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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
a friend of mine adopted a dog from louisiana and later had a litter of 8 puppies.. they were so adorable i took one home for myself. my friend was moving across the country around the time the puppies were born so i took mine in extremely early.. around 5 weeks. shes had a few, we'll say "behavioral" issues, growing up but with lots of classes and patience shes turned into the best friend i've ever had. she never leaves my side and just seems to know what i'm thinking and what i want from her. we got her a dna test and turns out she is catahoula with a small amount of lab and even great dane in her (which really surprised me because shes not huge, 65lbs) i'm very interested in the catahoula breed so far everything i've read about them is my MaeBee, she loves to swim, unfortunately she can jump and climb over any fence, she is EXTREMELY energetic, (the trick to her "behavioral" issues is plenty or exercise) extremely loyal and loving, shes smarter than most humans i know, and she has the characteristic baying of the catahoula. i'd love to hear from other houla parents.
 

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I had a catahoula/lab mix as my first dog. Best dog ever. Aussie (he was listed as an ACD mix at first which could not have been more incorrect) was brilliant, loyal, protective and could jump onto an object 4 feet tall from a stand still and was able to peek over our 8 foot fence. He caught his first field mouse at 7 months, and was catching squirrels until a month before he was euthanised for brain and lung cancer. Aussie did hate swimming, however his favorite toy ever was the giant lawn sprinklers at the local school. He adored children like no other dog I've met, and learned to play 'tag' on his own. He helped look after the kids at the local after-school YMCA day care. He was a bit dog reactive on leash (my fault), and could not be trusted with any small animal including small dogs as they = prey.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
he sounds like he was an amazing dog. she's never caught anything, until i took her to texas to see my family in june. my dad and i were out drinking coffee watching the sunrise and she just took off i never even saw the rabbit till she was killing it.. i was horrified (we live in the city and dont usually have ready access to small prey animals and shes always on the leash) i couldnt believe my beautiful baby could kill such a tiny bunny.. she thinks of small dogs as toys which can be very frightening for the small dog, shes grown up with a mini doxie since she was the same size as the doxie so she knows how not to hurt small dogs. but the doxie usually takes charge and dominates my houla so when she see another small dog especially a dachshund she goes straight into play mode. she would never hurt another dog but doesnt like pitbulls, i think they scare her she cant sit still around one and shell stand in front of me and press her body against mine. i feel like she would protect me from anything. it did take her a long time to learn how to swim, we take her to swimming classes every week for exercise and she wouldnt go in above her head for over a year, but now you cant keep her from jumping right in. she was kicked out of camp bow wow for climbing over the fence. lol and she knows how to use a doorknob. we have to be careful to lock certain doors in our house. thanks for the reply, i've never heard of the breed before and i've never met anyone whos owned or been owned by a catahoula. shes an amazing dog and has become the light of my world.

ps mines named MaeBee.. how old was Aussie when he passed?? i hope he live a long full life. i've read they are pretty hearty dogs, its good to talk with someone with a houla lab mix
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
also i wanted to know if you got a DNA test to find out what breeds he was, the shelter my dogs mother came from just called her a lab X. i bought a biopet DNA test and they told me she was mostly chowchow and basinji, crossed with a brittany a beagle and less than %10 lab. her father was a full bred black lab, and she doesnt have a curly tail or any other characteristics of a chowchow or a basinji really, i found the wisdom panel test much more accurate.
 

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I first got Aussie 18 years ago, so no DNA testing. But I have a puppy picture that is full of the classic merling-type pattern catahoulas display. When he turned two he turned mostly black (don't ask me how that happened, I have no idea).
 

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The stray that just moved in with us may be a catahoula mix.
My best friend has a Catahoula mix she adopted at about 2 yrs of age - Freya's a lovely reddish fawn with white and mutlicolored eyes. She's been an honorary member of our pack for a couple years, so I have some expierence with them. We were warned she could climb a 6 ft fence - but have never seen her try to do it at all. She is a digger - not out of the fence, just holes in general, and loves to play in water and swim. She can have an "edge" with some other dogs - her and my GSD have had several skirmishes. She's killed several baby rabbits - at least half while on a leash - she would have them before you knew they were there, but has helped watch over tiny kittens and oprhaned birds and possums. She has what we call the 'houla scream - as she matured she did it less often- that would happen when she was on leash and saw a rabbit or deer. It sounds like a woman being attacked - accompanied by jumping 4-5 ft off the ground. When she was brand new, you had to really watch her because out of frustration she would try to bite you in those situations.

Your dog probably tested as part great dane because they were one of the breeds used to make up the 'houla. It's thought that they contributed some of the blue and merle genes as well as the blue eyes. Does the witness panel now include the catahoula?
 

