Not many people are aware of the Catahoula outside of Louisiana, but those familiar are exceptionally loyal to the hound. The reference “cur” implies the lowest class for the mixed breed, making these a mutt.
By Guest Blogger, Holly Ramsey
The Catahoula Mix also references Catahoula Leopard Dog or Catahoula Cur, even Catahoula Hog Dog. The canine is American bred with its roots in Louisiana, particularly the northern area. The animal holds such prestige for the state and is intimately tied to the region that the governor in 1979 declared it the state’s dog.
Not many people are aware of the Catahoula outside of Louisiana, but those familiar are exceptionally loyal to the hound. The reference “cur” implies the lowest class for the mixed breed, making these a mutt. Thus, the dogs have the potential for varied colors, sizes, and fur textures. While the animal might be low on pretension, it would be a disservice to call him low class.
What Is A Catahoula Mix?
A Catahoula is an exceptionally loyal and protective animal. The dog displays a powerful strength and can be forceful when necessary but doesn’t come across as aggressive.
The canine’s goal with his family is to assure they are always safe, and the dog takes that very seriously. That means if you share moments of affection, including hugs with each other, the pup can misinterpret this as cause for alarm, as is any physical activity like jumping in the pool.
There’s much speculation about the breeds mixed to result in the Catahoula, but concrete evidence is lacking. Some information exists to show the animal is partly the result of breeding from native tribes like the Choctaw, who took in wild war dogs like Greyhound and Mastiff descent. Other breeds possibly used for the canine’s development were Mastiffs, Bloodhounds, Beaucerons, Greyhounds, and potentially red wolves.
Possible Results From Breeding Catahoula With Another Pup
Some people use dogs to develop other unique breeds, but it’s critical to learn what genetic issues the resulting breed might face before you do. You also need to take the time to register the animal with associated clubs like the “National Association Of Louisiana Catahoulas – (NALC)” to preserve the champion bloodline and the breed. The AKC doesn’t recognize the Catahoula or resulting mixes at this point.
The recommendation is to research the parent dogs’ backgrounds to learn the origin, history, and ancestors from six generations. It’s vital to assess the bloodlines’ health history, particularly the tendency towards hip dysplasia, making it wise to screen the dogs as a precaution before breeding.
The parents also need to assess eye diseases for which they should get a one-year certification. Puppies should receive an M-Locus evaluation to determine the merle gene. The gene is virtually invisible, often creating double merle puppies. The wise breeder will consider this evaluation to prevent the likelihood of this occurrence.
You can anticipate a litter size that could grow to more than 14 pups, making it necessary to prepare for the potential for rejection of some of the litter with an incubator for backup and extra formula for feeding. Heating pads and additional towels will aid in warming the babies. Seek a vet’s help immediately if any of the puppies appear sick or don’t gain weight.
History And Origin Of The Catahoula
Catahoula dogs were the result of war dogs abandoned back centuries ago in America. These were taken in by native Louisiana tribes and mated among themselves; some were Mastiffs and Greyhounds. The animals had exposure to a unique work strategy where dogs would group in teams of three or more to herd wild hogs, especially with an exceptionally rapid, often dangerous method. The intelligent dogs needed to remain focused and pay attention to where other pups were while engaged in their work.
Catahoula General Appearance
These dogs have a prerequisite that workability comes before appearance. If there are any flaws, these are typically considered relating to how they affect the canine’s performance.
Dogs in the Catahoula category present with a strong head have a longer body instead of developing height with a size that ranges from medium to large and a muscular build that alludes to power and endurance without bulkiness. You’ll find a well-defined line for the muzzle and skull equate in length with a definitive stop in a good mix.
The coat is short-medium and single with either a coarse or smooth texture that’s flat, lying close to the dog’s body. Many of these animals will have varied differentiation in coat patterns; not all are “leopard,” with noses of either a combination of shades or different solid colors.
For a male Catahoula, the ideal designated height is 24 inches, and 22 inches is perfect for females. If the animal is in proportion with height, the weight can range from 50 lbs up to 95 lbs. Proportion is vital instead of maintaining individual numbers in these categories due to the desire for the breed to be agile and robust.
