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Catahoula Leopard Dog Breed information

Catahoula Leopard Dog information.  Catahoula Leopard Dog information.Catahoula Leopard Dog information.  Catahoula Leopard Dog information.
Thanks to Currant Catahoulas
(QLD) for the images on this page.

The Louisiana Catahoula Leopard Dog, also known as the Catahoula Cur, Catahoula Hog Dog, or simply the Catahoula, is named after Catahoula Parish, Louisiana, USA. Of remaining dog breeds, the Catahoula is believed to have occupied North America the longest, aside from the dogs descended from Native American-created breeds.

Quick facts

Catahoula Leopard Quick Facts


Weight:

20-44 kg

45-95 lbs

Height:

50-66 cm

20-26 inches

Coat:

Short, smooth

Activity level:

Very high

Learning rate:

Very high

Temperament:

Assertive, territorial

Guard dog ability:

Very high

Watch-dog ability:

Very high

Life span:

10-14 years

Appearance

As a working dog, Catahoulas have been bred more for temperament and ability than for appearance. As a result, the physical characteristics of the Catahoula are somewhat varied. They typically range from 50 to 95 pounds in weight and have short to very short hair. They come in a variety of colors: blue, red, and yellow, in both merles and solids. The archetype, however, is the blue merle. They are known for having haunting, light-blue "glass eyes", or half-blue, half-brown "cracked" eyes, although all-brown is also an acceptable eye color. Some Catahoulas have a short tail.

Temperament

Catahoulas are highly intelligent, energetic, and quick, yet are generally very loving and gentle with children. They are inquisitive and have an independent streak. However, the Catahoula temperament is not suited for everyone; these dogs tend to be very protective of their territory and family, and also, may be aggressive toward other dogs—especially of the same sex. These traits, combined with their independent nature, their high energy levels, and physical strength, can make a Catahoula "too much dog" for inexperienced or meek owners, and can make having such a dog a liability in suburban neighborhoods. Ideally, a Catahoula should have proper obedience training, secure confinement on the owner's property, and an outlet for its energy.

History

One theory as to the origins of the breed states that the Catahoula is thought to have descended from "war dogs" (Mastiffs and Greyhounds) brought to Louisiana by Hernando de Soto in the 16th century. Dogs left behind by the explorer's party were interbred by the local natives with their semi-domesticated Red Wolves.

In the 17th century, French settlers arrived in Louisiana. They brought with them the Beauceron and mixed them with the dogs that had been created by the earlier cross of red wolves and the Spanish "war dogs".

In 1979, Governor Edwin Edwards signed a bill making the Catahoula the official state dog of Louisiana in recognition of their importance in the history of the region.

Catahoulas are almost always happiest when they have a job to do (working dog). And are not often suited for life as a family pet in a suburban household. Catahoulas make good ranch or farm dogs, as they are a member of the herding group.

Sporting

The Catahoula is the working dog of the region and is seen on farms and ranches from Texas to Florida. These dogs are outstanding tracking and hunting dogs, commonly used for hunting feral pigs, squirrel, deer, raccoon and black bear.

Catahoulas have found their way to the Northern Territory of Australia where they have been found to be a superior hunting dog for pigs by breeders. [1]

Catahoula lines

There are three versions of the Catahoula Leopard:

  • The Wright line was the largest at 90 to 110 pounds and were developed by Mr. Preston Wright. This line represented dogs originally produced from Hernando de Soto's dogs.

  • The Fairbanks line was the next in size at 65 to 75 pounds and were developed by Mr. Lovie Fairbanks. They were brindle to yellow in color.

  • The McMillin line was the smallest in size at 50 to 60 pounds and were developed by Mr. T. A. McMillin of Sandy Lake, Louisiana. These were Blue Leopard dogs with glass eyes.

These three lines were crossed back and forth and created the variations of Catahoulas seen today. [2]

Health problems

As a breed, Catahoulas are relatively free of a lot of diseases. They are prone to hip dysplasia and those predominantly white, or a white faced dog with glass eyes, has an 80% chance of deafness either in one ear or both. Catahoulas can have eye problems (tunnel vision, eye won't open all the way, pupil is abnormal, etc.). Some older dogs are known to have gotten cancer.

Miscellaneous

References

Breed information on other dog breeds:

 

Text Source: Wikipedia