Blue Merle Catahoula Leopard Dog – Profile | Traits | Care

Blue Merle Catahoula Leopard Dog

The targets and functions of this Blue Merle Catahoula Leopard Dog standard embrace furnishing tips for breeders who want to keep the standard of their breed and to enhance it; to advance this breed to a state of similarity all through the world and performing as information for judges.

Breeders and judges have the duty to keep away from any circumstances or exaggerations which can be detrimental to the health, welfare, essence, and soundness of this breed, and should take the duty to see that these should not be perpetuated.

Any departure from the next needs to be thought-about a fault, and the seriousness with which the fault needs to be regarded needs to be in actual proportion to its degree and its impact upon the health and welfare of the dog and on the dog’s capacity to carry out its conventional work.


The origins of the blue merle Catahoula Leopard Dog are unknown however it’s believed to be descended from crosses between Native American dogs, Red Wolves (a few of whom lived as pariahs on the outskirts of Indian villages), and the dogs dropped at the New World by Spanish conquistadors, in all probability mastiff-types and sighthounds.

Some consultants believe Beaucerons had been added to the combo when the realm was settled by the French. White settlers in Louisiana discovered the Native Americans utilizing these unusual-looking dogs to hunt quite a lot of wild game, together with deer, bobcat, wild hog, and bear.

The new arrivals quickly got here to understand this versatile breed that was equally able to scent, trailing and treeing game, or baying and herding feral hogs and cattle.

There are many tales concerning the origin of the breed’s unique name: Catahoula. The most certainly is that it’s a corruption of the Indian phrase that meant “Choctaw,” the name of an area tribe.

The sole factor sure is that the blue merle Catahoula Leopard Dog is an all-American, multi-purpose working dog. On July 9, 1979, the governor of Louisiana signed a bill making this breed the official State Dog of Louisiana.

The blue merle Catahoula Leopard Dog was acknowledged by the United Kennel Club on January 1, 1995.

Blue Merle Catahoula Leopard Dog General Appearance

The blue merle Catahoula Leopard Dog is a medium to medium-large, short-coated dog, with a broad head, small-to-medium drop ears, and an undocked tail set on as a natural extension of the topline.

The Catahoula is effectively muscled and highly effective, however not cumbersome, giving the impression of agility and endurance.

The Catahoula is an average breed and mustn’t resemble both a sighthound or a bulldog in look. The body is simply barely longer than tall and the gap from the elbow to the ground ought to equal 50-60 % of the dog’s height from the withers to the ground.

Because of the breed’s name, many people assume that every one Catahoulas have the so-called “leopard” markings and blue eyes.

In truth, the breed is famous for its many and strange coat colors and patterns, in addition to various eye colorations.

The Catahoula needs to be evaluated as a multi-purpose working dog, and exaggerations or faults need to be penalized in proportion to how a lot they intrude with the dog’s potential to work.

Blue Merle Catahoula Leopard Dog Characteristics

Catahoula’s temperament ranges from critical and business-like when working to clownish at home, with various ranges of energy.

It is just not unusual for Catahoulas to be aloof with strangers, which regularly ends in a scarcity of animation when exhibiting and will trigger some to attract away from judges when being examined.

Catahoulas ought to by no means be excessively aggressive or shy. They will be impartial, protecting, and territorial so that they require agency steerage and a transparent understanding of their place within the family unit. Catahoulas are affectionate, mild, and dependable family companions.


The head is powerfully constructed without showing exaggerated. Viewed from the aspect, the size of the skull and muzzle are roughly equal in size and joined by a well-defined cease of average size.

The planes of the top skull and the bridge of the muzzle are roughly parallel to 1 one other. There could also be a slight median furrow between the eyes and operating back to the occipital bone. Gender variations need to be obvious within the traits of the pinnacle.

Blue Merle Catahoula Leopard Dog Body

A correctly proportioned blue merle Catahoula Leopard Dog is barely longer than tall. The topline inclines very barely downward from well-developed withers to a level back.

The back is broad and well-muscled with a brief, robust, barely arched loin. A barely longer loin is appropriate in females. The ribs prolong effectively back and are effectively sprung out from the backbone.

The chest is deep, reaching not less than to the elbows, and reasonably broad. When considered from the aspect, the forechest extends in a shallow oval form in front of the forelegs.

Tuck-up is obvious, however not exaggerated. Croup is medium to long and barely sloping. A barely elevated rear ensuing from barely straighter rear angulation shouldn’t be penalized too severely.

Faults: Chest too broad, too slim or too shallow; mushy topline; exaggerated or absent tuck-up; loin too long.


The skull is broad and flat. The cheeks are effectively developed.

Fault: Excessively broad skull; slim skull.


The muzzle is powerful and deep. Viewed from above, the muzzle is reasonably huge and tapering towards the nostril. Lips could also be tight or barely pendulous with the pigment of any coloration or mixture of colors.

Faults: Snipey muzzle.


The blue merle Catahoula Leopard Dog has a whole set of evenly spaced, white teeth. A scissors chunk is most well-liked, however, a level chunk is appropriate. Full dentition is vastly desired, however, dogs are to not be penalized for worn or damaged teeth.

Serious Faults: Overshot or undershot chunk.


Nose pigment could also be any shade or mixture of colors.


