I have a 20 month old Catahoula. I would love to hear from other owners or breeders that have experience with them.
I have never personally owned one. They sure are beautiful and sweet!!!
The barn where my daughter sometimes trail rides is owned by a woman who owns and occassionally breeds Catahoulas. My daughter had inquired about buying (notice I said my daughter and not me!!!) one her pups. Because we live in a "track housing" type of neighborhoods, with less that a 1 acre lot, she wouldn't even consider selling us a pup. She told us these are high energy working dogs who need alot of space and need to work everyday. Because of their personality type, she is VERY specific about who she sells pups to.
homebody, this woman sounds like a good breeder. There is a Catahoula dog in my little suburban neighborhood and the poor thing only gets out on a chain in the back yard and as a result, he barks all the time and has gotten pretty fat. He's not nice. They are beautiful dogs but it is just so important to look at what the dog was originally bred to do. Good for the breeder for not allowing one of her dogs to go to a home that wouldn't be appropriate for the breed.
Our local shelter has a number of them anytime you look at their listings. That speaks to people not doing their homework before assuming the care of a breed with needs like exercise. It's so sad.
Great dogs. My stepbrother has two. They are smart, loyal, and are working dogs. My stepbrother is very outdoorsy - mountain biking, ATVs, boating, hiking . . . you name it. He is a perfect owner for these dogs. If you're not one of those folks, I think there are other wonderful breeds out there for you.
Also, they were bred to bring down wild hogs (there is still some dog-hog action in Louisiana, although I think it is technically illegal now). They are powerful so should definitely get solid obedience training.
My friend has one, actually I think it's a catahoula/mix. She weighs in at 120. My friend had her on a leash going up a flight of stairs. Something spooked the dog and she turned and fled down the stairs dragging my friend with her. Friend ended up with several injuries and time out of work in a wheelchair. She loves the dog and still has her, but this underlines jakabedy's words: They are powerful so should definitely get solid obedience training.
They are working dogs, cattle herders, and need consistent discipline and exercise. If you aren't willing to be the pack leader, they will take over.
I know people with them - ranchers mostly - and the dogs are great, but I would never recommend one to a novice dog owner or someone who wanted a house pet.
I have a Catahoula (he is laying on the floor next to me in fact). I got him about 2 years ago at a pound when he was (i think) about a year old. He was absolutely a mess when i first got him. He had been abused and did not listen to a word i said. If he wasn't running as fast as he could away from me, he was diggin holes all over the yard. I live on a farm in Oklahoma but i went to college at OSU and took him with me for the first year. We had some major time to bond and get to know one another and its like a light bulb went off in his head or something and i became his entire world. Now i never keep him on a leash and he literally goes everywhere with me. He hangs on every word i say and if i said the word sit or stay even in random conversation he will obey until i say otherwise ... he is truly an amazing dog. He's great with kids as well. Now as far as energy goes i will say undoubtedly he needed major exercise until he was about 2 years old and ever since then he has mellowed out a lot. He can still keep up with me on the four wheeler and run next to me other tractor in the hay field all day but if im not out doing something than he is just as happy layin around under a shade tree watching me work all day. Good luck to you ... dogs are such a blessing and we have a lot to learn from their loyalty and companionship !!!
This is a dog that needs serious attention to obedience and reinforcement of pack order as well as plenty of exercise. They are physically large and have a lot of drive which can be a deadly combination in the wrong hands. A few years ago, our town had a lady mauled to death by several of them that were left to run free on a farm. They were "guard" dogs in the property owners view and didn't really need training. Unfortunately, he was wrong.
A Catahoula is one of the few dogs that has ever really scared me when I volunteered at our shelter. I had dealings with all kinds of dogs and did cruelty investigations around fighting dogs of all kinds.This one Catahoula we got in was just not "right". Too quiet if you understand, and he had a record of already biting one person. He was big enough to be a real problem if carelessness factored into dealing with him. He had to be put down.