A Catahoula Leopard Dog rests on leaf-covered steps.
A Catahoula Leopard Dog rests on leaf-covered steps.

Catahoula Leopard Dog

avatarStephanie Lenoir LVT, VTS (ECC)

Height20 - 24"
Weight55 - 80 lbs
TypeN/A
Life Expectancy10 - 14 years
Area of OriginUnited States

Energy Level

Playfulness

Friendliness to dogs

Friendliness to strangers

exercise requirements

affection level

friendliness to other pets

watchfulness

Grooming Requirements

Vocality

The Catahoula Leopard Dog is one of the most distinctive-looking breeds in the world because of their hair color and patterns, which resemble the spotting of a leopard. They are also known for having a strong work ethic and dedication to their jobs. The Cat, as they're often known, is the state dog of Louisiana. They received their name from the Northeast Louisiana parish of Catahoula. They are also known as the Leopard Stock dog, the Black Mouth Cur, the Yellow Cur, the East Texas Cow or Hog dog, the Red Cur, the Old Brindle Cur, the Leopard Cur, and the Louisiana Cur. The name often depends on the color and appearance of the dog. They're an intelligent and energetic breed that can make great pets for a experienced owner. Loyalty is part of their DNA, which makes them very cautious around strangers, to the point of aggression. Catahoulas are not yet registered with the AKC, but are registered with many other associations.

Energy Level

Playfulness

Friendliness to dogs

Friendliness to strangers

exercise requirements

affection level

friendliness to other pets

watchfulness

Grooming Requirements

Vocality

Where Are Catahoula Leopard Dogs From?

There are many different theories about how the Catahoula dog came to be. One of the most common is that Spanish settlers on their way to the Golf Coast brought Mastiff war dogs along with them. They then traded these dogs for food and supplies with the Native Americans that lived in the area now known as Louisiana. These Mastiffs were then bred with red wolves, creating a hound-like dog that had webbed feet.

In the 1600s, French settlers traveled to this part of the United States and started breeding a wolf-like dog with the French Beauceron, which begat the Catahoula Leopard Dog. They were bred to herd feral pigs and cattle that had escaped from the farmers’ herds into the woods. Cats are now used to herd cattle, pigs, and sheep.

Where Are Catahoula Leopard Dogs From?

There are many different theories about how the Catahoula dog came to be. One of the most common is that Spanish settlers on their way to the Golf Coast brought Mastiff war dogs along with them. They then traded these dogs for food and supplies with the Native Americans that lived in the area now known as Louisiana. These Mastiffs were then bred with red wolves, creating a hound-like dog that had webbed feet.

In the 1600s, French settlers traveled to this part of the United States and started breeding a wolf-like dog with the French Beauceron, which begat the Catahoula Leopard Dog. They were bred to herd feral pigs and cattle that had escaped from the farmers’ herds into the woods. Cats are now used to herd cattle, pigs, and sheep.

Care

What Kind of Diet Does a Catahoula Leopard Dog Need?

The Catahoula requires a high-quality and well-balanced diet to ensure proper bone and muscle development. Due to their energy level, they will have a higher calorie intake than other breeds of the same size. Make sure to feed them enough to account for their energy level, but never overfeed them.

Always consult your veterinarian to develop a proper meal plan.

Caring for a Catahoula Leopard Dog

What Kind of Diet Does a Catahoula Leopard Dog Need?

How Much Grooming Does a Catahoula Leopard Dog Need?

Are Catahoula Leopard Dogs Healthy?

How Much Training Does a Catahoula Leopard Dog Need?

How Much Exercise Does a Catahoula Leopard Dog Need?

What Kind of Diet Does a Catahoula Leopard Dog Need?

The Catahoula requires a high-quality and well-balanced diet to ensure proper bone and muscle development. Due to their energy level, they will have a higher calorie intake than other breeds of the same size. Make sure to feed them enough to account for their energy level, but never overfeed them.

Always consult your veterinarian to develop a proper meal plan.

What Are the Physical Characteristics of a Catahoula Leopard Dog?

Yes, the Catahoula Leopard Dog has webbed feet. Other breeds may have a portion of the foot that is webbed, but the Catahoula has webbing similar to a duck, covering most of the paw.

Eye colors can be glass (blue), brown, green, or amber. Cats frequently have eyes that are two different colors, and many have multiple colors on the same eye. The eye and coat colors of the Catahoula are similar to that of the Australian Shepherd Dog.

Catahoulas are medium-to-large in size, weighing anywhere between 55 and 80 pounds. They are very well-muscled, with a deep barrow chest and slim waist.

No, Catahoula tails should not be docked. They should remain in their natural state, which is long, held high, and slightly curved when alert.

Their front legs are straight, muscular, and parallel with each other. They have large paws with webbed feet and broad shoulders.

The most common colors for the Catahoula are black, brindle, red merle, red, and yellow. Some may have black fur covering the body with brindle legs and white spots on just the head. Others may have a white head, neck, chest, and front legs with a brindle body and black fur on the hind legs.

Cats have strong, sturdy, and athletic hind legs.

Catahoula Leopard Dog Facts

1

It is believed that the Catahoula Leopard Dog is a mix of the Red Wolf, Bloodhound, Greyhound, Mastiff, and French Beauceron.

2

In Canada, the Catahoula has developed into a successful sled dog. They don’t have the necessary hair coat for the job, but succeed because of their strong work ethic and strength.

3

The breed has appeared in several popular TV shows, including Veronica Mars, Bones, and True Blood.

Other Breeds to Explore

All About Greyhounds
Old English Mastiff
Australian Cattle Dog

References

  • American Kennel Club. The Complete Dog Book. Random House Digital, Inc., 2006.
  • Morris, Desmond. Dogs: The Ultimate Dictionary of Over 1,000 Dog Breeds. Trafalgar Square, 2002.

Get the best of PetPlace straight to your inbox.

By signing up, you agree to our Terms of Use and Privacy Policy.