Catahoula Leopard Dog
- 1 OVERVIEW OF THE CATAHOULA LEOPARD DOG
- 2 CATAHOULA LEOPARD DOG FOOD AND HEALTH
- 3 LEASHES AND COLLARS FOR YOUR CATAHOULA LEOPARD DOG
- 4 BEST CRATES, BEDS, AND DOG HOUSES FOR CATAHOULA LEOPARD DOGS
- 5 CATAHOULA LEOPARD DOG TOYS
- 6 GROOMING INSIGHTS FOR CATAHOULA LEOPARD DOG OWNERS
- 7 CATAHOULA LEOPARD DOG ACCESSORIES
OVERVIEW OF THE CATAHOULA LEOPARD DOG
From the vibrant jubilations of Mardi Gras celebrations to the delectable pastiness of jambalaya, there’s a lot the good state of Louisiana is famous for. But few of its trademarks can rival the cultural significance of its native Catahoula Leopard Dog.
Named after the Catahoula Parish, the dog’s first name means “sacred lake” in the Choctaw language. This parish is found near Catahoula lake where it’s theorized early French settlers came with their Beauceron dogs. These Frenchmen decided to cross-breed their hounds with the swamp dogs that were owned by the indigenous Americans.
Their goal was to breed a canine that was equal parts good at being a work and family dog. The result was the first and only dog breed that historically originates from the state of Louisiana. Roughly two centuries later, in 1979, the Governor of the State of Louisiana signed House Bill #75. As a result, the Catahoula Leopard Dog became the state dog of the Pelican State.
The ‘leopard’ in this dog’s name comes from its leopard-like coat. This pattern isn’t definite but quite common in most dogs of this breed that have the merle gene. The coat isn’t leopard-like. Rather, the contrasts are more noticeable in the areas of the coat where the gene is more prominent. Blue and red merle are the most common shades here.
Other than that, Catahoula Leopard Dogs also come in solid colors and brindle patterns. Regardless of their coat pattern, deep colors are preferred over lighter hues when it comes to the dog’s base color. This base color is contrasted by lightly shaded points or patterns on the doggo’s underbody, legs, cheeks, above the eyes, and chest.
Speaking of the canine’s chest, the Catahoula Leopard Dog packs a lot of muscle in its upper body. Sitting on this rectangular torso is a thick and muscular neck that curves upwards to the canine’s large head. Flanking this head is a pair of droopy ears.
Centered between them is a pair of almond-shaped eyes that are either amber, blue, brown, or green. Sometimes the eyes can be of different colors, while other times, two colors can be found in the same eye. The Catahoula Leopard Dog stands on muscular legs that have webbed feet. This feature helped them swim and work in the marshes of Louisiana.
The distinctive beauty of this dog is complemented by a fiercely loyal, courageous, and endearing personality. They’re also very territorial and are an amazing judge of character, which makes them the ideal watchdog.
Bred for companionship, the Catahoula Leopard Dog truly shines when it is in the company of its beloved owners. While the creators of this breed wanted a dog that was good with children as well, we recommend supervising any interaction your Catahoula has with the young ones in the house. This is because the woofer’s large size and strength can cause potential injuries. Also, this dog’s prey instinct kicks in when it sees someone at its eye level.
It is because of this prey instinct the Catahoula Leopard Dog isn’t the best pet to have if you’ve already got animals running around the house. While training and early socialization can help make them more friendly, this breed would be better off in a house with no pets.
This house should also have a big yard where the canine can outlet all its pent-up energy. It is for this very reason this hog dog isn’t suited for apartment life. Other than that, training these puppies is also no easy task, thanks to their high intelligence levels.
But if you believe you can match this doggo’s stubbornness with your consistency, you’ll end up with a companion whose love for you is only superseded by its desire to protect you from all harm.
CATAHOULA LEOPARD DOG FOOD AND HEALTH
Standing at 20 to 24 inches, in the case of females, and 22 to 26 inches, in the case of males, the Catahoula Leopard Dog is a medium-large dog breed. This large stature is packed with muscle that lends the canine a weight of 40 to 90 pounds, in the case of females, and 45 to 110 pounds, in the case of males.
So, you’ll have to feed them three and a half to five cups of high-quality dog food every day. We recommend dividing these servings into two or three to prevent your furry friend from overeating and potentially getting bloated.
Gastric dilatation volvulus, commonly known as bloat, is common among deep-chested breeds, like the Catahoula Leopard Dog. Although harmless in its early stages, bloat can develop into a life-threatening condition that can put your dog into shock and lead to its death. The prevention of gastric dilatation volvulus includes not letting your dog gulp down on food and holding back on the water for at least an hour after an exercise session.
Speaking of exercise sessions, since Catahoulas are highly energetic, their diet should contain loads of protein. This should be complemented by antioxidants to wash all that protein down.
The Diamond Naturals Extreme Athlete Dog Food is an excellent option. It contains 32% protein that has been sourced from chicken meat, along with antioxidants from blueberries, spinach, and oranges.
Regardless of the dog food you opt for for your Catahoula Leopard, make sure you run it through your vet or your dog’s nutritionist. This will ensure the food contains the right amount of macros according to your dog’s age, sex, and lifestyle, and doesn’t contain any potential allergens.
Along with food allergies, you should also keep an eye on what they wear and the kind of air they breathe. This will prevent contact and inhalant allergies from flaring up. Allergy symptoms in dogs are usually in the form of itching.
