Catahoula Leopard Dogs, formerly known as Catahoula Cur, was declared as the official dog breed of Louisiana in 1979.
However, what makes the Catahoula Leopard Dogs strikingly beautiful than other dog breeds is not their title; it is their rare eye colors. Having different colors in each eye (also called “cracked eyes”) and blue “glass” eyes can really make them stand out from the crowd.
Their appearance might make them look mysterious and creepy. But in truth, Catahoulas are dedicated and loving companions. That is, once you have proven yourself worthy of your position as the pack leader.
Catahoula Leopard Dog Average Price
Catahoula Leopard Dog price can go from $600 to $850 on the average depending on whose breeder you will get the pup from. This already includes preliminary veterinary care, initial vaccination shots, and a registration certificate.
At Puppyfind.com, Catahoulas are listed at a much lower price ranging from $200 up to $700 only.
Do note that the packages included in the price may vary from one breeder to another.
Some breeders claim that prices do not really depend on the color of their eyes or coat since mixing and matching both elements have been tried already. Instead, it is commonly based on the parentage and bloodline.
Other Expenses Besides the Catahoula Leopard Cost
The expenses needed to take care of and maintain the lifestyle of a Catahoula Leopard Dog can be divided into two: one-time expenses and recurring expenses.
- One-time Expenses
Shelter – Catahoula Leopard Dogs do not prefer to be chained outside the house. They would much rather be with their owner indoors, playing and just being with them.
Indoor dogs like the Catahoula are highly encouraged to undergo crate training. Not only do crates help in disciplining your dog while guests are around; they also act as a safe place for them to rest peacefully.
Full-grown adult Catahoula dogs can go as tall as 20 to 26 inches. To ensure that they are comfortable to sit, stand, and walk around inside them, look for a 48” crate.
In looking for a 48” crate which costs at least $45, make sure that it is made from sturdy materials that Catahoulas cannot easily chew or destroy when they get bored.
Transportation Costs – Breeders highly encourage that you pick up your Catahoula pup in person so that you can also meet its dog family and observe its temperament.
However, if you cannot do that, there are pet travel services you can employ. But prepare to have them burn a hole in your pocket.
The cost of shipping fees within the continental US can cost you around $350 to $875 per pup and that does not yet include the travel packets such as a crate, certificates, and other supplies.
If you are from overseas, travel prices can skyrocket at $450 to $3,500 per pet.
Certification – Most Catahoula Leopard Dogs are registered at the United Kennel Club (UKC) and National Association of Louisiana Catahoulas (NALC).
Why not register at the American Kennel Club you might ask? Although AKC does accept Catahoula registrations, it is not yet fully recognized enough to be included in its annual shows and contests.
If you do not plan to bring your Catahoula Leopard Dog into a dog show, then the registry should not be a concern. But if it is, you are encouraged to register your dog at UKC instead. UKC registration fee for Catahoula pups only cost $35.
Obedience Training – Because they are bred to be herding dogs, Catahoula Leopard Dogs are naturally suspicious of human and animal strangers. Thus, in order to make them friendly or at least civil when you have visitors, have them undergo obedience training.
Most basic training programs wherein your pooch could learn basic commands such as “sit” and “come” charge about $450 to $800 for four one-hour sessions with the trainer.
Price range varies depending on where you want your dog to be trained. Some programs charge less if you plan to have the training at the trainor’s site instead of your home.
- Recurring Expenses
Food – Catahoula Leopard Dogs eat whatever is laid out to them by their owners. They are generally healthy and are not in need of specific nutritional requirements.
The only thing you have to worry about when it comes to their food is the brand and their preference. Because they are highly active and energetic dogs, get a brand that has meat as a primary ingredient.
A bag of large breed dry dog food (24 to 49 lbs) can cost at least $40 and can last up to 12 days or less depending on your dog’s appetite. As much as possible, measure the amount of dog food per meal instead of leaving it in their bowl.
Veterinary Care – As previously mentioned, Catahoulas are generally healthy. However, this does not mean that they are invincible against diseases and infections.
Getting a standard routine checkup every 6-12 months is important to ensure that anything unusual is being brought to light before it gets worse. It only costs $60 far cheaper than paying for medications or surgeries needed once your dog actually gets sick.
To add another layer of protection against infections, always update your dog’s vaccination shots and deworming treatments. Make sure that it gets one for parvovirus, distemper, parainfluenza, adenovirus 2, and rabies. Each shot may cost around $19 to $33.
Grooming Needs – Catahoulas are considered to be one of the easiest dog breeds to groom. A lot of them can go by with just two baths a year. Thanks to their short coats, dirt cannot latch on and they eventually fall off.
They, however, can benefit from being brushed at least once a week. It not only gets rid of falling hairs; it also reinforces bond and affection between them and their owners.
A dog brush only costs $8 to $10 each, and the benefits it can give are endless.
One important thing you must pay attention to is their ear health. Catahoulas’ ears are flappy. It can trap moisture which can become a breeding ground for bacteria.
To prevent the impending doom of an ear infection, clean their outer ears using a cotton ball soaked in ear cleanser. You can already buy one at $11.
Also, as you clean the ear, check for unusual redness, tenderness, or rashes. These three are known symptoms of possible ear infection.
Non-food Supplies – To give the Catahoula Leopard Dogs a good quality of life, you must not only consider their physical needs－mental needs should be addressed as well.
Dog toys help not only in keeping your Catahoulas entertained and productive. They can also be used as a tool for stimulating their mind.
Some dog toy manufacturers created interactive toys that not only cure boredom but also make your dog think. For Catahoulas, mental stimulation is needed so that their minds are ready to accept obedience training from you.
Unfortunately, interactive toys do not come cheap. A piece can cost $16. If you are on a tight budget, buying a typical chew toy or ball is already enough to keep your Catahoula entertained. Prices start at $1 to $45 each.
Another thing that Catahoulas need to stay healthy and happy is having at least an hour of exercise a day. To achieve this, schedule a regular walking session with your dog. If that’s not possible, hire a dog walker for a cost.
Catahoulas are natural hunters and they can easily get swayed by small animals they can find around the neighborhood. Sometimes, they growl at human strangers, too.
Thus, they need a sturdy harness and leash to keep them at bay. You can buy the former at $35 to $55 and the latter at $11. Prices may go higher and lower than these depending on the brand.
Things to Consider Before Getting a Catahoula
Aside from the expenses laid out here, you also have to consider all of these things:
- Your schedule
As previously mentioned, Catahoulas need an hour of exercise daily. Aside from that, they need to get lots of love and affection from you. Are you ready to spare them some time?
- Family Arrangements
If you plan to let the Catahoula live with your family, make sure that all the members agreed to accept and take the responsibility. If you have toddlers or small children with you, you have to be extra careful in bringing them together with the dog.
- Contingency plans
Bored and aggressive Catahoulas can wreak havoc inside and outside your home. Do you have any plans in place in case they start to tear up your furniture or bite your house guest? More importantly, are you willing to take the responsibility your dog might cause?
- Training schedules
Teaching Catahoulas how to socialize and behave with human and animal strangers take time, effort, and money. Are you patient enough to handle their education?
Bringing in a Catahoula Leopard Dog in your humble home requires tremendous adjustments in all aspects of your life. But once you are able to win its trust, you can be assured that it will remain loyal, obedient, and affectionate to you until the day it dies.