American Leopard Hound

Canis lupus

Last updated: October 9, 2021
Verified by: AZ Animals Staff

This breed is also known as the American Leopard Cur. The name was formally changed to American Leopard Hound in 2008.



American Leopard Hound Scientific Classification

Kingdom
Animalia
Phylum
Chordata
Class
Mammalia
Order
Carnivora
Family
Canidae
Genus
Canis
Scientific Name
Canis lupus

American Leopard Hound Conservation Status

American Leopard Hound Locations

American Leopard Hound Locations

American Leopard Hound Facts

Name Of Young
puppy
Fun Fact
This breed is also known as the American Leopard Cur. The name was formally changed to American Leopard Hound in 2008.
Other Name(s)
American Leopard Cur
Temperament
Intelligent, athletic, and friendly
Litter Size
5-8 puppies
Diet
Omnivore
Type
mammal
Origin
United States

American Leopard Hound Physical Characteristics

Colour
  • Yellow
  • Blue
  • Black
  • Tan
  • Brindle
Skin Type
Hair
Top Speed
42 mph
Lifespan
12-15 years

American Leopard Hound as a Pet:

General Health
Energy Level
Shedability
Trainability
Intelligence
Tendency to Chew
Size
Family and kid friendliness
Yappiness / Barking
Moderate
Seperation Anxiety
Moderate
Preferred Temperature
Average climate
Exercise Needs
High
Friendly With Other Dogs
Moderate
Pure bred cost to own
$1,000+
Dog group
Hound
Male weight
- lbs
Female weight
- lbs

View all of the American Leopard Hound images!



One of the most interesting facts about the American Leopard Hound is its diverse repertoire of different game animals. It can hunt raccoons, bears, bobcats, cougars, squirrels, and anything else that climbs into a tree.

The American Leopard Hound is an old breed of tree and hunting dog with an excellent sense of smell and speed. When out on the hunt, they have the ability to stay close to their quarry and avoid injury by ducking and dodging. The purpose for which they’re ultimately bred is to chase animals up a tree and alert the owner to its presence by barking. The dog’s true origins remain shrouded in mystery. One theory is that it descended from dogs brought to the Americas by Spanish conquistadors and possibly mixed with native dogs. Another theory is that was developed entirely within the southern United States from a mixture of French, English, Irish, Scottish, and Spanish breeds.

See all of our expert product reviews.

Despite its venerable status in the American south, this breed was neglected for decades. By the middle of the 20th century, significant interbreeding with other dogs threatened to destroy what was unique about the American Leopard Hound. Only the efforts of a few dedicated breeders saved it from dilution. Since 2012, it has been classified by the American Kennel Club in its Foundation Stock Service, which works with breeders to provide help and establish standards. The stock service is a level short of full recognition.

The American Leopard Hound is characterized by an athletic body, built mostly for speed and agility, with a long, thin tail, slender legs, and drooping ears. The dense but short double coat, which consists of a rough outer layer and fine wooly under layer, is some combination of black, blue, brown, gray, red, yellow, or merle colors. Around 60% of all dogs are solid in color; the rest are either leopard-spotted or brindle.

3 pros and cons of owning an American Leopard Hound

Pros!Cons!
Loyal and Protective: The American Leopard Hound is very sociable; it’s especially protective of children.Strong Prey Drive: As a scent hound, this breed quite literally follows its nose everywhere.
Intelligent and Easy to Train: Owners should have few problems with teaching this breed commands.High Mental and Physical Needs: This breed will need lots of activities to remain occupied.
Athletic: This is a good choice for active owners.Not Very Suitable for Apartments: This dog needs plenty of space to run and play.

Size and Weight

The American Leopard is a medium to large-sized dog. However, there is a fairly large range of different sizes.

Weight (Male):45-70 pounds
Weight (Female):45-70 pounds
Height (Male:):21-27 inches
Height (Female): 21-27 inches

Common Health Issues

The American Leopard Hound is a healthy breed with a typical lifespan of 12 to 15 years, but they do suffer from several problems, including deafness, cancer, and a developmental disorder called hip dysplasia, in which the joint can become loose in its socket, causing lameness and pain. Serious health problems can also result from the mating of two merle-colored parents. The double merle puppies are much more likely to suffer from deafness and blindness. Good breeders will generally test their stock for common inheritable issues. You can ask them to provide proof that their dogs have received a positive health assessment. You should also keep up regular appointments at the vet to catch health problems early. In summation, these are the biggest issues with this breed:

  • Deafness
  • Cancer
  • Blindness or eye disorders
  • Hip dysplasia

Temperament

The American Leopard Hound is a highly intelligent breed, both in terms of social IQ and tracking ability. While it was originally bred to be a hunting dog, it also does exceptionally well as a member of the family. This bred is highly loyal and affectionate toward people of all ages; it seems to be particularly protective of children. Don’t expect to treat it like a simple companion though. This breed has a very high-energy, purposeful, work-oriented personality; both its mental and physical needs should be met with games, toys, sports, exercise, and social interactions throughout the entire day. If it doesn’t obtain enough activity time, then it might channel some of its energy into destructive behavior.

Health and Entertainment for your American Leopard Hound

See all of our expert product reviews.

How to Take Care of the American Leopard Hound

The American Leopard Hound is a good choice for owners across the entire spectrum of experience levels. They’re fairly easy to train, easy to groom, and easy to feed. However, they do require an owner who’s heavily invested in their lives. Don’t expect to buy one and ignore it for half the day. They also need plenty of space for their physical activity.

