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Catahoula Leopard Dog

Catahoula-leopard-dog

An Energetic & Loyal Friend

Devoted, active, watchful

Catahoula Leopard Dogs are even-tempered, energetic, and lovable, large dogs. These herding dogs may be a bit reserved with strangers and other large dogs, but do well with children. Catahoulas enjoy companionship, and are assertive and protective of their homes, but have a tendency to become destructive when bored. Catahoulas need strong leadership and make great companions for active individuals and families, farmers, hunters, and experienced dog handlers. As herding dogs, they may try to herd children and other animals when playing. This active breed makes a wonderful hunting companion, and enjoys regular physical activity and mental tasks to keep them busy.

Understanding their unique needs will help keep them healthy and create a strong bond between the two of you. Explore this page to learn more about the breed’s history, health concerns, characteristics, and care needs.

The Catahoula Leopard Dog in the photo is not yet fully grown.

Breed Details

Height:20-26 in. Weight:40-90 lb Lifespan:10-16 years

Size
4

1=small 5=large

Grooming requirements
1

1 = little grooming - 5 = much grooming

Energy level
5

1 = low energy - 5 = high energy

Ease of training
3

1 = difficult - 5 = easy

Affection toward owners
4

1 = independent - 5 = very affectionate

Friendliness toward strangers
2

1 = shy - 5 = very friendly

Routine Care: The Catahoula is a smart dog with lots of energy, so keep their mind and body active, or they'll get bored.

Grooming: Brush their coat as needed, at least weekly.

Dental: Catahoulas generally have good teeth, and you can keep them perfect by brushing them at least twice a week!

Ear Care: Clean their ears weekly, even as a puppy. Don’t worry—your veterinarian can show you how!


The Catahoula is an even-tempered and affectionate dog with an enthusiastic playfulness. With ample exercise and a confident leader, they are wonderful family companions.

Positive Traits:

  • Highly active and eager to have a purpose

  • Good watchdog with a loud bark

  • Excellent hunting dog

  • Good with children

  • Affectionate, easygoing, and lovable

  • Devoted, loyal, and protective

Negative Traits:

  • Can be rambunctious and rowdy, especially as a younger dog

  • Requires vigorous, frequent exercise and space to run

  • Has a tendency to herd, including small children

  • Territorial with larger dogs, especially of the same sex

  • Can be possessive of toys and food, tending to show dominance

  • Needs frequent attention from her family

Whether you are considering adding a new Catahoula Leopard Dog to your family or you already have one as a companion, it is important for you to know about the genetically linked diseases known to occur more often in this breed. Of course not every Catahoula Leopard Dog will have these problems, but research shows your pal is more at risk than other breeds.

By exploring the health concerns specific to the Catahoula Leopard Dog you will become a knowledgeable and confident pet parent. Be sure to speak with your veterinarian about breed risks every time you visit and educate yourself on the most important signs to watch for at home. They are counting on you to be their health expert.

Some health issues a Catahoula Leopard Dog could encounter:


The Catahoula Leopard Dog is an American breed named after Catahoula Parish in Louisiana, and they are the official state dog of Louisiana. Catahoulas are believed to be the first dog breed developed in North America, created from a mix of Native American dogs and various breeds brought by Spanish explorers and settlers. The Catahoula Leopard dog is also commonly called the Catahoula Cur, Catahoula Hog Dog, and the Louisiana Catahoula Leopard Dog. The Catahoula was originally used to drive and round up feral hogs and cattle. They are outstanding working dogs that hunt intensely and thrive in a farm or ranch setting. Catahoula Leopard Dogs are assertive by nature but not an aggressive breed. Because they are highly intelligent, energetic, and protective, they need to be given activities to keep them from becoming bored and destructive.

Consult with a veterinarian if your Catahoula Leopard Dog shows signs of the following:

  • Leg stiffness, reluctance to rise, sit, use stairs, run, jump, or “bunny hopping”

  • Increased hunger and thirst, weight loss

  • Easily startled, no reaction to unseen sounds

  • Dull coat, hair loss, sluggish, weight gain

  • Blinking, redness, pain or itchiness around the eyes

  • Underbite, drooling, dropping food

  • Pain when opening the mouth or chewing

  • Care

    Routine Care: The Catahoula is a smart dog with lots of energy, so keep their mind and body active, or they'll get bored.

    Grooming: Brush their coat as needed, at least weekly.

    Dental: Catahoulas generally have good teeth, and you can keep them perfect by brushing them at least twice a week!

    Ear Care: Clean their ears weekly, even as a puppy. Don’t worry—your veterinarian can show you how!


  • Characteristics

    The Catahoula is an even-tempered and affectionate dog with an enthusiastic playfulness. With ample exercise and a confident leader, they are wonderful family companions.

    Positive Traits:

    • Highly active and eager to have a purpose

    • Good watchdog with a loud bark

    • Excellent hunting dog

    • Good with children

    • Affectionate, easygoing, and lovable

    • Devoted, loyal, and protective

    Negative Traits:

    • Can be rambunctious and rowdy, especially as a younger dog

    • Requires vigorous, frequent exercise and space to run

    • Has a tendency to herd, including small children

    • Territorial with larger dogs, especially of the same sex

    • Can be possessive of toys and food, tending to show dominance

    • Needs frequent attention from her family

  • Health Concerns

    Whether you are considering adding a new Catahoula Leopard Dog to your family or you already have one as a companion, it is important for you to know about the genetically linked diseases known to occur more often in this breed. Of course not every Catahoula Leopard Dog will have these problems, but research shows your pal is more at risk than other breeds.

    By exploring the health concerns specific to the Catahoula Leopard Dog you will become a knowledgeable and confident pet parent. Be sure to speak with your veterinarian about breed risks every time you visit and educate yourself on the most important signs to watch for at home. They are counting on you to be their health expert.

    Some health issues a Catahoula Leopard Dog could encounter:


  • History

    The Catahoula Leopard Dog is an American breed named after Catahoula Parish in Louisiana, and they are the official state dog of Louisiana. Catahoulas are believed to be the first dog breed developed in North America, created from a mix of Native American dogs and various breeds brought by Spanish explorers and settlers. The Catahoula Leopard dog is also commonly called the Catahoula Cur, Catahoula Hog Dog, and the Louisiana Catahoula Leopard Dog. The Catahoula was originally used to drive and round up feral hogs and cattle. They are outstanding working dogs that hunt intensely and thrive in a farm or ranch setting. Catahoula Leopard Dogs are assertive by nature but not an aggressive breed. Because they are highly intelligent, energetic, and protective, they need to be given activities to keep them from becoming bored and destructive.

  • Watch Out For

    Consult with a veterinarian if your Catahoula Leopard Dog shows signs of the following:

    • Leg stiffness, reluctance to rise, sit, use stairs, run, jump, or “bunny hopping”

    • Increased hunger and thirst, weight loss

    • Easily startled, no reaction to unseen sounds

    • Dull coat, hair loss, sluggish, weight gain

    • Blinking, redness, pain or itchiness around the eyes

    • Underbite, drooling, dropping food

    • Pain when opening the mouth or chewing

Catahoula Leopard Dog Discussions

Share your thoughts and experiences, ask questions, or just show your love for the Catahoula Leopard Dog breed here!

Select Another Breed

To view the sources for the information listed on this page, see our Dog Breed Guide Reference page.

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