Meet the Catahoula PIt mix, or sometimes known as the Pitahoula.
This is truly a fascinating and unique dog breed that will have many falling heads over heels for.
Powerful and stunningly gorgeous, if you find yourself liking the off-the-beaten-path and don’t want a traditional dog, the Pitahoula may be just the pupper for you.
But not so fast, as this isn’t your everyday dog. For some, the Catahoula Pit mix can be a bit too much to handle.
But when their energy needs are met by an experienced dog owner, we wonder if many other breeds can compare. Today we are diving into the world of the Catahoula Pix mix, bringing you everything you need to know, to know if you and this breed are a match made in heaven.
Pit Bull Catahoula Mix
The Catahoula Pit mix is not your typical breed. Instead, they are known as what we call a hybrid or designer dog breed. Unlike your purebred puppers, a designer dog’s personality, appearance, and on are a bit of a guessing game. This is because instead of only having one breed of genetics, they have two.
And boy, that two can really open up the ocean of different traits.
Now, as designer breeds of the same kind are themselves bred together, their genetic diversity is reduced, helping them have more set-in-stone breed characteristics.
However, it takes multiple generations of controlled breeding for their gene pool to be limited enough for them to become an officially recognized breed by saying an organization like the AKC. Due to the relatively recent introduction of the Pit Bull Catahoula mix, almost all are just first or second generation.
This means the best way to get to know the Pit Bull Catahoula mix — whether you’re just curious or thinking you’d like to bring one into your life — is to get to know both parent breeds. So let’s meet the American Pit Bull Terrier and the Catahoula Leopard Dog.
American Pit Bull Terrier
The American Pit Bull Terrier is a medium-sized, intelligent, muscular, and lean dog. They hail from the British Isles and are originally a cross between the extinct Old English Terrier and Old English Bulldog. Along with the fact that they are recognized by the United Kennel Club (UKC) but not the American Kennel Club (AKC), maybe we should reconsider their name.
Kidding aside, the American Pit Bull Terrier is truly an essential dog to us Yankees. They can fit into so many different households filling the role of a working dog, family/companion dog, therapy dog, police dog, and sports dog.
While these dogs have faced immense stigmatization, much of it is becoming a thing of the past, thankfully. The American Pitbull Terrier is powerful, this is true, and early training and socialization are recommended for them to learn to handle such immense strength. However, they are a breed that’s more eager to please their humans than anything else. As the UKC defines this breed, “they have a zest for life”.
As well, the American Pitbull is far from having the strongest bite force and they are nowhere near the most aggressive breed. They were bred to be the perfect everyman dog, who can excel whenever we need a dog too. This includes having them babysitting our kids, or joining us when hunting large dangerous animals. Unfortunately, this amazing ability gets taken advantage of.
American Pitbull Terriers have a rather wide lifespan of 8-15 years. Males weigh between 35-60 lbs and stand between 18-21 in. Females, on the other hand, weigh between 30 and 50 lbs and stand between 17-20 in. Their coat is smooth and ranges in various colors, including red, black, buckskin, and white, to name a few. Litter size is between 5-10 pups.
Catahoula Leopard Dog
The Catahoula Leopard dog is not a dog most people immediately recognize, but their striking coat is sure to leave you with a lasting impression.
Unlike the well-documented American Bulldog Terrier’s past, the Catahoula Leopard dog’s one isn’t as clear. As you may have guessed by the name, they are named after Catahoula, Louisiana. But they may not have completely originated from there.
The most common thought is the percussor to this breed, the Beauceron dog originally hailed from France. When French settlers came to the land of what would eventually be known as Louisiana, they bred their dogs with dogs owned by the Native Americans.
The American Native’s dogs were much better suited at navigating and hunting the swaps than the French Beauceron dogs were. One of the things that made them so were these dogs’ webbed feet, which are still seen in the Catahoula dog today.
Like the American Pitbull Terrier, the Catahoula Leopard dog is recognized by the UKC, however, unlike the ABPT, the Catahoula is in part recognized by the AKC under their Foundation Stock Service. This means they have the potential to be fully recognized if the breed’s characteristics were refined and weren’t so varied.
In particular, the Catahoula Leopard dog’s coat color is relentless in its array of patterns and colors, but most breeders are determined to keep it that way.
The Catahoula Leopard dog excels best when they are on the job, be that for hunting or working the farm. They can be quite assertive and not always tolerable of other dogs or strangers, but they are irreplaceable companions in the hands of the right owner.
Catahoula Leopard dogs have a lifespan of 10-14 years. Males weigh between 45-110 lb and stand between 22-26 in. Females, on the other hand, weigh between 40-90 lb and stand between 20-24 in. Their coat is smooth and ranges in pretty much any color natural to canines. Litter size is between 4-12 pups.
Often, one of the big focuses of this designer dog is to placate the Catahoula Leopard Dog — how shall we say — unruliness that comes from inexperienced owners who aren’t great trainers. As such, you should always be prepared for the temperament of a purebred Catahoula when thinking about their mix.
