Updated 01-06-2023

Catahoula Leopard Dog

The Catahoula Leopard Dog breed has a distinctive look and a strong work ethic. They’re a tough dog, trained to work in swamps and woodlands, and they require a leader who is stern and constant, with time to keep them occupied.

These pups are incredibly affectionate with their humans, but they do need lots of activity. They’ll do best in a house with a big, fenced in yard and experienced pet owners. If you can meet their demands, you’ll have a beloved family member who can keep you on your toes.

See here for the entire list of dog breed qualities and facts about Catahoula Leopard Dogs!


  • Leaving the Catahoulas to fend for themselves is not an option. Companion dogs do not do well when left alone.
  • Catahoulas should never be let loose since they can be hostile against other dogs.
  • Catahoulas have a high level of intelligence and must be trained with firmness, patience, and consistency.
  • This breed of dog requires at least one hour of grueling exercise every day.
  • Catahoulas shed light to moderately all year round, depending on the individual. It is necessary to brush them on a weekly basis to remove dead hair and keep their coats shining.
  • This breed requires early and frequent socialisation if you want your Catahoula to be friendly toward other animals.
  • Owners who are nervous or inexperienced should avoid the Catahoula. Confident and kind trainers are needed for this breed.
  • Toys for Catahoula puppies should be robust and long-lasting.
  • This breed thrives in an environment that allows it to engage in its natural hunting and herding instincts, such as having a secure yard with a fence.
  • However, while Catahoulas are protective of their family members' young, they are not four-legged babysitters. Dogs and children should be supervised at all times.
  • Catahoulas can get along with other canines and animals if they are properly socialised and raised with them. You should know that not all cats can get along with other animals, and that some of them are better suited for single-animal homes.
  • This breed is known to be aggressive towards other dogs, particularly if both dogs are male.
  • Catahoulas are watchful of outsiders and alert watchdogs.
  • Avoid buying from puppy mills, pet stores, or breeders who don't provide health clearances and guarantees. Breeders who screen their breeding canines to ensure they don't pass on hereditary disorders, as well as those who breed puppies with healthy temperaments, are reputable.


Social Appearance 


It's a common misconception that a little dog is better suited to living in a limited space. Many tiny dogs have too much energy and are too yappy to live in an apartment building. An apartment dog's best attributes include being quiet, low energy, somewhat peaceful indoors, and respectful to the other inhabitants. Your dog's personal space in your apartment can be improved by purchasing one of these fantastic dog cages.

Sensitivity Level

Depending on the dog, a strong rebuke can be taken in stride by some, while others regard even the tiniest hint of disapproval as a personal attack. If you have a loud or pushy owner, a chaotic home, or a routine that is unpredictable or variable, your low-sensitivity dog, often known as "easy-going," "tolerant," "resilient," or even "thick-skinned," will be able to handle it better. Do you have young children, host a lot of parties, or have a hectic lifestyle? Choose a dog that isn't overly sensitive.


You can't tell from looking at them whether or not they're hyperactive, but when they do anything, they do it vigorously. They tug at their leashes (unless you teach them not to), they push their way through barriers, and they down their meals in huge, gobbling gulps. A home with young children or an elderly or feeble person may not be the best place for these dynamos to learn proper etiquette. On the other side, a dog with poor vitality adopts a more reserved demeanor.

Potential for Playfulness

The playful nature of certain dogs never fades away, and they're always ready for a game, whereas the reserved and serious tendencies of other dogs develop through time. Think about how many times a day you want to play fetch or tag with your dog, and whether or not you have children or other dogs who can act as substitutes.

Personality Appearance


In the same way as working dogs, such as those that herd sheep, are bred for intelligence and decision-making, working dogs like those who run all day need to exercise their bodies. The two most common activities that a bored pet engages in are digging and chewing, both of which require mental stimulation. There are several ways to keep a dog's brain active, including obedience training, interactive dog toys like tug of war, and dog sports like agility and search and rescue.

Energy Level

Energy-draining dogs are always on the lookout for a new activity. There are several jobs that require a lot of stamina from dogs, such as herding livestock or recovering prey for hunters. Children are more likely to engage in activities such as jumping, playing and exploring new sights and smells as a result of this change in their environment

A low-energy dog is more like a couch potato than a dog that needs a lot of exercise. Think about your level of physical activity and whether or not you find a hyperactive dog irritating before making your final choice.

Easy To Train

Easy to train dogs can more easily form associations between a cue (like "sit"), an action (like sitting), and a reward than dogs that are more difficult to train. Dogs that require more time, patience, and repetition are more difficult to train.

