We’ve all heard of many designer dogs because, let’s face it, they’ve become quite popular over the years. But, how many of us have actually heard of the Pitahoula – the Catahoula Leopard dog and Pitbull mix?
Pitahoulas are unusual dogs with pretty unusual traits. If you want a loyal and loving dog, this is where you can stop looking. Everything you need (and more) is in this cute four-legged buddy.
Are you ready to discover the magical world of the Pitahoula, where fun never ends?
The Parent Breeds: The Catahoula Leopard Dog And Pitbull
The Catahoula pit mix is a designer dog from two unique breeds: the Catahoula Leopard Dog and Pitbull.
To understand this specific crossbreed, we need to learn about the dog parents first.
The Catahoula Leopard dog is less well-known than the other parent, the Pitbull. However, one state is pretty fond of Catahoula’s.
This is the state dog of Louisiana, where it was named after the largest natural freshwater lake.
It is believed the Catahoula Leopard dog is a mixture of Spanish Mastiffs, Bloodhounds, and Greyhounds.
The origin of this purebred pup dates back to the 16th century when Spanish travelers brought them to the Louisiana area.
The history of this breed is quite interesting. The Catahoulas are known as hog dogs or hunting dogs because of the original profession of hunting down wild boars in the swamps of the Southeastern United States.
Farmers were so impressed by their skills, and they became a popular herding dog with the ability to create a fence around the stock and guiding them.
If we had to pick out three traits Catahoulas have, we’d go with independent, loyal, and watchful. These dogs are hard-working canines who still, despite their abilities, make amazing family pets.
These pups need a strong and firm leader, someone who understands their mentality.
The Pitbull Terrier is a dog breed half the world knows by his negative reputation of being aggressive.
The truth is: they’re as aggressive as any other dog next door. Pitbulls don’t participate in blood sports anymore. Thank God for outlawing them!
Nowadays, the American Pit Bull terrier is a popular therapy dog because of its loving nature and affection towards humans.
Pitbull pups are confident, intelligent, and have a kind personality. No wonder they’re often referred to as nanny dogs!
Still, not every type of family is suitable to be Pitbull dog owners. Pitties are active dogs with lots of energy to spend.
They don’t like being alone for a long time. If you’re, by any chance, worried about having a purebred Pittie, go with any of the designer Pitbulls.
Would a Labrabull, Pitsky, Beaglebull, or Corgi Pit be your cup of tea? Or are you going to try something new and unusual, like our Pitahoula?
Personality: Tell Me More About Pitahoulas!
When getting a Catahoula and Pitbull mix, you must keep in mind that this dog isn’t for the first time or shy dog owner.
A Pitahoula needs a family that can establish authority and pack mentality. Otherwise, you might face behavioral issues as well as situations where your dog might question and challenge you as a leader.
Once you let him know who’s boss, your Catahoula Pit mix will truly adore you and do anything to please you as they’re such loyal dogs.
The Pitahoula has plenty of physical and mental energy to waste. They belong in an active family where playtime, interaction, and cuddle time are not lacking.
This mix puppy will be happiest if he has a role to fulfill, along with his master. Whether he’s acting as a watchdog, guard dog, or ranch help, they truly respect chores and value the mental stimulation they get.
Nothing beats relaxing by the fire, right by your feet, after a long day at work!
Since they’re Pitbull mix dogs, the Pitahoulas are attention-seekers. They will ask for your attention and praise all the time.
This can be a bit demanding and intense, especially if you’re more on the calm side. Active dog lovers who enjoy intense dogs will fall in love with the Pitahoula!
Size: Are Pitahoulas Tiny Teddies Or Big Giants?
The Pitahoula is, actually, a medium-sized dog. His size depends on the size of his parents. They can weigh anywhere between 40 and 85 pounds and stand between 18 and 23 inches tall. It’s always difficult to predict how big a mixed dog will be.
