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Catahoula Australian Shepherd Mix Info: Pictures, Temperament & Traits

Cassidy Sutton

By Cassidy Sutton

Catahoula Australian Shepherd Mix

Height: 15–25 inches
Weight: 40–80 pounds
Lifespan: 10–16 years
Colors: Brown, white, black, red
Suitable for: Active families
Temperament: Intelligent, fiercely loyal, stubborn, highly energetic, territorial

The Catahoula Australian Shepherd Mix is a mouthful to say, isn’t it? We’ll stick to the short version throughout this post: the Catahoula Aussie mix!

This breed is a hybrid between the Catahoula Leopard Dog and the Australian Shepherd. Because of this, every dog looks different. Some dogs are brown, red, white, and black. Some dogs are a solid color, and other dogs have a brindle pattern. It all depends on the dog’s genetics!

No one knows for sure how this breed came to be. It’s honestly a mystery. But since both breeds are US native breeds, one can only assume the Catahoula Aussie mix results from an accidental breeding.

Because of this mishap, a Catahoula Australian Shepherd mix is rare. There isn’t much information about the breed, and it’s not recognized by the AKC.

But we’re breaking the cycle in today’s post. Keep reading to learn more about this mysterious breed.

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Catahoula Aussie Mix Puppies – Before You Get One

Energy
Trainability
Health
Lifespan
Sociability

 

The 3 Little-Known Facts About the Catahoula Aussie Mix

Catahoula Australian Shepherd Mix Breed
Image Credit: Left – Catahoula Leopard (Louisiana Catahoula Leopard Dog – Red Leopard, Britta Weißenborn, Wikimedia Commons CC SA 3.0 Unported); Right – Australian Shepherd (JitkaP, Shutterstock)

There aren’t any special facts about the Catahoula Aussie mix specifically since it’s a mixed breed, but we can talk about the two breeds that make this hybrid so special.

1. The Catahoula Leopard Dog is Louisiana’s state dog

Louisiana is no stranger to the Catahoula Leopard Dog. This breed was officially deemed the state dog in 1979 but was no stranger even before this time. Spanish and French explorers brought to America the dogs responsible for creating the modern Catahoula Leopard Dog starting in 1539.


2. Catahoula means “sacred lake”

Catahoula Lake is the largest freshwater lake in Louisiana and precisely where the Catahoula Leopard Dog got its name. The name Catahoula means “sacred lake.” This lake is home to many waterfowl, ducks, geese, and wading birds, attracting hunters from all over the country.


3. The Australian Shepherd’s popularity boomed after WWII

Australian Shepherds became popular around the 1950s and 1960s, shortly after WWII. They were bred more for their temperament rather than their physical attributes. Their natural herding capabilities made them the ideal choice for farms and ranches in the Midwest.

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Temperament & Intelligence of the Catahoula Aussie Mix 🧠

A Catahoula Aussie mixes temperament and personality can be unpredictable since it’s a fifty-fifty chance on which breed genetics will dominate the dog’s personality. However, we can piece together what to expect out of this hybrid.

Catahoula Leopard Dogs and Australian Shepherds are hunting and herding dogs, so they have a high prey drive and love to be put to work. These breeds can grow bored easily, so expect to give your Catahoula Aussie mix lots of mental stimulation.

Luckily, this hybrid is easy to train. Some stubbornness can get in the way if your hybrid inherits the Catahoula Leopard Dog personality. But don’t expect this to slow down the training much.

Overall, this hybrid is highly intelligent and loves the people it strives to protect.

Are These Dogs Good for Families? 👪

Catahoula Aussie mixes aren’t lovey-dovey, but they do love attention from their owners from time to time. This will vary based on your dog’s personality.

Generally, Catahoula Aussie mixes are good around children. It’s better if the dog has the open personality of an Australian Shepherd rather than the reserved nature of a Catahoula.

Ultimately, this hybrid makes an excellent guard dog. The Catahoula and Australian Shepherd are only moderately vigilant and open to strangers, so any kind of shady activity will spark their protective instincts. The hybrid is no different.

Does This Breed Get Along With Other Pets? 🐶 😽

The Catahoula and Australian Shepherd are okay around other dogs. Still, they won’t be as patient with other pets as other dog breeds. You have to rely on the dog’s personality and socialization skills in this situation.

As we said earlier, both breeds have a high prey drive, so it’s best to keep small animals like rabbits and rodents away. Chickens could be okay around a Catahoula Aussie mix if the dog inherits the Australian Shepherd temperament and herding traits.

