The Catahoula Leopard Dog: A Complete Guide

The Catahoula Leopard Dog, short for Louisiana Catahoula Leopard Dog, is believed to have originated in northern Louisiana in the USA.

The job of this sporty and beautiful hog dog was to herd livestock to slaughter. Today, he’s still more of a working dog than a pet, but he’s undoubtedly versatile.

If you don’t have hogs for him to boss around, he’s eligible to compete in companion events, such as agility, obedience, and rally. He will easily beat out the competition.

You can also depend on the Catahoula Leopard Dog to protect you and your family and watch over your home when you’re away.

Although he’s aloof toward people he doesn’t know, the Catahoula Leopard Dog should never be shy or aggressive.

Catahoula Leopard Dog
The Catahoula Leopard Dog is such a beautiful dog.

When he’s around his family, he is gentle, loyal, and always affectionate, not to mention a clown at heart. The Catahoula Leopard Dog is a strong, independent canine who requires firm leadership.

His activity level varies from individual to individual, but it’s wise to assume that he’s going to demand a great deal of exercise.

Always walk him on a leash so that he doesn’t practice his aggressive driving skills on other animals.

The Catahoula Leopard Dog is flexible with his living arrangements. He can live indoors and outdoors, as long as he has a securely fenced yard and a lot of human attention and companionship.

Catahoula Leopard Dog Puppies – Before You Buy…

What Price are Catahoula Leopard Dog Puppies?

The price of Catahoula Leopard Dog puppies is between $300 and $500.

How to Find Reputable Catahoula Leopard Dog Breeders?

Do your research. There are lots of places you can find advertisements for puppies. Just remember that if something is too good to be true, it usually is!

Most reputable breeders don’t need to advertise, so free ads are not always a good place to look.
You can try finding a kennel club guaranteed breeder or a recognized breeder information center.

Ask your friends, family members, local or regional breed clubs, dog training clubs, or your vet for breeder recommendations.

Don’t go to a pet shop to buy your puppy. Very few responsible breeders sell their puppies to pet shops.

They want to meet the new owners themselves and make sure that the puppy is going to a good and caring home.

Many puppies sold in pet shops come from puppy farms where dogs are often bred or raised in poor conditions and purely for profit.

3 Little-Known Facts About Catahoula Leopard Dog Puppies

  1. The Catahoula Leopard Dog is also known as the Catahoula Hound. It came from mixing different dogs from all over the world that were brought to Louisiana.
  2. Native American Indians made use of an earlier version of this breed as a hunting dog.
  3. The breed remains most popular as a working dog of today.

Physical Traits of the Catahoula Leopard Dog

Catahoula Leopard Dog
The Catahoula Leopard Dog is not an adequate pet for an apartment life.

The Catahoula Leopard Dog is known for his endless variety of colors and patterns. His coat is a single layer.

Although it may be seen in any color combination, it’s typically a solid color, brindle, leopard patterned, or patchwork patterned.

The Catahoula Leopard Dog’s eyes also stand out. He often has bluish-white eyes with a cracked glaze appearance referred to as glass eyes.

It is also common for this dog to have just one glass eye, with the other in amber or brown.

He may also have glass eyes that are color blue referred to as ‘cracked glass’ eyes.

How Big is a Full-Grown Catahoula Leopard Dog?

The height of the Catahoula Leopard Dog ranges from 22 to 24 inches and weighs from 50 to 95 pounds.

What is the Life Expectancy of the Catahoula Leopard Dog?

The life expectancy of the Catahoula Leopard Dog is between 12 and 13 years.

Intelligence, Temperament and Personality Traits of the Catahoula Leopard Dog

If you want a dog who will work and hunt hard, the Catahoula Leopard Dog is the breed for you. If you prefer a dog who’s strictly a family companion, he can do that as well.

The Catahoula Leopard Dog is first and foremost a working dog. But he’s also happy to spend the rest of his time at home as a loving family dog.

He’s an excellent watchdog. If he doesn’t like someone, value his opinion.

The Catahoula Leopard Dog is a wonderful playmate for older kids, but even a puppy may be too energetic around toddlers.

If he’s raised with the family cat, he can live happily with him, but he may chase the neighbor’s cats.

And if you’re considering getting another dog to add to your family or household, choose to get one of the opposite sex.

Catahoula Leopard Dogs must be properly trained to be happy and satisfied and live peacefully with his human family.

This is not the breed of dog for passive people. It is essential that the family that gets a Catahoula Leopard Dog into the household be assertive and unyielding when it comes to being the pack leader.

He must completely understand that the humans in the pack are ranked higher or all hell could break loose.

This doesn’t mean that he should not be loved or treated as a family member. He simply must know his place within the household.

