Catahoula Leopard Dog

A Comprehensive Information on Catahoula Leopard Dog


Did you know? Louisiana Catahoula Leopard Dog is an American breed name after Catahoula Parish, Lousiana. The word Catahoula regain its existence from the word ‘Choctaw’ which means “Sacred Lake” as they were originate in northern Louisiana near Catahoula Lake. They were also known as Catahoula Curs, Catahoula leopard curs, Catahoula hounds, or Lousiana Catahoula. But their official name was change to Louisiana Catahoula Leopard Dog after it was declare as the state dog of Louisiana in 1979. Many theories are reflecting the origin of Catahoula.

Catahoula Leopard Dog


Here in this article, we are going to tell you about this least known dog breed. The section includes information about its history, appearance, traits, health & care, training, and grooming. In short, it is an encyclopedia for the Catahoula Leopard Dog. But before heading on to the main topic here is the overview of the breed.

Breed Group:- Herding Dog

Height:- 22 to 24 inches

Weight:- 50 to 95 Pounds

Life Expectancy:- 10 to 14 years

Traits:- Loyal, Independent, Alert

Also Read: Fascinating Facts About Alaskan Klee Kai


As we mention above, that are few theories regarding the origination of Catahoula. We will explain a few of them.

  • One of them is that Native Americans bred their own dogs with the Molosser and Greyhounds. Later on, they were brought to Louisiana by Hernando de Soto in the 16th century.
  • Another theory states that they were originate in the 19th century when French settlers introduce the Beauceron to the North American Continent. The French said that strange-looking dogs were use by Indians to hunt game play in the swamp that has haunting glass eyes. The theory states that Beauceron and the red wolf were interbred to produce the Catahoula.
  • Apart from these two, there is another theory that explains why they are count as herding dogs. It is said that early settlers of Central American, in particular near the Catahoula lake area use these dogs to catch wild hogs and cows in the area. This practice was turn into the method of managing the wild herds. Hence they are also count in working or herding breeds.

Catahoula Leopard Dog



The following are the points that describe the appearance of this herding dog:-

  • Catahoula leopard dogs are beautiful dogs.
  • They are recognize as leopard dogs because of the patchwork on their bodies.
  • You will find them in various coat colors and patterns.
  • They have webbed feet that help them in swimming and working on wet and muddy land.
  • Their eye color has variations such as blue, green, brown, and amber.
  • Some Catahoula has crack eyes – two different colors in the same eye.
  • It has medium-length coat fur whose texture may vary from smooth to coarse.


The personality of the Catahoula Dog is fascinating, and you will be amazed by its various traits, which makes them a perfect house dog.

  • They are protective of the family members and close ones. They will react instantly if there is anything strange. This makes it trustworthy too.
  • Humans who have them as pet says that they have an excellent judge of character.
  • They are loving, calm, and dedicated companions.
  • The male Catahoula can be aggressive towards other male dogs.
  • They usually aren’t as aggressive as they are during work. It behaves that way to catch wild hogs and cattle.
  • If they sense something unusual, they will bark as a warning, and this makes them excellent watchdog as well.
  • They are smart enough to take a stand for themselves and won’t tolerate any physical abuse or mistreatment. 
  • Catahoula puppies are curious and playful. They love cuddling and can be handled by anyone.
  • It will need early socialization and exposure, when young so that it can get familiar with various sights, sounds, surroundings, and people.

Catahoula Leopard Dog



  • Weekly brushing will keep your Catahoula neat, clean and shiny.
  • When on grooming session, you can build a bonding between you both, as it will be playful during that time.
  • The coat of Catahoula is strong and fast-growing; it will need regular trimming with a nail cutter or grinder to avoid overgrowth and cracking of hair.
  • Ears will need regular cleaning, to avoid the building up of wax and debris as it can cause infection.
  • Teeth must be brush regularly.
  • Nail trimming will be need once or twice a month.
  • Bath is necessary but a couple of times in a year, other than that brushing must be done regularly.

Health & Care

When we talk about health, it includes everything from the food to be provide to the precautions to be taken. 

  • Provide them with high-quality dog food, either a commercial product or handmade food under the supervision and approval of a veterinarian.
  • Diet should be given, keeping in mind the dog’s age.
  • Watch out on the calorie consumption and weight level as some dogs tend to get overweight.
  • Treats are good to use while training. It is the most effective way to train your dog efficiently. But as it is said, ‘excessive of anything is harmful’. Excess of treats can cause obesity.
  • Before letting it eat human food, read a guide on which human food is safe for them and which are not.
  • Clean and freshwater should be available all the time.
  • Some issues are commonly notice in Catahoula dog, and they are dysplasia, deafness, and eye problems.
  • The majority of these dogs are healthy, but some may face serious health issues.

Catahoula Leopard Dog



As they are independent dogs, they need proper training and plenty of exercise to survive. Without training, he can get destructive, and you may find it digging holes and chewing things.

  • Socialization is necessary to make him a gentle and affectionate companion for home.
  • They may behave grown up at the age of 10 months, but they get mature after 2. So make sure training doesn’t make them feel exhaust at an early age.
  • You should start training him from the day you get him home.
  • Try to award him with a treat every time he achieves something, even if it is a little achievement. This will motivate him to achieve more.
  • They are herding dogs, so train them accordingly.
  • Leash training is also essential as he is a strong puller. Good leash manners are necessary to ensure the safety of your Catahoula and yourself.
  • Take him to the dog-friendly stores, parks and other places in order to make him socialize.
  • As they are herding dogs, they need space to vent to their abundant energy and will always need a job to do.
  • If you can’t provide him with plenty of exercise time, then he isn’t suitable to be your apartment or city dog as he can get destructive.
  • You can sign him up for outdoor activities like swimming, hiking, and retrieving disc balls.
  • Training dog sports like agility, obedience, and rally can also keep him occupy, and he will also be able to spend his energy.

Here are some important Essentials For Dog Training.

Catahoula Leopard Dog


Facts & Highlights

  • Not to be left outside to live as they are companion dogs.
  • Off-leash walks are not advisable as they can get aggressive towards unknown dogs.
  • They are energetic dogs and need an hour of exercise on a daily basis.
  • Early and frequent socialization is strongly advisable in order to make them friendly around other human beings and animals.
  • Catahoula Puppies will need sturdy and durable toys to play with.
  • They are highly intelligent.
  • They have been taken to gather wild Brahman cattle to Venezuela on the enormous ranches.
  • In Canada, Catahoula’s are use as Sled-dogs, and they have successfully complete the sled-dog racing.
  • They were record in the Foundation Stock Service in 1996, and American Kennel Club approve them to compete in the companion events on 1st January 2010.
  • There are three distinct breed lines of Catahoula Leopard Dog.
  • They have made an appearance in books like, “Bonus”, “Veronica Mars”, and “Southern Vampire Mysteries.”
  • Catahoula’s can climb trees.

From the information provide now you know everything about this breed. Go get yourself one. But make sure you are active enough to provide him with proper exercise and training. You can either go for a Catahoula puppy or directly get a grownup leopard dog. If you are going for the later one then make sure he is healthy, his temperament is good. Getting them from rescue groups is advisable.

This was the guide on Catahoula Leopard Dog provide to you by Petsnurturing. For more information on pet care or breed, visit the website.