The Catahoula Leopard Dog. The state dog of Louisiana
The Catahoula Leopard Dog (The state dog of Louisiana) is a rare dog in Melbourne Australia, but we often see one around our Newport Lakes Park.
My impressions of this guy are that as a Cur hunting dog, he is always on high alert for prey. He is extremely fit and his body is streamlined for running at high speed through the scrub.
I have read reports that say they are very independent and need a very good owner who is a skilled but reasonable owner. That is, the dogs need guidance and discipline but can be ‘broken’ by owners who use harsh treatment including loud angry verbal commands.
These dogs were created in America for specific hunting purposes, and while this dog has been put on a socialisation routine with his dedicated owner, I can still see that the dog is very relaxed around the other dogs. I had to make sure that none of my pack playfully tried to dominate him, as there is a good chance that he would not be social enough to just stop the dog, but potentially cause a real fight.
Even the most regular of working dogs in urban areas can have such issues as their great intelligence and need to work for a living are taken away from them.
Seeing such an unusual dog around our off lead park was definitely a treat for the pack, and fortunately they were social enough to know from this dogs body language not to try and play with it too much.
With time this Catahoula Leopard Dog may learn that the parks hold very little survival threat for it in Australia. Finding a way to drain its massive energy reserves and give it tasks that fully satisfy it will continue to be a task for its owner.
We hope to see the Catahoula Leopard Dog many more times and for it to continue its socialisation.
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