Hunting & work



Description of a Catahoula as a hunting dog.
The best hunting dogs are characterized by:

– a natural hunting instinct that is innate – this instinct cannot be learned or acquired.

– the desire to work together with its owner – here, too, a balanced temperament and a clear head are prerequisites. It must be innate.

“Hot-nosed” Hounds like the Catahoula – do best to track tracks recently or up to two hours ago. When asked to follow older tracks, they may leave them for a fresher and more interesting track, or they may be easily distracted by an interesting scent from another animal in the air. In other words: A Catahoula will always follow the “hottest” lead to the closest animal !! (This is the most striking difference between a Catahoula and other “cold-nosed” hunting dogs, who run into top form when they follow tracks that are hours or days old.)

“Closed” on the track – or quiet. The Catahoula does not make any specific hunting sounds while following a trail. But it can be that he lets go of one or two excited “barkers” when he encounters a lead that is of interest to him. But then he usually remains silent again as long as he follows this trail. Only when it has set the prey or driven it up a tree will it begin to bark continuously. (Some hunters prefer dogs that are “open” on the trail so that they can follow the hunting sounds and barks of their dogs in the forest or difficult terrain.)

“Short Ranged” – such Catahoulas will hunt in close proximity to the owner. As a rule, they do not stray further than 10 minutes from their owner and keep coming back to “check” whether the person is still where they left him.

“Ground Scenting or Air Scenting” – a Catahoula is capable of both. He can follow tracks on the ground as well as those in the air.

“Big game or small game” – you can hunt anything with a Catahoula – squirrels, raccoons, lynxes, bears, wild boars, pumas, deer or roe deer. With some effort and time, you can train your Catahoula so that it concentrates on a track and no longer chases every game that comes in sight!

“Hog Dog” – Catahoulas are ideal for hunting wild boar. They are excellent at tracking and catching wild boars until the hunter shows up.

“Tree Dog” – an outstanding characteristic of the Catahoula Leopard Dogs. If they have driven game up a tree, they will stay there until their hunter follows. Work style
As a Cur breed, the Catahoulas have a very strong will to work and are well suited to working with cattle. Yet they are different from other “cattle or stock” dogs that come to mind when working with cattle. Dogs like that –

Australian Cattle Dog
Australian Shepherd

These breeds are “heelers”, they drive the cattle in the desired direction by coming “from behind” – these dogs drive the cattle forward.

The Catahoula is a “bay dog”. Their natural instinct causes them to stop the cattle all over again and then keep them together in a group. So they keep the cattle from moving and keep them in check (to bay). To achieve this, a Catahoula approaches the cattle from the front, barking and in semicircles, always face to face with the cattle (s). Should it be necessary to put pressure on the cattle, a Catahoula will usually pinch them briefly in the snout, but NEVER hold on to it.

If the Catahoulas have the cattle together in a herd, the owner can start to examine the individual animals from behind or to work with them. The job of the Catahoulas is to shield the front of the herd in the meantime and to prevent the cattle from “breaking out”. They do this work independently and do not need any commands.

It is fascinating to watch these dogs at work!

Although a Catahoula makes an excellent “cattle dog”, it is important to know that the Catahoula is not a herding dog! He is and will remain a hunting dog. The talent to work with cattle is just a side effect of this instinct.

NALC & EALC registered breeder