Catahoula Leopard Dog vs Catahoula Cur: What’s the Difference?

Written by Jeremiah Wright
Published: May 14, 2022
Image Credit Eudyptula/Shutterstock.com
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If you’ve read or heard people talking about the Catahoula Leopard Dog and the Catahoula Cur, you’ve probably wondered what the difference between the two is. Well, we’re here to shed some light on this aspect!

The most important thing to know is that the Catahoula Leopard Dog and the Catahoula Cur are the same dog breed; the Catahoula Cur is just a name variation for the Catahoula Leopard Dog. But still, if you’ve landed on this article because you’re trying to decide if this breed is suitable for you, let us present some interesting things that may help you!

We’ll tell you what a Catahoula Leopard Dog looks like, what its diet should include, and the health issues you have to be aware of. Whether you’re planning to adopt or buy a Catahoula Cur or own one, the information below will definitely help you take care of your furry friend! 

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If you need to read more details about this dog breed, check out this book entitled “The Complete Louisiana Catahoula Dog” – it is a true encyclopedia for the breed!

Origins of the Catahoula Leopard Dog/Catahoula Cur

Catahoula leopard close up
Another name for the Catahoula Leopard Dog breed is Catahoula Louisiana.

Eudyptula/Shutterstock.com

Another name for the Catahoula Leopard Dog breed is Catahoula Louisiana because it supposedly originates from Louisiana, United States. It hasn’t been established yet an exact year or period in which this breed appeared. It is assumed that the Catahoula Leopard Dog’s history starts as early as the mid-1700s. Around that time, French settlers arrived in the territory we now call Louisiana, bringing Beauceron dogs. In need of a more efficient working dog breed, they decided to crossbreed the Beauceron dogs with the hunting wolf dogs of the Native Americans. This resulted in the appearance of the Catahoula Leopard Dog. 

Eventually, this breed was used for hunting and herding livestock, so they had a natural herding instinct. 

There’s no concrete proof regarding this. Some sources state that the Catahoula Cur appeared even earlier, during the 16th century. The sure thing, though, is that, in 1979, it became the official dog of the state of Louisiana. 

Catahoula Leopard Dog/Catahoula Cur: Appearance

Catahoula leopard standing in garden
The Catahoula Leopard Dog is a medium-sized breed, measuring around 22-26 inches tall.

Eudyptula/Shutterstock.com

The Catahoula Leopard Dog, or Catahoula Cur, is a medium-sized breed, measuring around 22-26 inches tall.  They have short, smooth hair that varies in color. They can weigh somewhere in the range of 40-95 pounds. They have short, smooth hair that varies in color. 

The most common coat colors include red merle, blue merle, and brindle. Solid-coated dogs are also common, although they still have some small portions of other colors – white spots on their face or chest. The Catahoula Cur can have brown, green, blue eyes, or a combination. The Catahoula Cur’s well-built appearance makes them extremely resilient. 

Catahoula Leopard Dog/Catahoula Cur: Temperament

Strong, agile, energetic, intelligent, and loyal are some of the words we can use to describe a Catahoula Leopard Dog. Because they’re very protective and loyal, they can make the perfect guard dog. This protectiveness towards their family or house makes this breed capable of being aggressive with strangers. On the other hand, this might be a minus, depending on how often you meet with your friends and family or other people outside the household. 

The Catahoula Cur is an extremely independent dog. If they don’t get used to socializing with other animals and people, they won’t easily accept strangers into their environment. They will find it terribly difficult to accept a new puppy in the household, for example. The key to making it easier for them is early socialization!

The Catahoula Cur is a very adventurous breed, so if you’re a travel enthusiast, it will be an amazing companion!

Catahoula Leopard Dog/Catahoula Cur: Training and Exercise

Catahoula leopard playing ball in the water
Catahoula Leopard Dogs have high energy levels.

otsphoto/Shutterstock.com

Since the Catahoula Cur is intelligent, agile, and has a strong personality, they learn everything fast and can handle lots of tasks. Their hunting origins are an advantage in the process of training. However, even though they’re very fast learners, the fact that they’re very independent can make the training sessions a bit challenging. Short training sessions are more effective in this case. 

Catahoula Leopard Dogs have high energy levels. You might want to consider this if you’re living in an apartment because its size will likely not be enough for this dog. It’s more suitable for a house with a large garden so that it can perform exercises and run. If they aren’t able to do this, they can become destructive. 

Catahoula Leopard Dog/Catahoula Cur: Diet

Now we’ve got to the part that is of crucial interest to anyone wondering if the Catahoula Leopard Dog is a good choice for their household. 

The first thing to consider is that the Catahoula Cur needs a high-quality diet to prevent some health issues that can develop with time. For example, the puppy needs food that includes calcium because this breed is prone to developing hip dysplasia. You’ll have to feed your dog with puppy food up until it’s two years old. 

While switching to adult food, you have to consider that the Catahoula Leopard Dog is a large and active breed. This means that the diet needs to contain nutrients that will protect their bones and joints. 

Catahoula Leopard Dog/Catahoula Cur: Health and Lifespan

Catahoula leopard puppies in fall leaves
The average lifespan of a Catahoula Leopard Dog is 10-14 years.

Zuzule/Shutterstock.com

The average lifespan of a Catahoula Leopard Dog is 10-14 years. This breed is primarily healthy, but there are still some health issues you should be aware of. 

The most common genetic illness is deafness. The predominantly white dogs have an 80% chance of becoming unilaterally or bilaterally deaf. Another health peculiarity of the breed is that the puppies whose parents have a merle color coat pattern have a 25% chance of being blind or deaf. People also call these dogs “double merles.” 

Another health issue the Catahoula Cur may develop is hip dysplasia. To prevent it, take great care of your buddy’s diet and take it to the vet for x-rays as soon as you notice that something may be wrong. If your pet develops hip dysplasia, you’ll need to regularly help them with some special exercises. This is why the diet is extremely important, even when they are puppies. Skin cancer is one of the most common that Catahoula Leopard Dogs can develop. However, if caught early, it is highly treatable. 

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