Everything you need to know to buy or adopt a Louisiana Catahoula Leopard Dog puppy or adult dog.


BE PREPARED

For Your New

Catahoula Leopard Dog!

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Raise and train your dog the RIGHT way and he will live a long, healthy, well-behaved life – and both of you will be happy!

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Catahoula Leopard Dog breed

Buying or Adopting a Louisiana Catahoula Leopard Dog

By Michele Welton. Copyright © 2000-2017


Is a DOG really the right pet for you?

I've been helping people choose and find dogs for over 35 years now, and I have to say that for many people, dogs are not ideal pets.

Pros AND Cons of Owning a Dog


Should you get a purebred, crossbred, or mixed breed dog?

Don't set your sights on any purebred dog until you read these three eye-opening articles:

The Truth About Purebred Dogs

The Truth About Crossbred Dogs

The Truth About Mixed Breed Dogs


Is a Catahoula Leopard Dog the right breed for you?

Catahoula Leopard Dogs: What's Good About 'Em, What's Bad About 'Em

Catahoula Leopard Dog Health Problems


Are YOU right for a Catahoula Leopard Dog?

Can you provide what this breed needs?

  • Someone home most of the day
  • Fenced yard (6-8 feet high, not an electronic/underground fence)
  • No young children in the household
  • No very small dogs in the household
  • No dogs of the same sex in the household
  • No cats in the household
  • Restricted exercise when young – until maturity (at least 18 months old), exercise restricted to multiple short (20 minute) walks, fetch games, and playing with other dogs – no forced running (beside a jogger or bicyclist), no long-distance treks, minimal jumping
  • Ample exercise after maturity – enough ongoing exercise that your Catahoula Leopard Dog stays slim and is tired enough to sleep contentedly and not get into mischief
  • "Mental exercise" – interesting activities that keep the mind stimulated, such as a challenging dog sport (agility, tracking, weight pulling); challenging dog toys; a homemade obstacle course; tricks and games such as Musical Toys and Hide 'n Seek; instructions in my training book, Teach Your Dog 100 English Words
  • An indoor lifestyle, except for exercise and bathroom breaks
  • A meat-heavy diet, either homemade or commercial – meat is expensive, so people with less money should opt for a small dog
  • An owner with enough money to treat the health problems Catahoula Leopard Dogs are prone to (pet health insurance can really help here!)
  • Commitment to provide thorough socialization – introducing your Catahoula Leopard Dog to lots of people and other animals, diligently correcting any signs of misbehavior or aggression
  • Commitment to establish the right Leader-Follower relationship with your Catahoula Leopard Dog, teaching him to listen to you and do what you say

Should you get a male or female Catahoula Leopard Dog?

Symbols for male and female Male Dogs vs. Female Dogs
Which one makes a better pet?


Should you get a young puppy, an older puppy, or an adult dog?

Girl hugging a dog Puppies vs. Adult Dogs
What age should your new Catahoula Leopard Dog be?


Where can you buy or adopt a Catahoula Leopard Dog?

Catahoula Leopard Dogs are uncommon in the United States. Mostly they're acquired to hunt large and small game. Some Catahoulas are registered with the American Kennel Club, and some with the United Kennel Club.

Adopting From Dog Rescue Organizations
Catahoula Leopard Dogs (and Catahoula crosses) are sometimes available from Dog Rescue groups. Catahoulas may be turned over to Rescue because they need too much exercise. Or perhaps the dog washed out as a hunting dog, or the hunter loses interest in hunting and now the dog is expendable.

There might be dominance issues, or aggression toward other animals. Owners often give up their Catahoula Leopard Dog when it becomes apparent that the dog is too much for them to handle. You would need to provide these dogs with the exercise, training, and socialization that they are lacking.

Adopting From Public Animal Shelters and Humane Societies
Catahoula Leopard Dogs are sometimes found here, especially in rural hunting areas.

Buying From a Dog Breeder
You can buy a Catahoula Leopard Dog from a show breeder, who breeds Catahoula Leopard Dogs to match a detailed standard of appearance for the dog show ring.

Or you can buy a Catahoula Leopard Dog from a performance breeder, who emphasizes an energetic temperament and strong "prey (chasing) drives" for hunting wild boar and raccoons.

You might also be able to buy a Catahoula Leopard Dog from people who "just breed pets" or "just had one litter." But should you? Be sure to read the article to learn more about these people.

Here's one difference between a responsible breeder and an irresponsible breeder – BOTH PARENTS of a Catahoula Leopard Dog puppy should have:

  • a certificate from the Canine Eye Registry Foundation (CERF) – dated within the past year – certifying the dog to be free of eye diseases
  • a certificate from the Orthopedic Foundation of America (OFA) or PennHip certifying the dog to have normal hips

If a seller can't show you those certificates, the puppies are higher risk for health problems. You might choose to accept that risk. But then you need to be willing (and able) to pay a couple thousand bucks for future surgeries and lifelong meds if your Catahoula Leopard Dog ends up blind, or crippled from hip dysplasia.

Puppy in a pet shop window Pet Shop Puppies: Buying a Puppy From a Pet Store
I have never seen a Catahoula in a pet shop. Which is good, because I have plenty to say about buying a puppy from a pet shop!


Related Articles

Girl holding up a puppy and looking at him How To Choose a Good Catahoula Leopard Dog Puppy
How to test the temperament and personality of Catahoula Leopard Dog puppies and pick the best puppy in a litter.


Pedigree parchment AKC Registered Puppies: Are AKC Papers Important?
Should you consider buying only AKC registered Catahoula Leopard Dog puppies? Do AKC papers and pedigrees really matter?


To help you train and care for your dog

book cover To learn more about training your dog to be calm and well-behaved, my dog training book is Teach Your Dog 100 English Words. It's a unique Vocabulary and Respect Training Program that will teach your dog to listen to you and do whatever you ask.

book cover My dog buying guide, Dog Quest: Find The Dog Of Your Dreams, will teach you everything you need to know about finding a good-tempered, healthy dog.

book cover My dog health care book, 11 Things You Must Do Right To Keep Your Dog Healthy and Happy, shows you how to help your dog live a longer life while avoiding health problems and unnecessary veterinary expenses.