Thursday, November 6, 2014

Training a Catahoula Leopard Dog


A video of Training Bohannon the Catahoula Puppy

One iPhone charger, a cheer leading pompom, numerous socks, uncountable cardboard boxes, pink bunny slippers, and even a pair of my old boots.  What do these items all have in common?  They have all become the victims of the terror that can be a Catahoula puppy.  I keep telling my very patient family that what comes with an intelligent, driven dog is the restlessness of boredom and ways to fill it.  Basically a excellent dog in the field can make a tiresome house canine.

The household antics aside; Bohannon the Catahoula puppy is an awesome animal.  He has been with me for the past two months and we have already covered much ground.  We have roamed the Colorado Mountains in search of ducks, coyotes, and general adventure.  A bond has been built between us and a mutual understanding seems to be in the development.

At ten weeks old, I started training Bohannon for tracking and trailing.  By 12 weeks old he already had the basics down.  At 16 weeks the dog is running 300 yard-long trails on human scent and has been introduced to Mountain Lion scent as well.  Bohannon tracks both scents equally well, but we are focusing on humans primarily, as I have the intent to develop him as a Search and Rescue dog.  Bohannon tracks any human scent I give him and has begun to master when the person makes a turn in their trail, or crosses a small obstacle such as a rocks, or a stream. 

Every time we go out to train I find I learn more about tracking and scent dispersal than he does, merely by allowing the dog to teach me through his own natural abilities.  I am absolutely amazed at how easy it has been to teach this Catahoula to scent trail.  It just seems the breed has a built in affinity for it.   I am shocked that these dogs are not used more commonly in the Search and Law Enforcement fields.

When I made Bohannon's first video I was surprised at the amount of attention it received.  I have since had several people contact me to find out more about training this remarkable breed.  Some have asked if the general description of the Catahoula's temperament is accurate.  They are often described as hard-headed, or even aggressive dogs.  It is also advised that they need a lot of exercise and attention.

Bohannon seeing snow for the first time.

While I am not an expert on the Catahoula, I will comment on some of these allegations from now owning and training two of them.   If you are looking for a real authority on the breed I would direct you to Don Abney with  Abney Catahoulas.  Don has been raising and training Catahoulas for probably longer than I have been on this planet.   Not only is Don a true gentlemen, but a very strong proponent of the Catahoula, and the breeder of Bohannon.

If you plan to purchase a Catahoula, you need to be prepared.  They are fantastic dogs, but they need a little guidance.  I believe they are actually too intelligent for their own good.  There are several areas of concern I would advise you review or be prepared to address.

Dominance - Before owning any dog, and especially a Catahoula, I would encourage you to learn about Canine social hierarchy in a pack. Your dog will see you as just a weird looking fellow canine and you will need to be the pack leader. If you are not the pack Alpha (leader), then the Catahoula will decide he is.  Understand the Catahoula may try to assert dominance over you and test you.  You will need to be ready to maintain your leadership role.  I like to start early on with feeding time.  My pup is not allowed to eat until I tell him he can.  In the dog pack the leader eats first and then each subsequent dog, thus establishing the role early on.  Also, be prepared to follow-up any trained command with the expected activity.  For example, if your dog knows the Sit command and you give it to him and he clearly heard you and ignores you, then you must make him sit. If he learns that he can ignore your commands, you are on the road to losing the Alpha position.  Always be as gentle as you can be with your dog, but be firm and make sure if he understands a command, that he follows it.


Bohannon on a hunting trip, meeting ducks for the first time.
Socialization - I believe it is important to introduce the puppy to as many people as possible when they are young.  It can help later in life for them to accept new people and be friendly. One exception to that is dog parks. Not only can the parks be an excellent place to pick up a disease or parasite, but you are also at the mercy of other dogs' conduct. As for aggressiveness,  I have not found the Catahoula to be mean, but protective and defensive.  If they feel their person or property is being threatened, they may react in a protective manner.  Socialization early on has seemed to help with Bohannon, but he still growls when people approach his yard, truck, or knock on the door.  I do not mind a dog that is protective as long as he is not overtly so.  Take the puppy everywhere you can, and let him experience new and interesting things.  It will help him be more confident when he is an adult.


