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Catahoula Leopard Dog & Pitbull Mix: Pitahoula Breed Information

Emma Braby

Last Updated: March 31, 2020 | 10 min read

Catahoula Pitbull Mix

The Catahoula Pitbull mix is a rare and relatively new designer pooch whose popularity has just started to take off. With many owners now opting for something a little different from the usual family favorites such as the Labrador, lesser known breeds such as the Catahoula Leopard Dog are becoming more fashionable.

The Catahoula is quite an intense breed, so when it’s mixed with the American Pitbull Terrier, the end result can be a somewhat more adaptable and affectionate pooch. While he is not suited to every family home, there is something very special about this mixed breed pup.

As long as you are active and an experienced and strong-willed dog owner, this breed can make an awesome canine companion. So, let’s take a closer look to see if the Catahoula Pitbull mixed breed pup is the perfect canine for you and your lifestyle.

Parent Breeds

To fully understand a designer dog and what genes he can expect to inherit, it is vital to learn a little about his parents, as he could inherit any combination of genes and characteristics, so you need to be sure that you like them all.

Catahoula Leopard Dog

This dog is less well known compared to the Pitbull, unless you live in Louisiana as he is their state dog, and he is named after a sacred lake found there. He is a mixture of what is believed to be Spanish Mastiffs, Bloodhounds and Greyhounds, brought to the area by Spanish travelers in the 16th Century. Also known as the hog dog, his original profession was to hunt wild boar in the swamps of South Eastern America. Farmers were so impressed by his prowess that he became a popular ranch hand, and in packs they employ their unique herding skill of creating a canine fence around stock to enable their master to direct them.

The hardworking Catahoula Leopard Dog is described as loyal, independent and watchful, and he makes a hard-working canine colleague. He is also known to make a great family pet for the right family, but he needs a strict and firm leader who needs to understand pack mentality, otherwise he is known to become unruly.

American Pitbull Terrier

The Pitbull Terrier is more well known than the Catahoula, and with that comes his unfair reputation of being vicious, however, a well-trained Pitbull is the complete opposite of this. This unfair reputation stems from his forced participation in blood sports, but thankfully, after these cruel sports were outlawed, he also became employed as a ranch hand and became the Cowboy’s favorite colleague. Since our love, and education, has increased and improved for this guy, he is also commonly used as a therapy dog simply because of his loving nature and adoration for humans.

The Pitbull Terrier is described as smart, confident and good natured, and he makes an excellent family addition, even for those with small children, which is why he is known as the nanny dog. He needs an outlet for his energy and needs to be placed with an active family who will be able to spend most of their day with him, as he does not like to be left alone.  There are many other popular pitbull terrier mixes, including the Labrabull, the Pitsky, the Beaglebull and the Corgi Pit.

Catahoula Pitbull Mix

Catahoula Pitbull Terrier Mixed Breed Pup on Grass
The Catahoula Leopard Dog Pitbull Mix is a very beautiful mix.

The combination of the above dogs results in the Catahoula Pitbull mix. If you are curious as to what to expect, or you have never seen one before, then be sure to head over to Bullitt’s Instagram page, where his parents describe him as half crazy and half lazy.

The Catahoula Pitbull is a rare designer dog, and as such a breed standard has yet to be realized. This guide focuses on what you can typically expect from this mix, but it is important to understand and research each parent breed thoroughly, and be prepared to expect your Catahoula Pitbull to inherit any characteristics of either parent.


The Catahoula Pitbull mix is not for the first time, or timid, dog owner. He needs to be placed into a family that understands dogs and willing to establish a pack mentality in the family, for if this is not established this pup will not do well. Not only will he challenge you as pack leader, but it can lead to behavioral issues. Whilst this instinct will be somewhat  diluted thanks to the Pitbull genes, this characteristic needs to be treated as though he were a pure Catahoula. However, once this is established, he will thoroughly adore his master and the entire family and would do anything to please you.

This guy has a lot of physical and mental energy that he will need to expel, so he needs to be placed with an active family who can commit to a lot of interaction, playtime, and cuddles with him. Nothing would make this pooch happier than having a job to do with his master, so he would make the ideal ranch hand. Once he has burnt off his energy, he is known to enjoy calmness in the home, and will happily lay by your feet in front of the fire.

