In 1979, the Catahoula Cur got a name change to the Louisiana Catahoula Leopard Dog when it became the Official State Dog of Louisiana.
It has been alternately known as the Catahoula Hog Dog because of its traditional use in tracking wild boar. Catahoulas have been used to track everything from squirrel and raccoons to mountain lion and black bear. They usually track silently, beginning their distinctive baying only when eye to eye with the prey.
The Catahoula has also been used for herding cattle and hogs, and is designated by the American Kennel Club as a “herding dog” breed. Named for a Choctaw Indian word meaning “sacred lake,” the Catahoula originated in northern Louisiana near Catahoula Lake. This dog is a “jambalaya” of Native American dogs, Bloodhounds, and the Spanish Mastiffs and Greyhounds brought by Spanish explorers.
Catahoula breed characteristics include webbed feet for working marshy ground, and sometimes eyes of different colors or “cracked” eyes – two colors in the same eye.
The single coat is short-to-medium in length lying close to the body, with texture ranging from smooth to coarse. The breed is found in numerous coat colors and patterns, including merle and brindle, but most have patches of the leopard pattern in one or more colors contrasting with a base color. Weight ranges from 35 to 80 pounds.
The Catahoula Leopard Dog has been recorded in the AKC Foundation Stock Service since 1996.