The Catahoula Lepord Dog is truly a jack of all trades. They originated in the swamps of the southern US, and were bred for the uses of stock dog, bay dog and guard dog. One theory as to the origins of the Catahoula is that they descended from early war dogs brought to Louisiana by Hernando de Soto in the 16th century. Dogs left behind by the explorer's party interbred with the local natives' dogs. Recent archaeological studies indicate that Native Americans brought several breeds of already domesticated dogs with them on their journeys from Asia to North America.
There are many published documents detailing the domestic dogs found in prehistoric archaeological sites. In the 19th century, French settlers arrived in Louisiana with their Beauceron dogs. They told of strange looking dogs with haunting glass eyes, dogs used by the Indians to hunt game in the swamp. It was finally thought that the Beauceron and these strange war dog/early domesticated wild dogs were crossed to finally produce the Catahoula as we know them today.
Mr. Stodghill of the Animal Research Foundation began to register Catahoulas in 1951, and in 1958 he received a letter from a gentleman from Louisiana of French ancestry who said, "his grandfather had brought a pair of leopard spotted (Beauceron) dogs from Paris to the Catahoula area of Louisiana 150 years earlier, and thought that all Catahoula Leopards in Louisiana went back to that pair." The Jena Band of Choctaw Indians is the only solid link between the Catahoula dog and their origin in the Catahoula Lake area. Two of the three original breeders of Catahoulas as we know them today acquired their foundation dogs from the forefathers of this Tribe.
The catahoula is a medium to large sized dog. they are well muscled yet trim, powerful but agile with great endurance. They are independent, protective, territorial, and may show aggressive behavior. Their head is powerfully built with well developed cheeks with short-medium length ears that are pendulous. Their coat is short and may come in any color imaginable. The same goes for their eyes.
They are called King of the stock dog breeds: the most enduring dogs who will outwork and outfight all other breeds of stock dogs, especially when protecting their master, livestock, and property. They are bred to handle wild cattle and hogs in the roughest, most remote country. They are also used as bay dogs to hunt coon, bear, mountain lion, and most notably known for hunting wild hogs down south. They will trail, nose to the ground, but prefer to 'wind' their prey - taking the shortest route to find, gather up, circle, and bay their quarry until their master comes to take control. The working style of the Catahoula is different from other breeds of stock dogs. They are more primitive in their development, so more closely posses the instincts and tendencies of their wild counterparts. The 'hunt' and 'work' instinct are one in the same. They don't herd cattle, they hunt them, and vise versa. It is important to understand the working style of these dogs before considering one.
* additional Info from dogbreedinfo.com and workingcatahoulas.com
Catahoulas are extremely intelligent dogs, which is both their most notable and less favorable traits. Due to their thought processes they can be hard to train, coming off as stubborn when really they are just wired differently than other dogs. They often need to be talked into something or shown the importance of something before they'll readily agree. They are meant to work independently and self sufficiently...which means their instinct to do so will sometimes trump the inclination to listen to you. They are a primitave, dominant breed of dog and therefore require a strong "pack leader" with a fairly good understanding of their breed characteristics to truly excel.
Catahoulas are stuning, simply put. The wild and unique coloring they may display is unlike any other breed of dog in the world. That being said, do not be blinded by their flash, because there is a whole lot of dog under that fancy wrapping paper. Though they are one of the most beautiful, they're also one of the most difficult dogs to own and train. Are you up to that? We encourage people to learn about the actual dog before becoming mezmorized by a leopard coat.
Mary Langevin of Ontario, Canada has pioneered research in Catahoula color genetics in the last couple years and through her hard work and extensive dna testing she has unlocked many secrets of Catahoula coat coloring and patterns. Visit this website to lern more....
Not all dogs on this site are used for breeding.