Thanks to his Pitbull parent, he is very affectionate and will constantly crave your attention and praise, so for this reason he can be a very intense canine, but if you like this trait in a dog then look no further than this guy. On the other hand, if you like your space, then you should consider another mix altogether!

Size & Appearance

Dependent on the size of his parents, the Catahoula Pitbull can weigh anywhere between 40 and 85 pounds and he will measure between 18 and 23 inches in height. His intense energy and boisterous nature when playing outside of the home means that he can be quite forceful and strong, so his master needs to be prepared for this. Whilst he is calm and gentle with children inside of the home, small children should be supervised at all times simply because of his size.

Coat & Colors

This mixed pooch is strikingly stunning, and he’ll certainly turn heads even just for his coloring! He will inherit any combination of his parent’s colors, and the Pitbull comes in red, or just about any color except merle. The Catahoula comes in all different shades of merle, so you can expect absolutely any color or markings with this guy. The Catahoula also carries the heterochromia gene, whereby his eyes are different colors, or they can even be a mixture of colors in the same eye.

Exercise & Living Conditions

The Catahoula Pitbull mix will need a lot of exercise, and you must be able to commit to at least 60 to 90 minutes of vigorous exercise every day, otherwise he will become very restless and destructive. Quite simply, if you cannot commit to this then he is not the breed for you, but if you can, he will return his gratitude in the form of being the best four-legged friend you’ll ever have. He is also perfectly suited to families with younger children despite his size, and you’ll almost always find him favoring the young ones for cuddles on the sofa.

Because of his potentially large size and energy, this guy will be better suited to a larger home with access to a reinforced back yard. He will need access to fresh air as he’ll get cabin fever easily and would hate to be locked up for hours on end. Because he can be very protective of his family, you’ll need to ensure that your backyard is reinforced, otherwise you will risk him escaping if he feels there is danger on the perimeter.


Catahoula Leopard Dog Mixed with Pitbull Playing
This mixed breed is very active and needs a firm trainer that’s experienced with headstrong breeds.

This is one of the main sections that you’ll need to focus your attention on, because training this guy will be the make or break of him. Firstly, early socialization is key, and you should introduce him to as many dogs and other animals of all shapes and sizes as you can, as well as other humans. Walking him on the sidewalk at all times of the day will ensure that he becomes accustomed to other leashed dogs and noisy vehicles.

Enrolling him into a puppy obedience class would be perfect for him, not only get used to other pups, but also to allow you to set the rules from day one. He needs a strong-willed master who will be committed to his training, and consistent, because if he sniffs any weakness, he will take advantage of this. Not only do you need to be strong willed, but you also need to be physically strong as he is also strong, and for this reason it is advised to leash train him from an early age.

Positive enforcement training is also important, because he will react in self-defense to any mistreatment. Plenty of verbal praise and small treats will keep him encouraged, and being intelligent and eager to please he will pick his training up very quickly.  You should also make sure that if you plan to crate train, you find a crate for Pitbull breeds, and the same goes for training with a harness.


The Catahoula Pitbull mix is a relatively healthy dog and it is estimated that he will live for a healthy 10 to 16 years. As with any dog, the Catahoula Pitbull mix can be prone to any canine health concern, particularly the ones that affect his parents, so here are the following concerns to be aware of:

Hip Dysplasia – this is a common concern in most canines, and it is caused by an abnormal formation of the hip joints. Overtime the continuous grinding of the poor fitting joint socket will result in painful arthritis as he grows older. For this reason, it is important to feed him size and age appropriate food, for these will have the correct levels of calcium and phosphorus which affects his bone growth.                 

Deafness – because the merle gene is linked to deafness, be that unilateral or bilateral, his Catahoula parent is more at risk of deafness compared to other dogs, so he is prone to this also. Even if his coat is not merle, he could still be a carrier of the gene, so it is important to ask breeders for the relevant health certificates.

Skin allergies – the Pitbull parent is prone to skin allergies, so it is also likely that that Catahoula Pitbull mix could experience skin problems at some point during his lifetime. Common allergens are grass, mites and nutritional ingredients such as chicken or grains. If he has dry, itchy or hot spots then be sure to take him to your Veterinarian to investigate the root cause.


Nutrition is unique to every dog, and dependent on his size and energy levels, it is likely that he will consume between 2 ½ to 3 ½ cups of food every day. Of course, if he is hunting wild boars or herding cattle then he will be at the higher end of this scale, and if he prefers the comfort of the sofa then he’ll need much less.

