Catahoula cur dogs can vary somewhat in appearance, but they all have short- or medium-length coats. They feature brindle or merle colors with solid patches but can come in solid colors as well. Some of them have eyes of two different colors.
Catahoula curs are more properly known as Catahoula leopard dogs. The name was officially changed in 1979 after the breed was recognized as the state dog of Louisiana, where they originate. Originally bred by Native Americans, they gained popularity with white settlers due to their adaptability and usefulness.
Catahoulas are medium to large in size, typically weighing between 40 and 90 pounds. They have long, thin tails that often curve upwards. Their ears usually flop over rather than stand upright. They tend to be lean and strong, with long legs and a long snout. This leads some to theorize that their early Native American breeders crossed them with sighthounds brought over by European settlers.
Catahoulas' tenacious character and their high levels of energy and intelligence make them well-suited for herding and hunting. They are also bold and assertive, but they are not known for aggression towards humans. However, they tend to bark when strangers enter their territory and can become protective of children. They are generally good with children when compared to other herding breeds.