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Australian Shepherd Catahoula Mix: An Interesting Combo… Ready?

As their name suggests, the Australian Shepherd Catahoula mix is a crossbreed of the Australian Shepherd and the Louisiana Catahoula Leopard Dog. They can also be called the Catahoula Aussie.

Alternatively, they could also be referred to as the Catahoula Shepherd Mix. That can also refer to the German Shepherd Catahoula, which is a completely different crossbreed.

Compared to other mixes, the Catahoula Aussie is relatively rare.

While Australian Shepherds or Aussies are frequently found in many American households, Catahoulas are rare outside the state of Louisiana. Their crossbreed is also hard to find, and the rarity of the Catahoula might be one of the reasons.

It's a new breed that has only gained popularity among dog lovers within the last few decades.

Wet Aussies

Notably, most Australian Shepherd Catahoulas are products of accidental breeding. The majority of them are adopted from animal shelters rather than bought from breeders.

Currently, there isn’t a lot of information available as to when and where the Catahoula Aussie mix was first bred. Also, the American Kennel Club (AKC) or any other kennel club doesn’t recognize this crossbreed.

Australian Shepherd Catahoula Appearance

The Catahoula Aussie has a varied appearance and could be hard to distinguish from other Australian Shepherd mixes. In addition, this hybrid is bred for abilities more than appearance, adding to the unpredictability.

In the end, it depends on which of his parents' genes shine through. More often than not, it's the Australian Shepherd that he'll take after.

If he leans more on the Australian Shepherd's heritage, chances are that he'll boast a double coat and long hair. If he's more like a Catahoula, he'll be short-haired and have no undercoat.

On the other hand, we can't discount the probability that the dog will take after his parents equally. In that case, he could have medium-length hair either with or without an undercoat.

Regardless, the Catahoula Aussie will sport several different colors on his coat. Usually, the combinations range between black-and-white, brindle, and brown-and-white.

Body Size

It’s a medium-sized dog, just like its parent breeds. The ideal weight for males is around 60 to 80 pounds, while for females, it can range from 40 to 55 pounds.

As for the height, it's generally the same for both males and females. They measure around 18 to 24 inches.

Coat Type, Color, Length, and Pattern

The Catahoula Leopard dog and the Australian Shepherd differ quite wildly when it comes to coat. Hence, their cross has an unpredictable coat type, color, and pattern.

Photo of Australian Shepherd

If it inherits the Catahoula parent’s coat, expect that it’ll have a short coat. Much like a Catahoula’s coat, it’s low-maintenance and will only require regular bathing.

On the other hand, if it inherits an Aussie Shepherd’s coat, expect its coat to be long. This will require consistent brushing and regular trips to the groomers.

As for the coat color and pattern, this crossbreed can be absolutely any possible coloration, much like its parent breeds.

Here are examples of common colorations in this crossbreed:

  • Black
  • Blue merle
  • Red/red merle
  • White markings
  • Tan points
  • Brindle
  • Solid colors

Eyes and Ears

Other distinctive features of the Catahoula Aussie are the eyes and ears. The eyes of this breed are usually light brown or pale blue, or both because of heterochromia.

Both the Catahoula Leopard Dog and the Australian Shepherd can have heterochromia. This is when dogs have a different color for each eye.

The Catahoula Aussie mix can also have this trait. One brown and one blue eye is a very common eye color combination.

This crossbreed will likely also inherit the ears of its parent breeds: the ears are triangular, which could either be erect or flopped down.

Australian Shepherd Catahoula Temperament

Generally, the Catahoula Aussie is a playful and gentle dog when it comes to his family. He also develops a strong emotional bond with his owner but is still an independent thinker.

Australian Shepherd Puppy

However, if you leave your Catahoula Aussie alone for extended periods, he may develop separation anxiety. So, it's best to have this dog when you or another member of the family can be with him for most of the day.

Overall, this dog requires a lot of commitment. It's best if you already have experience with owning a dog before.