Getting your dog interested in training will require incentives and games because many breeds are intelligent but have a "What's in it for me?" mentality when it comes to learning new things.

Family Affection Level

Affectionate With Family

Since puppyhood, some breeds remain aloof and independent; others form deep bonds with one individual but are uninterested in the rest of the family; still other types shower their entire family with affection. Canines raised in homes with people tend to be more open to human interaction and develop stronger ties, regardless of their breed or upbringing.


Kids-friendly dogs are calm, strong enough to bear the hefty hugs and pets kids can dish out, and have an unfazed attitude about rushing, scream-inducing children. There are several names you may not expect to see on the list: Fierce-looking Both Boxers and American Staffordshire Terriers are regarded as family dogs (which are considered Pit Bulls). Chihuahuas, which are small, sensitive, and potentially sharp, are not always family-friendly.

Dog Friendly

Dog friendship and human friendship are two entirely different things. The fact that a dog is friendly with humans doesn't mean it's immune to aggression or aggression from other dogs; some canines choose to play rather than fight; others will just run away. The type of animal isn't the only consideration. Dogs who have spent a lot of time playing with their littermates and their mother at the age of six to eight weeks are more likely to be socially competent.

Physical Appearance

Amount of Shedding

Having a dog in the house means that you'll have to deal with some level of dog hair on your clothing and in the home. It's worth noting, however, that shedding varies widely among breeds. Some dogs shed all year long, while others ``blow" just during specific times of the year, and still others don't shed at all. If you're a stickler for cleanliness, you'll need to choose a breed that sheds less or lower your expectations. You can use a deshedding tool to keep your house a little cleaner.

Drooling Potential

While greeting you, some dogs may cover their arms with ropes of drool and create large, wet patches on your clothing. If you don't mind a little drool, go for it; but if you're a stickler for cleanliness, you may want to look for a dog with a low drool rating.

Easy To Groom

Some breeds of dogs can simply be brushed and left alone, while others require frequent washing, trimming, and other grooming in order to maintain their health and appearance. If you don't have the time or money to take care of a dog that requires a lot of grooming, you may want to look into hiring a professional.

Exercise Needs

Evening walks around the neighbourhood are perfectly acceptable for some breeds. Others, particularly those trained for physically demanding vocations like herding or hunting, require regular, rigorous exercise.

They can gain weight and release their pent-up energy in ways you don't like, including barking, chewing, and digging, if not given enough exercise. Those looking to train their dog for an energetic canine activity, such as agility, should consider getting a dog that needs a lot of exercise.

Average sizes and life expectancy of the breed


50 to 90 pounds


10 to 14 years


20 to 26 inches tall at the shoulder


In spite of its enigmatic history, the Louisiana Catahoula Leopard Dog's flexibility and work ethic are unmatched. Native Americans and early settlers in Louisiana praised the breed for its ability to hunt a wide range of wild game, including deer, bobcats, wild pigs, and bears, as well as scent, tail, and tree game and bay and herd feral hogs and cattle. The bloodhounds, mastiffs, and greyhounds introduced to Louisiana by Spanish explorers are said to be the ancestors of the Louisiana Catahoula Leopard Dog. Native American word "Chocktaw" is likely a mistranslation of the exotic Catahoula's name, which refers to a local tribe. Regardless of the breed's origins, the Louisiana Catahoula Leopard Dog was officially recognised by the United Kennel Club in 1995 as a member of the Herding Group and made Louisiana's official state dog in 1979.

Personality and temperament

When working in the field, the Catahoula Leopard Dog disposition is passionate, serious, and concentrated; however, when at home with their family, they become protective, playful, and loving. Although Catahoulas aren't hostile toward humans if they've been properly socialised from puppyhood, they are apprehensive and distant around strangers.

While they can be trained to get along with dogs of the opposite sex, they can turn violent towards dogs of the same sex. Cats and other small animals can be in danger because of their strong hunt instinct, warns The Spruce Pets. They are ideal watch dogs because of their predisposition to bark at strangers and their strong instincts to defend their owners.

They get along well with older children as long as they have been raised with them from the time they are puppies and know how to treat them gently and respectfully. In the presence of tiny children and newborns, however, they must be properly monitored. If you have children above the age of 12 who are capable of participating in training, this breed is most suited for you. Everyone in the household should treat these dogs with respect, as they will not hesitate to protect themselves if they feel they are being mistreated.

In the workplace, the Catahoula Leopard Dog is serious and diligent, but at home, he is active and a bit of a joker. Catahoula Leopard Dogs are prone to becoming suspicious of strangers because of their protective nature. Catahoula Leopard Dog is a kind, caring, and devoted companion while he is with his human family.


