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 Catahoula Leopard Dog is a medium to medium-large, short-coated dog, known for its many varied coat and eye colors and patterns. They require firm guidance and early socialization, as they can be independent, territorial, and protective. Once they know their place in the family unit, they are affectionate, loyal, and gentle.
The Catahoula Leopard Dog 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.
Beyond regular weekly grooming, the occasional bath will keep them clean and looking their best. Grooming can be a wonderful bonding experience for you and your dog. The breed’s strong, fast-growing nails should be trimmed regularly with a nail clipper or grinder to avoid overgrowth, splitting and cracking. Ears should be checked regularly to avoid a buildup of wax and debris, which can result in infection. Teeth should be brushed regularly.
Options for exercise include play time in the backyard, preferably fenced, or taken for 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. Depending on the breed, certain outdoor activities like swimming, hiking, retrieving balls or flying discs can provide a good outlet for expending energy. If you live in an apartment even short walks in the hallways can give your dog some exercise, especially during inclement weather. Training for dog sports like agility, obedience and rally can also be a great way to give your dog exercise.
Some dogs may be faced with these health challenges in their lives, but the majority of Catahoula Leopard Dogs are healthy dogs.
Working with a responsible breeder, those wishing to own a Catahoula Leopard Dog can gain the education they need to know 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.