© Lisafx (Lisa F. Young) |

Catahoula Leopard Dog

Also known as: Louisiana Catahoula Leopard Dog, Catahoula Cur, Catahoula Hog Dog, Catahoula Hound

Breed origin: North Central Louisiana in the geographic area around the Catahoula Lake, USA
Original purpose: To pen and catch wild hogs and cows.

AKC recognized: No
AKC group: Foundation Stock Service

Size: Weight: 50 to 90 lbs
Size: Height: 20 to 26 inches
© Hawkfeather (Keith Adkins) |
Color: There are several different merle color patterns: 1) Black with patches of blue or gray. 2) Red or brown with lighter patches of red or liver. 3) Gray. 4) Tri-color: three distinct visible colors usually white, black, and gray. 5) Quad-color: Black, gray, white, and tan. 6) Patchwork: Predominantly white with small amounts of solid and/or merle patches appearing throughout the coat. The colored patches may be black or brown, and may include diluted coloration of gray, blue, red, or liver within them.

General characteristics/temperament: The Catahoula Leopard Dog was named the state dog of Louisiana in 1979. They are highly intelligent, energetic, naturally protective, very quick, inquisitive, and have a high pain tolerance as well as a strong independent streak. They have an unique and instinctive ability to handle wild herds by forming a "canine fence" around wild cows or hogs and holding them for their master. They are very loving and gentle with children they know and are also highly protective of their terrrtory and family, but are gentle toward other dogs when on neutral ground. Because of their physical strength, high energy levels and independent nature, obedience training is a must. They also require plenty of space and a job to do in order to expend their energy - otherwise they will become destructive and create all kinds of problems. They are extremely versatile and are known to excel in many different canine sports, so finding an outlet for their energy should not be difficult. They generally do not do well in apartments and small spaces, and are also not recommended for first-time owners.

© Davesdream |
Good with children? Yes

Good watchdog? Yes

Protective? Yes

OK for inexperienced owners? No

OK in apartments? No

Intelligent? Highly

Energy/Activity Level: High

Suitable canine sports/activities: herding, hunting, agility, search and rescue, sledding

Exercise requirement: At least an hour of vigorous exercise a day.

Grooming requirement: The Catahoula Leopard Dog's coat comes in several different textures with different grooming requirements: 1) Coarse coat - longer and fuller than others, with feathering on the rear legs, tail, and undercarriage. These coats do not require too much grooming, but takes longer to dry when wet. 2) Slick coat - slick and smooth, very short and lies very close to the body. These coats dry very quickly and are easy to maintain. 3) Wooly coat - wooly and shaggy double coat. These coats require more grooming and are the least desirable.

Known health problems: Deafness, hip dysplasia

Additional photos of Catahoula Leopard Dog

Recommended books for further reading:

The Louisiana Catahoula Leopard Dog - A Truly Versatile Working Dog
By Don Abney
Published in 1996
113 pages

Other websites for additional information:

American Kennel Club breed page
Wikipedia breed information page
American Catahoula Association

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Page Last Updated: February 1, 2018

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