Catahoula Leopard Dog
Buddy, 18 months old
Photo courtesy of Lisa & Brian Dodd

Breed Registries:

Note: The breed registries indicated above are the most recognized all-breed registries. The breed may also be recognized by other registries not indicated here. For further details about dog registries, please see the document: Dog Breed Registries in North America.

Note 1: — From the July 2009 AKC Board Meeting - Having met the necessary criteria, the Catahoula Leopard Dog may compete in AKC Companion Events effective 1 January 2010.


United States


Males: 24 inches - Females: 22 inches
Height may vary two inches either way


Weight can range from 50 to 95 lbs, in proportion with the dog's height.

Breed Profile:

The Catahoula Leopard Dog's origin is inknown but it is an all-American working dog and believed to be descended from crosses of Native American Dogs, Red Wolves, and others brought to North America by the Spanish conquistadors. The breed was recognized by the United Kennel Club (UKC) on 1 January 1995 and was made the official State Dog of Louisiana on 9 July, 1979.

The Louisiana Catahoula Leopard Dogs were originally used by Native Americans to hunt various wild game, including deer, wild hog and bear. The breed is very versatile in his hunting abilities in that he is equally capable of scenting, trailing and treeing game. He is also excellent at herding and, in Canada, Catahoulas have competed successfully in sled dog racing.

The Catahoula is a short-coated dog, well muscled but not bulky, giving an impression of agility and endurance. The breed comes in many unusual coat colours and patterns as well as various eye colours.

In temperament, the Catahoula can be very serious when working yet clownish when off the job. The Catahoula is not aggressive or shy but can by aloof toward strangers. He is naturally protective, territorial, and independent. As a family companion, the Catahoula is affectionate, gentle and loyal.

Health Issues

If you are considering the adoption of a Catahoula Leopard Dog puppy, or any breed, it is very important to be selective in choosing a responsible and reputable breeder. Ensure that the prospective puppy's parents have all health clearances. Breeding of any dog should not be done until after they have been proven to be free of evidence of significant hereditary diseases. (For more information on selecting a breeder, see the articles on the main Breed Listing and Breeders page.)

Additional Health Resources:

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Breed Standards

Grooming Information

  • Grooming — This section of the Canada's Guide to Dogs website includes tips, articles and information covering all aspects of dog grooming along with a listing of Groomers from across Canada.

Training Resources

  • Training — For training information, see this growing section of the Canada's Guide to Dogs website for tips, articles, as well as listings of training centres across Canada.

Training Tools & Equipment
Choose from a wide variety of items from

Additional Information

  • Herding Dogs — Includes training and general information about Herding/Stock Dogs; listing of Stock Dog Clubs and Associations; and more.
  • Clubs, Sports & Activities — For information on the many sports and activities you can get involved in with your dog.
  • Working Dogs — The Working Dogs section of the Canada's Guide to Dogs website provides information and listings of organizations that are involved in various dog jobs, such as Guide Dogs, Therapy Dogs, Police Dogs, Protection Dogs, and much more.

Select from the following links to view Breeder listings; Breed Clubs; Rescue Organizations; as well as Books and other Merchandise specific to the breed:

Breeders  /  Breed Clubs  /  Rescues  /  Books & More