Physical Activity

Bred from two breeds of hunting and herding dogs, the Catahoula Aussie has a lot of energy. He's never content with just sitting around the house, and loves to run around.

One thing to note is their love for the outdoors. The Catahoula is bred to hunt in the bogs and swamps, while the Australian Shepherd is bred to herd in ranches and farms.

As such, you have to plan out regular exercises with your dog. You should have a backyard in your home, where he can run to his heart's content.

At a minimum, the Catahoula Aussie needs an hour of exercise a day. He requires a lot of open space, so apartment life is unsuitable.

Otherwise, this dog can become destructive if he gets bored. He may start chewing on objects, such as shoes and furniture, as he looks for an outlet to release his pent-up energy.

Photo of  Australian Shepherd Catahoula Dogs

The Catahoula Aussie loves going outside, so take him out for long walks or hikes as much as you can. This will ensure that he doesn't feel stressed by a limited environment.

Intelligent and Independent

The Catahoula Aussie mix is a product of two working dogs. As a result, it’s also highly intelligent. It will benefit a lot from puzzle toys and games that involve finding things.

However, if it takes after the Catahoula parent, it can also be independent. If you don’t give it enough things to do, it may take matters into its own hands, and that usually means trouble.

You have to keep this crossbreed’s brain and body busy to avoid any mischief. Fortunately, this crossbreed is very easy to train.

Prey Drive

Both of the parent breeds of the Catahoula Aussie have high prey drives. This instinct makes him likely to chase after smaller animals that he sees, such as cats and squirrels.

If you have rabbits, rodents, or birds as pets, it's not a good idea to get a Catahoula Aussie. He may injure, or even kill them, when left unattended.

Herding Instinct

Catahoula Aussie

Because both of the parent breeds were used to herd livestock, your Catahoula Aussie may manifest the herding Instinct. He may try to herd you around if you don't make it clear that you're the one in charge.

For this reason, this dog, while playful, shouldn't be left alone with small children and infants.

This instinct could have him trying to shove you with his body, or nipping at your heels. This behavior can be disruptive if you don't correct it early on.


The Catahoula Aussie is protective of his family, which makes this breed great at being a watchdog. He'll bark when he feels something suspicious or sees unfamiliar people in his territory.

Still, this can be an issue if you have visitors with whom he's not familiar. In that case, keep him leashed.

If he's more like a Catahoula, he won't get along with other dogs without being socialized from an early age. However, if he takes after the Australian Shepherd, he will have a more open personality when it comes to other dogs.


The Catahoula Aussie mix is fearless in the sense that it isn’t afraid to stand its ground when faced with a stranger. It’s by no means a shy dog.

Combine their fearlessness with the protective traits inherited from the Australian Shepherd, and you’ve got yourself a perfect guard dog.

Australian Shepherd Catahoula Training

The Catahoula Aussie is pretty challenging to train due to a tendency towards stubbornness. While he's intelligent and a quick learner, you'll need a firm hand in training him.

Once you've gotten his interest, though, it's easier to give him proper training. To get the best results, praise and give him a treat each time he gets a task right.

Photo of Australian Shepherd Eating Treats

Australian Shepherd Catahoula Grooming

Usually, the Catahoula Aussie is a moderate shedder, so you'll have to groom him a few times a week. However, that could change depending on which of the parent breeds shine through.

If he's more like the Catahoula, shedding is minimal. You don't have to comb him, and you can bathe him at least a few times a year.

If the dog takes after the Australian Shepherd, shedding ranges from moderate to heavy as he goes through two coats between winter and summer.

In that case, you should groom and bathe him every day.

In addition, make sure to trim the nails of your dog to keep his paws healthy. The nails shouldn't be touching the ground when he's standing upright.

Australian Shepherd Catahoula Health Concerns

While a Catahoula Aussie generally has a longer lifespan and fewer health issues than his parents, his genetic lineage still makes him susceptible to some conditions. These include:


Remember how we said that the Catahoula Aussie mix is healthier than its parent breeds? We say that because it can live up to 10 to 16 years, which is a few years more than the Catahoula and the Australian Shepherd.