Catahoula Leopard Dog

Herding Group – AKC Foundation Stock Service (FSS)

Photos, and editing of the below profile, are the courtesy of  Gold Star-Sweetwater Catahoulas

The Catahoula Leopard Dog is the largest and most aggressive of the cattle dogs, bred to handle wild cattle and hogs in the roughest, most remote country.   It is extremely agile and athletic, territorial, and protective of “their property”.  The owner must understand the Alpha concept and stay in control at all times, but still be loving to the dog. Very loyal, loving, intelligent and independent… they really think for themselves.

They are more primitive psychologically than most breeds and need consistent obedience reinforcement.  The Catahoula temperament is NOT well suited for everyone. Prospective new owners should be aware these dogs will test them forever, and most become more intense and cranky as they age. They are protective WITHOUT training, often too much so, and need constant supervision plus obedience work and reinforcement until past age two.

Catahoulas play rough with other dogs, and are same-sex aggressive. Leaving 2 females or 2 males alone and unsupervised is a recipe for disaster, even if they have been neutered.  They can be reserved with strangers, including children that they do not know.  They can play “hard” meaning that you could be the victim of a unintended collision.  It is a rural dog and not suited for confined living.  They need exercise, work and a place to roam.  They will also hunt coon, bear, or whatever else they are introduced to.  It is the state dog of Louisiana

Average Height(“‘s)
Average Weight (#’s)
Notes for owners
Inquisitive and independent
Short, single coat Minimal Light but constant shedder.  Needs daily exercise and a strong Alpha owner.


Relevant Web Sites


AKC Breed Profile

American Catahoula Association

Catahoula Owners, Breeders and Research Association  The World Wide Web’s first and original Catahoulas Information Site

Catahoula Leopard Dog – Breed History (Gold Star-Sweetwater)


We STRONGLY recommend that you get your dog from a respectable breeder or rescue organization.  Pet store puppies may get their dogs from Puppy Mills that normally breed only for profit, not quality or concern for the puppy or its eventual owner.If you would like help locating a breeder or rescue agency near you please E-Mail PGAA (, and let us know your city/state and the type of dog you are looking for.  Do not assume that PGAA has qualified all of the breeders or rescues on this site.  Do your own check of each breeder or rescue — be sure that you are comfortable with the organization before you buy, adopt or turn-over a dog.