Catahoula Leopard Dog

Overall satisfaction


Acquired: Other (stray, given dog by friend etc.)

Gender: Male

Training: Crate, Puppy, Socializing, Obedience, Guard dog, Hunting and Tracking

Quick to learn and train


Emotionally stable


Family oriented


Child safety


Safe with small pets


Doesn’t bark a lot




Easy to groom


Great watch dog


Great guard dog


Pros and Cons of the amazing Catahoula Leopard Dog


Gramercy, Louisiana, United States

Posted January 3, 2019

Let me start by voicing my bias then parking it in the corner. This is my favorite dog breed. I have raised or regularly worked with over 30 Catahoulas that serve to show just how marvelous a dog breed can be. And they are absolutely beautiful to boot. Now, with that taken care of, let us proceed.
Catahoulas are a working breed. They were selectively bred for function over all else and it has resulted in a physically outstanding breed. They have loads of stamina to continually tackle long tasks given them, which they take to with enjoyment. I have personally seen a Catahoula even run partway up a tree when chasing a raccoon. It was astounding.
Being bred for function also has left this breed with a high intelligence and learning capability, allowing them to develop new skills almost seamlessly sometimes. They are known to be protective of family and home, and are noted for being more protective of children than is usually seen in most breeds.

Grooming is borderline unnecessary as Catahoulas typically possess a short coat that sheds easily, but most dogs still appreciate the occasional brushing.

Catahoulas are a double-edged sword, though. Some of the same traits that make them such remarkable working dogs can make them trying as house pets. Being bred for hunting and herding has left Catahoulas with a heightened prey drive. This is good when tracking game, but not so good when somebody has other small pets. Being high energy, if they are not given at least an hour or two DAILY exercise, they can become anxious and this may trigger in even a very disciplined Catahoula. In addition to this, that very same protective nature that makes them good guard and nanny dogs can make them aggressive towards strangers or those they don't know well, especially when coming into the home or to the door.

Their controlled breeding has also resulted in a relatively healthy species with the exception of deafness is dogs that are lighter in color and some instances of hip dysplasia. The deafness can present additional challenges when combating their headstrong during discipline at young ages .
To sum this all up, Catahoulas are a beautiful, intelligent, fun, healthy, and protective breed, but absolutely require above average work with early discipline, as well as the most socialization possible in early stages to help make them more comfortable around those not in the family or part of their "pack". And much of their "wild and crazy" reputation usually comes from lack of regular exercise, rather than a problem with the breed. A working needs to work, and a Catahoula is absolutely the rule, not the exception. A magnificent working dog or companion for a high activity household.

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