As we talk about above, the Catahoula Leopard Dog is a hunting and working breed that has no problem rounding up packs of angry hogs. This makes them quite prone to wanting to lead and taking no bull. This, along with their quick learning skills, means they need a strict and stern handler that will immediately nip independent streaks in the bud.
Now, most likely, the Catahoula Pit mix won’t be so intimidating as the Pit Bull’s need for affection and love can really help. While this is a powerful breed that has a dark past, they are insanely loyal to their owner, and it gets taken advantage of. This is one of the reasons this breed has also been known as a nanny breed good with children. The Catahoula is fine with children, but should always be monitored around them.
One thing you can count on is a pup that has an incredible amount of energy. They can make great lap dogs. But on the flip side, they will want an equal amount, if not more, time for physical activities.
Size & Appearance
Strength, defined muscles, and a range of eye and coat colors define this new mix. They are medium-large dog that can be as small as 40 pounds and 18 inches tall or as large as 85 pounds and 23 inches tall. Their ears are on the shorter side and often bob off their boxy head, which often centers into their gorgeous heterochromatic eyes. This means they can have brown eyes, blue eyes, or a mixture of them.
Coat & Colors
This breeds’ coat is, without a doubt, one of the best things about them. Because of both parents’ range of markings ranging from spots, stripes, splotches, and on — that can be any color under the sun — these pups always look uniquely themselves.
Some Catahoula Pit mixes are mostly a single color with a white splotch or two, while others are polka-dotted with a range of colors in their coat. If you want a dog that doesn’t look like your regular dog around town, this is your kinda dog.
Unlike many, most of the time, where it’s a guessing game of what trait will these pups have, one thing you can count on is a short and very manageable coat. This breed is wonderful at keeping themselves clean and only needs a bath every 1-3 months. They do shed, but it’s comfortably less so than many dog breeds, even ones with similarly short coats.
Even with the American Pit Bull, more, easier to train side, the Catahoula Pit mix is not a dog for first-time trainers/owners. In fact, if you don’t see yourself capable of training a dog with behavioral problems — not that the Catahoula Pit will have them — you may want to look into another breed. It’s smart to be on the safe side when you are working with a Catahoula mix.
With both breeds having a lot of energy and intelligence along with the Catahoula Leopards Dog’s independence and desire to lead, The Pit Bull Catahoula Mix needs a stern and experienced owner who focuses on positive reinforcement when training them. Which should start when they are young.
This includes early socialization, which you’ll be thankful for later when you can just take your dog to the park to get all their energy out.
Both crate and clicker training are the preferred methods for training this breed, and leash training is strongly recommended as well.
When properly trained, the Catahoula Pit mix is truly a fantastic dog to have in your life and will help make it easier, not harder.
Both the Catahoula and the American Pit Bull Terrier are relatively healthy breeds thanks to their working background, which put health over appearance. A truly beautiful thing to see and one we hope there becomes more of. Their lifespan is anywhere between 10 and 16 years, with the Pitbull living longer on average than the Catahoula.
Now, before we move on and go over the diseases that can affect this breed, it’s important to not be alarmed by the number of diseases that can affect them.
This is because we are including the main diseases that affect both the American Pit Bull Terrier and the Catahoula Leopard dog. It’s quite possible that mixed offspring of these breeds are healthier than their purebred parents, thanks to their more diverse genetics.
As with almost all medium and large breed dogs, hip dysplasia is one of the most frequently seen diseases in the Catahoula Pit Bull mix. It’s seen in some small breeds as well, such as Pugs and French Bulldogs.
Hip dysplasia is when the ball and socket of the hip joints don’t sit perfectly anymore. This usually occurs due to wear and tear over time, but an injury can cause the same problem.
Most dogs that experience hip dysplasia are genetically prone to the disease. However, a number of factors such as poor nutrition, obesity, excessive growth, and too strenuous exercise when still growing can all exacerbate the problem.
There are three main factors to skin allergies: flea allergy dermatitis, food allergies, and environmental allergies. The American Pit Bull is a bit more prone to struggling with any of the three compared to the Catahoula.
To help your dog with skin allergies, try changing to different dog food, watch table scraps, make sure you’re using a pH-balanced shampoo for their skin, and keep them up to date on their flea and tick medication.
Merle coat dogs such as the Catahoula Leopard dog are more prone to deafness. It appears that double merles a bit more so than single merles. Now, even when a dog doesn’t display the merle coat, they may still be genetically predisposed to deafness if the merle color gene runs in their family.
Fortunately, for all the colors that Pitbulls can have, merle is not one of them. This is a direct way we can actually see how hybrid and mixed breeds may be slightly healthier than purebreds.
Due to the Pitbull’s side, the Catahoula Pit mix is more at risk of developing thyroid disease or hypothyroidism than a purebred Catahoula is. Hypothyroidism happens when a dog isn’t able to secrete enough thyroid hormones, which causes its metabolism to slow.
Fortunately, most dogs respond positively to medication. While the Pitbull is predisposed to hypothyroidism, other breeds can be predisposed to other forms of thyroid disease, including hyperthyroidism and autoimmune thyroiditis.
