A Brief History of the Alapaha Blue-Blood Bulldog

09/26/2012 15:55



By Al Walker, ARF Genealogist & Registrar


To All Enthusiasts,

July, 2001, Ms. Lana Lou Lane, 1947-2001, the originator of the breed known as the, ALAPAHA BLUE BLOOD BULLDOG, passed away. However, approximately 15 years prior to her death, she contacted the ARF, and she spoke to its founder, the late Mr. Tom D. Stodghill, in regards to registering and preserving her breed, in perpetuity. In November of 1986, the ARF registered the first of many ALAPAHA BLUE BLOOD BULLDOGS that came from her kennel.

As a businesswoman, Ms. Lane knew that if the world was going to learn of her breed of bulldog, she would have to have a "recognized registry" to register her bulldogs, an advertising plan, and a dog-showing plan. Therefore, she chose the Animal Research Foundation, ARF, to register her dogs, "Dog World Magazine", for national exposure, and, she chose Ms. Jane Otterbein, to show her dogs in rare breed venues. Further, she produced her own video tape [which is still available, from the ARF], and other printed matter, as a means of marketing her breed to prospective buyers.

Further, Ms. Lane created a kennel name for herself, which she referred to as, "Circle L Kennels" / "Circle L Farms". On her Kennel/Farm, she owned, bred and raised a number of breeds of canines, some of which were Rat Terriers, Toy Fox Terriers, American Pit Bull Terriers [a/k/a American Staffordshire Terriers], Catahoulas, American Bulldogs, and an "American Bulldog/Catahoula" cross, known as a "Catahoula Bulldog". However, her number-one-selling dog was her ARF-registered, "old timey plantation dog", which she named the "ALAPAHA BLUE BLOOD BULLDOG", so named for the Alapaha River Region of South Georgia, which passed near her home in Rebecca, Georgia. Therefore, the afore-mentioned bulldog that Ms. Lane saved, to the best of our research, contains canine genes coming from the early "Colonial American Bulldog" [which is the original "American Bulldog" or "Old English White", that was brought to America by the 17th century colonists], and other "Old World Canine Genes", that make up today’s "American Pit Bull" and "Catahoula Leopard". However, it’s the dominate "Colonial American Bulldog" gene that makes this dog so great; but, needless-to-say, it is the recessive gene colors of the "American Pit Bull" and "Catahoula Leopard" that add to the dog’s beauty. You can see these recessive colors appear in her "Blue Merle" & "Silver Dollar" Alapahas".

In Ms. Lane’s early childhood days, she heard her parents, grandparents, relatives, and neighbors, refer to these "old timey" bulldogs by various names, such as "OTTO DOGS", "OLD TIMEY PLANTATION BULLDOGS", "OLD SOUTHERN BULLDOGS", "OLD ENGLISH WHITES", "AMERICAN BULLDOGS", or just plain "BULLDOGS". Since these "old timey bulldogs" were not readily available to the general public, she employed the help of a number of individuals, to help her in her dog selection, training, and "Dog Showing". Some of these individuals included Ms. Jane Otterbein, for "Dog Showing", and Mr. Mike Connors, Mr. Marker Ray Nicholas, and Mr. John Conners, as her dog breeders, handlers, and trainers.

A special note to the reader: On Tuesday morning, April 28, 1992, Ms. Lane was in her home, when it caught fire. As a result of that fire, Ms. Lane’s Foundation sire, "Lana’s Marcelle Lane", ARF Reg. No.: ABBB12M, died, and, Ms. Lane was badly burned [3rd degree burns over 30% of her body]. From that day forward, Ms. Lane was under a doctor’s care, for she suffered a great deal from her burns and disfigurement. To help relieve her pain, her doctor prescribed pain pills, as well as other prescription drugs, that affected her memory and attitude towards others. As a result of her memory loss, she wrote in her last brochure, the following statement: "The Alapaha is not the same dog as American Bulldog and not to be confused with them, or to be cross bred with them." Alapaha Blue Blood Bulldogs, Page 5, Lana Lou Lane. However, this statement contradicts the fact that she purchased a 50-50 "American Bulldog/Pit Bull" cross, from Mr. James McDuffie, and she ARF-registered this dog, which she called, "Marcelle", ARF Reg. No. 1776, on April 15, 1986, eight months prior to renaming the dog "Lana’s Marcelle Lane", with a new Alapaha ARF Reg. Number, being ABBB12M, registered Dec. 12, 1986. Therefore, "Lana’s Marcelle Lane", ARF Reg. No.: ABBB12M, and "Marcelle", ARF. Reg. No.: 1776, are one and the same dog. Further, on January 11, 1997, Ms. Lane notified me of a 100% American Bulldog that she had acquired, and was then using in her breeding program. This dog’s name was "Arnold’s Codi", NKC Reg. No.: C026-602, and was bred by Marvin Arnold. With a copy of "Codi’s" NKC Certificate of Registration, Ms. Lane sent me a note, stating: "Al, Send reg. papers on "Lana’s Codi Arnold", as one of the "litter application". Please call me when you get this so I may explain. Thanks Lana" Again, Ms. Lane did use an "American Bulldog" [an "Old English White"], in her Alapaha breeding program.