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Things to Know When Owning a Catahoula Aussie Mix:

Food & Diet Requirements 🦴

Your dog’s diet will fluctuate throughout its lifetime. Some factors to include are:

  • Age
  • Breed
  • Spaying or neutering
  • Medical conditions
  • Activity level
  • Growth

The Catahoula and Aussie are highly active breeds, so a diet rich in high-quality animal protein and above-average fat content is ideal. Protein and fat offer your dog amino acids and fatty acids, which are essential to your dog’s overall health.

Dry dog foods must contain a minimum of 18% protein for adult dogs and 22% for puppies. High protein diets will have more, but it’s best to not exceed 30%. High protein foods typically have a high caloric content, so be careful to not overfeed your pup. Generally, you can expect to feed a puppy 1,400 calories per day and an active adult dog 1,000 calories.

You will need to make adjustments as your dog ages. Your dog can still eat a high-protein diet, but it won’t be as active, so you may need to cut back on calories.

Remember, these are only estimates. Talking to your veterinarian to discuss the best weight and caloric intake is the best course of action.

Exercise 🐕

Leaving this dog outside with just a ball won’t be enough. The Catahoula Aussie mix requires at least 1 hour of vigorous exercise each day. Having a backyard is ideal because the Catahoula and Aussie love going outside. So, apartment life isn’t a good idea.

A proper amount of exercise will help avoid weight gain and behavior issues. Otherwise, your Catahoula Aussie will find other ways to occupy its time without an outlet to burn energy. Get your furry companion outside to warrant a stress-free home life as much as possible.

Any kind of exercise like running, hiking, and swimming is great. Just be sure the exercise is rigorous and 1–2 hours long.

Training 🦮

Catahoula Aussie mixes are highly intelligent but can be very stubborn. The best training starts when your puppy is around eight weeks old. But many of us adopt our dogs after the puppy era, and that’s okay. It is better late than never with training.

Early socialization is a key factor in early training. This helps your dog feel comfortable around other dogs and humans. Catahoula Leopard Dogs tend to be more reserved and can be wary of strangers. Early socialization with this breed is crucial. If your dog has more Catahoula genes than Aussie genes, this is particularly important.

Grooming ✂️

Grooming requirements will vary from dog to dog because the physical traits between a Catahoula and Aussie vary greatly. Australian Shepherds have a thick double-layer coat and are heavy shedders. In contrast, Catahoula dogs have shorter coats and don’t shed so much.

In any case, neither breed is hypoallergenic.

But grooming goes further than brushing and bathing. You’ll still have to brush your dog’s teeth, clean the ears, and trim nails. All of this should be done about once per week, depending on your dog’s needs.

Health and Conditions ❤️

The Catahoula and Aussie are generally healthy dog breeds, but they do have some health problems unique to their breeds. The Catahoula Aussie Mix is likely to inherit some of these concerns, depending on which genetics dominate the dog.

Minor Conditions
  • Deafness: Colored Catahoula Leopard Dogs have an 80% chance of developing deafness in one or both ears. Deafness can be a hereditary issue, or it can result from trauma or illness.
  • Cataracts: Australian Shepherds have several problems with their eyes, but cataracts are the most common issue. Cataracts are when your dog’s eyes look cloudy with a light film across the lens. Cataracts impair vision and cause total blindness in some cases.
Serious Conditions
  • Epilepsy: Epilepsy is a neurological disorder that causes seizures. Australian Shepherds are prone to epilepsy.
  • Hip and elbow dysplasia: This is a skeletal issue when the hip and elbow joints don’t fit or develop properly. Instead of sliding smoothly, they rub against each other causing discomfort and pain. Catahoula Leopard Dogs are prone to this, but any dog breed can experience hip and elbow dysplasia.

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Male vs. Female

It’s hard to tell the difference between a male and female Catahoula Aussie Mix since there’s so much variation in the hybrid. Most of the time, these mixes are about the same size as an Australian Shepherd. Australian Shepherds are smaller than Catahoula Leopard Dogs, so you shouldn’t expect your mix to equal the same size as a purebred Catahoula.

Generally, the males are larger than the females and are more active. You’ll also notice certain behaviors like mounting, urinating, and wandering in a male Catahoula Aussie Mix more than the female. Neutering your dog will help calm these behaviors.

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Final Thoughts

So, do you think the Catahoula Australian Shepherd Mix is for you?

This breed could be a good fit if you like unpredictability in a highly active dog. It’s tough finding this exact mix, so you have to search far and wide. The best place to look is in Louisiana since the Catahoula Leopard Dog is the state dog. Or you can contact breeders for the Catahoula or Aussie and see if they do hybrids.

Since this dog breed is unpredictable, we can’t say we know for sure what your dog will look like or how its personality will turn out. But that’s part of the charm!

See also: Australian Shepherd Rottweiler Mix


Featured Image Credit: Left – Catahoula Leopard (Torstensimon, Pixabay); Right – Australian Shepherd (Eudyptula, Shutterstock)

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