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Catahoula German Shepherd Mix: Pictures, Temperament & Traits

Ed Malaker

By Ed Malaker

Catahoula and German Shepherd mix

Height: 22-28 inches
Weight: 44-106 pounds
Lifespan: 10-14 years
Colors: Gray, black, red, and blue merle
Suitable for: Experienced owners, children, families
Temperament: Affectionate, cheerful, courageous, outgoing, playful

You can create the Catahoula German Shepherd Mix by combining a Catahoula Leopard Dog with a German Shepherd. The result is an intelligent and playful dog whose appearance can vary from one dog to the next. If you are thinking about getting one of these dogs for your home but would like to know more about it first, keep reading while we discuss temperament, grooming, diet, and much more to help you make an informed decision.

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German Shepherd Catahoula Mix Puppies


It can be challenging to find a breeder willing to mix German Shepherd with other breeds. You may also need to factor in travel costs if the breeder you choose is not local.

Besides the cost of the puppy, you will also need to get it vaccinated. It will require several trips to the vet during its first few years, and you will also likely need to get it spayed or neutered as part of your contract, though breeders are often more lenient with mixed breeds. There is also the ongoing cost of food, toys, treats, and other expenses to consider.

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3 Little-Known Facts About the Catahoula Leopard Dog German Shepherd Mix

1. The Catahoula Leopard Dog is the State Dog of Lousiana.

Breeders in Louisiana developed the Catahoula Leopard Dog from a Native American breed.

2. Both the Military and Law Enforcement Frequently Use the Germen Shephard Parent.

Their high intelligence and trainability make them excellent working dogs.

3. The German Shepherd Parent is a Heavy Shedder.

And you can expect your Catahoula German Shepherd Mix to do the same.

The parent breeds of Catahoula German Shepherd Mix
The parent breeds of Catahoula German Shepherd Mix: Left – German Shepherd (Anna Dudkova, Unsplash) | Right – Catahoula (Zuzule, Shutterstock)

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Temperament & Intelligence of the Catahoula German Shepherd Mix🧠

The German Shepherd parent is one of the smartest dog breeds, which is why you will often see it used in search and rescue operations. It can also find bombs and drugs, picking up a scent even underwater. The Catahoula German Shepherd Mix will retain many of these abilities and be able to learn complex tasks. However, the Catahoula Leopard Dog has a strong prey drive and can be aggressive if not properly socialized as a puppy, so it’s better suited to an experienced owner.

A properly trained Catahoula German Shepherd Mix is loyal, obedient, playful, and gentle, especially toward their immediate family. It makes a great watchdog and is extremely protective but enjoys being around children and will even watch over toddlers.

Are Catahoula German Shepherds Good for Families?🏡

Yes. As we mentioned earlier, the Catahoula German Shepherd Mix makes a great family pet as long as it’s socialized properly as a puppy with all family members. It forms a strong bond with its owners and loves to play with children. It’s also extremely protective and won’t let any strangers go near your family. It’s gentle during snuggle time but is also alert and attentive, so it will watch over your home throughout the night.

Does This Breed Get Along with Other Pets?🐶 😽

Yes. The Catahoula German Shepherd Mix can get along with other dogs, especially if they are larger and it had lots of socialization as a puppy. The Catahoula Leopard Dog in it has a strong prey drive that is likely to chase any rabbits or squirrels that enter your yard, and it might even chase after your cat’s or toy breeds. Early socialization can help, but it often only works for the cat or dog that’s around when your Catahoula German Shepherd Mix is a puppy.

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Things to Know When Owning a German Shepherd

Catahoula Mix:

Food & Diet Requirements🦴

Your Catahoula German Shepherd Mix is an extremely active dog that will require a high-quality diet packed with protein to stay healthy and develop strong muscle. We recommend looking at the ingredients list and choosing brands that have chicken, salmon, lamb, or turkey listed as the first ingredient and avoiding foods that have corn, soy, or meat byproduct listed first. Many dogs like corn, but it digests quickly, leaving your pet feeling hungry again a short time later.  Corn also has little nutritional value and will not provide your dog with the nutrients it needs.


