We always love getting emails from our customers & readers asking us to feature their dog or favorite breed for our Best Bully Sticks Spotlight on a Breed blog series every Thursday. As always we are honored to oblige. We are excited to spotlight the Lousiana Catahoula Leopard.
Height: 20 to 26 inches
Weight: 60 to 90 pounds
Coat: The Louisiana Catahoula Leopard coat is short , dense and smooth, easy to maintain and suited perfectly for their active lifestyle.
Color: Comes in colours that vary from solid colours that are black, red, chocolate, yellow, and brindle and merle colours that vary from blue, gray, black, white, liver, red, and patched. The “leopard” in the name comes from the merled colour of some of the dogs.
Appearance: The Catahoula Leopard Dog is a strong, robustly built dog. The body is well muscled with a deep chest, strong and long legs, arched loins and a long, slightly curled tail. The head is broad and flat with a strong muzzle, pendant forward-folding ears and dark eyes.
Temperament: As with most smart dog breeds, the Louisiana Catahoula Leopard needs to have a fair amount of stimulation in order to stay energized and happy. These dogs are highly intelligent and quick to assess situations, making them perfect helpers in law enforcement. But at the same time, this energy they have can also match perfectly with young children. The Catahoula is gentle and loving with younger children, so unlike other sporting dogs, this breed can be a good addition to a home setting.
Because of their high intelligence, the Catahoula Leopard is often trying to learn new things and will be curious about their environment. This creates a sort of independent manner about them, and they will go off to wander and explore alone if they are compelled to do so.
Spending a lot of time with this dog is imperative for its health and happiness. This is a dog that craves interaction with others and wants to be a part of the family that it belongs to. If you do not have time to interact with this type of dog breed, it may not be a good fit for your home. What may not work for every family is the Catahoula Leopard’s tendency to be very overprotective of their family and of their territory. This can cause problems in some situations.
The Catahoula can also become fierce when they are around other dogs, especially when the dogs are the same sex as they are. Though the initial protectiveness may not be seen in the first few years of a Catahoula’s life, it’s at the age of two that this breed begins to feel it has a responsibility to protect its owners.
What’s interesting too is that the Catahoula can become mild-mannered and timid around strangers, not from intimidation, but from hesitation. These dogs are intolerant of strangers and that’s what makes them seem fearful in the presence of someone they don’t know. With all of these personality features in mind, some more mild-mannered dog owners may not be a good fit for the Catahoula Leopard. The owner needs to be someone that is ready to demonstrate leadership for the dog, as this breed wants to be lead and trained by an authority.
This dog breed is often encouraged in homes that have a lot of room for the dog to roam, but in city or suburbs, they might feel too caged in. When trying to control your Catahoula Leopard, you will want to make sure they attend obedience classes as well as have a place where they can be locked up when you’re not around to monitor their actions.
Health: The life expectancy for an Louisiana Catahoula Leopard is 10-14 years. While generally a healthy dog overall, the Catahoula Leopard can encounter some problems during their active life.
This particular dog breed is prone to hip dysplasia, which can cause pain and problems with mobility as the condition progresses. Those Catahoulas with a white coat or with a white face are also prone to issues with glass eyes. These particular colored dogs can often have an 80% chance of developing Deafness in one or both ears.
Occasionally, this dog breed will have troubles with their eyes, leading to tunnel vision, abnormal pupil dilation, and sometimes problems with the eye opening. This is often seen in particular breeds, like the McMillin line.
Some of the Catahoula Leopard Dog breed can also develop cancer in their older years.