The reason why we need to discuss this topic is the apparent physical similarities between the Catahoula leopard dog and the American leopard hound. These two breeds look pretty alike and it is quite common for dog lovers to be confused at first glance. The similarities like the spotted coat and majestic look compel us to make such mistakes.
But when it comes to nature, temperament, and habits, these two are entirely different breeds and they do not stand similar by any chance. They look adorable, both of them, and you would love to grab any of them on the first chance.
Catahoula Leopard Dog vs American Leopard Hound
Though we have mentioned that both Catahoula and American Hounds look similar, they have some differences in their nature. Catahoula leopard dogs are larger and weightier than American leopard hound dogs. Catahoula weighs around 50 to 95 kg whereas the male American hounds weigh up to 75 kg and the female ones are around 65 kg.
But when it comes to body height, American leopard hounds are taller than the Catahoula. Catahoula male or female ones do not grow more than 27 inches but American Hounds can grow up to 27 inches.
Catahoula leopard dogs are larger in size than American leopard hounds. They are herding dogs which means they were used to manage the herd of sheep. Thus they are rather calm and protective in nature. American Leopard Hounds are, well, as their name said hounds. Hounds were used by the farmers to catch and kill small pets and such creatures so the farm crops stay unharmed. So they are somehow more aggressive than the Catahoula.
American leopard hounds are more eager to please their human. They have so attached to their human that many owners get this dog to enjoy this adoration. They are also rather compassionate and cooperative regarding their humans and always wish to take part in all the activities their human is involved in.
The Catahoula leopards are not that attached kind of dog. They do not like to cuddle with their humans. They come with some kind of aloof nature and they prefer to stay on their own. They are diligent and hard-working. They are quite responsible too and will finish the task if you train them to do it.
The Catahoula leopards are usually not very sociable in character and thus, you should start training them for socializing from a very young age. The Catahoula is a farm dog and therefore they prefer to stick to their duties and other herd animals that are left to it. But when it comes to reacting pleasantly to guests and other human members of the family, they may need some help and training.
American leopard hounds also need proper guidance and training to deal with the small pets in the house. In some cases, the owners prefer to keep quite a few pets in the same house. The hound, being the hunter dog, would attack the small pets thinking these are the pests. They have this hunting instinct that needs to be controlled from the puppy stage.
However American Leopard hounds are tree dogs and that means, they are quite eager to please people. Thus it will be easy to train them. On the other hand, Catahoula is rather protective of their owner and the property, but they have a kind of stubbornness that prevents them to get trained as simply as the American hounds.
When it comes to maltreatment and abuse, Catahoula would not tolerate that as they are quite independent in nature. But the American hound would tolerate more such behavior from its owner out of its affection towards him or her.
American leopard hounds are really tolerant of harsh weather. Be it extreme cold or harsh sun, the leopards will always be ready to stay fit and fine. They are highly energetic in nature and do not mind being in harsh weather. They possess hardy feet as they are genetically built to climb the rocky mountain region. You can take the American Leopard hound for outdoor adventure sports or just for trekking.
But do not forget to leash them. Being hound in nature, they would not hesitate for a second to run towards any new scent they may find on their way. At that point, you will not be able to handle it. So keeping them on a leash is the best way to make sure that they are in your control and accompany you in the travel.
One problem common among the American Leopard hound is their eye problem. As they age, they tend to get poorer eyesight, and along with that come deafness and hip dysplasia.
In the case of Catahoula, the usual health remains alright, but they often face the problem of elbow and shoulder dysplasia along with the hip. While getting these dogs, one should be careful about the selection of the puppies and get them from a trusted breeder only, who takes care of the genetic testing and provides only disease-free pups.
Both these breeds can get tick and flea infestations on their coat. You can find the external wounds on their body and then you will understand that these wounds are caused by the ticks. The dogs often scratch their skin and thus these wounds and scratches are created. Taking suggestions from the vet and using a medicated shampoo for removing the tick is necessary.
The care and grooming
Both Catahoula and American leopard hounds need a good dose of daily exercise. Both breeds possess good health and their sickness level is low. They need an open space, maybe a terrace, balcony, or a good backyard to do some exercise and run every day.
These are hard-working dogs and cannot afford to be lazy for the whole day. Even if you do not assign them the task of herding or hunting, they need an outdoor exercise schedule. They need to run and jog, hike or walk for 45 minutes to one hour. This way their body would be toned and their temper and energy would be in sync.
Apart from the exercise schedule, you need to take some basic care of the two dog breeds. American leopard hounds come with double coats but yet they do not shed heavily. Thus you can just brush the dog twice a week and let the fur coat shine. Do not bathe these dogs until they get very smelly or dirty, as their body does not require much bathing regularly. The nail trimming is usually done once in two to three months, but it depends upon the individual dogs.
Their ears and eyes need to be cleaned on alternate days. The ear wax often gets mold inside and if not cleaned at right time, it can cause infection. Teeth should be brushed at least twice a week. These basic grooming needs are similar in the case of Catahoula and American Leopard Hounds.
American leopard hound puppies usually cost more than the Catahoula. If the puppy is healthy and you get it from a trusted breeder then it would cost you around 800 USD for the American hounds. You can get a Catahoula puppy for 300 to 500 USD.
The tenacity for being a house dog
Each house and each owner has their own different lifestyle and schedule. So which owner would be happy to get an American Leopard hound and which owner would love to possess a Catahoula depends upon the need and expectations of the pet dog.
American Leopard hound, as we have mentioned earlier, is willing to please the owner. They love to cuddle and give emotional support. They can be tender with the kids and seniors at the house. They would not bother the guests and friends whenever they would pay a visit. They are also easy to train as they do not act stubborn or independent.
If you are living in a cold region then American Leopard Hounds would be more suitable for you, as the dog has a double coat which will help it to stay protected while the weather will be colder and harsher.
Catahoula dogs are better for owners with the least emotional demand from their dogs. They are not as obedient as the American Leopard hounds but they can be trained with patience. Their bonding is not apparently visible as they are not much expressive about their emotions. They are high-energy dogs and would be great trekking partners. So whoever wants a great adventure companion can get the Catahoula.
The life span of American Leopard Hounds is greater than that of Catahoula. Catahoula lives for 10 to 14 years depending upon the grooming, maintenance, and diet. The American Leopard hounds would easily live up to 12 years to 15 years. So the American hounds would provide you with longer companionship if you count on that.
Both these dogs can survive minor injuries and have few health issues, so a proper diet and a good amount of exercise along with occasional visits to the vet would be sufficient to stay strong for long.