So, if you find them going at it, consider booking an appointment with your vet. These visits shouldn’t just be arranged when you notice allergy symptoms, though. Regularly consulting your vet can help keep your dog’s health and wellness in check.
As far as the medical conditions go, Catahoula Leopard Dogs are prone to hip dysplasia and deafness. Both conditions are genetic and can be avoided by getting your pooch from a responsible breeder who has all the required health clearances.
Hip dysplasia in Catahoulas sees their thighbone disconnecting from the hip bone. This causes severe pain when the dog walks. If left untreated, hip dysplasia can lead to lameness and arthritis.
Deafness, on the other hand, is usually found in Catahoula Leopard Dogs which are predominantly white. About 80% of excessively white Catahoulas are likely to be deaf in one or both ears.
LEASHES AND COLLARS FOR YOUR CATAHOULA LEOPARD DOG
Boasting a mighty prey instinct, your Catahoula Leopard Dog can get triggered by any fast-moving animal, bird, or even vehicle. So, you must leash them when going out. Ideally, this leash should be short so you can easily contain your doggo when the chase frenzy takes it over.
A short dog leash is less than four feet in length. If you’re in the market for such a leash, opt for one made from leather. This is because leather leashes are supremely durable and long-lasting.
Leather handles are also comfortable to hold and don’t cause any rope burn. If you’re in the market for such a short leather dog leash, look no further than this one from FAIRWINDS. It is only a foot long and is thick enough to keep your strong Catahoula in check.
Simply putting a leash on your Catahoula hog dog won’t be enough to control it, though. You’ll also have to instill leash manners in it to ensure it doesn’t end up being a puller. Be careful when leash training your puppy, though, since this breed doesn’t react well to punishments and reprimands. Use a blend of rewards and firmness when instilling manners in your Catahoula Leopard Dog and you won’t be disappointed by the results.
Other than a leash, you should also get a harness for your pooch. This vest can be used to attach the leash for a more uniform distribution of force. Many dog owners attach their furry friend’s leash to the collar. This might cause neck strain so always go for the harness approach.
That doesn’t mean a collar should be out of the equation. This dog equipment can help with identification purposes. A dog collar also gives you a unique touch to your doggo’s outlook and appearance.
BEST CRATES, BEDS, AND DOG HOUSES FOR CATAHOULA LEOPARD DOGS
The strong prey drive of the Catahoula Leopard Dog means you’ll have to install large fences in your yard to prevent the dog from going on wild chases. These playing sessions in the yard should also always be supervised.
You see, this breed isn’t cut out for the ‘solo life’. Long times apart from their owner can make the doggo all lonely. They may even resort to destructive behaviors. It is for this very reason that a dog house should be out of the question.
You can resort to crate training your Catahoula, though. The canine can be left in it when unsupervised to prevent them from making a mess in the house. Cages can also offer a safe space for your furball to retreat to when they’re stressed out.
Just make sure you don’t use these crates as a jail where timeouts are spent or the dog may start to resent it. Consider throwing in your pooch’s favorite toy inside to make the abode more hospitable.
If you’re in the market for a new crate for your Catahoula Leopard Dog, make sure it is large enough to accommodate its size. Ideally, a dog cage should be big enough for your ball of fur to completely turn around. The 36-inch Amazonbasics Foldable Metal Wire Dog Crate should be the ideal option in this regard.
As far as the sleeping arrangements go, your Catahoula hog dog will be better off with an orthopedic bed. This type of bed will ensure your doggo gets the right kind of support during their sleepy time. Proper posture when sleeping will also help prevent bone-related issues as your four-legged friend ages.
CATAHOULA LEOPARD DOG TOYS
The tough jaws of Catahoula Leopard Dogs require durable chew toys. So, think about getting them something like the Pet Qwerks Zombie BarkBone Dog Chew Toy. It comes in two flavors: bacon and cheese, and it is big enough for its large fangs.
We also recommend getting a fetch toy to help burn their energy. The ChuckIt! Kick Fetch Dog Toy should be the ideal choice here. It is big, durable, and super bright for enhanced visibility. It also floats in water, which makes it the ideal toy for beach trips.
GROOMING INSIGHTS FOR CATAHOULA LEOPARD DOG OWNERS
The coat of your Catahoula Leopard Dog can either be short or medium. Regardless, it will be a breeze to take care of. A weekly brushing session should do the trick in keeping it all shiny-looking. These brushing sessions will also help control the year-round light shedding.
When grooming your dog’s coat, make sure you check their ears for wax buildup as well. They’ll need a bath every once in a while and you should also keep their nails trimmed to prevent clicking sounds when they walk.
This dog breed can be rather touchy about its paws. So, make sure you incorporate loads of praise when trimming their nails from an early age. This will make future vet appointments a breeze.
CATAHOULA LEOPARD DOG ACCESSORIES
It’s not surprising that Catahoula Leopard Dogs are great swimmers — what with their feet being webbed and all that history spent in the swamps. So, make sure you take your canine friend on the occasional beach trip. Make sure you invest in a good dog life jacket for safety reasons and an absorbent dog beach towel to wipe them down after a dip in the ocean.
Since underground fencing doesn’t curb a Catahoula Leopard Dog’s tendency to go hunting and chasing, you should also think about getting a GPS (global positioning system) for their collar. This will help you track their location.
Speaking of tracking, if you don’t want to monitor your puppy’s activity levels, a simple Apple AirTag would do the trick. Just make sure you securely fit it onto your dog’s collar. You can then keep an eye on their location in real time via your iPhone.