Alapaha has a moderate activity level and needs a job to do, which can be anything from being your on-leash jogging companion to daily training activities. Expect to walk or jog him at least a mile daily in addition to 20 minutes or so of training practice.
Always keep him on leash when you're walking him. The Alapaha Blue Blood Bulldog has a high prey drive and a territorial nature, so he needs a strong, solid fence at least six feet high to keep him on his own property. An underground electronic fence is never appropriate for this breed.
Like any dog, Alapaha Blue Blood Bulldog puppies are inveterate chewers and because of their size, they can do a whole lot of damage. Don't give them the run of the house until they've reached trustworthy maturity. And keep your Alapaha puppy busy with training, play and socialization experiences. A bored Alapaha is a destructive Alapaha, taking up digging, chewing and other undesirable behaviors.
The Alapaha Blue Blood Bulldog should spend plenty of time indoors and outdoors with his family. Chaining an Alapaha Blue Blood Bulldog out in the yard and giving him little or no attention is not only cruel, it can also lead to aggression and destructive behavior.
The Alapaha Blue Blood Bulldog has a smooth coat that sheds. Brush him at least once a week to remove dead hair and keep the skin and coat healthy. Clean the ears and trim the nails as needed, and bathe the Alapaha on the rare occasions that he's dirty.
Health Issues Common to Alapahas
All purebred dogs have the potential to develop genetic health problems, just as all people have the potential to inherit a particular disease. Run, don't walk, from any breeder who does not offer a health guarantee on puppies, who tells you that the breed is 100 percent healthy and has no known problems, or who tells you that her puppies are isolated from the main part of the household for health reasons. A reputable breeder will be honest and open about health problems in the breed and the incidence with which they occur in her lines.
The Alapaha Blue Blood Bulldog has some health conditions that can be a concern, especially if you aren't cautious about whom you buy from. They include hip dysplasia, deafness, eye problems such as entropion, and skin problems.
Ask the breeder to show evidence that a puppy's parents have OFA or PennHIP clearances for hip dysplasia, an OFA BAER (brainstem auditory evoked response) hearing clearance, and an eye clearance from the Canine Eye Registry Foundation. Do not purchase a puppy from a breeder who cannot provide you with written documentation that the parents were cleared of health problems that affect the breed. Having the dogs "vet checked" is not a substitute for genetic health testing.
5 Tips to Bring Home a Healthy Alapaha Puppy
Finding a good breeder is more important than finding the right puppy. A good breeder will match you with the right puppy, and will without question have done all the health certifications necessary to screen out health problems as much as possible. Start your search for a breeder on the website of the Alapaha Blue-Blood Bulldog Association.
Consider an adult dog from a shelter or a rescue group. Many of the health problems in Alapaha Blue Blood Bulldogs aren't apparent in puppyhood, but by adopting an adult dog, most of them can be ruled out. Since an Alapaha Blue Blood Bulldog can live to be 10 or more years old, even an adult dog will be with your family for a long time.
Puppy or adult, take your Alapaha Blue Blood Bulldog to your veterinarian soon after adoption. Your veterinarian will be able to spot visible problems, and will work with you to set up a preventive regimen that will help you avoid many health issues.
Don't ever, ever, ever buy a puppy from a pet store or Internet site that offers many breeds and popular mixes, or that ships with no questions asked. If you buy a puppy from these sources, you'll be more likely to get an unhealthy, unsocialized and difficult to house-train puppy and will be supporting the cruelty of high-volume puppy mills.
Make sure you have a good contract with the seller, shelter or rescue group that spells out responsibilities on both sides. In states with "puppy lemon laws," be sure you and the person you get the dog from both understand your rights and recourses.
Pet Insurance for Alapahas
Pet insurance for Alapahas costs more than for mixed breed dogs. This is because Alapahas are much more likely than mixed breed dogs to make claims for hereditary conditions that are expensive to treat.
Embrace dog insurance plans offer full coverage for all breed-specific conditions (excluding those that are pre-existing) to which Alapahas are susceptible. The best time to get pet insurance for your Alapaha is when he's a healthy puppy. You can't predict what will happen in the future, and pet insurance is the one thing you can't get when you need it the most.