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I really like Catahoulas. My area is full of hounds and other hunting dogs so Catahoulas are really popular! We get them into the shelter all the time. I could totally see myself owning one some day if the right dog came along. We've had Chrissy and her puppies and Juliet and her puppies, then there wasy Bluey. Bluey was blue merle with tan points and bright, sky blue eyes. I was in love with him but let me add, he was the best escape artist the shelter has ever had. He could jump or climb any fence. He was smart though. He only went into pens with other dogs that he got along with. :p
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
ncollins. thanks for the reply. my girl has never tried to jump our fence.. when we leave the house she stays inside, but she escaped a kennel we tried to leave her at. i believe she was just trying to get back to her momma, she hates for me to leave her, but doesnt cry or seem to have separation anxiety if she is left at the house. the kennel was mad that i didnt warn them that she was a climber but at the time she was only about 6 months old and i'd never seen her do it, i didnt know she had it in her to climb over a fence that tall. lol i've only seen her dig a couple of holes, and she just loves other dogs (except pitbulls for some reason, shes never been attacked i think they just intimidate her. thats the only dog i've ever seen her try to attack) she did alot of "baying" as a puppy as well but is mostly a very quiet dog now. when there are coyotes out behind our house she will do it. i've only seen her kill one rabbit i was horrified but my dad thought she was awesome. we never even saw the rabbit till she had it. and yes she came up as mostly catahoula in her DNA results with intermediate amounts of lab and great dane. if you go to wisdompanel.com and go to their photo gallery you can see her and other houla mixes.. her name is MaeBee. and i read that houlas are the spanish grey hounds and mastifs mixed with the native american dogs and later mixed with the beaucerone. but i dont think anybody can say exactly for sure, we sure do love her whatever she is. lol and amberh thanks for your reply, if you do get one just make sure she gets TONS of exercise, mine can get a bit destructive when she is bored, but has mostly grown out of it. she is the most loving dog i've ever known tho. shes so worth all the shoes and clothes and carpet and shower curtains shes ever eaten. lol thanks so much for the replies
 

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I have a 7 month old Catahoula Leopard Dog, Zane. (He is 4 months old in my profile picture) and he definitely owns me. I have learned that exercise is the best method and he is an amazing catch when playing ball and frisbee. We live near the water and Zane is a natural born swimmer. He also has a life vest for when we go out on the boat; we have to hold him on a leash, though, because he will take an unplanned dive if he sees a duck or seagull. We do not have a fenced in yard, but I can understand the jumping comments. Our poor cat was watching the birds out of the kitchen window and the dog was watching the cat...he took a giant leap up and INTO our kitchen sink (he is currently around 55 pounds!!!) I should add that our countertop height is taller than standard countertops. Zane is my first catahoula and I just love him more than anything in the world. What an amazing companion! I never expected to find such an energetic, intelligent dog. He can sit, lay, speak, stay, and give paw with voice commands OR hand signals. Love my boy and love talking about Catahoulas. I like to call Zane my "Catahouligan" or my "cute-ahoula" :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
hi! MaeBee is great at catching balls and sticks she's eaten a few frisbees so we dont play that game. lol shes VERY fast, before i knew what she was i was convinced she had greyhound somewhere in her. she's often the fastest dog in the dog park and will get other dogs balls before they do.. usually from all the way across the park, she just loves to run and show off. she is really good at hand signals i think she responds to them as good if not better than voice commands. (i can be pretty soft spoken and rarely raise my voice, but my hand has spanked that bottom several times and i think its a little more intimidating) her classes have helped so much and just realizing the amount of excercise she actually needs. she's almost 2 now and she pretty much has the living inside without tearing the house apart thing down. she's finally learned that the bed is for sleeping.. not wrestling :) she is 65 lbs her only real issue now is how excited she gets when we have company, she wont jump on them but she she will run circles around them and jump over all the furniture. but even that gets better every day now. she knows her left and right which is my favorite thing to show ppl, when i say walk left she'll walk on my left side, and she will also shake right or left. she is just and amazing mutt but she is totally houla, when i read about them and looked up pictures it was all her, except no blue eyes, hers are a beautiful shade of brown. i love when she lays her head in my lap and sighs and looks into my eyes, i think thats how she says she loves me. thanks for the reply i'd love to see pics of your zane
 