When Ms. Lane began sending in her ARF-paperwork, to have her bulldogs registered as "Alapahas", she had very-little-to-no ancestry on the dogs that she registered; therefore, all of her original Alapaha breeding stock was "Merit" registered. The reason being, most of the old farmers of South Georgia did not care if their bulldogs were registered or not. Therefore, if Farmer Brown had a litter of bulldog pups, and, his neighbor, Farmer Jones, wanted one, he gave him one on the condition that when his bulldog had pups, he would get a pup back. So, by this method of trading, bulldog pups were spread over many southern Georgia counties, including other southern states.

In searching for her particular type of bulldog, she knew what she was looking for, so she produced a breed standard that would primarily describe her bulldogs; males weighing 70 to 90 pounds, and females weighing 50 to 70 pounds. Many of today’s American Bulldogs weigh upwards to 130, even to 150 pounds; therefore, the variety of "American Bulldog" that Ms. Lane selected, for her "Alapaha" breeding program, was the "Old English White". But, since she declared a solid white bulldog as being an undesirable color, these were crossed with colored bulldogs, creating a desirable "Blue Merle and White", etc.

The mystery that seems to worry so many people is, "Where did Ms. Lane find her bulldogs?" Most of her dogs were found within 75 to 100 miles of her home; however, Mr. John Conners, of Georgia, helped Ms. Lane to obtain other American Bulldogs, which she used in her breeding program, as well. In the years that Ms. Lane bred and sold her dogs, only a very select few purchased "breedable" Alapahas from her; therefore, if you wanted an Alapaha, you had to purchase it from her, or from Ms. Jane Otterbein, Mr. Joe Shay, Mr. John Conners, Mr. Mike Connors, Mr. Marker Nicholas, or Mr. Carlos Amaral. Later, through the above breeders, other breeders were added to the ARF-Alapaha Blue Blood Bulldog Breeders’ List, all having Alapahas coming directly out of Lana Lou Lane’s Circle L Kennels.

Since, Ms. Lane’s passing, in 2001, we knew that we would be faced with many challenges, coming from all parts of the USA, and outside; therefore, people like you want to know the future of the ARF-registered Alapaha. Presently, we now file the Alapaha into different categories, which are …


1. Alapahas that have come directly from Ms. Lane, or descendents that have come from Ms. Lane’s Alapahas: All these Alapahas will have ARF registration numbers, beginning with the letters "ABBB". However, a breeder needs to keep in mind, one cannot perpetually keep breeding back to Ms. Lane’s Alapahas, without the dogs becoming very inbred. Therefore, other bloodlines must be introduced to keep the breed strong. This now leads us to the next category, number 2.

2. In regards to the “new” Alapahas, that have not yet been ARF-registered, but still meet the Alapaha Breed Standard: When these “new” Alapahas are ARF-registered, they will be supplied with an ARF registration number, beginning with the number “2”, meaning second generation of Alapaha Blue Blood Bulldogs. Therefore, the ARF registration numbers, for this second generation of “new” Alapaha Blue Blood Bulldogs, will read as follows: “2ABBB_ _ _ _”. However, all first generation Alapaha Blue Blood Bulldogs, descending from Ms. Lana Lou Lane’s kennel, their ARF registration numbers will remain the same, as always, beginning with the letters “ABBB_ _ _ _”.


The next question you might ask, where are these "new" Alapaha additions to come from? Primarily, they can only come from a few sources. The ARF-recommended sources are, from Mr. Joe Shay, Mr. Mike Connors, Mr. John Mims, Mr. James Orr, and Mr. Jesse Kelly. Also, I would like to mention our breeders that have Alapahas, which are descendents from Ms. Lane’s original stock. These ARF breeders are, Mr. Carlos Amaral, Mr. Rick & Linda Daiber, Ms. Jo Hutchison, Mr. Jack & Jo Kemp, and Mr. Daniel Klien. However, in the future, we shall see more and more breeders join our ARF-list of approved breeders, and their names will be added for future Alapaha puppy acquisition.

In closing, we will see and experience inevitable changes, but the breed will still be called "Alapaha Blue Blood Bulldogs", in memory of Lana Lou Lane. Therefore, I trust this "Brief History" will answer many of your questions, in regards to the future continuation of the breed. ARF is now entering its 21st year with the breed, as we celebrate our 60th year of animal husbandy; therefore, we invite you to become an "Alapaha Blue Blood Bulldog" enthusiast, by owning one of these great bulldogs.




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Without Prejudice, UCC 1-207