Personality / Temperament Of The Catahoula
The UKC has determined that the Catahoula has a varied demeanor from a hard-working hunter to an endearing, affectionate, and protective, funny dog. The canine is commonly aloof with those unfamiliar to him but will never be aggressive, nor does the pup become shy. Catahoula mixes are naturally self-reliant, protective, and territorial animals meaning the pet parent will need to be firm with their training and in leading the pup. With loving guidance, the dogs are generally very gentle, affectionate, and loyal with their family members but particularly protective of children.
Some pups are more prone to a working environment with uncharacteristic aggressiveness and a tendency towards destruction if not mentally stimulated. There can also be some aggression with other dogs relating to the high-prey drive ingrained in the animals. It’s critical to engage the pup in socialization and adequate training early to avoid potential behavioral problems in the future.
10 Catahoula Mix Dogs Good For Protection
Based on the list of top 18 most popular Catahoula mixes from Holly at petvr.com we can see there are approximately 10 Catahoula mixes that are good for protection, hunting, and other qualities, as you can see below.
** Catahoula / Bloodhound Mix (Bloodahoula)
A Bloodahoula isn’t necessarily the best option for a new pet parent. The animal has an innate curiosity with the potential to go outside the confines of the yard barriers. Considering the animal is an incredible jumper, you would need a higher than the average fence.
The dog is brilliant and sensitive but inherits the stubbornness of the hound, making them a challenge for training. The pup offers mounds of affection and boundless energy, requiring plenty of activity to keep them busy. An apartment setting might not be ideal for this mix.
** Catahoula / Great Dane Mix
The Great Dane pup has a reputation for its sweet nature, considered the “gentle giant” of the species. Dogs of a similar category have survived since before 3000 BC tracing back to the Middle Ages. These were hunting dogs in their original capacity to keep the wounded immobilized until the hunters could come and complete the kill.
The animal might be large and appear intimidating, but she loves everyone she comes in contact with, being an amiable dog. This demeanor tends to even out what can be wariness in the Catahoula, presenting an extraordinarily affectionate, playful breed. The size means the pet will need extra space for playtime, disallowing a smaller house or apartment.
Great Danes lifespans tend to run approximately 7-10 years, much shorter than the average pet, but Catahoulas have a longer span meaning the hybrid will likely as well.
** Catahoula Doberman Mix
A Doberman has the intimidating tall, athletic and sleek stature reminiscent of their guard dog background. With strangers and around other dogs, the animal is the most on guard. Still, you’ll find these pups to be ultimately the opposite, with family members showing an affectionate, incredibly playful puppy who is quick to train and highly intelligent with minimal tendency to bark or tendency to run off.
The puppy can live in nearly any setting, but socialization is essential early, particularly if you have other pets in the home. The Catahoula is a good watchdog meaning the hybrid would be exceptionally protective, but neither parent is particularly dog-friendly. That means early socialization is critical, but the suggestion is the pup might be best as an “only pet.” The dog is also one that needs a parent who reacts in a leadership role and follows a consistent schedule in training.
Care is wise with this mix. The hybrid offers the parent Catahoula boasting exceptional robustness; the combination might be healthier than the Doberman parent. Still, he presents with potential health problems such as heart issues and thyroid problems. Plus, the Pinscher isn’t fond of being left alone and is incredibly aware of his pet parents’ feelings. The dog can have a very short coat that makes a low maintenance animal with minimal grooming but creates a pet not suited for colder climates.
** Catahoula Bulldog Mix
Mixing an American Bulldog and a Catahoula touts among the most popular crosses. The American differs significantly from the English Bulldog that boasts the most fame. The Catahoula and the Bulldog each call the Southern United States home and both were responsible for herding the wild hogs. Sadly, the Bulldog had exposure to “bull-baiting,” a brutal abuse no longer allowed.
The Johnson, Scot, and standard make up the varied types of Bulldogs. Each is a brilliant animal with muscular, sturdy builds and a relatively active, playful demeanor, translating into a fun Catahoula Bulldog. The mix would most likely prove to have high energy with a lot of exercises. He will prove loyal, protective, alert, and an incredible watchdog. Being a hunter with a high prey drive would create a challenge in a house with other pets.
The mix will be low maintenance with grooming due to a short coat that will easily tolerate hot climates. He will offer varied color combinations and have minimal health issues except for potential allergies.
