The Catahoula cur or Louisiana Catahoula leopard dog is an American dog breed. It is named after Catahoula Parish in the state of Louisiana. The Catahoula is believed to have occupied North America the longest, aside from the dogs descended from Native American-created breeds. The breed is sometimes referred to as the "Catahoula Hound" or "Catahoula Leopard Hound", although it is not a true hound, but a cur.
The Catahoula is the ultimate working dog and is said by many to be the world's most versatile breed. Catahoulas excel at herding and hunting almost any type of cattle or game (including wild boar, raccoon, squirrel, bear, and deer). Although better at hunting and herding wild game, they can also be used for treeing. They are naturally protective of their home and family, and make excellent watch/guard dogs. Catahoulas are exceptionally intelligent and loyal. However, they are also a highly energetic and very assertive breed and require an experienced owner. A working or hunting home is preferable, as these dogs are best at picking fights with their quarry. They are affectionate and sensitive to their owner, yet tough on game.
Height: 20 - 26 inches.
Weight:There are three different lines of Catahoula, from which three different weights come into play. The Wright line is from 90 - 110 lbs. The Fairbanks line is from 65 - 70 lbs. and the McMillin line is from 50 - 60 lbs. All have been crossed with each other, creating the variety we have today.
Colors: Blue leopard, red leopard, black, red, yellow, and brindle. Tan and/or white trim may be present. The coat can be any color or pattern. It is often patchy, brindled, or leopard. The eyes can be any color or combination of colors, including blue. The colors come from distinct lines of the breed. The Wright line descended from the original Spanish explorer Hernando de Soto's dogs. The brindle to yellow colored dogs were from the Fairbanks line, and the blue leopard color and glassy eyes came from the McMillin line.
Coat: Short, smooth and dense. Can be medium length.
Temperament: Catahoula Leopard Dogs are assertive, strong, workaholic dogs. They are affectionate and playful with their owners, but remain wary of strangers. They are very protective and not afraid of a fight, in fact they like to pick fights with quarry. They generally get along with children, but should be supervised. They are more tough than most other shepherd dogs, as they heel harder and are more aggressive with livestock. Best used for wild animals, this breed may have red wolf blood. They are dominant, strong-willed and serve as pack leaders.
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