His fierce energy and frisky nature mean they can be very forceful and strong. Future owners, you’ve been warned.
Also, even though they’re calm doggies, small children shouldn’t be left unattended with them simply because they’re big dogs.
Coat: The Looks Matter… A Lot!
Not many mixed breed dogs are as stunning as the Catahoula Pitbull mix.
Truly, they’re quite the showstoppers anywhere they go, all because of the unique parent breed – the Catahoula Leopard dog. This dog makes jaws drop because of his colors!
Because he’s a mixed breed, the Pitahoula can come in any color or combination of his parent’s coats.
Even pups from the same litter don’t look like each other! Pitahoulas, frankly, don’t resemble each other at all.
It’s possible to have a red-coated pup with straight hair or a completely white or blue one. This parent breed sheds all year round.
The other side of the family, the Catahoulas, comes in a variety of merle colors. Your puppy can have any color or marking!
Sometimes, the puppy might have normal colored coats, with some merle spots. Thanks, Catahoula mom or dad!
The Catahoula comes in all different shades of merle. This means you can expect absolutely any color or markings on this pup.
Because of their Catahoula parent’s spotted markings, it’s possible that your pup could have any standard base color from their Pitbull parent, with some merled spots.
Exercise: Lazy Pooch or An Active Doggo?
Photo from: @not_a_houla_bros
If the Pitahoula doesn’t get his daily exercise, he’ll become restless and destructive in no time.
If you’re big on working out, too, this doggo will show his thanks by being the kindest, best tail-wagging buddy ever!
Although you may not think it because of its size, the Pitahoula is actually perfect for families with small children.
There’s nothing he likes better than snuggling up on the couch with kiddos. Okay, okay… He might love exercising more…
Larger homes will suit Pitahoulas better than small city apartments, especially if they’ve got a big, spacious yard. Remember, he’s a pup who needs fresh air and hates being locked in for most of the day.
Because they’re such great protective dogs, much like Bulldogs, Mastiffs, Great Danes, and the Cane Corso, your backyard must have a fence, or the doggo will run away and chase potential danger.
Dog Training: When To Start And How?
This is one area that requires plenty of attention. Training a Catahoula Leopard dog and a Pitbull mix can be somewhat tricky.
First of all, early socialization is the key to good behavior. The socialization part means you’ll need to introduce the puppy to different people, kids, animals, situations, locations, and strangers from an early age.
You can also enroll your puppy in puppy obedience school. This means the ground rules will be set from day one, and your dog will be around other pups as early as possible.
Another thing you need to pay attention to when training a Pitahoula is to stay strong-willed and committed. If by any chance, the dog feels you’re insecure about yourself, you’re in trouble! He will gladly take advantage of it!
Also, physical strength is a must, too, because these dogs are tough and strong. That’s why leash training is important from the beginning.
Positive reinforcement training is the final important part of the training. Otherwise, the dog will react in self-defense.
They love lots of treats when being trained as well as verbal praises and cuddles. Being an intelligent dog means he’ll catch on to commands in no time.
Beware: crate or kennel training should be done using Pitbull crates and never for too long!
General Health Issues And Conditions
The Catahoula Pitbull mix is a relatively healthy dog. They say its lifespan is around ten to sixteen years, similar to Pitbull’s lifespan. Of course, no dog is completely healthy. There are some health issues the parent breeds are also prone to:
• Hip Dysplasia
This is a common concern in most canines. Hip dysplasia is caused by an abnormal formation of the hip joints. Over time, the bone will grind the socket it fits into and result in terrible arthritis. That’s why they’re supposed to be fed once a day with food based on calcium and phosphorus.
The merle gene is responsible for deafness, the unilateral kind. You definitely didn’t know about the Catahoula being the dog most prone to deafness compared to other dog breeds. This issue can appear even if the dog is not merle.
If you can, ask your breeder for relevant health certificates.
• Skin Allergies
Thanks to the Pitbull parent, the Pitahoula is prone to skin allergies which can cause serious skin problems.
