Life span: 10-14 Years
Height: 56-58cm (Male); 51-61cm (Female)
Weight: 16-37kg (Male); 16-37kg (Female)
Catahoula Leopard dogs are energetic, active, gentle and intelligent breeds. Catahoula Leopard dogs are state dogs of Louisiana and have originated from the state. They shed slightly and are not hypoallergenic dog breeds. Catahoula’s are inquisitive and independent dogs which can be calm in their crates.
Its relatively large body is strong, with a long tail that stands upright, and medium sized ears that sit high atop its head and fold down. Its eyes can be blue, hazel, brown, or light brown, with a black, brown or isabelline nose. Its double coat is short, dense and straight, and remains close to the body. Both is coat and its eyes can vary greatly, sometimes having one eye a different color than the other, and other times having multiple colors within one eye. Its coat is usually spotted, and the colors of the spots and the rest of the coat may vary. It can have the colors black, brown, grey, light brown, red, and white.
In 1539, Hernando de Soto, a Spanish explorer, brought with him Mastiffs, Bloodhounds and Greyhounds to its expedition to what is now known as Southeastern United States. When he arrived, he crossbred the dogs he had brought with Native American dogs. The result was then crossbred with French breeds, and its result was the Catahoula Leopard Dog. Originating in Louisiana, its name comes from the location near where it was bred, Catahoula Lake. Funny enough, Catahoula is the Choctaw name for lake, but this breed is identified more by the Leopard part, especially given its spotted coat which is the main identifier for this breed. It is also often called “Catahoula Cur”, “Catahoula Leopard Cur”, and ”Catahoula Hound”. Its current name was officially established in 1979, at the same time that it became the state dog of Louisiana, although in 1976, the Louisiana Catahoula Cur Association had already been formed.
This independent breed is loving and loyal to its family, and will protect them above anything. They are not naturally aggressive towards any household members, but might be so towards strange animals. Due to this, they must be socialized early in age, in order to form a gentle yet alert dog. They enjoy having a job to do, and need an owner that can become its leader and train it firmly but without missing love. They enjoy playing with children and would never harm a kid.
Although generally healthy, Catahoula Leopards may suffer from:
Deafness, complete loss of hearing since birth.
Hip dysplasia, a hereditary disease in which there is an abnormal formation in the hip socket, that may eventually cause painful arthritis. It may also be affected by the environment they reside in.
The Catahoula’s short coat should be brushed weekly, and baths should only be given occasionally. Its ears should be checked for any dirt to prevent infections, along with its teeth regularly brushed and nails cut. This dog needs plenty of daily exercise, such as running on a leash and/or playing in a spacious fenced yard. They especially love swimming or water related sports. If not given enough physical and mental stimulation, they might develop destructive behavior. Training is also vital to avoid this from happening, and must be done by an owner that the dog respects as its leader, who trains it with a firm yet kind hand. Early socialization is a must for this breed.