Food and Diet

The American Leopard Hound will need around three cups of high-quality dog food per day, or at least enough to satisfy its immense activity level. You should watch its calorie intake and limit treats to prevent obesity.

Maintenance and Grooming

The American Leopard Hound should be fairly easy to groom; weekly brushing, combined with the occasional bath, should be sufficient to remove loose hairs and keep it looking clean and healthy. Owners will also need to trim their fast-growing nails with a clipper or grinder to prevent them from splitting or cracking. Clean out their ears on a regular basis to prevent infections and obstructions. Finally, you should devise a suitable dental hygiene plan with your vet to prevent teeth and gum disease.

Training

The American Leopard Hound is intelligent, eager to please, and capable of accomplishing the task at hand. Owners should have little trouble teaching this breed proper boundaries, etiquette, and commands. Clear, consistent directions and the occasional treat inducements should be effective. Just keep in mind that its training should never be neglected, because as a scent hound, it does have the tendency to follow its nose and get into trouble. Encouraging eye contract and distracting its attention from prey can help focus its mind on your commands.

Exercise

The American Leopard Hound will need at least an hour of exercise every single day. This should ideally come in the form of multiple walks, hide and seek, ball games, fetching, tricks, and free running in a fenced yard. This breed also excels at dogs sports and agility challenges. You should be careful about letting it run free in the open, because it does have a strong prey drive.

Puppies

American Leopard Hound puppies will benefit from early socialization and training from the moment they’re brought home. While naturally friendly and loyal, this breed can develop some bad behavior like any other dog if its training is neglected. Training should focus on dissuading some of the breed’s natural prey drive and hunting instincts. Besides at home training, classes can offer additional support to really get the most out of the dog’s malleable early months. Crate training, while not mandatory, can help with housebreaking and behavioral issues. Consult your vet for other issues such as vaccines, neutering/spaying, and micro-chipping.

The American Leopard Hound and Children

This sociable, protective, and gentle breed will get along very well with children of all ages. However, it is important to teach younger children in particular how to approach and handle this dog, and even then, adults should be present to supervise all interactions in case something negative occurs.

Dogs Similar to the American Leopard Hound

  • Treeing Tennessee Brindle: The name tells you what you need to know about this breed. It’s a treeing hound from Tennessee with a brindle coat of fur. With its remarkable intelligence and keen sense of smell, it is an excellent hunting dog.
  • Treeing Walker Coonhound: A descendent of the American Foxhound, this breed of hunting dog was primarily designed to hunt raccoons; it can also chase after larger quarry such as deer and bobcats. An affectionate, confident, and intelligent breed, this medium-sized coonhound is characterized by a short and dense coat of black, white, and brown markings.
  • Treeing Cur: This is a medium-sized breed with excellent speed in rough terrain. Because it served multiple purposes on the farm, including hunter, guardian, and herder, appearance wasn’t a huge concern for its breeders. As the name suggests, it does have the ability to tree both large and small prey

If you’re still struggling to come up with an appropriate name, you should think about adopting one of these suggestions:

  • Luna
  • Cooper
  • Hunter
  • Charlie
  • Bella
  • Sadie
  • Buddy
  • Beau
  • Duke
  • Lily
  • Bailey

View all 90 animals that start with A

American Leopard Hound FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions) 

How much is an American Leopard Hound?

The price of a new puppy from a high-quality breeder is usually somewhere north of $1,000. Good breeders are usually worth the extra cost of doing business. They will only breed their dogs from high-quality stock and perform their own health evaluations. While it might be tempting to go with a cheaper breeder, you might end up paying more in the long run with health and behavioral issues. However, if you can’t afford this price, then a cheaper alternative is adoption. The price of adoption usually runs no more than a few hundred dollars.

Is an American Leopard Hound the same as a Catahoula?

The Catahoula Leopard Dog (named after Catahoula Parish in Louisiana) is actually a different breed entirely. While they do share some similarities in appearance and temperament (even their ambiguous origins, possibly from Spanish conquistadors, is similar), the Catahoula is actually more of an all-purpose working dog, currently classified in the herding group. This breed comes in both short hair and a medium-haired variant with featherings on the legs, tail, and chest.

Are American Leopard Hounds good family dogs?

Yes, the American Leopard Hound is very affectionate and protective toward children. It also gets along fairly well with other dogs in the family, but it might have the tendency to chase after smaller animals.

Are American Leopard Hounds rare?

The American Leopard Hound is uncommon and might be difficult to find. The American Kennel Club or some breed-specific clubs will sometimes maintain a list of registered breeders and rescues. It might be worth checking out a local shelter or rescue in your area, but unless they’re specifically tailored for breeds of this type, they’re unlikely to have one available.

Do American Leopard Hounds shed a lot?

The coat will do a fair amount of shedding, but it’s quite manageable and only requires the occasional brushing.

Sources
  1. American Kennel Club, Available here: https://www.akc.org/dog-breeds/american-leopard-hound/

Latest Product Reviews

Latest Animal Blogs

Newly Added Animals

A Vinegaroon
Vinegaroon

Vinegaroons can spray 19 times before the glands are depleted

A Long-Haired Rottweiler
Long-Haired Rottweiler

Rottweilers have a tendency to snore.

A Mealybug
Mealybug

They have a symbiotic relationship with ants.

Most Recently Updated Animals

A Long-Haired Rottweiler
Long-Haired Rottweiler

Rottweilers have a tendency to snore.

A Vinegaroon
Vinegaroon

Vinegaroons can spray 19 times before the glands are depleted