Catahoula Leopard Dog


A large sized Catahoula Leopard Dog
Catahoula Leopard Quick Summary
Also Known AsCatahoula Cur
Height (at withers)20-26in (51-66cm)
Weight50-90lbs (23-41kg)
Hair Colour(s)Varies
Lifespan10-14 years
Energy LevelHigh
Litter size8-12
Barking TendencyMedium
Exercise requirementsHigh
Ease of trainingMedium
Suitability for kidsMedium
Animal compatabilityLow
Aggression levelsLow
Distress if leftHigh

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. The short, dense single coat comes in a variety of colours including black, grey and white. It is worthy of note that as they were bred for temperament rather than appearance, their appearance can vary.


Catahoula Leopard Dogs are highly energetic and assertive dogs, although they are not aggressive. They thrive on interaction and being given a task to do, and they do not like isolation. They make good family pets but often feel the need to take charge of their pack, including dogs and people. Therefore owners must be assertive and establish themselves firmly as the pack leader. These are highly intelligent creatures but are suited more to experienced owners rather than novices. Catahoula Leopard Dogs get along with older, more considerate children and have been known to take it upon themselves to look after these without any training. However, they are not suited to smaller kids simply because of their large size. They will need early socialisation around other dogs and pets and will be cautious around strangers. Having been trained for personal protection, they are natural watch dogs and will alert their owners if anything seems amiss.

History & Skills

Catahoula Leopard Dogs originate from the USA, in particular the state of Louisiana, where they are named after the Catahoula Parish. Thought to descend from Mastiffs and Greyhounds, they are possibly one of North America's oldest breeds and are a cur, rather than a true hound, and were traditionally used in hunting wild boar. These days they are used as working dogs used on farms and ranches across North America, and are outstanding trackers and hunters, commonly used for hunting wild pigs, squirrels, deer, raccoons, mountain lions and even black bears. They have prominent webbing between their toes that gives them the ability to work marshy areas, along with great swimming ability.

Breed Specific Ailments

Catahoula Leopard Dogs tend to live between 10-14 years and are a pretty health breed on the whole. Some of the health concerns noted in this breed include deafness and hip dysplasia.


Catahoula Leopard Dogs are medium shedders and so may not be suitable for allergy sufferers. Their grooming requirements are low and all they need is a weekly brushing and a twice yearly bathing.

Exercise & Environment

Catahoula Leopard Dogs can live indoors or out, but should be kept indoors in cold weather due to their single coats. These are high energy dogs and they will need a minimum of one hour of exercise each day.


KCThe Kennel Club (UK)

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