The Golden Retriever Catahoula Mix is a crossbreed derived from the Golden Retriever and Louisiana Catahoula Leopard Dog. It's also often known as the Golden Catahoula or the Goldenhoula.
This breed first appeared in Scotland, more than a hundred years ago. The main motivator was creating a hunting dog breed. In particular, one that’s capable of retrieving waterfowl on land as well as in the lakes.
Golden Catahoula Appearance
Golden Catahoulas tend to have short to medium-length coats. Their fur color gravitates around shades of gold or tan, with black and white spots mixed here and there.
The eyes are usually not glassy in appearance, unlike other Catahoula mixes. The Golden Catahoula mix is also a pretty large and heavy dog.
Golden Catahoula Temperament
When it comes to temperament, Golden Catahoulas are notably committed to their owners, as well as fiercely intelligent. These dogs are quite affectionate, even more so if the Golden Retriever side shines through.
The Golden Retriever Catahoula tends to be physically active because both of its parent breeds were originally bred to be hunting dogs. Because of this, your Golden Catahoula will need a lot of exercise.
You should have plenty of free space for him to run around. If the inside of your house isn't spacious, then you should have a sizable yard at least.
In addition, if you're not a physically active person, having a Golden Catahoula is not a good idea. He will constantly pester you for attention, and if he doesn't get enough of it, he'll start chewing on objects out of boredom.
Because of his Golden Retriever heritage, a Golden Catahoula will usually be an exceptional swimmer. That's because the Golden Retriever was originally bred to “retrieve” fallen waterfowl after they've been shot by hunters, which entails going into a river.
The Golden Catahoula can be enticed to run after small animals, such as squirrels and cats, because of the prey drive. Both of the parent breeds have prey drives as part of their original purpose, but the Catahoula has a higher level.
The prey drive will be higher if the Catahoula's genes are more prominent in your dog. To prevent your Golden Catahoula from charging at animals, or worse, children, you should start leash training from an early age.
Whenever the prey instinct causes him to try to give chase, you should stand still and keep a firm grip on the leash. Don't try to drag him back towards you.
You should only start moving again when your dog has settled down and moved back to you.
The Catahoula's herding instinct can also manifest in your dog, which can make him try to herd either you or other people around. He may do this by trying to stare you down, or by nipping at your heels.
This herding instinct means that you shouldn't leave a Golden Catahoula unattended with infants or small children. Even if he's well trained, the herding instinct may still cause him to try to herd kids that are running around.
To stop the herding instinct, you have to always make clear that you're the one in charge, not him. Don't allow the dog to push you.
Ideally, Golden Catahoulas aren't aggressive toward strangers, but they're still going to be cautious. If the Golden Retriever side shines through, your dog tends to be less aggressive.
However, if he's more like a Catahoula, he could have inherited the breed's immense protectiveness. In this case, he can be extremely defensive toward perceived threats.
If he's not well-socialized, he'll snap at other dogs when he encounters them. If this happens, it isn't a good idea to bring him to the dog park.
He can also be aggressive towards people that aren't part of the family. Keep him leashed whenever you have visitors around unless he's very familiar with them.
Training Your Golden Catahoula
Golden Catahoulas can be a challenge to train because of their high activity level, but they're quick learners. This dog is also easier to teach if he's well-exercised.
Commands and Tricks
The best way to go with training a Golden Catahoula is to split training sessions into smaller parts so that his attention doesn't wander. Always praise him and give him a treat every time he gets something right.
To curb aggressiveness, you need to start socializing the dog from an early age. Aggressive behavior in a dog usually stems from the instinctive fear of things he isn't familiar with.
As such, if you socialize your pet with different animals and people early on, fear responses will be lessened later in life. This will lead to your dog not being too susceptible to aggression.
Some ways to socialize your dog include:
- Enrolling your Golden Catahoula puppy in a socialization class.
- Bringing your puppy to pet events, where he can meet many different kinds of pets.
- Take the puppy along to a dog park, where he can interact with other dogs.
However, the Golden Catahoula is still bred from two breeds of hunting dogs. His protective and hunting instincts, even if reduced by socializing, will still be present.
With that in mind, you should always have your Golden Catahoula leashed when you bring him outside your home.
Golden Catahoula Grooming
Golden Retrievers are heavy and constant shedders, so you can expect to be grooming your Golden Catahoula every day if he's more like a Retriever. You'll also have to bathe him every day to keep the coat in good condition.
If the Catahoula side shines through instead, you won't have to groom the dog as much as he'll have short fur. You can bathe him at least a few times a year.
To keep his paws healthy, make sure to clip your Golden Catahoula's nails. The nails shouldn't touch the ground when he's standing upright.
Golden Catahoula Health Concerns
As a crossbreed, the Golden Catahoula exhibits fewer health issues than purebred dogs. However, their genetic lineage still makes them predisposed to several different illnesses.
Golden Retrievers are susceptible to skin diseases, such as ringworm and atopic dermatitis when not groomed or fed properly. This can translate to your Golden Catahoula as well.
Golden Catahoulas can also be vulnerable to conditions such as:
- elbow and hip dysplasia
- Problems in the nervous system.
Paul has been creating content for the dog niche for many years. The information he shares comes his first hand experience growing up in dog lovers household and then owning multiple dog breeds of his own as an adult. Paul enjoys doing the hard research to collect, analyze and present our dogtemperament.com readers with the best answers to their questions.