Since your Catahoula German Shepherd Mix is so active, it will require 30–60 minutes of exercise each day to stay healthy and happy. Dogs that don’t get enough exercise tend to misbehave and can bark more often. They also tend to chew up the furniture and dig holes when they are bored. Rolling balls on the ground will help activate its natural instinct to hunt small animals, and it will be one of its favorite games. It will also like long walks, especially through the woods where it can find and chase small critters.


Your Catahoula German Shepherd Mix is an extremely intelligent dog that shouldn’t be difficult to train. The Catahoula Leopard Dog in it can cause it to lose focus looking for small animals to chase, so we recommend holding your training sessions at the same time each day. Doing so helps get your dog into a routine, and it will arrive each day ready to learn. Holding your training sessions immediately after exercise time is best because your pet will have less energy for running. Positive reinforcement in the form of praise and treats is the most effective way to teach your dog a new trick. Patience is also critical, as it can take even the smartest dogs several weeks of training to commit a new trick to memory.

Grooming ✂️

As we mentioned earlier, the German Shepherd parent of the Catahoula German Shepherd Mix is an extreme shedder, leaving large piles of hair around your home in the fall and spring. You will need to brush frequently to keep the hair at a minimum, and professional grooming can make the job a lot easier. During the off-season, the coat won’t need as much work, and you will only need to brush it about once per week to keep it looking nice.

The nails will likely wear down if your dog stays active and won’t need any maintenance, but we recommend trimming them if you hear them clicking on the floor. We also recommend brushing your dog’s teeth with a dog-safe toothpaste as frequently as possible to help slow the progression of dental disease.

Health and Conditions❤️

Serious Conditions:

Hip Dysplasia

Hip dysplasia is a genetic condition that causes the hip joint to form incorrectly, preventing the bones from moving smoothly. As the dog ages, these bones wear out, affecting the dog’s ability to support the weight of its body. Active dogs like the Catahoula German Shepherd Mix tend to wear down these bones at an alarming rate, and some may lose the ability to climb stairs or even rise from a resting position. Weight management and surgery can help slow the progression of hip dysplasia.

Minor Conditions:

Dental Disease

Dental disease is one of the most common problems that all dogs face, and your Catahoula German Shepherd Mix is no exception. Some experts suggest that as many as 80% of dogs over three years old have some form of dental problem that needs attention. Dental disease can be painful, just like it is for humans, affecting their eating.  You can slow the progression of dental disease by preventing your pet from chewing on rocks, using dry kibble instead of wet food, and brushing the teeth frequently. Many professional groomers will brush your dog’s teeth for you if you are unable.

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Male vs Female

The male Catahoula German Shepherd Mix tends to be a few pounds heavier and one to three inches taller than the female and will have more masculine features, especially in the face. Females have a slightly sleeker body style and a narrower nose. Females tend to be a little more aggressive when protecting family members and require a little more socialization when they are young to keep them from becoming aggressive toward people.

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Final Thoughts

The Catahoula German Shepherd Mix makes a great pet because it’s gentle and playful with family members while remaining alert and protective. Its high intelligence helps it quickly read any situation and react accordingly. It will watch over your house at night without excessive barking and is manageable on the walking trail with other dogs. The Catahoula Leopard Dog part of your pet has a strong prey drive and can get aggressive at times, so this dog is better suited to experienced owners, but it’s a relatively healthy dog with a long life expectancy, and most owners will tell you it makes a great companion.

We hope you have enjoyed reading over this short guide, and it has helped answer your questions about this mixed breed. If we have convinced you to give one a try in your home, please share this guide to the Catahoula German Shepherd Mix on Facebook and Twitter.

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Featured Image Credit: casey sexton smith, Shutterstock

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