With stunning bright eyes and a gorgeous leopard coat, the Catahoula leopard dog is every active family’s best companion.
Catahoulas are unique dogs in all aspects. They have coats that come in solid and spotty patterns.
Besides Catahoula’s special looks, their history is fascinating, too. They’re the only dogs to originate from Louisiana!
There are more things to find out about Catahoulas, like diet and training. So, keep reading!
Catahoula Leopard’s Distinctive History
Originally bred in Louisiana, gray Catahoula leopard dogs have a pretty unique history.
Although there have been some speculations about the credibility of their history, it’s still interesting to know about it.
During the 1500s, the indigenous tribes of Louisiana domesticated dogs that were said to have red wolf ancestry.
Then, when the Spanish explorers came, they decided to cross-bred the wolf-like dogs with bloodhounds, greyhounds, and European mastiffs.
Eventually, the Native Americans called the cross-bred dog wolf dogs. Afterward, when the French settlers stayed in South America, they bred the wolf dogs with other dogs.
Finally, the French-bred wolf dogs became what we now know as Catahoula leopard dogs.
Interestingly, Catahoula means “sacred lake” in the Choctaw language. This is because Catahoulas are the only dogs that came from South America.
Catahoula Dog’s Striking Features
With glassy blue eyes and strong jaws, gray Catahoula leopard dogs are commonly known for their unique features.
Most Catahoula leopard dogs weigh around 50-95 pounds, according to AKC. They’re also pretty slender, with a height of 22-24 inches.
Additionally, Catahoula dogs resemble ducks with their webbed feet, making them fantastic swimmers.
Furthermore, Catahoula leopard dogs might seem intimidating because of their sharp jaws and broad heads, but they’re actually playful!
Hardworking Catahoula Leopard Dogs
Initially bred to herd cattle, the gray Catahoula leopard dog loves challenging jobs, especially hunting animals.
The powerful bite of a Catahoula leopard dog (a force of around 200-400 PSI) accompanied by a muscular body, make him a great watchdog for protecting your home.
Affectionate Catahoula Leopard Dogs
Despite Catahoula leopard dogs being excellent workers, they make lovely family companions too! Even if you have children, they’ll bond well with them.
However, if the children mistreat a Catahoula leopard dog, he might get aggressive.
So, supervise the dog until he gets along with the kids, but keep the dog away if you have babies. Adding to that, teach the children to play gently with the dog.
As for pets, Catahoula leopard dogs can get along well with cats. That’s not the case with small pets like birds, though. Since these dogs are hunters, they may kill or hurt these small pets.
Additionally, Catahoula leopard dogs get feisty and territorial around other dogs, particularly if they’re from the same sex.
Though, if you teach Catahoula leopard puppies early socialization, they might get along with the other dogs.