** Catahoula Boxer Mix
A boxer is distinctive with his athletic stature and unusual muzzle that’s squared. With origins in Germany, the primary function was hunting, but there were many functions over time. The pup boasts a seamless trainee and relatively low maintenance as long as you exercise the dog adequately and provide plenty of love.
The dog offers exceptionally high energy making an excellent companion for the active family, plus provide great sociability when mixed with the Catahoula. The crossbreed is among the easiest for grooming due to their coat being fine and short. Ensure vet care due to a higher likelihood of cancer from the boxer side and deafness.
** Catahoula Blue Heeler Mix
Blue or Red Heelers also reference as Australian Cattle dogs based on the coloring. These medium-sized pups make for a hard-working herder with their sturdy build. The animal tends towards the “chatty” side and will nip, potentially bite instinctually while playing, making socialization early critical so that the animal can learn to behave with kids.
The canine will generally pick a person in the family to follow but will still love the entire family, as will the hybrid. Still, there will likely be an exceptional guard with strangers due to the protective nature and tendency toward being watchdogs.
The energetic dog needs plenty of exercises but be mindful of the potential for hip dysplasia.
** Catahoula Beagle Mix
The Beagle pup’s origins were as a scenthound meant to track small-game but today serves mainly for companionship. Still, those sensitive noses can get them in trouble because they find hidden food and tend to overeat, making an overweight pup. The dog’s demeanor is typically outgoing and happy, making them a good match with children and other pets, plus they socialize well even with strangers.
The optimum socialization and friendliness traits dissuade the natural wariness the Catahoula has toward strangers, but with these traits, stubbornness makes training a bit challenging with the hybrid. Experts suggest using the crate to prevent destruction in the home and accidents. The dog tends towards being destructive and loud when alone for a long time, letting out not only barks but howls. The hybrid might run off or wander if you don’t pay attention but will likely prove to be an active, incredible companion for those who enjoy the outdoors.
** Catahoula Basset Hound
The Basset followed his nose to find prey as a hunting hound without moving at a rapid pace that the hunter was unable to keep up. Today the animal is a companion pet with a lazy demeanor meant well for apartment dwelling. That doesn’t imply these animals don’t require exercise but less so than the Catahoula, meaning the hybrid will need moderate activity, perhaps a brisk daily walk.
The vet will need to monitor the hybrid due to Basset’s tendency towards health issues, including “Von Willebrand’s” disease, hip dysplasia, glaucoma, other eye issues, back issues, and potential for obesity. Hybrids will likely be healthier. Remember, the stubbornness of the Basset and the independence of the Catahoula can make for challenging training.
** Catahoula Australian Shepherd
The Shepherd is, in fact, an American breed developed for herding sheep. The animal is comparable with the Catahoula in coloring as far as the leopard spots. That’s referred to as “merle” with the Aussie. The eyes tend towards a unique light green or blue.
The Catahoula is less playful than the Shepherd meaning the hybrid will be an excellent pet. Still, there will be boundless energy and a need for exercising regularly due to the tendency to become easily bored and therefore destructive when alone.
The mix has the potential for the “double-merle” gene, which can produce severe health and development issues when not cautiously bred. Ensure to deal with a reputable, experienced breeder if this is the mix you feel is suitable for you.
** Catahoula Greyhound Mix
While the Greyhound has a reputation for its speed and agility on the racetrack as a companion, the animal is quite the couch potato with a loving, affectionate, and playful demeanor. The dog is low maintenance requiring little exercise with perhaps a daily walk but lots of play. The Greyhound is more of a sight dog because they were bred to watch their prey before running after it instead of sniffing for it.
As with the Catahoula, the Greyhound needs companionship but is friendly with other pets, including dogs. The Catahoula is not so much meaning the hybrid will find a family with pets a suitable home as long as there is adequate socialization. Since each breed is brilliant, training for the mix will go well but with a leash since there is a high prey drive for both.
The mix is ideally healthy but will need room to move around and is less tolerant of the cold. The dog will also have a healthy appetite, so be mindful of weight gain.
As a family dog, your Catahoula will be the loving, affectionate and playful companion. Still, he will first be protective of you and especially the kids standing guard as the ideal watchdog alerting the family to anything that seems out of the ordinary.
Proper socialization and adequate, consistent training are essential early, keeping the Catahoula sufficiently stimulated and exercised. The animal needs a job; it’s in their nature. When all is done and said, you will have a friend for life.