Catahoula Australian Shepherd Mix

Last Updated on 11/23/2021 by Veronica Jones

Introduction to the Breed

The Catahoula Australian Shepherd Mix is a dog that is born from breeding two beautiful dog breeds: a Catahoula and an Australian Shepherd.

Also known as a Catahoula Leopard and Catahoula Leopard Australian Shepherd Mix, this intelligent breed of dog is friendly, gentle and energetic.

If you’re considering adding a Catahoula Leopard to your family, read on to find out everything you need to know first.

Catahoula Australian Shepherd Mix

Meet the Parents

Both parents are intelligent breeds of dog who were bred to hunt and herd.

Catahoula: the Catahoula Leopard dog is a muscular and powerful working dog who enjoys working just as much as playing at home with family members. This intriguing breed of dog is known for its varied coat patterns and eye colors. Catahoulas are independent, loyal, protective, affectionate and gentle. Their smart and athletic nature means they need to be kept busy to prevent getting bored.


Australian Shepherd: despite its name, the Catahoula Leopard dog originated from the United States in the 1840s. It was originally bred as a working dog to herd livestock and has since remained a popular breed of dog for farms. The Aussie make great companions who love to be given a task to do to satisfy their high energy and intelligence levels.

Australian Shepherd

Other popular Catahoula mixes are:

• Labahula (Labrador Retriever Catahoula Mix).

Labrador Retriever Catahoula Mix

• Catahoula (Pit Bull Terrier Mix).

Pit Bull Terrier Mix

• Catahoula (German Shepherd Mix).

German Shepherd Mix

• Catahoula (Boxer Mix).

Boxer Mix

• Catahoula (Australian Cattle Dog Mix).

Australian Cattle Dog Mix

History and Origins of the Catahoula Australian Shepherd Mix

Mixed breed dogs became popular about 30-40 years ago. Around that time, a breeder created the Catahoula dog by mixing a Catahoula Leopard and an Australian Shepherd. The parent breeds have a unique and varied history.

Catahoula dogs originate from Louisiana near the Catahoula lake, which is how the dog was named. It is believed that the Leopard dog was bred to help hunt wild hogs.

The Australian Shepherd breed was created in the United States as livestock herders and farm workers. It is thought that the name ‘Australian Shepherd’ reflects the people’s nation that came to the U.S, however this is not certain. This breed of dog is not registered as a native breed to Australia.

Physical Appearance – What Do Catahoula Australian Shepherd Mixes Look Like?

This cross breed Catahoula Australian Shepherd mix has a striking, muscular appearance. Their body is rectangular shaped with a large head, droopy ears and a strong muzzle. An Australian Shepherd Mix’s tail is long and curved.

Their coat is short and smooth or medium and coarse with some feathering on the chest, hind legs and tail. Catahoula mixes come in a variety of colors and some have stunning merle patterns on their coat, giving this wonderful breed of dog their name “Leopard” to refer to the spotted patterns. Blue Leopard, Red Leopard, White with Light Gray Leopard, Light Leopard with dark patches and solid colors such as tan, brown and silver are examples of possible coat colors for your Catahoula. An Australian Shepherd’s can have any eye color, including blue, brown, green or amber.

Its average height is 20-23 inches (male), 18-21 inches (female). Male dogs weigh between 50-65 pounds while females weigh between 40-55 pounds. An Catahoula Leopard dog has a life expectancy of 12-15 years.

A distinctive feature for Catahoula Leopard dogs is the webbing that they have between each toe. This quirky feature is believed to have helped them navigate soft, swampy lands in Louisiana.

When you walk a Catahoula Australian Shepherd mix down the road, you are guaranteed to turn heads.

Catahoula Australian Shepherd Mix Temperament and Behavior – Are Catahoula Australian Shepherd Mixes Friendly?

Catahoulas are natural protectors, who are extremely loyal to their family members. They are not aggressive dogs but will be wary of strangers.

They also thrive with a lot of attention, so it’s important to make sure this pooch gets lots of social interaction and isn’t left alone for long periods of time.

