The American Leopard Hound, commonly called “Leopard,” is a breed of hunting dog that originated in rural America. Other names used to refer to this hound include American Leopard, American Leopard Cur, Catahoula Leopard Hound and Leopard Cur. Details of their ancestry are somewhat unknown, but they are related to the Catahoula Leopard Dog and various types of hounds.
The American Leopard Hound is a type of hunting dog known as a “cur,” which is a cattle droving or treeing dog. Many American Leopard Hounds are bred to be “tree dogs.” This means that they are trained to chase a hunted animal up a tree so that the handler can shoot it down. These hunting dogs have very strong hunting instincts and work well in the water, as evidenced by extensive webbing on their feet, an adaptation from their time in the North American marshlands. American Leopard Hounds can be used to hunt large game as well as small.
These hunting dogs are extremely intelligent and trainable. They tend to have a dominant attitude and some American Leopard Hounds can try to take over a household. Trainers should be sure to focus on obedience when training these hounds in order to keep their dominance from causing bad behavior. Harsh treatment should be avoided, as it can make some hunting dogs become aggressive and/or fearful.
American Leopard Hounds are famed for their unique coat and eye colors and patterns. These hounds can come in three different patterns (solid, leopard, and brindle) in several colors that can be accompanied by a variety of different markings. Many of these hunting dogs have something called “heterochromia” which makes their eyes looked like cracked or marbled glass. Their eyes are often blue-white in color, also, which is a distinctive and sometimes coveted feature in this hound. These medium-sized hunting dogs. Males can stand 22 to 26 inches at the shoulder and weigh 65 to 90 pounds. Females can stand 20 to 24 inches at the shoulder and weigh 50 to 65 pounds.
American Leopard Hounds can make great family companions and are a extremely intelligent dog breed. Their sometimes-domineering “alpha” attitude can be a challenge in a home environment, but with proper training and focus on obedience, an American Leopard Hound will have no problem becoming a loving member of the family.
American Leopard Hounds are generally a healthy dog breed. However, even the healthiest dog breed can be exposed to some level of health risk. The most common heritable condition that these hounds suffer from is hip dysplasia. Deafness is also somewhat associated with this dog breed, with some of these hunting dogs becoming deaf in one or both ears. This is due to a defect in the gene for white coat color in these dogs. The average lifespan for an American Leopard hound is 10-14 years.