About Catahoula Leopard Dogs
The Catahoula Leopard is a recognized breed that has distinctive features and is very loving and protective of its family. They are sometimes referred to as a Catahoula Cur or Louisiana Catahoula Leopard Dog, and they were honored in 1979 with the title of Louisiana’s state dog. The Catahoula Leopard was traditionally used as a hunting and herding dog, and they still enjoy spending a lot of time outside. Therefore, this breed is especially well-suited to individuals and families with a yard or those who have the tendency to go outside frequently. However, this does not mean that they will not live happily in an apartment. In fact, as long as you have the ability to take them for walks every day, they can acclimate very successfully to almost any living environment.
History of the Catahoula Leopard
The origins of this breed are difficult to trace, but there is some evidence to suggest that they are directly related to the Nordic Wolfhound. It is known that their point of origin is the Catahoula area of Louisiana, and this is how the breed was named. Originally, the Catahoula Leopard was used in teams of three to herd cattle and feral pigs, and they were also occasionally utilized to help hunters track and tree raccoons.
Basic Physical Features of the Catahoula Leopard
These attractive dogs have a short and tight coat that is typically merle or black and tan. It is common for Catahoula Leopards to have complementary coat and eye colors, and they have strong and solid legs that make them suitable for hiking, jogging and daily walks. The average male will achieve a height of 22 to 26 inches, and the average female is only slightly smaller at 20 to 24 inches. It is typical for this breed to weigh between 55 and 80 pounds, and they finish growing around the age of two.
Personality and the Importance of Pack Status
The Catahoula Leopard is extremely affectionate with members of its family, but it tends to be reserved around strangers. In other words, new people will need to give this dog time to smell them and get used to their presence. This breed does require a specific pack ranking within your home that designates who is the leader. Therefore, it is best for the Catahoula Leopard to live with a dominant owner who has the ability to showcase strong leadership. Providing these dogs with a clearly defined pack order and the opportunity to exercise regularly will make them happy and comfortable enough to become a great family pet.
Catahoula Cur Health and Grooming Needs
This breed is typically free of diseases, but it is possible that they could become deaf. Fortunately, even if this does happen, it is still relatively easy for these dogs have a happy and fulfilling life. Catahoula Leopards typically live approximately 12 to 13 years, and they are a light to average shedder. It is important to note that any stress or nervousness will cause a Catahoula Leopard to shed more than usual, so you can look at any unusual shedding as a sign that something is making the dog uncomfortable. People who do not have the time to dedicate to a rigid grooming routine will do well this breed because they usually require only two to three baths per year unless they do something unusual that gets them extremely dirty. These dogs do need to be brushed weekly, and it is also important to keep their teeth cleaned and their nails trimmed.
If your family is looking for the perfect four-legged companion, it is definitely a good idea to strongly consider a Catahoula Leopard puppy. After all, they have enough energy to play with your children and join you each time you go jogging, and they are also loyal and protective enough to offer your home some security. The first two years are the most important for developing the proper pack ranking and socialization skills, so purchasing a Catahoula Leopard as a puppy is the best way to bring them into your home.