Training a Catahoula Australian Shepherd Mix

The Catahoula Leopard is considered an easy-to-train breed because of its intelligence, eagerness to please and instinct to fulfill working dog duties. Working dogs respond particularly well to the following approach:

Start training as young as possible: by exposing your puppy to different places and people, you are giving him a positive experience to learn from and enjoy. Socializing a dog is key to help them learn good behavior that will set them up for adult life.

Enrichment: this type of training uses activities that are designed to exercise and challenge a dog’s brain. Interactive feeders, snuffle mats, cardboard boxes and tubes are all great ways to mentally stimulate your pooch.

Clicker training: an effective communication method between humans and canines. Clicker training uses positive reinforcement to help a dog understand when it is doing something right. The more a dog understands what behaviors are acceptable, the more they will demonstrate good behavior.

Obedience training: basic commands such as sit, drop, stay are vital in helping you manage your dog properly. Obedient dogs become integrated with the family and can be taken to events without having to be left at home or shut away in fear of them misbehaving. Teaching your dog how to greet someone politely by sitting or holding a paw and walking controllably on a leash are basic behaviors that are taught in dog obedience classes.

How Much Exercise Do Catahoula Australian Shepherd Mixes Need?

The Catahoula Leopard mix is an extremely active dog that requires more than two hours of exercise every day. There are different ways to exercise a Catahoula Leopard dog including:

Daily walks: high energy breeds need to release pent-up energy and stimulate their minds with new sights, sounds and smells that they come across on their walks. Dogs thrive on routine so try and schedule a morning and afternoon walk and stick to it.

Activities: herding balls and Frisbee toss are great activities for working dogs to keep fit and cater to their natural herding instinct.

Mental stimulation: puzzle toys, scenting and nose games and chew toys will all help keep your pooch’s mental health in top form.

Grooming a Catahoula Australian Shepherd Mix

Due to their short to medium coats, the Catahoula Leopard requires minimal grooming. You can get away with brushing them a few times a week but be prepared that they do shed. Regularly check for any tangles or matted fur which may indicate that a brush is needed to keep the coat healthy and strong.

Occasional baths when required are recommended, but not too many that it dries out your canine’s skin.

If you’re unsure about grooming your dog, consider using a professional groomer. Groomers have the right tools to keep your dog looking its best and will use a range of different tools to suit your dog’s coat.

Catahoula Australian Shepherd Mix Health Issues

The Catahoula Leopard mix is considered a healthy breed of dog, however if you’re thinking about becoming an owner it’s important to know about the health conditions that may affect your pooch.

Hip dysplasia: a painful, inherited disease that causes a dog’s hip socket to form improperly and without surgery can lead to arthritis. Lameness in your pooch’s hind legs or difficulty getting up are signs of hip dysplasia. Early treatment is vital to avoid too much discomfort and pain for your canine friend.

Deafness: many breeds of dogs carry a gene that causes deafness and the Australian Shepherd mix is one of them. Other reasons for deafness in dogs include severe, long-term ear infections, growths in the ear canal and traumas to the head.  In genetic cases or traumas, there is no treatment to resolve deafness in dogs. However, if your dog shows signs of shaking and scratching their head or becoming wobbly on their legs, the cause of their deafness may be a blockage in the ear canal or infection, which can be treated.

Eye problems: cases of cataracts, Progressive Retinal Atrophy (PRA), Entropion and Ectropion have all been reported within this mixed breed. Cataracts occur when the eye lens clouds. Light is then unable to reach the retina, causing blindness. If you’re concerned that your dog might have cataracts, you should contact your veterinarian. PRA is an inherited eye disease that causes dogs to lose their sight over time. It isn’t a painful condition but unfortunately there is no treatment for it. Look out for signs of your dog bumping into things in dim light.

Are Catahoula Australian Shepherd Mixes Good as Family Pets?

If an active, loyal and intelligent dog will fit in with your family lifestyle, an Aussie mix could be the perfect dog for you. You will need to have the time to keep him stimulated both physically and mentally. Catahoula mixes are friendly, sociable and protective, which makes them a good pet to have around children.

