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I am new to this dog breed. I have a three month old puppy named Baileigh, she's extremely smart!
Do yall have any experience or pointers with this breed?
 

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Hi there Catahoula lover! Welcome. Love your dog's name.
Yep, we are owned by two female houlas, the mentally challenged one, Addison, lived with hoarders in Kansas and Chloe was found in the Arizona desert with cacti sticking out of her! Don Abney's book on Catahoulas is a source (ignore the dominance/packy stuff tho) and actually, Wikipedia has a good history. You can also google "the history of the Catahoula Leopard dog....I am always visiting the Catahoula Rescue sites for information and connections! EXCELLENT SITES!
Briefly, houlas are very protective of their "family" and need to be socialized early with young children and people....they have a strong prey drive - so don't say the word "squirrel" around one. They can become destructive if bored and can experience separation anxiety (like many dogs). THEY NEED A JOB TO DO in your family, whether it's picking up clothes, monitoring your front house window, or getting rid of chipmunks in the yard. I would strongly advice you to microchip, once they scent prey, they can disappear into the next county!!! Seriously, sigh.
Obedience training with ONLY positive reinforcement is extremely important as soon as possible...houlas are like potatoe chips...you might want to get another one like we did, lol. LOTS OF EXERCISE, EXERCISE, EXERCISE. Our Chloe knows over 60 words, we started spelling, she caught on, so now we are sometimes using Spanish words, she eavesdrops a lot. Addy...well...she's "different", stunted developmentally and psychologically....she barks at planes thinking they are geese, and won't go upstairs without a nightlight on,,,seriously! Read all the stickies on DF and training videos..you can do a tag search...counter surfing is a favorite houla sport! As is trash raiding, eating bad toxic stuff in the backyard, etc. Hope this is useful. I will keep watching for your posts, get ready for your life to change with a houla in the house!! OH, look at Hyperbole and a Half website....those are the epitome of our two dogs...you will fall off your chair laughing. WELCOME HOULA LOVER!
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Hi there Catahoula lover! Welcome. Love your dog's name.
Yep, we are owned by two female houlas, the mentally challenged one, Addison, lived with hoarders in Kansas and Chloe was found in the Arizona desert with cacti sticking out of her! Don Abney's book on Catahoulas is a source (ignore the dominance/packy stuff tho) and actually, Wikipedia has a good history. You can also google "the history of the Catahoula Leopard dog....I am always visiting the Catahoula Rescue sites for information and connections! EXCELLENT SITES!
Briefly, houlas are very protective of their "family" and need to be socialized early with young children and people....they have a strong prey drive - so don't say the word "squirrel" around one. They can become destructive if bored and can experience separation anxiety (like many dogs). THEY NEED A JOB TO DO in your family, whether it's picking up clothes, monitoring your front house window, or getting rid of chipmunks in the yard. I would strongly advice you to microchip, once they scent prey, they can disappear into the next county!!! Seriously, sigh.
Obedience training with ONLY positive reinforcement is extremely important as soon as possible...houlas are like potatoe chips...you might want to get another one like we did, lol. LOTS OF EXERCISE, EXERCISE, EXERCISE. Our Chloe knows over 60 words, we started spelling, she caught on, so now we are sometimes using Spanish words, she eavesdrops a lot. Addy...well...she's "different", stunted developmentally and psychologically....she barks at planes thinking they are geese, and won't go upstairs without a nightlight on,,,seriously! Read all the stickies on DF and training videos..you can do a tag search...counter surfing is a favorite houla sport! As is trash raiding, eating bad toxic stuff in the backyard, etc. Hope this is useful. I will keep watching for your posts, get ready for your life to change with a houla in the house!! OH, look at Hyperbole and a Half website....those are the epitome of our two dogs...you will fall off your chair laughing. WELCOME HOULA LOVER!
I sadly won't be able to get another Houla for a while, I was lucky to get her! She's extremely smart, she knows what No means and will stop whatever she's doing in a heartbeat. She knows commands like sit, lay, shake, speak, come, and stay. She has just started to learn to bark at the door to go outside.
I ride horses, so soon she'll be able to run with our horses. I'll definitely chip her and get some tags on her collar.
She got hit by a car a month ago and is behind on getting outside exercise with her hurt leg.
She's absolutely lovely! one blue eye and one green eye! I'll post a few pictures tomorrow!
 

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I train with a woman who owns two (both UKC champions, in addition to many other titles). They're really neat dogs! Both have a very dignified air about them and are sweet but reserved with strangers. I have no doubt that her male would protect her if required.

They are also both very smart and always thinking about the best way to do things. Last week in nosework, her boy decided that pawing a box and looking at his owner got him a treat, so he did that to every single box, regardless of where the odor was. By the next round, he decided that wasn't working, so he went back to alerting to the odor only. It's fun to watch his creativity and even when you think something is well trained, he's looking for new ways to approach it.
 
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Thanks for verifying how SMART they are! One tip I should mention...NEVER, NEVER, NEVER play with them a laser....It took us 6 months to get Chloe to stop looking at the wall and then at us...wall...stare at us....wall....stare at us...And never say the word squirrel when in the car with a window down....Chloe sailed out the window for the search, sigh. I love them to pieces!!! You can train a houla to do just about anything...."Jump Chloe" and she is on the roof of the car, lol.
 
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