Catahoula Leopard Dog

Catahoula Leopard Dog

Catahoula Leopard Dog

Catahoula Leopard Dog
Primary Current Function: 


Other name: 

Louisiana Catahoula Leopard Dog

Place of Origin: 

United States, Louisiana


Herding group

Original Function: 


Date of Origin: 



While the exact origin of the Catahoula Leopard dog is not clear, some claim that its ancestor may be the Nordic Wolfhound. Catahoula, Louisiana is the "official" origination point of the breed, according to experts, and in 1979, it became Louisiana's state dog.

Catahoula Leopard Dog Breed Health

Life span: 

12 - 13 years

Minor concerns: 

eye problems

Major concerns: 

hip dysplasia, deafness

Suggested tests: 

hip, hearing

Average Size of Female: 

Height: 20 - 24 inches, Weight: 55 - 80 pounds

Average Size of Male: 

Height: 22 - 26 inches, Weight: 55 - 80 pounds

Occasionally seen: 


Catahoula Leopard Dog Breed History

The name of the breed is derived from Catahoula, a parish located in the northeast portion of Louisiana, and the leopard-like spots that adorn the coat. Farmers were known to utilize the Catahoula Leopard dog for rounding up escaped livestock and feral pigs. It was not uncommon for a pack of three dogs to work together. This breed was also used by some hunters to track and tree raccoons. It is quite versatile at herding and hunting and has been known to track a variety of game. It is believed that the Catahoula Leopard dog is a descendent of greyhounds and mastiffs, and one source suggests that the breed was first introduced to the United States by Hernando deSoto. This breed is an excellent working dog and has been used in narcotics detection as well as search and rescue missions.

Catahoula Leopard Dog Breed Appearance

The strong solid legs of this breed allow it to move effortlessly. Its heart and lung capacity is excellent thanks to the deep chest. The head of the Catahoula Leopard dog features a flat, broad skull. This breed has a short, single coat that can be found in blue leopard, red leopard, black, red, yellow, and brindle sometimes with tan or white trim.

Catahoula Leopard Dog Breed Temperament

Independent yet protective, the Catahoula Leopard dog is usually quite loving with its family. It is often reserved around strangers, especially once it has fully matured. This is not a breed for a timid owner. The Catahoula Leopard dog tends to be aggressive and dominant, so a strong owner is necessary. This breed may also show aggressive tendencies towards other dogs of the same sex. It is important to provide this breed with plenty of human companionship to prevent timidity or aggressive behavior with the family.

Catahoula Leopard Dog Breed Maintenance

The short, single coat of this breed is easy to groom. Bathing is recommended only a few times a year, and the coat should be brushed on a weekly basis. Be sure to clean the teeth and trim the nails regularly. The Catahoula Leopard dog is considered to be an average to light constant shedder. Daily exercise is essential to the overall physical and mental well-being of this breed. This can include running free in safe areas and going for runs or on hikes with its owner. This dog is not an especially good choice for apartment living, and it should not be kept outside in extremely cold temperatures because of the single coat.

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