The Catahoula Leopard or Catahoula Cur does not only possess an obvious colorful coat but an interesting and colorful history as well. Being a native of Catahoula county in Louisiana, this dog is not only trusted among farms and ranches in the state but of the whole North America as well. This dog is well-known and well-loved for its ability to hunt and track games outstandingly, and stir and guide any herd of animals commandingly.
The breed of Catahoula traces back to the year 1536 when the Spanish conquistador Hernando De Soto brought with him the massive war dog breeds, the Mastiffs and Greyhounds, to interrogate the Indians about information on treasures and gold. Eventually, the Spaniards left America and the wounded dogs they left behind were took in by the Indians and cared for together with the Red fox, a dog which is widespread at the time in Louisiana and used by Indians as hunting dogs. The Red fox and the Spaniards’ war dogs lived side by side with the Indians and this is how the new breed of Indian fox dog came to be.
French settlers arrived in Louisiana during 1700 and were immediately captured by the Indian fox dog’s natural excellent hunting skills and glassy eyes. This breed was widespread all over Louisiana at that time and was popular among and favored by the people of that state. The French had their own breed called Beauceron at the time and they cross-bred this with the Indian fox dog and the result was no other than the Catahoula Cur.
The Catahoula became famous all over America because of its inclination to many well-known people at the time. Some of these people were Jim and Rezin Bowie who allowed their Catahoula to their beds, Teddy Roosevelt who had a Catahoula for a hunting dog, and Louisiana Gov. Earl K. Long who was known to be an avid Catahoula collector and breeder. Finally in 1979, because of its inclusion to many Louisiana historic events, this breed became the official Louisiana state dog.
This breed is one of the few breeds which are favored not for their physical appearance but for their characteristics and abilities. Physically, this breed has a single, short and dense coat but each one differs and varies in colors and patterns. The common variations are black with mottles of blue and gray, red or brown with a light touch of red or liver, and any other colors with a touch of blue or gray merle.
The coat does not only vary in color and patterns but in texture as well, such as: slick, coarse, shaggy or wooly. The course coat is easy to maintain but takes longer to dry when wet, and looks fuller and longer than the other coat types; the slick coat, often referred to as the wash n’ wear coat, dries very quickly when wet and gives the impression as if the coat is painted on the dog. The wooly and shaggy types shed rather rapidly and grow out again as a course coat or double coat.
Having this breed for a companion prompted a comment from a breeder saying, “You must be ready to teach and exercise a Catahoula. If not, he will eat your house. The Catahoula will not let you forget that you own a dog.” This quote is true indeed for the Catahoula is highly intelligent, extremely energetic, an outstanding hunter and herder, and superb family and household companion. This dog has the tendency to be dominant and demanding but they are not born aggressive.
Being an intense and hard worker, the Catahoula needs to express its unused energy in forms of daily exercise, playtime and stimulating household activities. Without any outlet for being active, this dog will develop negative behaviors and may affect its health and the family, animals and people around them. As it grows in to an adult, the Catahoula will have the tendency to be overprotective of its space against other dogs or animals and this often results to violent fights and death but it can be avoided through proper training and caring.
Originally posted 2016-09-12 07:56:18.