Dog Breeds 101: Catahoula Leopard Dog

Dog Breeds 101 – Catahoula Leopard Dog - WP
Photo – Wikipedia – lic. under CC 4.0

The Catahoula Leopard Dog (also referred to as Catahoula Hound) is the official state dog of Louisiana and was made by mixing dog breeds from various parts of the world. The Catahoula’s single-layer coat is available in an endless variety of colors and patterns. The dog also have eyes that stand out. The Catahoula often have bluish-white eyes with a cracked glaze appearance, referred to as “glass eyes”. It is common for this breed to just have one glass eye, with the other being amber or brown. [1]

The origin of the breed is still uncertain but one theory states that the Catahoula is the result of the crossbreeding between the dogs of the Native Americans and the molossers and Greyhounds brought to Louisiana by Hernando de Soto in the 16th century. Another theory suggests that the breed was created sometime in the 19th century after French settlers introduced the Beauceron to North America. The French came across dogs with haunting glass eyes that were used by the Indians to hunt game. They bred their Beaucerons with these local dogs and produced the Catahoula. [2]

There are also two theories regarding the origin of the breed’s name. One states that the word ‘Catahoula’ is a combination of the Choctaw words “okhata”, meaning lake, and “hullo”, meaning beloved. Another possibility is that the word is a French transformation of the Choctaw Indian word for their own nation, ‘Couthaougoula’. [2]

Just like other herding dog breeds, the Catahoula Leopard Dog is very protective of its family. This dog is wary of unfamiliar people and will bark with a warning at the approach of strangers. It needs firm guidance during training and needs an hour of exercise a day. When their exercise requirements are met, Catahoulas are calm, loving and dedicated companions. The breed as an average life span of 10 to 14 years. [3]

Do you want the easiest, fastest way to an obedient dog? Watch this video:

dog training