- Catahoula Cur
image_caption = Blue leopard Catahoula Cur
name = Catahoula Cur
altname = Catahoula Leopard Dog
Catahoula Hog Dog
Louisiana Catahoula Leopard Dog
Catahoula Hound [ [http://www.trainpetdog.com/Catahoula/about-catahoula.html "Catahoula Leopard: Training, Breed Personality, Fitness & Care"] ]
akcgroup = Herding (FSS)
ukcgroup = Herding Dog Breeds
ukcstd = http://www.ukcdogs.com/breeds/herdingdogs/louisianacatahoulaleoparddog.std.shtml
akcstd = http://www.akc.org/breeds/catahoula_leopard_dog/index.cfm
akcfss = The AKC foundation stock service (FSS)
The Catahoula Cur or Louisiana Catahoula Leopard Dog, is named after Catahoula Parish in the state of
Louisianain the United States. Of remaining dog breeds, the Catahoula is believed to have occupied North Americathe longest, aside from the dogs descended from Native American-created breeds.
The breed's size ranges from 20-26" and weighs between 50-90 lbs, with a few individuals larger. Most males average 60-70 lbs in lean working condition and are about 24" tall. As a working dog, Catahoulas have been bred more for temperament and ability than for appearance. As a result, the physical characteristics of the Catahoula are somewhat varied.
Catahoulas have a single, short, dense coat in a variety of colors. According to Don Abney, an authority on the breed, the term "Leopard" refers to
merles which may be blue, gray, black, white, liver, red, and patched. Patched dogs are predominantly white with any color patches. Solid colors are black, red, chocolate, yellow, and brindle.
*Blue - This refers to the mostly grey to mostly black merle color pattern and sometimes the terms "grey leopard" or "black leopard" are used.
*Red - This refers to the red merle color pattern with varying shades of light reddish-brown with darker red or brown patches. These dogs are sometimes called "brown leopard" or "chocolate leopard".
*White - This refers to a primarily white coat with some areas of leopard color. White Catahoulas carry two copies of the merle
genecreating a double merle. A double merle dog is usually born deaf or blind, or both. Some double merle puppies are born without eyes, or with microphthalmia(shrunken eyes).
*Solid - This refers to black, red, chocolate, yellow, and
brindle. Trim colors may be black, white, tan, red, or buff.
*Patchwork - This refers to Catahoulas with patches of several different shades in their coats which are white or very light and appear as large patches giving a more blotchy look than a typical Catahoula. A pattern can be similar to the harlequin pattern seen in
The breed may have "cracked glass" or "marbled glass" eyes (
The tail of the Catahoula may be long and whip-like reaching past the hocks of the back legs or bobtail which is a tail that is one vertebra shorter than full length to only one vertebra in total length. The bobtail is a rare but 'Natural' part of the Catahoula Heritage
Though most dogs have webbing between the
Catahoulas are highly intelligent, energetic, have a high pain tolerance and are very quick, yet they are also very loving and gentle with children they know or have adopted, and their family (pack). One gains a much better insight into their social structure by first understanding the social structure of the wolves. They are inquisitive and have a strong independent streak. The Catahoula temperament is not well suited for everyone; these dogs are very protective of their territory and family, but are kind and gentle toward other dogs when on neutral ground. These traits, combined with their independent nature, their high energy levels, and physical strength, can make a Catahoula "too much dog" for inexperienced or meek owners, and can make having such a dog a problem in apartments and small spaces. Ideally, a Catahoula should have obedience training, and an outlet for its energy. The ideal place for this breed would be in a rural area where they can have plenty of space to expend their energy. A Catahoula must have a job to do or it may expend its energy in a destructive manner such as digging incredibly large holes, uprooting landscaping, chewing up the garden hose, redecorating the house etc. They are extremely versatile and have been used in search and rescue, hunting, herding and agility. This breed is also renowned for their ability to tree raccoons, many Catahoulas can actually climb trees, aided by their long, hard, sharp nails which help them grip the bark.
The Catahoula is a common working dog of the region and is seen on farms and ranches across North America. These dogs are outstanding tracking and hunting dogs, commonly used for hunting
Catahoulas have found their way to the
They are used for herding
The breed is recognized by the
As a breed, Catahoulas are relatively free of a lot of diseases.
One theory as to the origins of the breed states that the Catahoula is thought to have descended from "war dogs" (
The idea that Native Americans bred their dogs with or from red wolves is not supported by recent DNA work. Several recent studies, [Leonard, et al: "Ancient DNA Evidence for Old World Origin of New World Dogs", "Science", 298(5598):1613 - 1616] have looked at the remains of prehistoric dogs from American archaeological sites and each has indicated that the genetics of prehistoric American dogs are similar to European and Asian domestic dogs rather than wild New World canids. In fact, these studies indicate that Native Americans brought several lines (breeds) of already domesticated dogs with them on their journeys from Asia to North America [ [http://www.gi.alaska.edu/ScienceForum/ASF16/1636 Old Dogs in a New World, Alaska Science Forum ] ] .
There is a plethora of published sources detailing the domestic dogs found in prehistoric archaeological sites [ [http://www.msstate.edu/dept/anthropology/programs/research/hwy82.html Anthropology Program - Hwy 82 Archaeology - Department of Sociology, Anthropology and Social Work ] ] . Clearly, the red wolf was not the only canid located in the Mississippi River Valley before the arrival of Europeans. There were also foxes and grey wolves as well as various domesticated Native American breeds [ [http://www.naturalworlds.org/wolf/canis/Canis_rufus.htm World of the Wolf - Canis rufus ] ] , [ [http://www.wolf.org/wolves/learn/wow/regions/United_States/ International Wolf Center Wolves of the World ] ] , [ [http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2003/03/0311_030311_firstdog.html Did Carolina Dogs Arrive With Ancient Americans? ] ] , [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gray_Fox] , [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Red_fox] .
In the 1800s, French settlers arrived in Louisiana with their
In 1979, Governor Catahoula lines There are three versions of the Catahoula Cur: These three lines were crossed back and forth and created the variations of Catahoulas seen today. [ [http://www.centralpets.com/animals/mammals/dogs/dog3091.html Central Pets: Catahoula lines] ] References
*The Wright line was the largest at 90 to 110 pounds (40 to 50 kg) and were developed by Mr. Preston Wright. This line represented dogs originally produced from Hernando de Soto's dogs.
*The Fairbanks line was the next in size at 65 to 75 pounds (30 to 35 kg) and were developed by Mr. Lovie Fairbanks. They were brindle to yellow in color.
*The McMillin line was the smallest in size at 50 to 60 pounds (about 25 kg) and were developed by Mr. T. A. McMillin of Sandy Lake,
In 1979, Governor
There are three versions of the Catahoula Cur:
These three lines were crossed back and forth and created the variations of Catahoulas seen today. [ [http://www.centralpets.com/animals/mammals/dogs/dog3091.html Central Pets: Catahoula lines] ]
Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.