An active lifestyle is essential for the well-being and happiness of Catahoula leopard dogs. Furthermore, they need to be socialised and trained on a regular basis beginning at a young age. Fortunately, taking care of their appearance is a simple process.


Most dogs live between 10 and 14 years, therefore there are a few health issues to keep in mind:


A shortage of melanocytes, which are pigment cells found in the skin and eyes, can lead to deafness. It is because of this that white and merle coloured canines are the most likely to be deaf Deaf puppies with both ears may be euthanized by certain breeders since they will never be used as working dogs and are difficult to train.

Hip Dysplasia

A working dog's mobility and athleticism are crucial to their jobs, so learning that he has hip dysplasia can be upsetting. Dogs with this ailment will gradually get more and more lame and uncomfortable as the disease progresses.

Ocular Diseases

When it comes to their eyes, the breed is said to have a variety of predispositions. Cataracts, progressive retinal atrophy, entropion, and ectropion have all been outlined. For testing the eyes of each Catahoula Leopard Dog in the United States, contact the Canine Eye Registration Foundation (CERF).

Recommended Health Test

  1. Eye examination
  2. Physical examination


Make sure your dog has access to clean water at all times. Also, make sure your dog is getting nutritionally sound food. To avoid overfeeding, it is common practice to feed two small meals each day. However, you should always consult with a veterinarian before making any changes to your pet's diet. To avoid gaining weight, stay aware of snacks and other fatty foods.


For a catahoula, grooming is relatively simple. Weekly brushing is sufficient to remove loose fur and dirt from a short coat and to spread skin oils. The frequency of your dog's baths will depend on how much filth he accumulates.

Once a month, be sure to clip your catahoula's nails to make sure they're in good shape. The nails of this breed develop very swiftly. Wax build-up and anomalies in your dog's ears should be checked at least once a week, and the ears should be dried completely after bathing or swimming. Brush your dog's teeth every day as well.


A happy and well-behaved catahoula leopard dog needs both physical and mental stimulation. If they don't use their energy in a constructive way, they're at risk of becoming destructive. Walking, jogging, cycling, swimming, hiking, and other forms of intense play can all count toward your daily goal of at least two hours of physical exercise. Catahoulas can also benefit from participating in dog sports such as agility and rally, which can challenge them both emotionally and physically. Puzzle toys can also keep your dog occupied while you take a rest.


As soon as possible, begin training and socialisation with your child. Your dog's independence and territoriality can lead to undesirable behaviours if you don't teach it proper behaviour. Keep training sessions light and enjoyable by employing positive training strategies. Be constant in your commands, though, so that your dog is aware of the consequences of bad conduct.

Also, from an early age, make sure your catahoula is exposed to a variety of people, pets, and environments in order to help it feel more at ease and confident. You can lessen the territorial attitude of your dog by having positive encounters in various settings.

Children and Other Pets

Catahoula breeders claim that their dogs make excellent nannies because of their calm disposition and ability to keep children entertained. Catahoulas are great family dogs, but even though they are protective and devoted, they should never be left alone with small children or toddlers. Small children may be accidently knocked down by their hyperactive nature. Like any dog, they may misunderstand a child's presence at eye level as a challenge.

As a rule of thumb, oversee any interactions between dogs and young children to avoid any mouthing, biting, or ear or tail-pulling by either party. Your youngster should be taught never to approach a dog when it is resting or eating, and never to try to take the dog's food. A dog should never be left alone with a child, no matter how old they are.

When raised in a household with other pets, some Catahoulas become good friends with them. To become accustomed to another dog, they may need a longer period of adjustment as adults choosing a dog of the opposite sex will assure the best bond. Begin a conversation with a stranger at a place that isn't your home.


Early socialisation is necessary regardless of whether a puppy comes from a breeder or an animal shelter. The better these dogs get along with other dogs, the earlier they can be socialised. Training your Catahoula Dogs at an early age helps them understand what you expect from them.

Dogs Similar to Catahoula Leopard

The Australian Shepherd and the Australian Cattle Dog are both similar in appearance to the Catahoula Leopard, while the American Bulldog is a comparable breed in temperament:

Australian Shepherd 

Colors, high intelligence, speed, and trainability are some of the similarities between Australian Shepherds and Catahoula Leopards. Grooming and upkeep are more time consuming for these dogs because of their lengthy hair.

Australian Cattle Dog 

The longevity of an Australian Cattle Dog is comparable to or even greater than that of a Catahoula Leopard, despite the fact that Cattle Dogs are double-coated, despite their smaller size.

American Bulldog 

Catahoula Leopards and American Bulldogs have a history of working, low shedding, and a family-friendly demeanour.