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Pennsylvania Hip Improvement Program, or PennHIP, is a program which evaluates the quality of the hips in dogs Radiographs are submitted to the PennHIP for assessment, and are assigned a score, called a distraction index. Veterinarians must be trained members of the PennHIP Network in order to take radiographs for these assessments. The distraction index (DI) is the measurement of the maximal femoral head displacement from the acetabulum. Score is based on the worst hip.
The dogs hip X-Rays are also screened for Osteoarthritis, or O.A., which is Degenerative Joint Disease. All Alapaha Blue Blood Bulldogs above have been cleared of O.A.

Use the link below to find a PennHIP vet near you.


*Certified - The Alapaha has been evaluated at or past 24 months old and has received a OFA Certificate Canine Hip Dysplasia, or CHD, typically develops because of an abnormally developed hip joint, but can also be caused by cartilage damage from a traumatic fracture.severe hip dysplasia With cartilage damage or a hip joint that isn’t formed properly, over time the existing cartilage will lose its thickness and elasticity. This breakdown of the cartilage will eventually result in pain with any joint movement. No one can predict when or even if a dysplastic dog will start showing clinical signs of lameness due to pain. The severity of the disease can be affected by environmental factors, such as caloric intake or level of exercise. There are a number of dysplastic dogs with severe arthritis that run, jump, and play as if nothing is wrong and some dogs with barely any arthritic x-ray evidence that are severely lame. Radiographs submitted to the OFA should follow the American Veterinary Medical Association recommendations for positioning. This view is accepted world wide for detection and assessment of hip joint irregularities and secondary arthritic hip joint changes. To obtain this view, the animal must be placed on its back in dorsal recumbency with the rear limbs extended and parallel to each other. The knees (stifles) are rotated internally and the pelvis is symmetric. Chemical restraint (anesthesia) to the point of relaxation is recommended. Radiography of females in estrus or pregnant should be avoided due to possible increased joint laxity (subluxation) from hormonal variations. OFA recommends radiographs be taken one month after weaning pups and one month before or after a heat cycle. Physical inactivity because of illness, weather, or the owner’s management practices may also result in some degree of joint laxity. The OFA recommends evaluation when the dog is in good physical condition. Dogs can be tested as a Preliminary screening from 4-24 months old. Dogs after 24 months will receive a OFA certificate for normal evaluations. Normal Hip evaluations are Excellent, Good, and Fair. Abnormal Hip evaluations are Mild, Moderate, and Severe.


Above are the registered dogs that have tested completely clear from all variants of mutation. “Tested by Embark” - The owner submitted their embark test(s) to the ABR. “Cleared by Parentage” - Both parents were tested by Embark and the breeder/owner tested for known heritage variants to ensure they are free of all variants. All documentation was sent to the ABR. About Embark: Embark’s mission is to end preventable disease in dogs. We actively seek to partner with health organizations, university researchers, breed clubs, and other groups that share this goal. Many of these groups have contributed decades of work and established sound scientific foundations towards ensuring healthier dogs will be a reality. Our view is that by working together to leverage Embark’s unique capabilities, we can accelerate the pace of discovery and provide actionable results to owners, breeders, and veterinarians.

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  • The Alapaha Bulldog Registry proudly supports Embark DNA testing for the Alapaha Blue Blood Bulldog.


The Alapaha Bulldog Registry is proud to announce a new partnership with Embark, the world's leading canine genetics company. Embark for Breeder DNA tests are >99% accurate on mutation tests and are the only genetic COI% test available for breeders. The Alapaha Bulldog Registry has chosen to work with Embark because of our shared values of responsible breeding and commitment to canine health. Embark offers a comprehensive product for breeders that includes all the relevant genetic information you need to better manage breeding programs: genetic health risks, physical traits, genetic COI, and breed ancestry. Embark also provides a unique breed signature for the Alapaha Blue Blood Bulldog.


As part of this program, Embark will offer our breeders exclusive savings of up to $40 off the Embark for Breeders DNA kit. If interested, please contact to receive our club’s preferred pricing. If you’re new to Embark, your first Embark for Breeders DNA kit is just $99!


This program also provides our organization with expert educational content, access to Embark experts such as veterinary geneticists, the opportunity to offer input on future research, and event support.   


Embark for Breeders DNA kits offer breed-specific health conditions affecting the Alapaha Blue Blood Bulldog, as well as results for 230+ genetic health conditions, 35 physical traits, and genetic COI% all with one swab. For more information visit:

Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome

EDS has been found in our breed with horrendous effects. The ABR focuses on health for the betterment of our breed. We HIGHLY recommmed testing your Alapaha for EDS.

Contact Liz Hansen for tests.

We will be awarding 25 championship points for every test of an ABR registered Alapaha Blue Blood Bulldog regardless of results because the results will help inform owners how to select breedings for the better of the breed.

Testing can be submitted on the “forms” section of our website.

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