Catahoula Bulldog

Toni Grzunov - Last updated on May 25th, 2021

All you need to know about the Catahoula Bulldog

Catahoula Bulldogs, also known as American Mastahoulas are mixed breed dogs that are exceptionally intelligent and have high energy needs.

They are a mix between the Catahoula Leopard Dog and an American Bulldog and have inherited the best qualities from their parent breeds. They are loyal, smart, energetic, and agile, and will make for wonderful pets.

These pups will require tons of exercise and will demand your attention. They are an excellent fit for people that lead an active lifestyle but can also devote plenty of time to their pet dogs.

Catahoula Bulldogs are also quite protective and territorial. They make for amazing guard dogs. You won’t have any problems with intruders if you have one of these pups in your front yard. Still, these pups are quite laid-back once they use up their energy.

If you’re on the lookout for Catahoula Bulldogs and want one as your pet, we collected the most important info you will surely need.

Fast Facts

Weight - 75-110 Pounds (male)  45-65 Pounds (female)

Height - 24-26 Inches (male) 22-24 Inches (female)

Hair Length - Short

Shedding - Lite

Lifespan - 13-15 Years

The Appearance of the Catahoula Bulldog

Like a powerful, medium-sized Bulldog, the Catahoula Bulldog weighs between 60 to 100 pounds and stands 24 to 26 inches at the shoulders. The Catahoula has the muscular build and tight skin of the American Bulldog, with a smooth, short coat. There is usually no undercoat for most climates, but if you live in a colder or seasonal climate, your pet will likely develop one. 

This dog can be white, black and white, brown and white, brown, or black and brown. The Catahoula Bulldog can also have a mottled coat, with white and gray, and can have large areas of color and smaller areas of spots or "tips." The eyes are expressive and are generally a soft or dark brown, but they can also be gold, emerald green, amber, ice blue, or heterochromatic.

Perhaps most notable about this dog’s appearance is its ears. Catahoula Bulldogs use their ears very expressively as if they are talking with them. The ears are very mobile, pricking and moving with every sound, every expression.

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All about the Catahoula Bulldog personality

The Catahoula Bulldog has become a favorite pet today because of its character. Protective and loving, this breed is also beautiful, with its sleek coat and expressive ears and eyes. 

Generally, it behaves in a mellow and relaxed manner – although it will react in an instant if it feels that you are threatened. Very trainable and obviously anxious to please you, it is exceedingly patient with children and serves as an excellent "nanny" dog

A wonderfully intelligent creature, this dog will learn anything you want to teach it, and loves to work. Although somewhat placid in nature, your pet can also be funloving, outgoing, and lively. With just a little socialization and firm but gentle guidance, you'll find no better pet.

Is a Catahoula Bulldog easy to train?

Catahoula Bulldogs are not the easiest dogs to train so it is advised to start the training at an early age. While these pups are smart, they can be stubborn which could cause issues for owners that don’t know how to take a stand.

You need to show your Catahoula Bulldog that you are the leader in charge but do so in a calm way. Never be aggressive! 

These pups have a strong prey drive and are quite powerful so they might wander off if you don’t show them they shouldn’t do that. However, they will be quite attentive in general, so you need to know how to use that in training. Signing up for dog training classes is an excellent idea.

You should start leash training early. This will help you control the hunting instincts of your Catahoula Bulldog. For starters, you should always let your pup wear the leash and harness for shorter durations. Never jerk the leash if your dog starts going in the opposite direction.

Take your dog to parks and places where it can meet other people’s pets. This way it will get used to being around other people and animals.

Obedience training is mandatory, and you should use positive reinforcement as well. Reward your pup for good behavior constantly. But make sure to start the training process at an early age.

The Living Environment of the Catahoula Bulldog

Large and active, the Catahoula Bulldog must get a lot of exercise on a daily basis. As working dogs, Catahoula need jobs to do and are superb as workers on ranches, farms, or anywhere they can be kept busy. 

