Louisiana Catahoula Leopard Dog Information

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(Catahoula Leopard Dog) (Catahoula Hog Dog) (Catahoula Cur)The Louisiana Catahoula was bred for work rather than show, so the appearance of the breed can vary. It has a short and tight, single coat, with a merle (mottled) or black and tan pattern. The skull is broad and flat, framed by pendant ears that hang down just below the eye. Their eyes are their main feature, and have been termed "haunting" or "glass eyes" because of their light-blue color, or half‑blue, half‑brown "cracked" eyes, although all‑brown is also an acceptable eye color. The breed has a deep chest and strong, solid legs. Some Catahoulas have a short tail.

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The Catahoula Leopard Dog at the top of this page is from the Mr. T.A. McMellin Catahoula line.

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The Louisiana Catahoula Leopard Dog is an independent breed, very protective and territorial. Although they can be loving with their family and people known to them, they are wary of strangers. Do not force attention on the Catahoula, let it come to you when ready. This breed is a working dog, and needs a dominant owner who shows leadership.

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20-26 inches

Males: 22-26 inches Females: 20-24 inches
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55-80 pounds

The Wright line: 90-110 pounds. The Fairbanks line: 60-75 pounds. The McMillan line: 50-60 pounds
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General Health

The Louisiana Catahoula is prone to hip dysplasia. It can be afflicted by deafness in one or both ears (if the dog is a white faced with "glass eyes" there is an 80% chance it will be deaf.). Eye problems include tunnel vision and an abnormal pupil.

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The origin of the Louisiana Catahoula Leopard Dog is unknown, but the theory is that they originated from the dogs brought to North America by the Spanish conquistadors in the 16th century, and that they interbred with the semi-domesticated Red Wolves of the indigenous population. Then, when the French arrived in the 17th century, the French arrived, and the dogs interbred with their Beauceron. Whatever their origin, they are one of the oldest breeds in the United States, and Louisiana is cited as the point of their origin, with the name coming form a parish in the northeastern part of the state. There were three lines of this dog, which have been combined to make the breed known today. In 1979, officials named the Catahoula as the state dog. The breed is a working dog, used in several states to round up feral pigs and cattle, or to trail and tree raccoons.

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The Catahoula requires a brushing once a week, and should be bathed a couple of times a year, or as necessary. Trim the nails on a regular basis and brush the teeth. The Catahoula is a constant shedder, and may shed more if stressed.

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Ideal Environment

The Catahoula is not ideally suited for either the apartment or the residential home. It will make an excellent farm dog. It needs exercise, or a job to do. Because it has only one coat, it cannot deal with cold temperatures very well.

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Dog Training!

If you're having problems training your dog or getting control, you should read our review of DogProblems.com. Adam will do whatever it takes to help you whip your dog into shape. I've used them to help with my Great Dane as well as help friends train their dogs. It's the first place I go to help answer users Questions. Many training issues are too extensive to answer in this forum, which is why I refer a lot of the load to his site. Update: I've been using and recommending DogProblems for three years now. I, as well as my users, value the techniques we've learned. I get weekly emails from users who have become better owners from the information they received.

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Louisiana Catahoula Leopard Dog Q&A

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I am fostering a litter from the local animal shelter, and i am convinced the mother is a catahoula, she had 7 pups, one died, it had a cleft pallet and was deformed in the face and back legs, two of the pups are pure white, and i can't find one pic of a white catahoula, do they normally just kill them?

i just read somewhere online that the white ones are more prone to deafness, breeder's won't sell them and they are killed.


I'm trying to learn more about this breed. My rescue has been ID'd as an Australian Shepherd, until the rescue happened across info on the Louisiana Cathoula Leopard. Austin fits the bill exactly. I've long suspected he had some sort of vision issue, as if he sees me sitting when we're outside, he knows me, but if I move - such as stand, he doesn't have a clue who I am. He's very high strung and nervous. I've been working with what I thought was a timid dog and have been making progress, but he's really only bonded to me - as long as I don't move on him. Is there anyone out there more familiar with this breed who might be able to give me training tips and just how to help him more? He's a gorgeous grey, blue and white dog with one hazel eye and the other one is hazel with a blue 'moon' marking in the iris. Unfotunately, due to his behavior, I'm his third or fourth home - but he IS seeming to do well here - to a point.

I have a catahoula named gus fortunatly he dosent have any vision problems but he is very nervouse. Hes always alot better when he runs he can do miles a day no problem. We run him with a quad or a dirt bike as soon as it starts he goes nuts. Exersize is the key and time spent together. He needs to no im not gettin in the truck without him. hell follow me to the edge of the earth as long as hes run atleast 4 miles. these dogs neeedd to run alot.

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