A Catahoula Bulldog is a mixed breed, a cross between the Louisiana Catahoula Leopard Dog and the American Bulldog. The Catahoula Bulldog can inherit the best talents and features of both breeds; however, it is important to remember that being a hybrid, and not recognized by any kennel club, the appearance and temperament can vary greatly.
Mixed breeding does not necessarily mean equal genetic parts of the two breeds. With no breed standard, multi-generational breeding for specific temperament and physical characteristics can result in a varying percentage of one breed or the other. However, despite being a mixed breed, the Catahoula Bulldog has been around for nearly 100 years, and thus breeding of Catahoula Bulldog to Catahoula Bulldog is also not an uncommon practice.
There characteristics and appearance of the Catahoula Bulldog can greatly vary. This canine will have glossy, short, dense, straight hair that comes in an array of colours from all white, or all dark, to having patches of black, tan or grey. The glassy eyes are a breed trademark. In fact, Catahoula means ‘clear water’ and is linked to the clear, pale blue eyes of the breed. Eyes may be pale, icy blue, green, brown or gold. The ears of a Catahoula Bulldog come in rose-type or button-over and are sometimes cropped. The ears of this breed are very expressive and many owners believe they assist with communication.
A Catahoula Bulldog will need a great deal of daily exercise and attention, but after that, they are generally a very placid dog which are loyal to their family and great with children. They are very agile and alert and will make an excellent guard or watchdog. They are protective by nature and easy to train but require an owner willing to be the leader and take time to work on consistent training.
Catahoula Bulldog Key Information
Height: 24 – 26 inches
Weight: 75 – 100 pounds
Life span: 10 – 14 years
Breed family: Mixed Breed
Exercise requirements: High
Good with children: Yes
Area of origin: U.S.A.
Also Known As: American Mastahoulas
The Catahoula Bulldog, though a mixed breed, have been around for nearly 100 years in the southern United States. Breeders were originally looking for a dog which not only had excellent hunting abilities, but were able to catch as well. At the time, the Catahoula Leopard Dog was used for herding hogs and cattle into their pens; this breed has excellent endurance, stamina, speed and intelligence but just didn’t have the appropriate mass or toughness to be able to catch. Conversely, the American Bulldog is known for its powerful jaws and massive bulk, and was recognised for its catching abilities, particularly in catching the North American black bear. The interbreeding between these two registered breeds seemed a natural mix for the task at hand, and has resulted in in a strikingly gorgeous canine that is both intelligent and loving.
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Interaction with Children
The Catahoula Bulldog is a loyal and loving family dog. Though they are a very high energy pooch, they have a naturally placid temperament within the home. They are a fierce protector yet very tolerant of young children. Saying that, like any breed, it is best to closely monitor young children when playing with a dog. A Catahoula Bulldog is a large dog, and young children may be injured unintentionally by simple bumps or knocks. Nevertheless, this dog is known for being calm and gentle but will quickly be on guard if a strange sound or intruder comes near.
Interaction with other pets
Early and consistent socialization is key for your Catahoula Bulldog. This dog has natural hunting instincts which may kick in so be wary and always keep your pet on a lead or harness if outside of your home or yard. This dog will do well with other pets but this breed tends to want to be the pack leader. Older dogs within the home may not cope well with the extremely high energy levels of this breed and their natural instinct to herd.
The Catahoula Bulldog is a fairly large breed, with a fast metabolism and a very active lifestyle. As such, expect to feed this dog 4 cups of dry dog food ideally split into 3 daily meals. It will be best to purchase a high-quality dog food, specially formulated for a large and active breed. If you intend to make your dog’s meals, or to supplement their diet, then it is best to research home-made dog food consisting of a balance of protein, and whole grains.
The Catahoula Bulldog is a relatively easy maintenance breed which is not known for food allergies. As this is a large and very active breed, ensure that you are feeding it a quality dog food meant for a fast metabolism.
For a more complete list of foods that dogs shouldn’t eat, you can find our lists of foods and substances your dog shouldn’t eat.
Originating from the Southern USA, The Catahoula Bulldog does better in warmer weather than colder. Generally, this canine does not have an undercoat but those that have lived in colder climates for long periods of time have been known to grow undercoats.
The Catahoula Bulldog is a very easy dog to manage with regards to grooming. They will only require a brush once a week and do not shed much at all. They are a very active breed which enjoys water and swimming, so you may be able to ‘bath’ them in a clear lake or river while exercising them at the same time. Alternatively, a bath every few months will suffice, and more if you find they have found their way into something smelly. This breed tends to shed when nervous or stressed, so keep an eye on this. It may mean that they are not getting enough attention, are bored or require an increase in their daily exercise routine. The feet and paws of your Catahoula Bulldog should be checked on a regular basis. Due to their active behaviour, they are more prone to scratches and cuts in this region than other breeds.
