The Catahoula Leopard Dog is named for Catahoula Parish in the U.S. state of Louisiana. Chances are good that interested individuals can guess that these dogs have a strong association with said state. For proof, look no further than the fact that the Catahoula Leopard Dog was named Louisiana’s state dog in 1979. Having said that, it isn’t 100 percent clear how the Catahoula Leopard Dog came about.
One line of speculation is that French settlers brought the Beauceron with them to the region. After which, the Beauceron was crossbred with local wolfdogs that were well-suited for hunting in the local swamps. Other dogs that are said to have been ancestral to the Catahoula include the Xoloitzcuintli, the Carolina Dog, and the Peruvian Inca Orchid. Whatever the truth of things, it is interesting to note that the Catahoula Leopard Dog was used as both a hunting dog and a herding dog. Thanks to that, these dogs have the instincts of both roles.
What to love about them
There is much to like about the Catahoula Leopard Dog. For starters, these are very physically-impressive dogs. This can be seen in how the Catahoula Leopard Dog are still used to take on wild hogs, which is notable because wild hogs are quite formidable in their own right. However, these dogs are very fond of their family members while being wary but not aggressive towards strangers. As such, they sometimes see use as watch dogs because they will consistently go on alert whenever strangers approach.
In any case, there are things that interested individuals will need to watch out for when it comes to the Catahoula Leopard Dog. For example, they aren’t necessarily a good choice for people with no previous experience as dog owners because they need a firm, consistent hand. Similarly, they can act out based on their hunting and herding instincts, particularly if they aren’t being given some kind of activity that makes use of their plentiful energy. Of course, the Catahoula Leopard Dog is also like every other dog in that it benefits from both early training and early socialization, which do much to ensure that dogs are the best that they can be.
What Can You Expect to Pay For a Catahoula Leopard Dog?
The Catahoula Leopard Dog is considered to be a purebred dog. However, it is interesting to note that working ability remains a much-prized characteristic for the dog breed. Something that is true for some purebred dogs but not for others. On the whole, the Catahoula Leopard Dog is on the less expensive end of things. Interested individuals can expect to get one for $400 to $700. Moreover, if they want to get one with a competitive pedigree, that price can go up to around $1,000.
For context, there are some purebred dogs out there for which $1,000 would be on the less expensive end of things provided that they came from a reputable dog breeder anyway. Considering the price range, it makes sense that there would be a wide range of factors that can influence the price of individual Catahoula Leopard Dogs one way or the other. For example, these dogs are much more common in some regions than others, which can be a huge problem for those who want one of them but are living in the latter. Interested individuals can buy dogs from dog breeders that are situated far away from them.
However, that creates complications, both because of the transportation costs and because of the extra difficulties in checking out the dog breeder’s operations in person. As such, interested individuals are often restricted to choosing from the dogs offered by the dog breeders situated close to them. If there aren’t a lot of Catahoula Leopard Dogs available in the area, they are going to be facing a much more limited range of prices.
The Individual characteristics
Moving on, the characteristics of individual dogs can affect their price as well. Coat color isn’t as important for Catahoula Leopard Dogs as it is for some of the other purebred dogs that can be found out there. Still, it would be exaggerating to say that it didn’t matter at all. Generally speaking, deeper coat colors are preferred whereas predominantly white coat colors are considered to be extremely undesirable. That might sound arbitrary, but it isn’t because Catahoula Leopard Dogs are one of those dog breeds with certain coat colors that are connected to their chances of getting certain medical conditions.
Specifically, those that have a predominantly white coat have much higher-than-normal chances of being deaf, so much so that these dogs are often euthanized. Meanwhile, since Catahoula Leopard Dogs have merle coats, this means that some of them can be so-called double merles. Essentially, puppies born from two merle-coated parents have about a 1 in 4 chance of having some kind of serious problem with either their eyes, their ears, or both. Unsurprisingly, this is something that dog breeders care a lot about as well.
Watch that sales price
Interested individuals should be very careful about seeking out a Catahoula Leopard Dog that has a much lower than normal sale price. Sometimes, these come from amateur dog breeders who have less expertise and experience. Other times, these come from puppy mills. Both of these can present interested individuals with serious issues.
In the first case, amateur dog breeders might not know how to prevent problems from showing up in their dogs. Furthermore, they might lack the resources needed to screen the same. In the second case, puppy mills just won’t care. Those operations are focused on producing more dogs with either no or next-to-no consideration for the dogs’ well-being because they make their money through a low-price, high-volume strategy. Unsurprisingly, that increases the chances of problems showing up in their dogs for one reason or another. As mentioned earlier, there are certain medical conditions that can be inborn in Catahoula Leopard Dogs.
