Meet our wonderful breed! It is often said that you can never have just one Catahoula; they are incredibly intelligent, driven, and devoted dogs that are full of energy and instinct. We are very proud of our breed's hunting and working heritage. They are a true do-it-all dog which can excel at a variety of tasks. Today our dogs enjoy a variety of events such as agility, weight pull, barn hunt, and lure coursing, in addition to displaying their conformation in the show ring. However, we are very blessed that our breed continues to be a functioning breed, performing its original tasks of hog baying, coon treeing, wounded game recovery, penning cattle, and protecting the families they love. Our breed is rooted in rich American history and we are immensely proud of not only the ribbons and titles our dogs achieve, but of the animals we live with and love daily.
The origins of the Louisiana Catahoula Leopard Dog are unknown but it is believed to be descended from crosses between Native American dogs and the dogs brought to the New World by Spanish conquistadors, probably mastiff-types and sighthounds. Some experts believe Beaucerons were added to the mix when the area was settled by the French. White settlers in Louisiana found the Native Americans using these unusual looking dogs to hunt a variety of wild game, including deer, bobcat, wild hog, and bear. The new arrivals soon came to appreciate this versatile breed that was equally capable of scenting, trailing, and treeing game or baying and herding feral hogs and cattle.
The only thing certain is that the Louisiana Catahoula Leopard Dog is an all-American, multi purpose working dog. On July 9, 1979 the governor of Louisiana signed a bill making this breed the official State Dog of Louisiana and the breed was recognized by the United Kennel Club January 1, 1995.
The Louisiana Catahoula Leopard Dog is a medium to medium-large, short-coated dog, with a broad head, small-to-medium drop ears, and an undocked tail set on as a natural extension of the topline. The Catahoula is well muscled and powerful, but not bulky, giving the impression of agility and endurance. The Catahoula is a moderate breed and should not resemble either a sighthound or a bulldog in appearance. The body is just slightly longer than tall and the distance from the elbow to the ground should equal 50-60 percent of the dog’s height from the withers to the ground. Because of the breed’s name, many people assume that all Catahoulas have the so-called “leopard” markings and blue eyes. In fact, the breed is noted for its many and unusual coat colors and patterns, as well as varied eye color. The Catahoula should be evaluated as a multi-purpose working dog, and exaggerations or faults should be penalized in proportion to how much they interfere with the dog’s ability to work.