Because of his lean and muscular body, he will require a high-quality kibble that is high in protein, and enough energy to keep him sustained throughout the day. Be sure to feed him age appropriate food, and his kibble might affect his potential skin allergies, so be sure to ask your Veterinarian if you have any questions about tailored advice in regard to his nutritional needs.


The Catahoula Pitbull mix has a double coat, but is very short and smooth, and he sheds slightly less compared to other dogs. He will require a brush once a week, but this is more to keep his hair shiny and looking healthy as his coat is not long enough to tangle. He will require a bath once every few months as he is a relatively clean dog. Of course, if he is a working dog, or he likes to roll in muck or mud, then you may need to bath him more frequently.


Catahoula Pitbully Mix Puppy
This mix can inherit many color variations as a puppy from its parent breeds, the Pitbull Terrier & Catahoula Leopard Dog.

Because the Catahoula Pitbull mix is a very new and rare breed there is little information available online as to how much these beautiful dogs will cost. There are select reputable breeders who will inform you about their pricing once they believe you are serious about welcoming one of these guys into your life. However, as they are not particularly in demand compared to other designer dogs, they will not be terribly expensive.

As Family Pets

  • The Catahoula Pitbull mix needs to be placed with an experienced pack leader.
  • This dog is very active and needs a firm yet gentle hand with training.
  • He enjoys snuggles with his human pack after a hard or fun day’s work.
  • This breed should be socialized very early, as it can be protective of its pack.
  • The Catahoula Pitbull mix is an active pup that shouldn’t be left alone for long periods of time.
  • He needs to be placed with a very active family who can commit to 60 minutes of daily exercise.
  • This breed can be protective, so he should always be leashed and your yard at home enclosed.
  • Early training and socialization is very important to ensure that he grows into a well-mannered pup.                       

Finding a Breeder

As previously mentioned, these guys are quite rare, and so you will need to invest a lot of time, and potential travelling, to find the perfect breeder. It is still important to remember to work with a reputable breeder who can provide you with heath certificates and who will welcome you to see their pups and their parents. If you are struggling to find a breeder then be sure to speak to Catahoula breeders and Pitbull breeders, as they might know of a reputable breeder for this particular mix.

Rescue & Shelters

Rescuing a pooch is one of the best things you can do, and being a Pittie mix you can be sure that there will be one of these guys in a rescue shelter somewhere, but because he is rarer you might find that it will take you longer to find him compared to other breeds. The Catahoula Rescue website lists all the adoptable Catahoula Leopard dogs per state, and there are plenty of Catahoula mixes listed, so be sure to check them out.

Final Thoughts

The Catahoula Pitbull mix is a feisty pooch who adores his family very much, and he is super happy being with being worked till sundown and cuddled until the morning. It is important to be firm with this guy, but once pack hierarchy is established this stunning pooch is playful and protective of his family, and also very fun to be around, and you’ll soon begin to wonder why you didn’t welcome him into your life sooner!

Leave a Comment



February 25, 2020 at 11:04 am

I have one, Zeus is one of the best dogs out there. Gentle with children and plays hard with adults. Yet he is instinctive with my blind brother protecting him from getting hurt to being gentle around my mom who can't hardly walk. I remember when one of the kids had night tremors. He would stay at her side to help her threw. Zeus loves kids and is protective of our home when we are gone. They are right this breed is super strong. Very intelligent and you must be alfa. Loyalty to the end. Looking forward to finding another one.

Kelly Wilson

February 25, 2020 at 1:43 pm

Sounds like a great pup, thanks for stopping by and commenting Candy!

Juanita Pope

March 9, 2020 at 3:38 am

I have a catahoula mix (mostly catahoula). Bred by a Pitt/ Bully. Had 14 pups , 3 died. So 11 very beautiful, unusual looking pups are being weaned right now. At 41/2 weeks. I know that's a little early , but, mama can't do it anymore.

They have tore her up. I am giving them milk. Puppy chow and pedigree puppy formula canned food. I am transitioning them right now from the can to the dry food. They eat hood. And a lot! Each one of these pups are unique in coloring and shapes and sizes. Looking for good homes for 8 of them.

Kelly Wilson

March 9, 2020 at 3:54 am

Hi Juanita, I would suggest you reach out to local Facebook Groups and no-kill shelters. We don't rehome dogs here at Love Your Dog, but I'll be praying you find some help for your situation!