Both the American Pitbull Terrier and the Catahoula Leopard dog are prone to cataracts. But, this doesn’t mean the Catahoula Pit mix will be any more or less susceptible than either the pity or the leopard.
The Catahoula Pix mix has a medium to high demand for food. They will definitely have a high demand for nutritious food if they are out working a job. Like with all dogs, they should be fed age and size-appropriate food. This is even more important when you have a breed predisposed to hip dysplasia. This is because poor nutrition, especially, when young, can encourage and worsen the disease.
Exercise & Living Conditions
Above, it was mentioned that the Pitahoula mix can be lap dogs if they get an equal amount of exercise, and this is really important to understand. Let’s do a metaphor!
When you’re a little rocket ready to explode, you’re going to do it. When you’re giving your Catahoula Pix mix the exercise they need — 60 to 90 minutes — then your little rocket will blast off outside and safely land by you for a nap. If you don’t, well, then they can go off in your house, resulting in destruction and an out-of-control rocket.
Since they have so much energy, families with kids and a larger house with a yard make a perfect place for these fantastic dogs.
Catahoula Pit Mix Puppies
Since this is a new hybrid breed, you’re unlikely to find these pups in a rescue or shelter. This reason, along with their quickly growing popularity, has spurred a lot of backyard breeders, who aren’t giving the pups and their parents the care and love they deserve.
All of this means that you need to be careful when looking for Pitahoula puppies. They aren’t the most expensive breed, but you certainly shouldn’t expect to pay anything close to what you would if rescuing.
Catahoula Pit puppies typically cost between $400 and $800 when coming from a credible breeder. But remember, this is only a portion of the first-year cost that comes with owning a puppy. The ASPCA estimates that the total first-year cost ranges from $1,314 and $1,843 on average. Fortunately, the costs of owning a dog significantly fall after the first year.
So how can you tell the difference between a credible and not-so-credible breeder? Well, it’s fairly simple when you know what to look for. Things like low cost, no contacts, no pedigree papers or vet records, mom and dad not available to see, and lack of questions on their end are all red flags.
What will a Catahoula Pit mix look like?
Because they are a recent breed, most Catahoula Pit mixes are first-generation, meaning they can look just like Pitbull, be a spitting image of either a Catahoula Leopard Dog or anything in between.
Catahoula pit mix how big do they get?
Like their range of appearances, how big or small these pups get really depends on their parents and who they decide to take after. Typically, the breed is listed standing shoulder height between 18 and 23 inches.
When it comes to their weight, they are typically seen weighing anywhere between 40 and 45 pounds.
There are 11 and counting known mixes of the Catahoula including the Catahoula Labrador Retriever Mix, Catahoula Bulldog Mix, Catahoula Great Dane Mix, Catahoula Beagle Mix, Catahoula Husky Mix, Catahoula Australian Shepherd Mix, Catahoula German Shepherd Mix, Catahoula Pit Bull Terrier Mix, Catahoula Australian Cattle Dog Mix, Catahoula Jack Russell Terrier Mix, and the Catahoula Basset Hound Mix.
As you can see, they are pretty popular dogs to create new and exciting breeds with.
When first born, a Pitbull puppy will only weigh between 7 and 10 oz on average. About a year later, they will be all the way up to 40 pounds. That’s about a 65x increase in size.
Like the Pitbull, a Catahoula puppy will typically weigh about the same, but in just a year, some males are already surpassing 60lbs. That’s just downright incredible!
Pitbull Poodle mix
A Pitbull Poodle mix is an awesomely fun cross between an American Pitbull Terrier and a Standard Poodle. Other pit mixes include, well honestly, probably all common dog breeds have mixed with a pity at some point.
The Pitbull Poodle mix is a loyal, easy-to-train, and family-friendly dog. They are very obedient and amazingly affectionate. Plus, they are downright too cute for words if you ask us. Now, warning, unlike the Pitahoula mix, the Pity Poodler mix is much more sensitive and a stern approach isn’t always the best.
Catahoula Leopard Dog Mix
While incredibly adorable, when combining the Catahoula breed with another, most breeders are hoping these dogs’ incredible blend of strength, endurance, and agility is passed along to the puppies.
Pit Catahoula Mix
The Pit Catahoula mix is one of the best dogs for when you want both a working dog and a family dog. They will excel on the ranch, herding livestock while simultaneously babysitting your kids so they don’t get into trouble.
Catahoula Leopard Dog Pit Mix — Conclusion
Wow, who knew there was so much you could learn about one dog? But that’s what happens when you’re a mega stunner pooch like the Pitahoula. While not for everyone, or even a majority of people, for the right person they are an incredible dog to have to improve your life. And super unique too!
Remember, these dogs have a lot of energy and high-spiritedness. This means you want to consider yourself an active person, who is completely cool when it comes to training dogs. The Pitahoula can be a wonderful family pet but need early socialization, so the much more family-friendly pitbull side comes out.
All-and-all, the Catahoula Leopard dog and American Pitbull Terrier mix is a fine addition to the many dog breeds out there.
“The better I get to know men, the more I find myself loving dogs.” – Charles De Gaulle