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Louisiana Catahoula

Breed Standards for the Louisiana Catahoula

As approved by the National Association of Louisiana Catahoula’s, Inc.

Origin and Purpose:

Country/State of Origin: United States/Louisiana.

Used as stock dog, tree dog, companion, watch and guard dog.

General Appearance:

The Louisiana Catahoula is a medium to medium-large dog, well muscled, yet trim, powerful, but denoting agility and great endurance.


Independent, protective, territorial. May show aggressive behavior. Signs of timidity on leash should not be taken as cowardice, but the intolerance for strangers.


Males should measure 22 – 26 inches (55.8 cm – 66.0 cm).

Females should measure 20 – 24 inches (50.8 cm – 60.9 cm).

Coat & Color:

The coat-length should be short to medium in length. Color-Leopards are to be preferred and may come in blue, gray, black, liver, red, white and patched. Trim may be black, white, tan, red or buff. Solid colors acceptable are black, yellow, red and chocolate.


The head should be powerfully built with well developed cheeks.

Skull: Broad top-skull with well defined stop being moderate in length. Muzzle: The muzzle should be strong, deep and approximately equal in length to the top skull as measured from the stop to the occiput bone. The muzzle should be broad at the base and taper towards the nose when viewed from the front. Bite: The bite should be a strong scissor bite, with a level bite being acceptable. Complete dentition is greatly desired; however broken teeth are not to be faulted. Eyes: Glass eyes are preferred although the eyes may be of any color or combination of colors. The eyes do not have to be the same color and may have partial glass in one or both eyes, commonly called “cracks”. Ears: The ears should be short to medium in length slightly below the top of the head. Properly hung ears, with the inner edge of the ear lying close to the cheek are to be preferred. “Laid-back” ears are acceptable.


The neck should be muscular and of good length.


The length of the foreleg should be 50 – 60% of the total height of the dog as measured from the ground to the top of the withers. The shoulders should be well laid back with an upper arm bone of ample length. The forelegs should be set moderately far apart and the front feet should toe neither in nor out.


The back should be strong and well muscled, level and of medium length. The chest should be deep reaching below the elbow. The chest should be fairly broad with well sprung ribs. The underline should have tuck-up in the loin area to a moderate degree.


The croup should be medium to long in length and slightly sloping with the tail having a medium to high set. The stifles should be well angulated and the hocks should be set low to the ground. The hocks should turn neither in nor out when viewed from the rear.


The feet should be strong and moderate in length. Good webbing between the toes should be evident. Dew claws may be present or removed but if present should be uniform.


The gait should be smooth and effortless denoting agility. Single tracking at a trot is acceptable.


  • Fly-away or houndish ears
  • Animals either undersize or oversize
  • Cat-footed or coon-footed

Serious Faults:

  • Dogs being either natural bobtail or having the tail docked.
  • Any malformed or acentric pupil formation of the eyes.
  • Animals having either overshot or undershot bits.


  • Long or fuzzy coated dogs
  • Cropped ears