The American dog breed “Louisiana Catahoula Leopard” is a real eye-catcher, but older than you think and an official “State Dog”.
Many theories about its origins romp about the official “state dog” in the US state of Louisiana, the “Louisiana Catahoula Leopard Dog”. Actually a hunting and herding dog which was and still is used in a variety of ways, especially in agricultural operations. Before the possibility of various gene tests, this particular dog was even accused of having the genes of the red wolf, which has now been refuted.
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The “Catahoula” was first mentioned in 1539. During an expedition in the south of the USA, the Spaniard Hernando de Soto is said to have discovered the four-legged friend there and, due to its wolf-like appearance, mated it with imported Bloodhounds and Mastiffs, but also with sighthounds. Allegedly, the well-known Leopard Dog only came about when the French dog breed “Beauceron” was crossed.
Louisiana Catahoula Leopard Dog
Shoulder height: up to 61 centimeters (male), up to 56 centimeters (female)
Weight: maximum 43 kilograms
Permissible colors: All basic coat colors except white are permissible (no more than 70 percent white). Pied, merle and brindle are particularly popular. All colors are allowed for the eye color – even different colored eyes.
Herding or hunting dog?
The “Catahoula” can do both, but is primarily a hunting dog. Although he is very successful at herding and protecting herds of cattle, he really thrives on hunting wild boar and raccoons. However, since it is not entirely clear which breeds unite in the leopard dog, the cynological umbrella organization for dogs – the FCI – still does not recognize this dog as an independent breed. He is only noted and registered in the United Kennel Club.
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This dog breed is definitely not for a novice dog owner. She likes to work independently and makes her own decisions, like most hunting dogs. They need loving consistency and enough know-how, because they constantly question why they should now “like”. Young dogs should be socialized very well and have a lot of contact with other puppies, otherwise they can develop into bullies. “Catahoulas” should only be bought from reputable breeders who are also aware of the possible problems of the merle gene and who put health before the looks of this breed.