The nails of your Catahoula Bulldog should be cut about once per month. Depending on your dog’s exercise regime, they are likely to wear down their nails more than other breeds with their natural tendency to run; however, their active nature also means that they are prone to nail tearing which can be quite painful if left unchecked.
As a general rule if you can hear your dogs nails on the floor then they will likely need a trim. If in doubt about how to trim your dog’s nails your local vet will be able to show you how to do it.
A Catahoula Bulldog requires a high level of daily exercise. Expect to take this breed on at least two long daily walks. If you are a runner, this dog will relish in going for an extended run and will easily be able to keep up with you for the duration – and then likely want to go for another round. However, exercise need not be limited to walks and runs, as a Catahoula Bulldog loves water and will be happy swimming in a pool, lake or river for long periods of time. Ensure that the current is safe for them to do so, and that there are no jagged rocks that they might cut their feet on. Get the whole family involved in tiring out your pooch; this energetic canine will joyfully play extended outdoor games and will love to chase after a ball, play fetch and take part in other games which children are great at inventing.
The need for exercise with this breed cannot be disregarded. Catahoula Bulldogs are likely to become anxious and destructive if they don’t get enough exercise and may start chewing everything in sight.
Catahoula Bulldogs are highly intelligent, quick learners that are eager to please their owners. As such, they are very receptive to training but do require a firm and consistent leader. It is important to never let this dog lead, or feel that they are in charge.
Ideally this canine is best suited for an experienced dog owner; however, a novice owner should be fine if they are willing to put in the time with obedience training and ideally attend classes with their dog. This will have the added benefit of helping with socialization which a Catahoula Bulldog needs from an early age. Ensure that your dog is lead and/or harness trained early on as your Catahoula Bulldog does best with extensive exercise but not with being off-lead due to their herding tendencies.
Before adopting or purchasing a Catahoula Bulldog, ensure that your family is willing to take on the responsibility of a very active pet. Ideally you will have a fenced yard, and lead an energetic lifestyle and can incorporate your dog into your exercise routine.
A Catahoula Bulldog could live happily in an apartment but this would be entirely up to the owner’s lifestyle. This dog requires a lot of exercise; so, if the owner was willing to get out for at least two hours a day of consistent walking, running or swimming, then this canine will be happy to be quite docile while at home. The need for exercise must be stressed though as a Catahoula Bulldog will likely be destructive and anxious if they are not exercised enough.
Dog Houses / Kennels
Unlike many breeds, the Catahoula Bulldog actually enjoys being outside most of the time and may even prefer it. If living in a warmer climate, it is fine to have this dog spend all, or the majority, of their time outdoors. Ensure that they have access to cool, clean water at all times, that their area is securely fenced and that they have a comfortable, shaded place to rest. Do not ever tie this dog up as they will easily become stressed. Just because you may have a large yard for your dog to roam, do not dismiss their need for daily interaction and exercise. A game of football with your pet, and a long run will go far for ensuring a happy and healthy pooch.
Leaving them alone
A Catahoula Bulldog will love spending the majority of the day with their owner and family. They will likely become stressed if left for long periods of time unattended, particularly if in a confined space where they are unable to run around. Saying that, this dog is content to be left outside in a secure yard, as long as there is adequate shelter and water.
Catahoula Bulldogs are a generally healthy breed but can be prone to the conditions afflicting the genetic lineage of both the Louisiana Catahoula Dog and the American Bulldog. Conditions to look out for with your Catahoula Bulldog would be hip dysplasia, ACL tearing, cherry eye, thyroid and kidney disease and various eye conditions. As with any breed, scheduled routine veterinary checks throughout the lifetime of your dog are instrumental to their overall health.
Being a cross breed, it may be difficult to find a reputable breeder for Catahoula Bulldogs. It is still very important to do your research to ensure that you do not buy from a puppy mill or other unethical breeder. If you cannot find a dog in your area, it is possible to get in touch with breeders for Louisiana Catahoula Dogs and/or American Bulldogs as they may be able to point you in the right direction or have rescue pets in need of rehoming. Due to the active nature of Catahoula Bulldogs, owners have been known to abandon them to shelters so this is another place to look if you are willing to get an older dog.
Catahoula Bulldogs have a relatively long lifespan for a large dog breed thanks to their Louisiana Catahoula Dog heritage. However, deafness and/or blindness, in one or both ears and/or eyes is a common condition later in life. It is also important to look out for hip issues as your Catahoula Bulldog ages and speak to your veterinarian if you notice your dog slowing down or appearing in pain.
Catahoula Bulldogs are not prone to allergies and, due to their short coat which does not shed a lot, and their preference for outdoor living, are one of the better dogs for allergy sufferers.
The Catahoula Bulldog will make a loyal, loving family pet or working dog. They do require the right type of owner, that is willing to work on obedience training and ensure that this active breed receives the high degree of daily exercise that they require. If you are in search of a canine that can be incredibly energetic outdoors, while also incredibly chilled-out indoors, then this may be the dog for you.
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