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Catahoula Leopard Dog

Catahoula Leopard Dog Breed


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Dog Size

Energy Level

Dog Energy Level


Dog Trainability

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Physical Characteristics:
Height: 20-24”
Weight: 40-90 lbs.
Energy Level: Moderate – High
The Catahoula Leopard Dog is seen in the following colors:

  • Blue or Red Merle (leopard) Patterns
  • Black
  • Solid Red/Liver
  • Solid Blue
  • Yellow
  • Tan
  • Brindle

Health & Longevity

Average Life Span: 10-14 years
The Catahoula Leopard Dog generally boasts good health, but there are a few health issues that plague this breed specifically. For instance, many of these purebred pups are born deaf, especially if they are merle-colored. The genetics for the merle coloration are often accompanied by the defect for deafness, which can either affect one ear, or both ears. There is no way to know for sure until the pup is old enough to hear what is going on around him.

Two other health conditions that your Catahoula Leopard Dog may have a problem with include:

Hip Dysplasia

This condition is a birth defect that occurs when the socket and bone are malformed, causing random dislocation that worsens as your pup ages and grows. Over time, if left untreated, this condition also causes cartilage deterioration, severe arthritis, and a permanent, painful limp. Surgical intervention is required to correct this health problem.


Sporadic and recurrent, this condition is caused by inflammation in and around the bones. It is genetic through generations of breeding and is often referred to as the dog equivalent of growing pains. Your vet can prescribe pain medication to make the short-lived condition more manageable during flare-ups.

Other health problems that your Catahoula Leopard Dog might encounter are elbow and shoulder dysplasia, skin allergies, and the usual dog-related illnesses, such as heartworms, heart disease, and some kinds of cancer. These purebreds have generations upon generations in agreeance with their genetics, so most of the Catahoula Leopard Dogs are very healthy. On average, a Catahoula Leopard Dog lives between 10 to 14 years.

Temperament & Train-ability

Energetic, intelligent, and boisterous, the Catahoula Leopard Dog is one of the most even-tempered purebreds in the dog world. These pups, while wary of strangers, are great with families that have children and other dogs. They may need some socialization to get them used to there being another pup in the house, but overall, these canines do well with friendly interaction.

Exercise-wise, while the Catahoula Leopard Dog is energetic and can be rambunctious, they can be just as happy snuggling with their loved ones on the couch for an afternoon. The dog park would be a great place for your pup to relieve some excess energies. But she would also do well in a fenced-in backyard, where she can romp, play, and run around by herself, with kids, or with other dogs. On rainy days, keep a few toys indoors that hold her attention. These pups can be a bit destructive with their chewing when they get bored.

Training your Catahoula Leopard Dog is a simple task since these pups are bred to be working and hunting dogs. This gives them a natural eagerness to please and an innate sense of obedience. Be positive, firm, and consistent with your training methods, and she will happily comply with your commands in just a few repetitions.


Strong-bonded with a sleek, smooth, close-cropped coat, the Catahoula Leopard Dog has a simple, easily managed grooming regimen. You can get away with brushing these pups 2-3 times a week to get rid of loose excess hair, but use a medium-bristled brush so you avoid irritating their sensitive skin. Shedding might become an issue in the summertime, so ramp up brushing to 4-5 times a week when the weather heats up.

Bathe your Catahoula Leopard Dog once a month. Or, whenever she gets especially smelly or dirty. Do not exceed two baths per month, and always use gentle dog shampoo. These pups have natural protective oils on their fur, so too many baths can strip the oils and leave their skin open to bacterial infections and inflammation.


While every dog is different, the Catahoula Leopard Dog has a general range that is average and normal for most pups of the breed. For example, these canines can become chronic overeaters if left to their own appetites. Get rid of any automatic feeders. Then establish a feeding schedule that your pup can expect and rely on. Once in the morning and once at night, feed your Catahoula Leopard Dog 1 ½ cups of dry, good-quality kibble.

The dog food quality matters because your Catahoula Leopard Dog has specific nutritional needs. These pups are often energetic and naturally athletic, so they need a nutrient-rich diet of protein, fiber, complex carbs, and good fats. Check the ingredients label on your kibble brand to ensure whole grains, lean meats, and veggies are at the top of the list.

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Adopt A Catahoula Leopard Dog


Catahoula Leopard Dogs are popular purebreds in AKC shows, so the best bloodlines are in high demand. However, some of the Catahoula Leopard Dogs who are considered below the best bloodlines are often abandoned. You can give these pups a second chance at a happy, loving home. Check your local animal shelter before you cruise for a reputable breeder of these sweet purebreds.

On average, adoption fees range from $75 to $250. But that fee varies based on county and state regulations, as well as the health history and age of the canine. Most shelters offer you additional options for add-on fees, such as vaccinations, an initial vet checkup, and spay or neuter services. This could round your total adoption fee up to around $500. Not to mention the long-term factors to consider, such as wholesome kibble, toys, a microchip, a leash and collar, training sessions, grooming services, routine vet visits, and medical funds for emergencies.

As mentioned before, the bloodlines of a Catahoula Leopard Dog will determine the price. For instance, a common Catahoula Leopard Dog costs between $400 to $700 from a reputable, trustworthy breeder. Whereas, an AKC purebred Catahoula Leopard Dog with show qualities and a pedigree could cost upwards of $2,000.

Paws ‘N’ Pups Ranking

Paws ‘N’ Pups ranks every breed out of 4 with 1 being easiest to integrate into your life and 4 being the toughest – The lower the ranking the better.

Ranking takes into account a few basic factors including cost, skill level needed, high vs low maintenance and how critical regular training is to success. The Catahoula Leopard Dog is a solid 1.5 on the integration scale. These pups, known for being highly energetic and intelligent, would make great watchdogs and family companions. They can be protective over their loved ones, so a wariness to strangers is natural. But overall, they take little effort to train, their cost isn’t astronomical, and pet owners generally love their unique, even-tempered nature.


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