Catahoula Leopard Dog
Catahoula Leopard Dog
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Catahoula Leopard Dog

Catahoula Leopard Dog

GENERAL INFO

  • The Catahoula should not be left to live outside. He's a companion dog and does poorly in isolation.
  • Because he may be aggressive toward unknown dogs, a Catahoula should never be walked off leash.
  • Catahoulas are highly intelligent and need firm, patient, consistent training.
  • Catahoulas are energetic dogs who need at least an hour of vigorous exercise daily.
  • Catahoulas shed lightly to moderately year-round. They require weekly brushing to remove dead hair and keep their coat shiny.
  • The Catahoula needs early and frequent socialization, especially if you want him to be friendly toward other animals.
  • The Catahoula is not recommended for a timid or first-time owner. This breed needs a confident trainer who is consistent and firm but also loving.
  • Catahoula puppies need tough, durable toys.
  • The ideal home for a Catahoula is one with a fenced yard and opportunities for the dog to perform its natural work of tracking and herding.
  • Catahoulas are protective of the children in their family, but they are not four-legged babysitters. Always supervise interactions between children and dogs.
  • If properly socialized and raised with them, Catahoulas can do well with other dogs and animals. It is important to understand that some Catahoulas may never do well with other animals and may need to live in single animal homes.
  • Catahoulas can be aggressive toward other dogs, especially if both dogs are male.
  • Catahoulas are alert watchdogs and wary of strangers.

SIZE

Males, 22 to 26 inches at the shoulder and 65 to 90 pounds; females, 20 to 24 inches at the shoulder and 50 to 65 pounds.
 
HEALTH
 
Catahoulas are generally healthy, but like all breeds, they can be subject to certain health conditions. Not all Catahoulas will get any or all of these diseases, but it's important to be aware of them if you're considering this breed.
 
  • Canine Hip Dysplasia (CHD). This is a heritable condition in which the thighbone doesn't fit snugly into the hip joint, eventually causing lameness or arthritis. X-ray screening for hip dysplasia is done by the Orthopedic Foundation for Animals or the University of Pennsylvania Hip Improvement Program (PennHIP). Dogs with hip dysplasia should not be bred.
  • Deafness: Because Catahoulas carry the gene for merle coloration, which is linked to deafness, unilateral (one-sided) and bilateral (both sides) hearing loss is also a concern in the breed. Before purchasing, test a puppy's hearing by standing behind it and clapping your hands or making some other unexpected noise and see if it responds. You can also have the dog's hearing tested at a BAER (brainstem auditory evoked response) facility recommended by your veterinarian.

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