The most frequent allergens are mites, grass, and nutritional items like grains. If the dog suffers from dry, itchy skin and hot spots, go to the vet before it’s too late!
Yummy, Yummy, Yummy, I’ve Got Love In My Tummy
Nutrition is highly important to every dog. It always depends on the size and the energy level a dog has.
The dog food should have plenty of protein to sustain the dog during the day. Also, not every food matches every age, so that’s another thing you need to remember.
What you need to know about feeding a dog is that besides proper dog food, dogs are allowed to eat human food. Of course, this doesn’t mean they should eat junk food like pretzels, Cheerios, Cheez-Its, or Doritos. We’re talking about healthy snacks like chestnuts, papaya, guava, sour cream, whipped cream, and an occasional can of tuna.
If by any chance you suspect food allergies, run to the vet and change the food if you want a healthy puppy, which we’re sure you do!
Grooming: Keeping The Coat Fabulous
Even though it might not look like it, the Pitahoula has a double coat, short and very smooth.
Compared to other dog breeds, this dog doesn’t shed much. He does require regular weekly grooming, but it’s just to keep the coat shiny and good-looking. Luckily, their hair does not tangle!
Your Pitahoula needs a bath every few months. They’re quite clean and love staying that way. Still, sometimes Pitahoulas love rolling in the mud more than anything in the world! So, be prepared for extra bathing sessions.
We’re happy to say this mixed breed dog doesn’t need much grooming; they’re very low maintenance. Overall, grooming isn’t more difficult than for any other dog.
The 411 On Pitahoula Puppies And Breeders
Since they’re quite rare and fairly new to the dog world, there isn’t much information on the cost of a puppy. The chances of finding one in a shelter are the same as buying one from a breeder.
These dogs aren’t in demand, so the price won’t be as high. Just wait a few years ’til everyone wants one!
Buying a Pitahoula requires lots of time and extensive research on where to buy them. You always want to choose a reputable breeder who offers health certificates and allows you to see both the litter and the parents.
Sometimes finding a good breeder can be a struggle, especially when it’s about this unusual mix.
Your only chance might be speaking to a purebred breeder, but they might not respond well to you looking for a designer dog.
Rescuing Or Buying?
Rescuing a dog is one of the best things anyone can do. Since these dogs are a Pitbull mix, they can surely be found in one of the Pitbull rescue centers. Still, bear in mind they’re very rare.
Although it’s the less popular side of the family, Catahoulas do have an official website that promotes their shelters across the States.
All in all, if you dig around, you’ll find one!
As for the buying part…
If you can’t find a reliable breeder who is confident the puppy is healthy and without genetics limitations, you’ll need to go with rescuing. Buying isn’t always an option, but when it is, make sure it’s a safe buy.
Here’s a List Of Things You Need To Remember Before Getting a Pitahoula:
• The Catahoula Pitbull mix has to have an experienced pack leader.
• Firm and gentle dog training are what this (almost) hyperactive dog needs.
• He loves snuggles and cuddles very much.
• Early socialization, early socialization, and, of course, early socialization.
• He’s overprotective of his home and family members.
• Even at a young age, Pitahoulas are active dogs.
• They hate being alone for hours… Just hate it!
• The Pitahoula is a dog for active families.
• He needs to be placed with a very active family.
• You’ll need to commit to at least 60 minutes of daily exercise.
• Because of their protective nature, they should always be leashed when in public
• You’ll also want to make sure your yard is enclosed so that they can’t escape.
To sum up…
The Catahoula Pit mix is a mixed breed puppy that’s becoming more and more popular each year.
Chances are he’ll become more popular than his parents, the Catahoula Leopard Dog and the Pitbull.
Frankly, we see no reason why that shouldn’t happen. Pitahoulas are excellent dogs who fit into families easily, and everyone adores them.
Show a Pitahoula some love, and he’ll love you back forever and ever!