This versatile breed is recognized as Louisiana leopard dog or in short as Louisiana Catahoula and Catahoula hog dog. This American dog species name is based on Catahoula Parish of Louisiana. In 1979 it became the state dog of Louisiana. It is still a working, all-purpose farm and hunting dog. The dog can work as a Stock dog, Tree dog, Bay dog, Guard dog, Watchdog, and a sincere companion.
The Catahoula is very intelligent and right from puppy days require patient consistent training. Puppies require tough and durable toys in growing years. It is a companion dog and should not be left to live outside or any place in isolation. The species is rare purebred dogs. So adopt one from rescue groups or shelters. This dog shed mildly or slightly throughout the year.
Distinctive Features of Catahoula Leopard Dog
These are muscular dogs having rectangular contoured bodies. The head is large with drop ears on either side. The muzzle is a little tapered. The stout muscular neck and the long curved tail adds to the personality of the dog. The dogs have several colors. The fur is medium to short. The dog is slightly longer than its height. Its appearance shows briskness and stamina.
Life longevity is 10-14 years. The height of the male is 22-26 inches at the shoulder. The females of the species are 20-24 inches at the shoulder. The male weight varies from 65-90 pounds whereas the female weighs 50-65 pounds. Males are a little bigger than females.
This tough beautiful dog has spotted, and patched coat in different colors. There is a splurge of colors on the face, legs, and chest. The leopard akin coat is because of the merle gene. As Catahoula are working dogs the fur hue is not the basic consideration. The variety in colors is as follows:
- Hues of red- it is the color of brown and tan which is classified under this head.
- Hues of blue- here the dark grey black and some white exist together.
- The hue of black- the patches of these colors happens sparingly.
- The hue of silver and gray- here the black hue shows light gray as well.
- The hue of three shades- the dogs is black, white as well as gray.
- Geometric five hue- among other hues white and tan is inclusive. There is black, and gray, as well.
- Hue in the patchwork- The white creature has little merle patches on the fur. The color could be black or brown or gray, blue, liver or red.
The eyes may be green, blue, amber, or green. These dogs both eyes may be of different colors and it is called cracked eyes. It is also possible that within the same eye color variation is there. This condition is called heterochromia. When the eyes appear very light like white it is a glass eye. When the eye is colored as well as glass in the same eye it is a marbled or cracked eye. Spots in brown eyes as well as glass spots it is labeled as spots eyes. Some eyes are gray. The whip-like tail gives grace to the animal. The dog has webbed toes. This permits the dog to swim and work in soft boggy marshy regions.
How to Take Care of Pet Catahoula Leopard Dog?
Taking care of a pet is never easy but it's not all that hard either if you know everything about your pet.
What to Feed Catahoula Leopard Dog?
The diet served to Catahoula daily 3-5 cups of superior quality food home-made or commercial daily served in two meals. Wait for an hour after exercise to serve food and water. If not done so it will lead to gastric dilatation-volvulus or bloat. Do not leave food out all the time in the bowel. Overeating will lead to obesity. Get the vet's approval. The diet of the dog is variable by different factors like size, age (puppy, adult, or senior), build, activity undertook, metabolism
A few dogs are prone to gain weight so control their calorie consumption. Treats as positive reinforcement should be given in moderation during training. Too much can cause obesity. Catahoula leopard dogs can adjust to living indoors as well as outdoors. However, when outdoor, get the area fenced because it does tracking and herding and may not lose its way beyond the house. Give plenty of human company.
The fur is smooth short or medium-coarse quality. It should be brushed every week. This way the fur shines and shedding is reduced. Bath is necessary a few times a year. Dental hygiene is a must and so is nail care. Brushing should be done 2-3 times a week to remove tartar and bacteria. Nail trimming should be limited to twice a month. Ear checkups should be a weekly affair. Check for debris, inflammation, and redness. Ear cleaning should be done by the vet or breeder with care.
What are the Health Concerns of Catahoula Leopard Dog?
In case the puppy is being procured from a good breeder make sure you get health clearances for both parents. This is a precautionary measure. Certain health issues indeed erupt when the dog reaches maturity. This breed common occurrence of health issues is hip dysplasia and deafness. In hip dysplasia, the thigh bone does not fit in the hip joint leading to lameness or arthritis. Catahoula color genes merle causes deafness on one side or both sides.
What it's Like to Have Catahoula Leopard Dog as a Pet?
Catahoula has determined work ethics. It works in swamps as well as forests. To do all this activity needs a firm and consistent leader to control the dog. The dog requires vigorous exercise for an hour daily. These exercises can be in the form of hiking, running, swimming, fetching flying discs, etc. based on these exercises the dog can participate in hunting, tracking, and herding. It has more agility and learns obedience.
As a pup introduce Catahoula to often socialization with humans and animals alike. Expose them to different humans, sights, sounds as well as experiences. Take the pup to parks, stores, and strolls to meet acquaintances. Social skills will become better. Puppies with inborn nice temperaments are curious as well as playful.
The dog is cautious of strangers. Its attitude towards the family is loving, as well as protective. Males are aggressive towards other male dogs in the vicinity. Catahoula is a very good watchdog. They bark and alert the owner. The dog is averse to bad handling and physical abuse.
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Frequently Asked Questions About Catahoula
Some of the generally asked questions about the Catahoula are answered below:
Is a Catahoula a Good Family Dog?
Pups are loving and curious about humans. The pet parent should be experienced in dealing with this species of dog. Catahoula safeguards the family they live with. They make their own opinions about a stranger's credibility. Owners feel their judgment is accurate.
Catahoula is a dedicated companion, loving and calm in the home. Children in the house must be supervised on interactions between them and the dog. The dog is energetic and may by oversight knock down a child. Children who reach their eye level may interpret a child's direct gaze as attempting to challenge him. The dog may react. Guide children on how to touch the dog; make them understand not to pull the dog's tail or ear. The dog should not be disturbed while sleeping and eating. Never snatch the food from the dog.
In these dogs, unfavorable behavior, aggressive behavior, and destructive behavior happen the dog receives less mental and physical exercise.
Are Catahoula Dogs Dangerous?
The Catahoula has prey drive so they may chase small creatures including the pet cat. Moreover, they can be aggressive towards other dogs more so if both are male. Walk with a leash so you can control aggressive drive towards other animals.
Is Catahoula Easy to Train?
Catahoula dogs are known as intelligent and easy to train. They can obey a number of commands like "sit," "stay," "come" and "sit pretty."
Catahoulas have an immense amount of energy. They require a lot of exercise, which is good for their mental health. It is important to train them from an early age so they can understand that not everyone likes it when they lick people's faces or jump on them.
How Fast is a Catahoula?
Just like any other dog breed, the Catahoula is also fast.
However, this Louisiana native has been clocked at speeds of up to 45 miles per hour.
And that's not all - it can keep running at that speed for more than three hours!