The Louisiana Catahoula Leopard Dog




The size of the breed varies between 51-66cm and its weight between 25-40kg. Exceptions can also get bigger and heavier. In good working condition, the average weight of most males is between 30-40kg. Since the Catahoula Leopard Dog has always been kept as a working dog, particular emphasis was placed on temperament and willingness to work in breeding. Much more than the appearance. Therein lies the cause of the great differences in appearance of this breed.



Catahoula Leopard Dogs have a simple, dense, and short coat of fur, in a variety of colors and spots. The most common colors here are black, gray and white. The Catahoula Leopards, which are not monochrome, are dogs whose (per se monochrome) appearance was influenced by the “MERLE” gene, which weakens and thins the monochrome coat color. This merle gene causes the combination of white and light spots with areas of dark color.


Black-coated leopards may have small or large areas of “blue” or gray. Likewise, red or brown Catahoula Leopard Dogs can have lighter areas of red or beige in their fur dress. This appearance is known as a “leopard” – a dog with the merle gene. As a rule, the merle gene does not affect the entire coat of a dog’s coat, but only brightens areas of the coat that happen to be affected by the gene. White Catahoula Leopard Dogs are “visually” unaffected, but can also carry the merle gene.


The texture of a Catahoula Leopard Dog’s coat can vary just as much as its coat color. There are representatives of this breed who have straight or coarse hair, shaggy or woolly fur.


* Rough fur dress: This fur dress is a little longer and fuller than the other fur flaps. It doesn’t take much care, but it doesn’t dry very quickly either, once it gets wet. Dogs with this coat look “fluffy”.


* Smooth fur dress: A straight hair Catahoula often looks like it has been “painted”. The fur dress is soft and silky and lies close to the body. It dries very quickly, and if the dog is dirty, it only takes a few minutes to clean it … that’s why this fur dress is also called “Wash n ‘Wear coat”.


* Woolly fur dress: Woolly and shaggy fur with an undercoat is undesirable and only occurs occasionally in litters. When the puppies are around 3 weeks old, their fur will be longer and thicker. Most of them will then change this coat again, but for some it will remain “long and woolly” – even with an undercoat. In some puppies the coat will develop comparable in length to a German Shepherd, in others the woolly, shaggy impression will remain.


* Black: These are the leopards that are least affected by the merle gene, but they too can have areas of “blue” or gray.


* Gray: Gray leopards are black dogs, whose fur coat has been lightened by the merle gene.


* Tricolor: These are leopards with three visible hues of color, usually white, black, and gray.


* Four-colored: These are Catahoulas that combine the range of colors within this breed. Gray leopards are often viewed as four-colored when white and light brown show up in your fur dress. These dogs usually show white, black, and gray on the neck, head, legs, and tail, and the browns on the head and legs. Almost all five-colored Catahoulas are misnamed four-colored specimens of this breed.


* Patchwork: These leopards are predominantly white dogs with scattered solid / spotted / merl-influenced areas in their fur. The colored areas can be black or brown. “Dilution” of the color by the merle gene in these areas can also cause gray, “blue”, red, beige or “purple” hues.


Within the breed of the Catahoula Leopord Dog, both “cracked glass” or “marbled glass” (heterochromia) eyes can occur. “Cracked or marbled glass” eyes are bluish white. Catahoulas with two “cracked or marble glass” eyes are often referred to as “double glass”. In some cases a “glass” eye can have dark color inclusions or a single-color eye can have inclusions of “glass”. “Cracked” eyes can be “halved” in terms of color, or just have a point or strip of a different color. Gray eyes are usually “cracked” eyes made up of blue and green and appear simply as gray. Both eyes can be the same color or different in color. Ice-blue, brown, green, gray, or amber-colored eyes can appear. There is no typical eye color for the Catahoula.


The Catahoula Leopard Dog can have a long tail that extends to the ankles of its hind legs, or a short (bobtail) tail that resembles docked tails. This bobtail is of course and always represented in the Catahoula Leopard Dogs. It is part of your legacy.


Even if many breeds have webbed toes, these are particularly pronounced in the Catahoula. The webbed feet stretch almost to the end of your toes. This enables the Catahoula to work very well in muddy terrain and its swimming abilities are outstanding.

NALC & EALC registered breeder