Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Catahoula Leopard Dog

Red Merle Catahoula Leopard Dog
The Catahoula Leopard Dog (also known as the Catahoula Cur) is an American dog breed that has an ancestry dating back hundreds of years. Many believe that they are the result of crossings between native bred dogs and the sight-hounds and molossers brought over by European explorers in the 16th century. An alternative theory is that their origin may be more recent-- when 19th century French Settlers brought over Beaucerons those dogs bred with the native stock.

Regardless of their exact date of origin (heck, both theories could even be true!), a mixing of European and North American bloodlines certainly created this interesting looking breed, which is named after a Parish in Louisiana and was designated as their State Dog in 1979.

Catahoula Leopard Dogs were bred to be working dogs, and their most common purposes are for tracking and hunting, and also for livestock herding. They also serve as search and rescue dogs as as drug snigging dogs.

Because the working ability was more important than the appearance, Catahoula Leopard Dogs come in a huge variety of coat colors and lengths, though the short merle and patchwork coats are the most iconic. They can also be found in other combinations of black, grey, and brown, and have coats that are more coarse or more woolly. They even have variations when it comes to their tails! Most are born with tails, while some are born without!

These dogs are described as being incredibly energetic, immensely intelligent, and incredibly hard working. They crave interaction and require a great amount of stimulation in order to stay at their happiest.

Status : Domesticated
Location : Originated in the Southeastern United States
Size : Height 20-26in (51-66cm), Weight 40-90lbs (18-40kg)
Classification : Phylum : Chordata -- Class : Mammalia -- Order : Carnivora
Family : Canidae -- Genus : Canis -- Species : C. lupus -- Subspecies : C. l. familiaris

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