Are you looking for information about Catahoula puppies? Finding details about this dog breed can be somewhat challenging. That's because the breed isn't one that is recognized by the American Kennel Club (AKC), although they are included in the AKC's Foundation Stock Service. That doesn't mean that Catahoulas aren't purebred dogs, but it does indicate that breed standards are quite different from those used to identify and rank the more traditional "show dog" breeds. They are sometimes referred to as Catahoula curs or Catahoula Leopard Dogs.
About Catahoula Puppies
One of the first things you'll notice when looking at Catahoula puppies is that they vary widely in appearance. Catahoulas are not all the same color or size, and they don't all have the same markings. This is one of the reasons that this particular breed is not part of the AKC. People who are passionate about Catahoulas refuse to focus on breeding for consistency of appearance and adhere to the standards and practices of the National Association of Louisiana Catahoulas and the Catahoula Owners, Breeders and Research Association (COBRA).
What Is a Catahoula Mix?
Catahoulas get their unique coloring from the mix of breeds they originated from. The breed is made up of such varied dogs as Greyhounds, mastiffs, Bloodhounds and dogs owned by the Choctaw tribes in the Louisiana area. The dog, in fact, gets its name from the Choctaw word for "sacred lake." If their unusual background wasn't enough, there are even mixes that are popular based on the Catahoula dog. The Labahoula is a mix of the Catahoula and a Labrador Retriever and the Mastahoula is a mix of mastiff and Catahoula. There are two popular varieties: the English Mastahoula is a mix with an English Mastiff and the French Mastahoula is a mix with a French Bulldog.
Catahoula Common Features
Since there is so much variability within the Catahoula breed, it's important to be aware of the common characteristics that exist among these types of dogs. The word Catahoula means "clear eyes." These dogs are known for having extremely beautiful bright eyes that are typically described as glassy. Some Catahoulas have light blue eyes, but this is not the only color you'll find. Brown and gold are also common eye colors. These dogs also have webbed feet and broad chests.
Catahoula Leopard Dog temperament
Catahoulas also have consistent personality and temperament characteristics. They tend to have very strong personalities and are highly intelligent and energetic. It's important to be aware of the behaviors that you can expect from this type of dog before you bring a young Catahoula into your home. Catahoulas are fiercely loyal to their owners and can be both protective and aggressive to strangers and even to other pets in the home. If you intend to live with multiple pets, your Catahoula puppy will need early and dedicated socialization. They will also require training during their puppy and adolescent period and even throughout their lifetime to manage their intense and challenging temperament, especially in a multi-dog home.
Catahoula Breed Coloring Variations
Coloring is one of the areas where these dogs exhibit the most variability. You can expect the coloring of Catahoula puppies to remain consistent throughout their lifetime. The majority of Catahoulas are spotted (earning the nickname Catahoula Leopard Dog for the breed), but not all. Some are just one color, while others are multicolored. Catahoulas coats can include any combination of brown, white, black, blue, and liver. Depending on coloring, Catahoula coats may appear to be similar to those of Australian Blue Heelers, Bluetick Coon Hounds or Labrador Retrievers.
Different Ear Shapes
While you can identify some breeds by distinctive ear shapes, this is not true of Catahoulas. Some of these dogs have hound dog style ears that fold over while others have ears that lay backward or that stand up straight.
Catahoulas are big-boned, stocky canines, but they are not a giant breed. The smallest adult Catahoulas weigh about 50 pounds, with larger examples weighing as much as 90 pounds. If you want to have a sense of how large your Catahoula puppy might end up when fully grown, look closely at the size of the parents and the puppy's feet. Young Catahoulas tend to have compact bodies and long legs with sizeable feet. You can be certain that the puppies will grow into their feet - and then some.
How Long Does It Take for a Catahoula to be Full Grown?
While many breeds reach their full size at 12 months, this is not true for Catahoulas. You can expect Catahoula cur puppies to continue growing for 18 months to two years. It's important to note that the extended puppyhood of this breed is not limited to growth. Catahoulas typically keep puppy-like personalities throughout the time they continue to grow. Catahoulas are fun-loving, playful puppies, and they grow into wonderful adult dogs over time. Before bringing a baby Catahoula home, you do need to realize that you're making a commitment to have a puppy in your home for an extended period.
Where to Find Catahoula Puppies for Sale
People who love this breed focus on continuing bloodlines of healthy, intelligent dogs that are representative of the full spectrum of Catahoula characteristics. There are plenty of opportunities to acquire purebred Catahoula puppies. You should seek out reputable Catahoula leopard dog breeders with expertise specific to this unique breed. Make sure you research your breeder and visit their kennel to make sure you can find healthy, sound Catahoula leopard puppies for sale.
Examples of places where you may be able to locate Catahoula puppies and adult dogs include:
- Catahoula Owners, Breeders & Research Association - COBRA is a breed club under the auspices of the UKC. A list of member breeders is available on the website.
- BlackJack Catahoula Rescue - Rescue group for Catahoulas and mixes that focuses mostly on the Southeastern United States.
- Houlas and Heelers - Rescue group for Catahoulas and mixes that operates in the New England region of the United States.
- Catahoula Rescue Southeast - A rescue group for Catahoulas and mixes that operates throughout the U.S. and Canada.
How Much Is a Catahoula Dog?
A Catahoula puppy from a reputable breeder will cost approximately $300 to $500. A show quality dog or one from a specific bloodline can cost $900 or more. If you're looking for a special color, such as blue leopard Catahoula puppies for sale, you may expect to pay more.
Bringing a Catahoula Into Your Home
Catahoulas are true working dogs that are fiercely loyal and extremely smart. Whether you plan to train your dog to hunt or herd or you are simply looking for a great family pet, there are many advantages to choosing a Catahoula. Your Catahoula puppy might not look exactly like other examples of the breed you have seen, but you can count on loyalty, high energy and love from your new canine companion.