“The Catahoula originated in North Central Louisiana in the geographic area around the Catahoula Lake from which it got its name. The word Catahoula is of Choctaw Indian origin and is translated into English as “sacred lake”, just as the Choctaw word Choekahoula means “sacred home.”
It is believed that the Catahoula Leopard Dog descended from dogs that were used in war such as the Mastiff and Greyhound. The Catahoula Leopard Dog is seen as an ultimate working dog that is also very adaptable. This breed does very well as cattle herders and wild game hunters. The Catahoula Leopard Dog also became the State dog of Louisiana in 1979.
Catahoula Leopard Dogs are independent and also very distrustful dogs. This is a loving dog that is very fond of its family, but a bit suspicious of strangers. This dog is not ideal for the family that are not willing to spend enough time with their dogs. The right, experienced owner will enjoy this although they are protective and fairly dominant. With the Catahoula the owner needs to establish his dominance early on. These dogs should not be kept outside if it is very cold, but rather inside a good doghouse. If possible a doghouse with an entrance and a turn in their sleeping station. These dogs only have a single coat and are therefore not ideal for cold weather conditions.
The Catahoula is a very low maintenance dog that can get away with the minimum amount of grooming. It is advised to not bathe these dogs too often, and only when it is really needed. Brushing them once a week should also be enough. The nails of the Catahoula should ne trimmed frequently, and their teeth should also be clean.
In general, the Catahoula Leopard dog is secure, focussed and dominant. This breed needs a strong owner that shows their dominance early on and that is also actively involved with the dog. It is vital that these dogs receive obedience training when they are still puppies. Trainers should always conduct the training for these dogs in a fair manner that is at the same time fair. This breed is rather affectionate with its master, but is definitely not recommended for the inexperienced dog owner.
The Catahoula Leopard dog is likely to have problems with hip dysplasia and deafness. Together with the deafness, these dogs also have problems with their eyes where their pupils are abnormal. This breed is also fortunate in the sense that they are free of diseases that other dogs struggle with. Some of the older Catahoula Leopard dogs are known to get cancer.