Eyes are set reasonably effectively aside, medium in size, considerably rounded in look, and are set effectively into the skull. Eyes could also be any shade or mixture of colors without choice. Eye rims are tight and possibly any shade or mixture of colors.

Serious Faults: Malformed pupils; pupils not centered; sagging eyelids making haw seen; purposeful abnormality of eyelids or eyelashes.


Ears are drop, brief to medium in size, reasonable in size, and proportionally vast on the base, step by step tapering to the marginally rounded tip.

They ought to fold over and be usually triangular in form. The top of the ear fold is level or simply barely beneath the top line of the skull. When the dog is at consideration, the interior fringe of the earlies near the cheek. Laid-back ears are acceptable however not most well-liked.

Faults: Any ear sort apart from described above.

Disqualification: Cropped ears.


The neck is muscular and of excellent size, without being overdone. The circumference of the neck widens from the nape to the place the neck blends easily into the shoulders.

Faults: Neck too brief and thick or too skinny and weak; extra skin forming the dewlap.

Blue Merle Catahoula Leopard Dog


The shoulders are sturdy and easily muscled. The shoulder blades are long, vast, flat, and effectively laid back. The higher arm is roughly equal in size to the shoulder blade and joins it at an angle adequate to make sure that the footfalls beneath the withers.

The elbows are near the body and don’t end up.

The forelegs are straight, and of medium bone, indicating power without extreme thickness. Pasterns are sturdy, brief, and barely sloping. The size of the forelegs ought to roughly equal 50-60% of the dog’s height on the withers.

A dog with legs shorter than the perfect is to be more closely penalized than a dog with longer legs.

Faults: Forequarters considerably heavier than hindquarters; bone too heavy or too high-quality; straight shoulders; out at elbows; weak pasterns.


Hindquarters are sturdy and easily muscled. The width and angulation of the hindquarters are in steadiness with the forequarters.

The stifles are effectively bent, and the hocks are effectively let down. When the dog is standing, the brief, sturdy rear pasterns are perpendicular to the ground and, seen from the rear, parallel to at least one other.

Faults: Thin, weak hindquarters; cow-hocked; open-hocked.


The tail is a natural extension of the topline. It is thicker on the base and tapers to the tip. Natural bobtails are permitted, however not most well-liked.

The natural bobtail, no matter size, will taper in width from base to tip. A full-length tail could also be carried upright with the tip curving ahead when the dog is transferring or alert.

When the dog is relaxed, the tail hangs naturally, reaching the hock joint. Catahoulas need to be allowed to hold their tails naturally when being proven. Exhibitors mustn’t maintain tails upright.

Faults: Ringtail; docked tail.

Disqualification: Complete absence of a tail (no exterior coccygeal vertebrae evident.)


Good feet are important for a working dog. The feet are well-knit and oval in form. Toes are long, webbed, and effectively arched. Pads are thick and exhausting. Nails are sturdy. Dewclaws could also be eliminated.

Blue Merle Catahoula Leopard Dog

Fault: Cat foot.


The Catahoula has a single coat, brief to medium in size that lies flat and near the body. Texture ranges from clean to coarse, without choice.

Disqualifications: Long coat; fuzzy coat that obscures the define of the dog.

Height and Weight

The ideal height at maturity for males is 24 inches, and for females, 22 inches, with a variation of two inches both approach acceptable. Weight could range from 50 to 95 pounds, in proportion to the dog’s height.

The blue merle Catahoula Leopard Dog should be highly effective and agile so precise weight and height are much less vital than the proper proportion of weight to height.

Catahoulas ought to at all times be introduced in an exhausting, working situation. Any deviation from the perfect should be judged by the extent of the deviation, and the impact it has on the dog’s skill to work.

Blue Merle Catahoula Leopard Dog Color

Catahoulas are available in an infinite number of coat colors and patterns. All shade mixtures and patterns can have shade factors or trim, which can be positioned on the chest, cheeks, above the eyes, on the legs, underbody, or beneath the tail.

The Leopard pattern has a base shade, with contrasting spots of 1 or more different colors. Solids have a single coat shade. Brindles could have a light or darkish base coat shade with contrasting stripes.

The Patchwork pattern could or could not have one predominant stable shade with one or more completely different size patches of various colors and shades positioned randomly on the body.

In dogs of equally high quality, wealth, deep colors are preferable to lighter colors. However, in evaluating the Catahoula as a real, multi-purpose working dog, coat shade is just not a major consideration. No coat shade or pattern is most well-liked.

Serious Fault: 70 % or more white.
Disqualifications: 90 % or more white coat shade; stable white head; albinism.


When trotting, the gait is clean, fluid, and easy, exhibiting good however not exaggerated attain in front and highly effective drive behind. The topline stays level with solely a slight flexing to point suppleness.

Viewed from any place, legs flip neither in nor out nor do feet cross or intrude with one another. As pace will increases, feet are inclined to converge towards the middle line of steadiness.

The poor motion needs to be penalized to the degree to which it reduces the Catahoula’s skill to carry out the duties it was bred to do.


(A dog with a Disqualification should not be considered for placement on a conformation occasion, and should be reported to UKC.)
Unilateral or bilateral cryptorchid.
Viciousness or excessive shyness.
Unilateral or bilateral deafness.
Cropped ears.
Long coat.
A fuzzy coat that obscures the define of the dog.
90 % or more white coat shade.
Solid white head.
Complete absence of a tail (no exterior coccygeal vertebrae evident.)

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