The AKC has grouped all of the breeds that it registers into seven categories, or groups, roughly based on function and heritage. Breeds are grouped together because they share traits of form and function or a common heritage.
The American Leopard Hound is a medium to large size dog and comes in three patterns: Solid, Leopard and Brindle; nine different official colors; and a variety of markings, however, sixty percent of all American Leopards are solid-colored dogs. The breed is very versatile in hunting a variety of game species including, but not limited to, raccoon, bear, bobcat, cougar, squirrel, and any other tree-minded game. As an especially tough breed, they also fare exceptionally well in extreme weather, both hot and cold. The American Leopard was officially organized and named the American Leopard Cur in 1960, but changed by the breed club members to the American Leopard Hound on May 1, 2008, years before coming to the American Kennel Club.
Name: Jackie Carpenter
The American Leopard Hound should do well on a high-quality dog food, whether commercially manufactured or home-prepared with your veterinarian’s supervision and approval. Any diet should be appropriate to the dog’s age (puppy, adult, or senior). Some dogs are prone to getting overweight, so watch your dog’s calorie consumption and weight level. Treats can be an important aid in training, but giving too many can cause obesity. Learn about which human foods are safe for dogs, and which are not. Check with your vet if you have any concerns about your dog’s weight or diet. Clean, fresh water should be available at all times.
Grooming can be a wonderful bonding experience for you and your dog. American Leopard Hounds have a smooth, dense, double coat; the outer coat is rough and the undercoat is fine and wooly. Beyond regular weekly brushing, the occasional bath will keep them clean and looking their best. Their strong, fast-growing nails should be trimmed regularly with a nail clipper or grinder to avoid overgrowth, splitting and cracking. Their ears should be checked regularly to avoid a buildup of wax and debris which can result in an infection. Teeth should be brushed regularly.
American Leopard Hounds are an energetic breed. Options for exercise include play time in the backyard, preferably fenced, or walks several times a day. Exercise can also come in the form of indoor activities, like hide-and-seek, chasing a ball rolled along the floor, or teaching them new tricks. Training for dog sports like agility, obedience and rally can also be a great way to give your dog exercise. As a hunting breed with energy to spare, American Leopards would do best as part of an active, rural family.
American Leopard Hounds are eager to please and, therefore, easy to train. Bred to be a hunting dog, they are known for their stamina, focus, and agility. As a scenthound, they also tend to follow their nose and wander off, so it is important for them to be trained to listen and react to commands.
Most American Leopard Hounds are healthy dogs. Prospective American Leopard Hound owners should work with a responsible breeder, who can educate them about specific health concerns within the breed. Good breeders utilize genetic testing of their breeding stock to reduce the likelihood of disease in their puppies.
The mating of two merle-colored American Leopards creates the possibility of puppies called double merles. These pups carry a much higher risk of being blind, deaf, or sight or hearing-impaired.