This breed is highly intelligent and takes well to training. For training to be effective, the lessons should be short, repetitive, and calm.

Delicious treats like chicken or liver bits will make a good reward for a job well done. If bred properly, the Catahoula Leopard Dog is not aggressive toward people.

However, he is watchful and cautious when strangers are around. He does have an assertive nature, so he needs an owner that is assertive as well.

Passive owners will quickly lose their alpha status, and he will end up ruling the home. Although the Catahoula Leopard Dog is cool and impressive, he is not the right dog for everyone.

Even if this dog is not a barker, the Catahoula Leopard Dog will easily alert you when there are strangers approaching the property.

He will also alert when animals approach. Oftentimes, will attack animals that do not belong on your property.

This will include other pets that accidentally get out of their homes and make their way to yours.

The Catahoula Leopard Dog’s Diet

Catahoula Leopard Dog
The Catahoula Leopard Dogs are excellent watchdogs.

Premium quality dry dog food that’s made specifically for high energy hunting dogs is essential for your Catahoula Leopard Dog’s proper nutrition.

Dry food will help keep his teeth and gums healthy, as well as cut down on dental issues and bad breath.

Feeding him twice a day is recommended because bloat can be a problem with this breed.

How Much Exercise Does a Catahoula Leopard Dog Need?

Catahoula Leopard Dogs are very energetic and athletic dogs that were meant to herd cows and wild boar.

They need serious exercise that not only gets their bodies moving but also stimulates their minds.
A stroll through the park just isn’t enough for the average Catahoula Leopard Dog.

He needs to use his skills and inherent drive to work. His work ethic is strong and unstoppable. He will not be happy unless he has a productive job to do.

This breed attaches to his human family quickly and does not thrive living outdoors or inside of an outbuilding.

He needs to be close to his family because the Catahoula Leopard Dog needs attention and affection from his loved ones.

It is also his desire to protect his family from harm, so he must live in the house with his humans.

Catahoula Leopard Dog Health and Conditions

As with many large breeds of dogs, the Catahoula Leopard Dog is prone to suffer from hip dysplasia.

To reduce the incidence of hip problems, he should have limited exercise as a puppy.

He should also not be allowed to run and play on tile floors or with adult dogs until he is older and more physically strong.

Deafness can also be an issue with the dogs. Health clearances on the parent dogs can help to decrease this problem within the breed, but there are no guarantees.

Deaf dogs can still lead happy lives. They just need to use hand signals and other alerting methods for working with the dog.

Male Vs Female

The differences between the male and the female Catahoula Leopard Dog can make one of them more suitable as your pet than the other one.

Physically, the two genders are not vastly different. The male Catahoula Leopard Dog stands tall at an average height of 22 to 26 inches.

The female dog, on the other hand, has an average height of 20 to 24 inches.

The male Catahoula Leopard Dog can weigh from 65 to 95 pounds while the female one has an average weight of 50 to 70 pounds.

If these differences are not very obvious, it can be attributed to a healthy diet and regular exercise.

The male Catahoula Leopard Dog is also much more assertive than the female dog and will not get shy in front of strangers.

Its female counterpart, on the contrary, might exhibit timid behavior when it meets new people.

Also, choose a male Catahoula Leopard Dog if you are willing to go the extra step because of a very active dog.

The male dog can be quite rambunctious and it can become a chore dealing with its rowdy and exuberant behavior.

Even though the female Catahoula Leopard Dog is easier to control and less active, you might not find it as fun and boisterous as its male counterpart.

In addition to these, the male dog is too active and energetic so you must keep an eye on it when it is playing with your children.

Besides this, both the male and the female dog are very easy to train and you will not have to put in more effort to train one of them.

Choose the male dog for its loud and boisterous personality and go for the female Catahoula Leopard Dog if you want a timid but loving dog.

Furthermore, both the male and the female Catahoula Leopard Dog, are very alert and can be used as guard dogs.

My Final Thoughts on the Catahoula Leopard Dog

The Catahoula Leopard Dog is very loving with family, but he may be wary with strangers if he’s not socialized early on.

They are protective of the family and make excellent watchdogs.

This breed is not aggressive. However, similar to other herding breeds, he is a natural leader.

The Catahoula Leopard Dog does not allow mistreatment and may assert himself in self-defense.

Overall, this breed requires a good amount of teaching and exercise, or else he can be very destructive in the home.

He also does not make a good city or apartment dog.

Image Sources: 1, 2, 3

OVERALL SUMMARY

8
Cost to Buy
9.5
Cuteness Level
9
Family Safety
9
Friendliness
7
Health Concerns
6.5
Life Span
2.5
Exercise Required
7
Food Required
OVERALL RATING 7.3 / 10

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