Catahoula Leopard Dog

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55-65 lbs
United States
Louisiana Catahoula Leopard Dog, Catahoula Cur, Catahoula Hog Dog

 Known as Louisiana’s “hog dog”, the Catahoula Leopard Dog is an extremely hard working animal without much fear. This breed has distinguishing features of speckled coats that can be a range of different colors, haunting “cracked” eyes, and a hard-working disposition. While it is unknown the exact origin of the Catahoula, it is believed that the breed was originally discovered in Northern Louisiana by settlers who needed to drive wild hogs off the land. Considering these dogs were bred to drive wild hogs and cattle to the slaughter house, it’s no surprise that they are wiry and fearless. However, it may be surprising to see their “clownish” and good natured side. The Catahoula is a great family dog, very loyal and protective of their family. Yet, there are some things that should be noted about their personality. Because these dogs are bred to take on wild creatures, it should come as no surprise that they tend to have an aggressive personality towards things they are not familiar with. For example, Catahoula’s are slightly wary of strangers and take quite a deal of time before they trust anyone new. It is important to remember that this breed can be aggressive towards unknown dogs, so never walk one without a leash. Catahoula Leopard Dogs need a strong, and firm leader who will train them with a determined, yet kind hand. While these dogs are considered more work animals than pets, they still make a great addition to the family if you are looking for an intelligent companion. 

herding, wild hog driving
Date of Origin
native american dogs, mastiffs, greyhounds

Catahoula Leopard Dog Health

Average Size
Height: 22-26 inches Weight: 65-95 lbs
Height: 20-24 inches Weight: 55-65 lbs
Major Concerns
  • Usually A Very Healthy Breed
Minor Concerns
  • Eye Problems
Occasional Tests
  • Eye Examination
  • Physical Examination

Catahoula Leopard Dog Breed History

 The Catahoula originated in Louisiana somewhere near the Catahoula Lake. The name Catahoula is thought to have been taken from the Choctaw Indian word for “lake”. Regardless of what the name means and where it came from, the Catahoula Leopard Dog certainly lives up to the “leopard” part of his name. With a coat that is speckled all over in multiple different colors, it isn’t difficult to understand why this breed took on that particular name. Sometimes known as the Catahoula Cur, Catahoula Leopard Cur, and the Catahoula Hound, this breed’s name was officially changed to the Louisiana Catahoula Leopard Dog when it became the state dog for Louisiana in 1979. In 1976, the Louisiana Catahoula Cur Association was formed. This organization, and a few others, work together to show off the breed’s unique skills through shows, clinics, trials, and testing including events such as Treeing, Hog Bay, Cow Bay, and Cow Trials. The extreme intelligence and independence of this breed makes them wondrous work dogs and perfect for jobs such as herding livestock.

Catahoula Leopard Dog Breed Appearance

The appearance of the Catahoula is just as striking as their personality. These medium sized dogs typically have a medium-length double layer coat that comes in numerous colors. From black to a yellow merle, the Catahoula has a leopard pattern that has a base of one color with spots of one or more colors. They can have detailed points above the eyes, chest, cheeks, legs, tail, and underbody. A Catahoula Leopard Dog’s eyes are also extremely unique. The colors can vary in numerous different ways and it isn’t uncommon to find a Catahoula Leopard Dog that has two different colored eyes; there is even something called “cracked” eyes that occurs in this breed, where one single eye can be multiple different colors.

Eye Color Possibilities
Nose Color Possibilities
Coat Color Possibilities
Coat Length
Short Medium Long
Coat Density
Sparse Normal Dense
Coat Texture
Straight Wiry Wavy Curly Corded

Catahoula Leopard Dog Breed Maintenance

The maintenance level for the Catahoula is relatively low. A quick brushing once a week is enough to keep this breed’s coat shiny and clean. While they may need a bath if especially dirty, typically you will only need to bathe a Catahoula perhaps a couple times a year. Just like any dog, this breed will shed lightly to moderately all year round and therefore isn’t considered hypoallergenic. The shedding shouldn’t be a problem however, if regular brushing occurs. Besides brushing and bathing, be sure to clean your dog’s teeth a couple times a week to remove any tartar build up, as the Catahoula is prone to dental disease. Trim nails a couple times a month as needed and check the ears weekly to remove any debris that may be inside. Because the Catahoula Leopard Dog has floppy ears, it is easier for bacteria, moisture, and mites to create inflammation and infection inside the ear. So regular cleaning and checkups will help to lower the chance of ear problems later down the road.

Brushes for Catahoula Leopard Dog
Slicker Brush
Nail Clipper
Brushing Frequency
Daily Weekly Monthly

Catahoula Leopard Dog Temperament

While this breed is not aggressive to his family and other people, he can be towards other animals that he may see as a threat. The Catahoula was bred to drive out wild hogs and herd wild cows; because of this, he has a very strong work ethic and isn’t about to back down to anything. Providing proper socialization and able time for your dog to adapt to any new situation or person is the best way to ensure that no aggression will form. The Catahoula should be an alert, yet gentle breed when around other humans and pets. One of the most quality traits this breed has is the loyalty and protection it provides for the family. This is an excellent dog to have around children and is not only a companion, but a great working dog at heart. The Catahoula is not for the faint of heart and requires a firm and strong leader to guide him. If you are looking for your first dog, while the Catahoula is an amazing breed, he may not be the best option to learn on. Careful training and a firm, yet kind hand will be required to raise this dog. The Catahoula Leopard Dog’s independent, hardworking spirit is what makes him such a desirable breed today.

Activity Level
Low Medium High
Rec. Walk Mileage Per Week
14 miles
Minutes of Activity Per Day
90 minutes

Catahoula Leopard Dog Popularity

Popularity ranking

Catahoula Leopard Dog Food Consumption

Cups Per Day
3.3 cups
Daily Cost
$1.5 - $1.9
Monthly Cost
$39 - $52

Catahoula Leopard Dog Height & Weight

6 Months
Height: 12 inches Weight: 37 lbs
Height: 11 inches Weight: 27 lbs
12 Months
Height: 22 inches Weight: 62 lbs
Height: 20 inches Weight: 42 lbs
18 Months
Height: 24 inches Weight: 77 lbs
Height: 22 inches Weight: 57 lbs

Top Catahoula Leopard Dog Breeders

Check out who made our list for the most reputable Catahoula Leopard Dog breeders of 2017.
Blue Roans 4U and Loukat Catahoula
Groveton, Texas
Rancho Santiago Catahoulas
Dickens, Texas
Oak Hill Catahoulas
Live Oak, Florida
Rock Hills Stock Dogs Catahoula
Bloomfield, Missouri
JT Strong Kennels Catahoula
Delhi, Louisiana
Monaghan Catahoulas
Denham Springs, Louisiana
El Dorado Catahoulas
Blue Ridge, Georgia

Catahoula Leopard Dog Owner Experiences

Rancho Santiago's Red Opie
2 Years
3 People
House & Yard
We have enjoyed , bred, raised, trained and worked Catahoulas for 0vwe 25 years
1 month, 2 weeks ago