The Breed

Vital Statistics


Cayo 2Official name:  Louisiana Catahoula Leopard Dog.

Pronounced:  Loo-ee-see-anna Cat-a-who-la leopard dog.

Size:  Males 22-26 inches or 55.8-66cm.  Females 20-24 inches or 60.9cm.

Temperament:  Loyal, affectionate and placed.

Care:  High level of energy with high exercise needs, short coat requiring little grooming.

Environment:  Acreage, farms, ranches or stations.

Work:  Working and herding on land, hunting animals, and guarding.

Area & country of origin:  Louisiana, United States.

Existence:  United States, Canada, Australia, New Zealand & Germany.

Main registry: National Association of Louisiana Catahoulas (NALC), Louisiana, U.S.





The Catahoula is a very versatile dog that is predominantly used as a working or hunting dog on ranches, farms and stations.  They are a working dog that need a job to occupy them and have subsequently been bred for their working abilities and temperament, although their looks have been an added bonus.  They are also used effectively as guard dogs, rescue dogs and in narcotics detection and make loyal and affectionate pets. 


Their official name is the Louisiana Catahoula Leopard Dog after they were named as the State Dog of Louisiana by its Governor on July 9th 1979.  This is because they are named after the Catahoula Parish in Louisiana, United States.  Previously to this, they had been known as Catahoula Curs.  They can also be referred to as the Catahoula, Catahoula Leopard Dog, Catahoula Cur, Catahoula Cur Dog, Catahoula Hog Dog, or Leopard Cur.  


V\'RodCatahoulas can be found mainly in the United States, where they originated.  However, they can also be found across Canada and other countries such as Australia, New Zealand and Germany to name a few. 


In the United States, the Catahoula was first registered in 1951 by the Animal Research Foundation (ARF).  This was followed by the establishment of the National Association of Louisiana Catahoulas (NALC) in 1977 by Betty-Ann Eaves and her father Kline Rushing.  The Catahoula was then recognised by the UKC on 1st January 1995.  Owners of Catahoulas in the United States may choose to register their dog with any of the following registries: National Association of Louisiana Catahoulas (NALC), United Kennel Club (UKC), Animal Research Foundation (ARF), or the American Catahoula Association (ACA).  However, the NALC is considered the major registering body as they are solely dedicated to the Catahoula breed and offer a nationwide service dedicated to only this breed.


In Australia, there are approximately no more than 500 Catahoulas in existence.  Most can be found in New South Wales, Queensland and the Northern Territory.  To date, they are mostly used for hunting feral pigs, however, they have briefly worked cattle.  Catahoulas are not yet a recognised breed in Australia, but Currant Catahoulas have already begun this complex process to ensure the future protection of the breed.  Most Catahoula owners in Australia choose to register their dog with the NALC.





NappingCatahoulas are a medium sized dog.  Their height should be 22-26 inches or 55-66cm for males, and 20-24 inches or 20-61cm for females.  Their weight range is approximately 20-44kg or 45-95lbs.  They live for approximately 10-14 years and have litters with 8-12 pups although they can have much less and up to 13 pups.


Their coat is short, single and smooth.  It can come in any of the following colours:

Leopard colours such as blue leopard, grey leopard, or red leopard.  Solid colours such as: black, brown, tan, or brindle.  Trim colours can include any of the solid colours.  They may also have patches of 3 or more colours referred to as tri-colour, quad-colour and five-colour.


The Catahoulas eyes may be any combination of brown, hazel or green.  However, the most striking and preferred colour are glass or blue eyes.  Glass eyes can also be “cracked” which is when one or more eyes have both glass and one other colour in it.  These cracked eyes can have between one quarter to three quarters of one colour.





KidsThe Catahoula is a very loyal dog who enjoys being in the company of their owner or family.  They are a one owner dog who bonds with their master well but do not tolerate being passed around between owners.  Because of their tight bond, Catahoulas will protect their own and their owners territory and family.  This also makes them good guard dogs and we use our dog Red to guard our family business. 


They are an assertive dog and enjoy being the pack leader.  Because of this they are sometimes mistaken for being aggressive but this is not the case.  Catahoulas are selectively aggressive towards strangers, animals that they have been taught to hunt, and sometimes dogs of the same sex (if they are not properly trained to be with other dogs) or other dogs who are also dominant.


Catahoulas are very placed and affectionate dogs.  This makes them good around children but only if properly socialised, preferably from a young age.  We do recommend that, as with any dogs, never leave young children unsupervised with a dog.



Training & care


HydrobathCatahoulas are very quick learners and respond well to assertive training.  They are suitable around children and other dogs if socialised properly.  They enjoy being given a job as the have a high level of energy and should be exercised for a minimum of one hour every day.  This means that Catahoulas do not do well in inner city, small suburban or apartment living.  They are best suited to acreage, farms, ranches or stations.



1  Wikipedia

2  Central Pets