Catahoula Leopard Dog


Catahoula Leopard Dog or also Louisiana Catahoula Leopard Dog is an undisputed showstopper. Its mesmerizing look as well as unusual coat colors will make you turn around and look again.

catahoulaThe Catahoulas are rather rare outside of its country of origin, well maybe except for one more country. Read on to discover more about this beautiful rare breed.

History of the Catahoula Dog

It is an American (Louisiana) dog breed named after the Catahoula parish although its roots are also partly French. The settlers crossbred their Beauceron dogs with the wolfdogs of the Native Americans in the mid-1700. Beauceron brought the working quality and the wolfdog the hunting skills as well as the adaptability to the environment, especially the swamps.

Some reports even speak of the Spanish Mastiff being used in the breeding.

Besides being the Louisiana state dog since 1979 it’s recognized by the UKC and AKC. It is not officially recognized by the FCI.

Interesting Fact

Guess which country has the highest number of the Catahoula dogs right after USA! It is Czech Republic, a country in Central Europe, where the first couple of these dogs were brought in 1998 (first export to Europe ever).

Catahoula Appearance, Temperament and Health


  • Height: 56-66 cm/22–26 in (dogs), 51–61 cm/20–24 in (bitches)
  • Weight: 20–50 kg/45–110 lb (dogs), 18–41 kg/40–90 lb (bitches)

The Catahoula Leopard Dog will catch your eye. The first things you´ll notice is the spotted coat called merle. Although they come in solid colors and brindle, too, the red and blue merle are probably the most popular varieties.

The second thing that will make you want to know more about this dog breed are its piercing eyes. The dogs often have blue eyes but amber, green or brown are not unusual. No matter the color, however, the look of the Leopard Dog is literally piercing, even scary, some might say.

As for the body shape, the Catahoulas are rectangular-shaped and muscular, with long and curved tail, large head and drop ears.



The Catahoulas are dominant, independent, stubborn and somewhat unpredictable. Their sense of territory is very strong and they guard and protect it. The future owner should accept the fact that a Catahoula will never be absolutely obedient and it might think twice before carrying out an order.

Therefore, the education should be firm and without compromises. The Catahoula Leopard Dog isn’t a breed for beginners, you should have some previous experience with dogs who are independent and stubborn. These dogs need a lot of space and movement and an active lifestyle will help give the dog’s energy the right direction.


The Catahoulas who are excessively white often suffer from deafness due to the lack of melanocytes. However, predominantly white colored coats are discouraged. Also, the double merle puppies (both parents are of merle color pattern) have a higher chance of being deaf and blind.

The lifespan of the breed is approximately 10 – 14 years.

Catahoula as Work Dog

As was already mentioned, the Catahoulas were bred as hunting dogs. They are still used as tree and bay dogs, they’re able to hunt game as well as smaller animals. Besides that, they are very good in scent trailing and as rescue dogs and more and more also as a companion and family dog.

Final Words

Overall, the Catahoula is a breed that is sure to impress. With their unique looks, intelligence, and protective nature, they make for an excellent addition to any family or working environment. These Louisiana dogs are truly one of the best guard dog you could ask for.

If you’re a proud owner of a Catahoula, let us know!