We are happy to announce our relocation to the more sportsman-friendly state of Wyoming, and the addition of a new team member Cora, our new Catahoula Leopard and the first hunting dog to be part of our content. Cora was born at the end of March and is already working farm animals, but also putting in mileage in the backcountry, working with dummies, and getting ready for the upcoming upland bird season. She is a wonderful puppy, has the classic Catahoula temperament and exhibits a red leopard appearance.
Why a Catahoula? In the relocation, @ben_ya_mean purchased a property and began setting up a small farmstead that would benefit from a good work dog. He has had Catahoulas in the past and has used them for both work and hunting, so he knew what to expect and loves the breed.
If you are considering a Catahoula for yourself, then there are some things that you MUST know. They are not for the inexperienced dog owner as they are a very headstrong breed that requires a lot of attention and exercise. They have an abundance of energy that can easily wear out an owner or trainer, and a very strong desire to herd and hunt. While not aggressive, they can at times be defiant or even defensive, they may even nip back out of defiance; a behavior that can be properly trained out of them by an experienced trainer and good socialization.
The breed has a wide range of appearances and even sizes but always has a rectangular structure. Some are more solid in color while a merle coat and white colors appear in a percentage of each litter. Ironically, it’s said that the Catahoula was bred to continue to improve its ability and not its appearance, but if you have a Catahoula Leopard you will receive no shortage of compliments on your dog. You should have good knowledge of your future puppies genetics, as breeding a merle leopard Catahoula to another merle can lead to health issues, including bilateral deafness. While that may be okay for a family dog, it could be trouble for a work or hunting dog, so get information from a breeder on the parentage of your future puppy.
Catahoulas have an exceptional herding instinct and a heritage of hunting that predates the European settlers’ use as hunting dogs, with their use by Native Americans. They have been used to hunt everything from rabbits to raccoons, squirrels, deer, pigs, mountain lions, bears, and feral pigs in Louisiana. As such, they have also earned the moniker of “Louisiana Hunting Dog”, and the honor of the state dog of Louisiana.
We are looking forward to having Cora in the field and sharing the hunting experience as soon as the upland bird season starts this September in Wyoming. We are also looking forward to getting her in the field this waterfowl season. To follow along with Cora’s progress as a hunting companion, follow us on Instagram, @sportsmansmagazine.
How well has Cora taken to duck hunting/retrieving, and upland game.
Hi John, she’s actually done pretty well. We had a great time hunting sage grouse, and are working on more small game and waterfowl. As a cattle dog with hunting and hounding genetics, she does have a lot of interest in chasing big game. Working on recall and getting her back to focusing on keeping pressure on the ground to move birds can be a task when there are antelope and deer around. It might also be confusing for her at times, since she is around chickens on a farm that she is allowed to herd, but obviously isn’t allowed to harm. They are a smart breed, and I am sure she will work out all the differences and continue to do great. We’ve got a newborn at the home office, and she is adjusting to that really well also. If you are interested in the breed, they are a LOT of work, and need to have jobs and tasks.