Equally good with large families or a single devoted owner, the Catahoula Bulldog is also tolerant of other pets as long as they are raised together. Unless leery of danger, this dog will readily accept strangers as well.

The Catahoula Bulldog depends on your presence to feel secure and to behave the way you prefer. In your absence, it may become destructive by chewing, barking, forgetting house-training skills, and otherwise raising a disturbance if repeatedly left alone. This is a devoted pet who wants to be with you, and if you are someone who needs to be gone a lot, it's wisest to get another breed.

Because the Catahoula is a hunter and herder at heart, chasing is instinctive. It's important to have your dog on a leash at all times when you are not in a safe environment.

Finally, this dog may assume other small pets like birds, gerbils, rabbits or other small creatures are valid hunting prey. Therefore, it’s best to not have these pets around if you choose to have a Catahoula Bulldog as a pet.

How much Grooming does a Catahoula Bulldog need?

The grooming needs of a Catahoula Bulldog are minimal. These pups are low maintenance and will keep themselves clean perfectly well. They don’t have odor issues either.

Expect to bathe your pet Catahoula Bulldog only a couple of times a year. Brush the coat once a week to prevent mats (although they don’t occur often) and keep it nice and shiny.

These dogs are average to light shedders, but they do shed constantly. 

Considering all this, Catahoula Bulldogs are unfortunately not hypoallergenic. If you suffer from any allergies, avoid these dogs. They shed constantly and can drool often as well.

Make sure to trim the nails of your pet regularly. If they grow too long it can cause pain and you don’t want your dog suffering while it’s trying to run. If you can hear the clicking of the nails on the floor while your dog is walking, it is time to trim them. Get your pet used to this early.

Dental hygiene is important as well. Make sure to brush the teeth of your pet Catahoula Bulldog regularly. Use a vet-approved doggy toothpaste and it will prevent all sorts of possible problems with teeth and gums.

The Health of the Catahoula Bulldog

The Catahoula Bulldog is typically very healthy and hardy and has few problems. Like many dogs, it can suffer from congenital heart defects, cataracts, glaucoma, hip dysplasia, and entropion, a problematic folding of the eyelid which causes major eye irritation and can require surgical correction.

Finally, common among all deep-chested, large dogs, bloat is an extremely dangerous condition that happens suddenly when the stomach twists upon itself. Gas builds up and death can occur within an hour. Symptoms include dry vomiting, the appearance of pain, a distended (hard) stomach, or possible depression which is rather unusual for the sweet, jovial and energetic Catahoula Bulldog. Surgery can correct the condition, without which recurrence is almost guaranteed.

Where does the Catahoula Bulldog come from?

The Catahoula Bulldog was first bred over a century ago and has mostly originated in the southern United States. Its purpose at that point was to give ranchers a dog that could catch hogs, herd cattle, and hunt the American black bear. 

The Catahoula Leopard Dog had the skill to entice hogs to go into their pens and the speed and endurance as well as intelligence to hunt and herd, but it wasn't large enough to catch hogs. Crossbreeding it with the powerful American Bulldog gave it the size, weight, and strength of jaw to make it a good watchdog as well. The result of the interbreeding was a dog that was intelligent, rugged, and large enough to perform the tasks desired, with newly established hunting and herding skills.

In 1951, the Catahoula Bulldog was first formally registered by a Mr. Stodghill of the Animal Research Foundation. In 1962, Midlothian, Texas resident Bart Perry was actively raising the American Bulldog and in 1968 became the first breeder certified by the Animal Research Foundation to breed Catahoula Bulldogs. 

The Catahoula Bulldog is considered an excellent guard dog, in addition to being a great hunter and working dog. Today, the breed is also treasured as an ideal companion dog. Extremely devoted and loyal, this breed is very protective of its immediate family.

Questions people often ask about Catahoula Bulldog

  • +Are Catahoula Bulldogs aggressive?

  • +Are Catahoulas good family dogs?

  • +Is a Catahoula a Pitbull?

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