Louisiana Catahoula Leopard Dog

Fast Facts

Country of Origin:USA
AKC Group:Rare
UKC Group:Herding
Use today:Working farm/ranch dog, watchdog, herding, (large game) hunting, companion
Life Span:10 to 13 years
Color:Various, from solid to spotted patterns.
Coat:Short, dense.
Grooming:Weekly brushing.
Size:Large Dog Breed
Height:Males ideally measure 24 inches at the shoulder; females, 22 inches.
Weight:50 to 95 well-proportioned pounds.

No one quite knows the origins of the Louisiana Catahoula Leopard Dog, but these unusual and unique dogs have been around for a long time. One theory suggests that early Spanish expeditions, in search of gold and adventure, brought along Spanish war dogs. Some experts believe Beaucerons were added to the mix when the area was settled by the French. During the 1700s, Louisiana settlers discovered the Native Americans using Catahoula Dogs to hunt wild game, including deer, bobcat, hogs and bear, and were soon also using these versatile dogs to hunt as well as herd. The Louisiana Catahoula Leopard Dog has been designated as the official state dog of Louisiana since 1979. Well-muscled and agile, the modern Catahoula has no lack of talents. This hard-bodied working dog is equally capable of herding cattle and feral hogs or scenting, trailing and treeing game--from deer to raccoons. According to the standard, males ideally measure 24 inches at the shoulder; females, 22 inches; with weights ranging from 50 to 95 well-proportioned pounds. Its short coat, which requires only weekly brushing, and slightly round eyes come in an astounding variety of colors and combinations. Although the word "leopard" in this breed's name may imply that all members of the breed have the striking leopard coat pattern, this is only one of the many beautiful colors and patterns found in the Catahoula. Catahoulas are typically one-man or one-family dogs, affectionate, loyal and protective with their people, but aloof to visitors. Individual temperaments vary greatly, but a Catahoula may exhibit independence and territoriality, so firm, consistent training and guidance are critical.

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