The Catahoula Leopard dog is an intelligent, energetic, hard working dog that has a long history in herding and hunting. Sometimes denounced as an aggressive dog, they are better described as aggressive workers, as they have a very strong work ethic and love to work, but it is also true that they are very wary of strangers.
The Catahoula temperament is not well suited for everyone; these dogs are very protective of their territory and family, especially the males, but are kind and gentle toward other dogs when on neutral ground.
It is these traits, combined with their independent nature, their high energy levels, and physical strength, can make a Catahoula become to much to handle for quite a few inexperienced or owners who lack confidence, or enough energy or strength to discipline these dogs adequately, and can make having such a dog a problem. This can be especially so for those who live in apartments and small spaces. Also the CLD does not do well when tied up to a runner or placed in a kennel. It is best to recognise that you will need to spend a lot of time with this breed and avoid leaving this dog for a full working day. Eight hours of you out of the house may be just too long for this normally active and energetic creature.
The Catahoula Leopard Dog is also generally too independently minded to be the ideal training companion for the intensely competitive trainer. On the other hand, for someone who wants a powerful, and exceptionally capable companion the CLD can go from swimming to climbing trees all in one walk (seriously, check out images on the Internet).
The Catahoula has no equal when it comes to driving cattle.
The CLD’s eyes can be brown, blue, aqua, green, gold or a combination of any of these colors in one eye which is called ‘Cracked’ or eyes two different colors altogether! Eye color may vary often with a different color in each eye. Given the diversity of these traits, it is hard to predict which characteristics will dominate.
Catahoulas are naturally protective of what and whom they think they own. In fact, many owners will say that the Catahoula owns them. Catahoulas are a dominant breed by nature, so YOU must always be in control! They are also very territorial, and do not always descriminate between friend or foe, so I do not advise letting a Catahoula-or any dog for that matter, run free without supervision.
Research on the origins of the name suggests the name may be attributed to a mis-pronunciation or slur of the word “Couthaougoula” meaning Choctaw. This word was used to describe the Indians or their dog, lending the inference that the Indian was not any better than his dog.
A Catahoula with a light grey or tan coat may have spotting almost identical to that of the leopard. It’s theorized that this was the result of natural selection in that it is particularly effective camouflage in low-light, overcast conditions.
A CLD should have a short, single coat, medium drop ears, large round feet with thick pads and well defined toes, and have a muscular but athletic build. Catahoulas have deep chests, an obvious tuck at the flank, and fairly long, straight legs.
Breeder Web, unlike other sites, does not serve as a liaison between the person who wants to find puppies for sale and the person who has bred their Catahoula Leopard Dog puppies.
If you are looking to buy this breed of dog, do go out of your way to make sure that you buy from a good humane breeder and not a dog breeder that breeds more than three types of dogs, as that tends to point at breeders who focus less on the dog and more on the profit.
Be aware when seeing dogs for sale on the internet that although buying a puppy through a web site alone may be tempting, it is usually unwise.
Dog breeders advertise their puppies and dogs for sale in the breeder directory and in the classified ads. Remember that breeders know their dog breed the best and should be able to give you the temperament of their puppies and any special care the specific breed needs. Take your time as you are making a commitment that will last a decade or more.