Aimee Gulley

March 12, 2020 at 12:53 pm

I have my girl Daisy, and boy is she smart! We've had her now for six years she was I guess technically a paid rescue as someone was going to we'll.. "throw her away," so I drove two hours away for this small merel purple eyed pup who was more head than feet. Who chatters when she wants something, she's an amazing animal loves my little boy and without training knows if I need help getting up off the ground or if my BP(Blood pressure) drops to seek help.

She wasn't always easy she has a stubborn side to her that will make you want to pull your hair put but with good training she was just fine. Not long ago she had her first little of puppies (not by choice 😒) and some of them were laid back and relaxed others were.. well NUTS but we will blame daddy for that. I have owned many dogs in my life but this girl is my ride or die, my cuddle buddy and oldest doggy friend and I'm praying I have her for a long time as my Little ones first real word was 'Daisy,'

Kelly Wilson

March 13, 2020 at 9:54 pm

Sounds like a great pup Aimee! Thanks for commenting!


April 13, 2020 at 10:49 pm

I have two Catahoula Pit mix dogs one male one female. They are my ESA dogs Army Vet with PTSD. These dogs are super smart loves people and they both love to cuddle with me and watch tv. They are super calm while inside but outside they love everything including cats. And yes they will bark when people come to the door. I live in a apartment so the stuff about needing a house is totally false.

All you have to do is take the time to play and walk them. And they had pups since Frankie the dad has most of the multi color even with blue eyes Anna the mom dog has little spots and one half brown patch over left eye mostly she is white though and it was funny most of the puppies had mostly white with grey and brown spots and blue and brown eyes. Each person who got a pup always ask if they will have more pups I wont do it again since Frankie will be fixed. But these two dogs are my best friends.

Kelly Wilson

April 14, 2020 at 1:37 pm

Thanks for stopping by to comment Justin! It's good to hear that you have some great pups on your hands, and that they are well behaved in an apartment setting! Generally speaking this mix seems to do better with a yard to run, but it sounds like you are very involved and active with them, which many owners are not. Appreciate you taking the time to stop by and comment, and thanks for your service!


May 11, 2020 at 3:49 pm

My Catbully Eugene is awesome! He is only 7 months and he is at the age of testing the water. Intelligent and STRONG is very accurate. I love my boy and plan on maybe getting a female when Eugene is older. We live on a farm and have lots of room to run.

He is good with the horses and he was socialized well. Other than he had a treat and toy aggression he is perfect in every way. He is a Blue and very loud coloring but no blue eyes. He is a Catahoula/American Bully. Great info!

Kelly Wilson

May 11, 2020 at 7:36 pm

Sounds like a great pup Dede! Thanks for stopping by to comment!


May 21, 2020 at 11:20 pm

My Catahoula is almost a year old (rescued her), and she went into heat and I think my pitbull mix got her pregnant. He is 80 lbs and she is 60 lbs. Should I be worried that the puppies will be too large for her to deliver?

Kelly Wilson

May 22, 2020 at 1:39 am

Hi Tara, that's close enough in size that she should be fine. I would still recommend a trip to the vet to be safe. Good luck!


July 14, 2020 at 6:00 pm

I rescued Joe, a 3 yr old Catahoula/Pit mix from a rescue that pulled him from a high kill shelter in Riverside Co. CA. I drove 14 hours to go get him! I feel in love at first sight! He is a very friendly guy, loves everyone he meets and is a star at my job, where he goes everyday with me.

He does have a very strong prey drive that we are working on and I HIGHLY recommend a trainer for these guys. I have raised 4 pitties before Joe, but he is definitely one of a kind :) STRONG, STRONG WILLED, intelligent and beautiful. He is the most gentle mouthed dog I have ever had, will take food and never touch your fingers, BUT play time is fair game and he plays rough! He needs a lot of exercise, which I give him daily.

Without it, he is a hot mess :) Cannot wait to see more and more of his personality come through..he know he is home now (4 acres in the country) and protects his property from all the deer, rabbits and nutria who DARE to come through. This guy can be so serious one minute, and the biggest GOOFBALL you've ever seen the next. I'm in heaven and I think Joe is too!

Kelly Wilson

July 15, 2020 at 12:16 am

Thanks for stopping by to comment Stephanie! Sounds like an amazing pup! He's lucky that he has a ton of room to run around!