Catahoula FAQ  

Here, I have assembled the questions that I have been asked most often about the Louisiana Catahoula Leopard Dog. The information contained within these pages are from personal experience and data collection. If you have a question that is not answered here please feel free to contact me.

  • What is a Leopard Dog?
    This is a reference to the the color pattern of the Catahoula. The coloring is the results of the Merle Gene which is similar to that of the Australian Shepherd.
  • What is the difference between a Catahoula Cur and a Catahoula Leopard Dog?
    None. They are the same dogs. The name was changed from Catahoula Cur to Louisiana Catahoula Leopard Dog when they became the State Dog of Louisiana.
  • What is the average size of a Catahoula adult?
    On the average, males are 24 inches at the withers and weigh 65-75 lbs. Females will average 22 inches and weigh 55-65 lbs. There are some that are larger or smaller, but this is the average.
  • Do Catahoulas have Bob-tails?
    Naturally Bob-tailed Catahoulas do exist, and are accepted in most registries, but are not preferred. Docked tails are considered a fault in most registries.
  • What color is the Catahoula?
    Catahoulas come in a range of colors. Leopards (merles) may be blue, gray, black, liver, red, and patched. Patched dogs are predominantly white with any color patches. Solid colors are black, red, chocolate, yellow, and brindle. Trim colors may be black, white, tan, red, or buff.
  • Is it true that the Blue Leopards are the most valuable?
    No. Although most people associate the Catahoula with the blue leopard coloring, it has nothing to do with the value of the dog. Value is established by the accomplishments of the individual dog, and its bloodline.
  • Is it true that each eye is a different color?
    Some Catahoulas have opposing eye colors, but this is not required of the breed. There are eyes with two different colors in them. These are called "cracked eyes".
  • Are Glass (Blue) Eyes rare?
    Glass eyes are common in the Catahoula. The Catahoulas eyes may be brown, green, amber, or glass (blue). The eye color is just the work of the Merle gene and has nothing to do with the rarity or value of the dog.
  • How much does a Catahoula cost?
    This depends on the breeders' opinion of the quality of their dogs. You will find Catahoulas from $100 to thousands of dollars depending, on their training and bloodlines. In general you should be able to find a good quality Catahoula between $400 and $800. Shipping costs would be extra.
  • Are Catahoulas good with children?
    Yes. When a Catahoula is raised with children, the dog believes that it is his responsibility to look after those children. Caution should be taken when introducing any breed of dog to young children. Always keep in mind that young children are at eye level with the dog, and this could be perceived by the dog as a challenge for his position in the family pecking order.
  • Would you recommend the Catahoula as a family dog?
    Yes. The Catahoula makes a good family dog provided enough exercise is made available. This breed must get a minimum of one hour of running exercise each day, rain or shine. A Catahoula will not tolerate being isolated, so interaction with the dog is a daily requirement. I strongly recommend obedience training for the family dog. Remember that this is a dog that lives to be active. Giving him a chore, even simple obedience tasks, will help to occupy his mind.
  • Can Catahoulas be kept in Urban environments, such as an apartment?
    Yes. Provided that the dog receives the proper amount of exercise. Exercise is key with a Catahoula. You must allow it to exercise its body and mind. Obedience training and exercise are very important for a dog kept in an urban atmosphere.
  • How are Catahoulas with other animals?
    Each dog has its own personality, which makes it difficult to answer this directly. Catahoulas, in general, want to be in charge of the pack. Introducing a Catahoula to another animal should be done in the same manner as with any other dog.
  • Can the Catahoula be used as a protection dog?
    Catahoulas are naturally protective of what and whom they think they own. In fact, many owners will say that the Catahoula owns them. Catahoulas have been trained for personal protection, but this breed is a natural alarm dog. He will alert you to anything out of the ordinary.
  • Can Catahoulas be used as working or hunting dogs?
    Working and hunting are what the Catahoula does best. I have seen Catahoulas used for everything including retrieving ducks. The Catahoula works cattle from the head, rather than the heel. It has been stated that the Catahoula can outwork any other breed performing the same tasks.
  • I've heard that Catahoulas are mean. Is this true?
    No. Most of those that have seen a Catahoula working a wild hog are given the impression that they are mean. As with any breed, you may find one that is aggressive, but, in general, they are very even tempered. Males tend to be more obnoxious than females, but Catahoulas are very serious about their job when they are working.
  • Is the Catahoula mixed with Pit Bull?
    The Louisiana Catahoula Leopard Dog was derived through breedings with the Red Wolf, Alano Mastiff, Greyhound, and Beauceron. Although some people have crossed Catahoulas with Pit Bulls in an attempt to create a better dog, the true Catahoula is comprised of the dogs listed.
  • Are Catahoulas registered with AKC?
    Beginning in 2010 Catahoulas are being registered with AKC, however, most reputable breeders are not making the move to AKC. The Majority of Catahoulas are registered with: United Kennel Club (UKC) and National Association of Louisiana Catahoulas (NALC). Other recognized registries are Animal Research Foundation (ARF) and National Kennel Club (NKC).
  • Are there any shows for Catahoulas?
    Yes. There are a number of various organizations putting on shows which involve Catahoulas. The National Association of Louisiana Catahoulas, and The United Kennel Club, as well as other organizations have shows throughout the year.
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