Good breeding and good screening can either prevent them or at least make it less likely for them to show up. In contrast, a disregard for these things can have the exact opposite effect. Never mind what a lack of even a minimally-acceptable level of care and consideration can do to dogs. Simply put, there is nothing wrong with getting a less expensive Catahoula Leopard Dog but interested individuals should avoid getting one from a puppy mill because of what that could mean for both the dog’s well-being and the dog owner’s wallet in the long run. Fortunately, if there is one positive about puppy mills, it is that they tend to be very obvious. This is one more reason why people should take a personal look at a dog breeder’s operations before making a purchase.
Adoption is an option
Besides buying a Catahoula Leopard Dog, interested individuals might be able to find one that can be adopted from either an animal shelter or some similar organization. This is the best option if they want to save on costs for a number of reasons. One, a few hundred dollars is the most that interested individuals will have to pay in order to adopt an animal, which makes it a much less expensive option than buying a Catahoula Leopard Dog. Two, while the dogs that are being adopted out can have various issues, those issues shouldn’t be altogether unmanageable because otherwise, the dogs wouldn’t be adopted out.
Three, there can be no doubt about the fact that adopting a dog is a good thing. After all, it means giving a dog a new home. Moreover, it means freeing up the resources being spent on it by the animal shelter, which can be used to help out other animals. The problem has been getting better over time, but even so, there are a lot more animals that need assistance than animal shelters and similar organizations have the resources to help out. The main issue with adopting a Catahoula Leopard Dog will be the reduced availability when compared with buying a Catahoula Leopard Dog. These dogs are relatively common in Louisiana as well as much of the Southeastern United States. Sadly, they are much less common outside of said area. Outside of the Americas, the Catahoula Leopard Dog might as well as not exist.
What Other Costs Can You Expect From Owning a Catahoula Leopard Dog?
Being a dog owner tends to be most expensive in the first year. The Catahoula Leopard Dog is no exception to this rule. This is because the first year includes more than just the normal costs that come from owning a dog. After all, interested individuals are going to need to get a dog bed, a dog cage, a dog leash, a couple of dog bowls, as well as other toys, tools, and other accessories.
On top of that, their dog is going to need microchipping, medical exams, spaying or neutering, and so on and so forth. Put together, these costs can be quite expensive, particularly since it seems like anything that is healthcare-related can cost hundreds of dollars or more. Spirit Dog Training says that the first year of owning a Catahoula Leopard Dog can cost as much as $3,000. Of course, that is very much on the higher end of things. As a result, interested individuals might be able to reduce their costs by shopping around as well as putting other budget-conscious to practice.
Subsequently, the costs of owning a Catahoula Leopard Dog should be much lower. Once again, Spirit Dog Training says that the costs should fall to as much as $2,000. Food costs should be around $450 on an annual basis, which is assuming that the Catahoula Leopard Dog is being fed a high-quality dog food. However, it is possible for prescription dog food to be more expensive than that at around $600, though the exact number can see considerable variation because the prescription dog food meant for one medical condition won’t be the same as the prescription dog food meant for another medical condition.
Most of the other recurring costs such as grooming costs, entertainment costs, and training costs should be lower than that. This is particularly true because the Catahoula Leopard Dog isn’t the most demanding dog that can be found out there. For example, they are either a short-haired or medium-haired dog, so they don’t need a great deal of professional grooming. Similarly, they aren’t particularly problematic beyond needing firm, consistent handling, so they tend not to need a lot of professional training either. Regardless, how people choose to take care of their dog can have a huge effect on the costs incurred in this regard. To name an example, most interested individuals will presumably want to walk their Catahoula Leopard Dog on their own. However, if they choose to use a dog-walker on a regular basis, that is the kind of cost that can go real high real fast.
Even so, chances are good that healthcare and healthcare-related costs are going to be real attention-getters. Theoretically speaking, interested individuals could cut down on these costs by not getting preventative healthcare. In practice, that tends to be a bad idea because preventing medical problems tends to be cheaper than treating medical problems in the long run. Spirit Dog Training estimates that preventative healthcare costs about $600 for a Catahoula Leopard Dog, which covers things such as vaccines, medications, and medical check-ups.
Unfortunately, if a dog develops a serious medical problem, the cost of treatment can enter into the thousands of dollars, particularly if the treatment is something complicated and resource-intensive. Under these circumstances, it is no wonder that a lot of dog owners have various practices that are meant to ensure that they can pay the bills in case something goes wrong. One example would be putting away money in a savings account on a regular basis. Another example would be buying pet insurance, which costs an average of $50 for dogs on a monthly basis. It isn’t possible to ensure that everything will go well in the future, so it makes sense to be well-prepared in case something bad happens.
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