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Catahoula Leopard Dog

The Canine Chronicles Directory

Catahoula Leopard Dog

The Catahoula Leopard Dog is also known as the Catahoula Cur. They are medium to large dogs with a broad and flat skull. This breed is distinguished by their unusual eyes. The eyes are normally clear in vivid shades of light blue or golden-brown. It is not uncommon to see a Catahoula with two different color eyes. The coat of this breed is short and thick. It can come in many different colors; however, they usually have merle coats in either black and tan, black and white or in multiple shades of black and gray that give them their blue coloring. These dogs are almost always spotted similar to a leopard. They are also distinguished by their webbed feet. The legs are solid and strong and the chest is deep. The tail is long and tapers at the tip. Some call them "Catdogs" because of their intuitive behavior and their ability to climb trees.

Temperament The Catahoula Leopard Dog tends to be territorial and very protective of their home and property. They make excellent watch and guard dogs. They are assertive, strong and playful with their owners; however, they are wary of strangers. They get along well with children if they are raised with them. This breed has alpha tendencies. They are dominant and usually serve as pack leaders. They tend to be aggressive towards other dogs, especially with same sex dogs. Training and early socialization is essential to live with other pets. It normally takes about two years for this breed to reach full maturity.
Height, Weight There are three different weight lines of the Catahoula:
The Wright line is from 90-110 lbs.
The Fairbanks line is from 65-70 lbs.
The McMillin line is from 50-60 lbs.
Male Height: 22-26" ; Female Height: 20-24"
Health Problems This breed is mostly healthy. Dogs with mostly white coats have an 80% chance of becoming deaf in one or both ears as well as blindness. Other minor concerns include hip dysplasia, tunnel vision and abnormal pupils.
Living Conditions The Catahoula Leopard Dog is best suited for life on a farm or a ranch. If they are to live in the city, they must have an outlet for the abundant energy level and workaholic personality. This breed needs an owner who is dog-experienced, firm and an active person. If they are going to be in a fenced yard, keep in mind that the Catahoula can climb trees as well as fence.
Exercise This breed needs at least a minimum of one hour of rigorous running every day. Care must be taken with this breed as playtime can turn into a noisy and physical event. The Catahoula likes to run, jump and bump into their playmates. If they do not get enough exercise, this breed may begin chewing, digging and excessive barking.
Life Expectancy About 12-13 years
Grooming This coat of this breed is easy to care for and should be brushed occasionally.
Origin The Catahoula Leopard Dog's lineage is thought to come from the Red Wolf, which was in Louisiana in the 1500s. They are also crossed with the Mastiff and the Greyhound which were brought by DeSoto in 1541, and the Bas Rough (Beauceron) which arrived during the early 1700s. The name was changed from Catahoula Cur to the Louisiana Catahoula Leopard Dog when then Governor Edwin Edwards established the breed as the official State Dog of Louisiana in 1979. The name was taken from a parish in Northeastern Louisiana and after the mottled spots on its coat. They have been accepted for recording in the AKC Foundation Stock Service®.
Group Herding