Catahoula Leopard Dog Information

Overview

The Catahoula Leopard Hound, or simply Catahoula Hound, formally known as the Catahoula Cur is named after Catahoula Parish in the U.S. state of Louisiana. The name was officially changed to Louisiana Catahoula Leopard Dog in 1979 after becoming the state dog of Louisiana. It is thought to be the first breed of dog developed in North America. Not a true hound, but rather a cur, it is also known by the name Catahoula Hog Dog because of its traditional use in hunting wild hogs. It is a hard-working dog, and was originally developed to track down and drive wild hogs and cattle to market. When it is not working as a herder, it makes an affectionate, loyal and protective family pet.

Catahoula Leopard Dog
Basic Info
NameCatahoula Leopard Dog
Other NameCatahoula leopard dog, Catahoula hog dog, Catahoula Cur, Catahoula hound, Leopard Dogs, Leopard Cur
OriginUSA
Size Type Medium Dog Breeds
Breed Group Herding Dog Breeds
Life Span10 - 14 years
TemperamentGentle, Intelligent, Independent, Energetic, Inquisitive, Loving
Height20 to 26 inches
Weight50 to 95 lbs
ColorsBrindle, Black, Red, Yellow, Red Merle, Black merle
Puppy PriceAverage $500 - $550 USD

Catahoula Leopard Dog

Physical description

Body Type

The Catahoula Hound varies in size with males ranging between 20 and 26 inches in height and 40 to 95 pounds in weight. Females are slightly smaller. No matter the size, they are sleek and muscular, making them strong herders. The neck is long and the muzzle is long and pointed. A prominent webbing of the feet helps them herd wild hogs in marshy, low-lying areas.

The tail is long and whip-like, reaching below the hocks of the hind-quarters or bob-tail, ranging from only one vertebra to only one vertebra shorter than a full-length tail. Although rare, the bobtail is a part of the breed's heritage. The tail may also be a "question mark" tail usually white-tipped.

One distinctive trait the Catahoulas may have is "marbled glass" eyes. It is a condition called heterochromia and occurs when both colored and glassy portions are present together in the same eye. If the Catahoula has two marbled eyes they are said to have double glass eyes. They may be half one color and half another, or the dog may have two eyes of a different color. Eye color may be light blue, gray, green, brown or amber.

Color

Catahoulas come in a variety of solid colors, brindle, and blue or red merle. Solid- coated ones usually have splashes of other colors or white on the face, legs or chest. This leopard-like coat is a result of the merle gene. Solid, tri-color and quad-colors include shades of brown and tan known as "red" in other breeds, white, darkish gray-black known as "blue", or silver-gray known as "silver merle" in other breeds. Patchworks are mostly white with splashes of solid or merle colors.

The texture of the Catahoula's coat varies as well, and may me coarse, woolly and shaggy or with a slick painted-on look. Some can be considered fluffy, with "feathers" on the back legs and underbelly. Some will have coats similar in length to that of the German Sheppard.

Coat

Catahoulas come in a variety of solid colors, brindle, and blue or red merle. Solid- coated ones usually have splashes of other colors or white on the face, legs or chest. This leopard-like coat is a result of the merle gene. Solid, tri-color and quad-colors include shades of brown and tan known as "red" in other breeds, white, darkish gray-black known as "blue", or silver-gray known as "silver merle" in other breeds. Patchworks are mostly white with splashes of solid or merle colors.

The texture of the Catahoula's coat varies as well, and may me coarse, woolly and shaggy or with a slick painted-on look. Some can be considered fluffy, with "feathers" on the back legs and underbelly. Some will have coats similar in length to that of the German Sheppard.

Characteristics
Good with Kids
 
Cat Friendly
 
Dog Friendly
 
Trainability
 
Shedding
 
Watchdog
 
Intelligence
 
Grooming
 
Popularity
 
Adaptability
 
Hypoallergenic  No

Grooming

Grooming needs vary with coat type but all do not have extensive grooming requirements. Catahoulas with coarse, shaggy coats do not dry quickly. The sleek-haired coated dogs are considered to be "wash and wear" dogs with coats that dry quickly. A good weekly brushing with a bristle brush will keep the coat shiny and healthy looking. An occasional bath is all that is necessary. Routine care includes regular nail trimming, ear cleaning and tooth brushing with a vet-approved toothpaste.

History

The breeding of the Catahoula Hound began after the first settlers came to what is now known as Louisiana. The state's woods were stocked with plenty of wild hogs. The settlers breed their dogs with canines that belonged to the local Native Americans. Other dogs included in the ancestry are Mastiffs, Beaucerons, sight hounds and even the red wolf. The result is a tough dog that can take on wild hogs and other ferocious animals.

In 1979, the breed was chosen to be the official state dog of Louisiana. The name Louisiana Catahoula Leopard Dog was formally adopted. The United Kennel Club recognized the breed in 1995. The next year, they were included in the American Kennel Clubs Foundation Stock service, a step toward AKC recognition.

Temperament

The Catahoula Leopard Dog is a hard worker and a good hunter as well as a faithful and loving family companion. First and foremost a working dog, the Catahoula is quite content as a family pet if his working instinct is fulfilled through hunting or another task. Othersise, they need at least one hour of strenuous outdoor activity. They are also good, reliable watch dogs. This breed is good around older children. Watch toddlers around puppies as they may become too playful.

Catahoulas get along well with cats, but may chase them when outdoors. A second dog in the family should be one of the opposite sex. They are great hiking dogs, and a long walk outdoors can also satisfy the hunting instinct.


Interesting Catahoula Leopard Dog Facts

  • The breed achieved prominence in the 20th and 20st centuries

 

  • Former Louisiana Governor Earl Gray bred and collected them.
  • An annual competition was held called Uncle Earl's Hog Dog Trials
  • The breed was voted as the school mascot for Centenary College in 2007.