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Country of Origin, History of Catahoulas
The Catahoula Dog originated in Louisiana, in the United States. According to one theory the Catahoula dogs had descended from ‘war dogs’ brought to Louisiana in the 16th century by Hernando de Soto. These ‘war dogs’ comprised of Mastiffs and Greyhounds. The local natives had interbred some such dogs left behind with their semi-domesticated Red Wolves.
Again, the French settlers arriving in Louisiana in the 17th century brought with them the Beauceron. Mixing the Beauceron with the dogs created as a result of the crosses between the red wolves and the Spanish ‘war dogs’ gave rise to the present-day Catahoula.
Breed Selector Tool - is the Catahoula the right breed for you?
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Catahoula Calorie Calculator
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A General Description of the Dog
The physical characteristics of the Catahoula dogs vary. The dogs are tight skinned and have a single, short and dense coat. This comes in a variety of colors- blue, black, gray, red and liver. The dog may also be predominantly white while being patched with some color like red, chocolate, black and yellow. The dogs have characteristic ‘cracked glass’ or ‘marbled glass’ eyes that are blue or blue-white in color. Both ‘colored’ and ‘glass’ portions are present in same eye. Brown, green, amber and gray eye colors are also common. The eye color and the coat color work in a very complementary and expressive way.
The skull of the dog is broad and flat. Its ears are of rose type or button over. The ears may be cropped too. The Catahoula’s deep chest provides for good heart and lung capacity. The legs are solid and the bones making it are strong. Most dogs have webbing between the toes quite like that of ducks. This enables them to work while moving around easily while in marshy areas and swim wonderfully.
Male: Between 22 and 26 inches
Female: Between 20 and 24 inches.
Weight: Between 40 and 95 pounds.
Temperament of the Breed
These are intelligent, energetic and quick animals. They pick up skills fast. They have an inquisitive nature. They are independent and protective of their territory and family. They make excellent guard dogs. They are generally very loving and gentle towards children. However, they stay very reserved with strangers as also with strange children. The tendency to stay reserved with strangers is not noticeable in case of pups. However, it starts showing as the dog grows up and becomes mature.
Catahoulas are not for casual pet owners. However, with the right kind of owners who display strong leadership qualities and take constant care of their pets the Catahoula dogs can indeed be very friendly.
How active is the breed?
The Catahoula dog needs to be exercised a lot. It is best if the dog gets such an owner who loves to regularly run, climb mountains and participate in some other high-performance physical activity. The dog can then serve as a tireless companion to the person while getting its daily share of exercising.
Apart from a daily long walk, jog, hike or run the dog can be allowed to run free in a fenced yard or in some safe area in the open. The dogs have average to high levels of energy and enjoy participating in agility.
Suitable for apartment living?
If the owner takes care of the Catahoula dog and gives it time and attention then the dog can adapt itself to just about any living condition. However, a large outdoor area is not a suitable living environment for the dog. Catahoula dogs may adjust well in apartments. But the owner needs to provide the dog with considerable exercising opportunities.
Being single coated dogs i.e. dogs having a single coat the Catahoula dogs need to be given protection against the elements. In case they are kept outside during cold then they need to be provided a good and warm doghouse. Such a house should preferably be having an entrance and then a turn into the sleeping quarters.
The Catahoula has a shorthaired single-coat. Hence, grooming needs are pretty less. A brushing once a week and washing of the dog a couple of times in a year are good enough grooming measures. The nails of the dog need to be trimmed regularly.
Catahoula dogs are relatively healthier than dogs of many other breeds. However, they are prone the hip dysplasia and deafness- two serious health problems. The dogs may be deaf in both ears or in just one ear. Alongside, they have even been known to be having eye problems like tunnel vision, eye not opening all the way and abnormal pupil. Older dogs have been found to be having cancer too.
Life Expectancy: Catahoula dogs live for 10-14 years.
Group: Herding Group.
AKC Popularity Ranking: Foundation Stock Service
Also Known As: Catahoula Leopard Dog, Catahoula Cur, Catahoula Hog Dog, Catahoula Cur Dog, Catahoula Hound and Louisiana Catahoula Leopard Dog.
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