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I had to laugh when I read your comment about MaeBee's method of greeting visitors. Zane does the exact same thing! Always trying to "herd" them and run circles. All of a sudden, he loses all manners in regards to the furniture and will leap from couch to couch. I suppose it is better than jumping on our guests though :) I looked at MaeBee's picture from the DNA site, she is just beautiful! I am considering buying one of those tests for Zane; he came from a high-kill rescue down south (we live in Maryland) and all we know about his background is what they have told us. I did get to see his sister before she was rescued, however, and she was all black, not the spotted blue merle leopard print that Zane has. I am new to this site and will try to attach pictures of my Zane. He was 10 weeks old when we rescued him and will be 8 months old in 2 weeks!
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
he's just adorable! i have a baby album for maebee in my albums. her whole litter was solid black except her, shes very easy to spot. lol if you do get a DNA test done I'd go with the wisdom panel. i first opted for a cheaper test (biopet) and they were completely wrong, its like they just threw a bunch of breeds in a bag and grabbed 5. they told me she was mostly chow chow and basinji, mixed with brittany and beagle and less than %10 lab.. i'll attatch some pics and let you decide wich breed report you believe is more accurate. Her mother came from a shelter in louisiana, it all makes sense. i've never thought of her running circles around our guests as herding them, i never thought she showed any herding tendancies. its still fun to learn about her. i love his merle coloring shes more brindle patchwork. her mother was solid yellow i dont have any pictures of her mother though. give your boy a rub behind the ears for me. hes just a beautiful boy
 

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Oh my goodness! She is so precious and has the cutest face! Love her facial expressions and she certainly has those Catahoula ears. And that holiday necktie is too cool! I think they are such an intelligent breed. Do you crate her when you are away or did you ever at one point?
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
she is a little expressionist lol i love those floppy ears, i'll say she might've been cuter as a puppy but i love her more now. she was very independent and pretty aggressive, she really didnt want much to do with me till she was few months old and now that she never leaves my side i still dont think its because she needs me, i think its because she knows i need her. and yes she is kennel trained but she doesnt need to stay in it while i'm gone anymore. now its just where she goes when shes in trouble or just where she hides her bones and naps. my fam lives in TX and we go there alot. sometimes we fly so it was important for her to be used to and feel safe in her kennel. is zane almost done teething now? you said he is 8 months now? she only started chewing when she was teething it was after she was done that she started getting destructive :( but she has grown out it a while ago.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
oh and she is spayed but sometimes i think about how cute her little puppies would be and if i had decided to breed her i would love her to have little blue ones like your zane. i just love the markings, the beautiful misplaced spots. they're just true american curs like the rest of us lol
 

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Zane is fixed as well, he was neutered before we adopted him; apparently, it is standard procedure for males in a shelter to be neutered at 8 weeks. He stays in his crate since we had a major incident 6 weeks ago. Once he was potty trained and stopped teething, chewing shoes, etc., we put up a baby gate that allowed him to have the living room to stay in during the day. (He gets let out at lunchtime.) The cat must have knocked down a remote that was up high and Zane ate the ENTIRE thing, batteries and all. I came home and thought he looked guilty and then I noticed a tiny piece of chewed up plastic. Once I figured out what it was, I rushed him to the vet for an xray. He swallowed everything and did not pass the batteries within 24 hours so he had a very expensive surgery the following day. It was awful! He had 2 weeks with a cone and was not allowed to play or have treats. He finally has grown his belly hair back but I am still extremely paranoid about the whole ordeal. So, he is crated anytime I can't keep a close on him, even when I take a quick shower. I do hope that he has grown out of the phase but I'm not sure if and when I'll be willing to trust him again. He has a very large crate and will go in it on his own when being told, but I always feel bad about it. I'm thinking maybe I will try letting him out on his own again in about five-six years lol. Never a dull moment!
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
wow 8 wks?? my vet wouldnt spay her till she was 6 months but i know with little girls its a higher risk surgery. my vet also told me she probably wouldnt have her first heat till she was 9 to 12 months and she was already in heat when we spayed her at 6 months. she had a major incident just when we thought she could be trusted as well. lol she tore all the carpet out of our hallway and ate the padding underneath during a thunder storm while i was at work.. luckily she passed everything but it still cost me $1500 to recarpet my condo before i moved out :( she is almost 2 now and we have been letting her roam the house since june with no incident.. yet :) (except upstairs but we just keep a small gate at the stairwell and shes never jumped it even tho she could easily climb over the same gate at 7 wks..lol) she's sleeping in her kennel right now, its her safe place i used to lay it in with her all night sometimes and give her lots of toys and treats in it. i do make sure its nice and dark and cozy in there and i keep it close to the fireplace so its always the warmest place in the house during the winter both my dogs sleep in there all day. he'll het used to it. now that she's older i leave her alone in there i feel like maybe she wants to be alone for a while, like a teenager hiding in her room. lol
 

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Is your MaeBee a sloppy drinker? Our previous dog, who I am constantly comparing Zane to, was an angel when it came to his eating and drinking habits. Zane, on the other hand, will walk away from his water bowl with his mouth full and drool it all over the kitchen and sometimes the living room! He is not a drooler but is the sloppiest drinker I have ever seen. We refer to the mess as "Lake Zane"
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
oh yes lol she has a fountain in the kitchen and it sits on a big absorbable bathroom mat. she isnt a drooler either or a messy eater but she cant keep her water in her bowl for the life of her.
 
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