Are Catahoula Australian Shepherd Mixes Good as Family Pets?

Are Catahoula Australian Shepherd Mixes Good with Cats?

Whilst they may not ever be best friends, if your Catahoula Australian Shepherd is brought up with cats, it is possible for them to peacefully coexist. 

However, the Australian Shepherd Mix’s herding background may dominate the relationship when they are both outside, which cats will find annoying.

Training your Catahoula Leopard dog to stop chasing cats will require training, hard work and consistency.

Finding Catahoula Australian Shepherd Mix Puppies for Sale

If you’re considering buying directly from a breeder, make sure they are assured and meet the relevant standards.

Adopting a pet can be extremely rewarding. You are not only saving money but also saving a canine life. Adoption also helps to eradicate puppy farms which is the illegal practice of breeding puppies solely for profit. Contact your local rescue centers to find out if they have any Catahoula Leopards available to adopt.

Finding and Choosing Catahoula Australian Shepherd Mix Breeders

Good breeders will conduct genetic testing to reduce the likelihood of health conditions and diseases in their puppies.

Ask your veterinarian for a list of trusted breeders in your state or visit professional dog shows for breed specific information and contact details.

Always visit a breeder’s facility before buying a Catahoula Australian Shepherd mix puppy to check that they are being bred in the required conditions.

How Much Does a Catahoula Australian Shepherd Mix Puppy Cost?

Catahoula and Australian Shepherd dogs are both considered moderately expensive, which means you can expect to pay a similar price for their mixed breed. The average price for a Catahoula Australian Shepherd mix puppy is $400 to $600.

Good names for a Catahoula Australian Shepherd Mix

Are you looking for a dog name to suit your new Catahoula pooch? Here are some popular Australian Shepherd names to consider for your new family member.

Male names:

  • Bear
  • Blue
  • Finn
  • Tucker
  • Riley
  • Bandit
  • Jax
  • Leo
  • Buddy
  • Jasper

Female names:

  • Luna
  • Nova
  • River
  • Ruby
  • Bella
  • Stella
  • Willow
  • Nala
  • Lola
  • Rosie

Catahoula Australian Shepherd Mix – Similar Breeds

If you love certain traits of the Catahoula Leopard mix, but decide for whatever reason it’s not the pooch for you, consider the following similar breeds.

Eurasier: a medium-sized dog that is confident, calm and loyal to the entire family. Like the Australian Shepherd mix, the Eurasier comes in a stunning range of coat colors.

Groenendael: another medium-sized dog that looks similar to a German Shepherd but has a square body. This breed of dog is affectionate and makes a devoted companion who will want to join in with family life.

Old English Sheepdog: a large, athletic dog breed with a distinguishable shaggy coat. The Old English Sheepdog has an affectionate and easy going nature that loves being part of a family.

Irish Water Spaniel: a relatively quiet breed of dog who loves splashing in water. These dogs are quick learners and intelligent but do have a stubborn side that could be difficult to manage for first time dog owners.


Before you decide to get a Catahoula Leopard Australian Shepherd mix, make sure they are the right dog for you and your family. They have a lot of energy and require regular exercise and mental stimulation, but dedicate your time to them and your Catahoula Leopard pooch will reward you with unconditional love and companionship.

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Reference list

  1. AKC “Australian Shepherd” Accessed 11th August 2021
  2. AKC “Catahoula Leopard dog” Accessed 11th August 2021
  3. RSPCA “How to introduce cats and dogs” Accessed 11th August 2021
  4. NAWT “dog enrichment training” Accessed 11th August 2021
  5. RSPCA “dog training advice” Accessed 11th August 2021
  6. Vetwest “obedience training for dogs” Accessed 11th August 2021
  7. AKC “professional grooming for dogs” Accessed 11th August 2021
  8. Animal friends “benefits of adopting a pet” Accessed 11th August 2021
  9. AKC “Australian Shepherd history” Accessed 11th August 2021

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