Buddies, the author and Bohannon.
Bonding - It is very important to build a close bond with your dog.  Both of my Catahoulas were/are a one person dog. It is difficult for anyone other than myself to correct or get his respect.  Make sure your dog bonds with you and not another family member if you want to work them.  Take a week off from work when you first get the pup. Do not do any corrections, just go have fun together.  Learn who your pup is, and be his whole world for a while.  Bo and I went camping for 10 days when I first got him.  He did not really get any corrections or have any training until he had been with me for two weeks.

Attitude - There are two tools that I have found to be invaluable with training Bohannon so far.   Those are patience and persistence.  Being patient when your message is not received by the dog, and persistence in what you're trying to achieve with him.  Along with those tools are energy and a positive attitude.  I find when my drive and energy is up, so is Bo's, and on the contrary his antics and concentration is lowered when mine is. Be creative with your training.  If one way isn't working, try another approach.  I try to make everything a game to make things fun.  Bo was not getting the "come" command very well.  He really likes to track.  As such, I made him sit and stay.  I then walked around a corner out of sight and hid.  After hiding I called Bo, and had him find me.  This made the "come" command fun and a great game for him.


A frozen Catahoula bundled up in the duck blind.
Exercise - This is an absolute must, every day or even twice a day.  If Bohannon does not get to work for a day, then I need to be prepared for all manner of household destruction.  Playing fetch, going for a walk, or even a little obedience training seems to take the edge off and help him settle a bit.  If you are going to own a Catahoula, have a plan to train them for something.  They need mental stimulation beyond just physical exertion.  If you do not give him something to do, he will find something he considers fun; I am sure you will not find this activity entertaining.

In my opinion Catahoulas are one of the absolute best working breeds there is.   They require your time and a firm but loving hand to raise, but in the end you will have a fabulous dog. Closing thoughts are on patience, as that is what I have been practicing.

"Patience and perseverance have a magical effect before which all difficulties disappear and obstacles vanish." 
-John Quincy Adams





50 comments:

  1. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

    ReplyDelete
  2. I have not read your entire blog but how well has your catahoula done with hunting waterfowl and pheasant? Should I try to train her to hunt or would it be too much of a challenge?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Jimmy,

      Sorry for the late reply! The answer to your question is yes and no. A Catahoula is excellent at hunting and locating game. However the retrieve is where your problem will be. They are not the best reterivers as they will be possessive the game, and will probably destroy your bird. They have a high destroy drive and are smart enough to know that giving the bird to you means they wont get it back! My two cents, if you want a retriever get a breed that is known for their bird work.
      If you want a serious trailing, or general tough hunting buddy. Then the Catahoula might be right for you. They can do just about everything out there, they are even using them as sled dogs now. About the one thing I would steer away from is bird work.

      Hope that helps?

      Delete
    2. Jimmy,

      Sorry for the late reply! The answer to your question is yes and no. A Catahoula is excellent at hunting and locating game. However the retrieve is where your problem will be. They are not the best reterivers as they will be possessive the game, and will probably destroy your bird. They have a high destroy drive and are smart enough to know that giving the bird to you means they wont get it back! My two cents, if you want a retriever get a breed that is known for their bird work.
      If you want a serious trailing, or general tough hunting buddy. Then the Catahoula might be right for you. They can do just about everything out there, they are even using them as sled dogs now. About the one thing I would steer away from is bird work.

      Hope that helps?

      Delete
  3. This is an amazing dog. I've just read you blog and I admit, I'm not familiar with the breed. Looking at how magnificent your dog looks, I can't help but admire the breed. I'm a proud owner of a Golden Retriever and for the first few months, I've been patiently training him and bonding with him closely. I've read a lot about canine boot camp and would like to know how you feel about them? This site has delved into this topic and I'd like an opinion http://dogsaholic.com/training/canine-boot-camp.html

    ReplyDelete
  4. I will really appreciate the writer's choice for choosing this excellent article appropriate to my matter.Here is deep description about the article matter which helped me more. Pure balance dog food review

    ReplyDelete
  5. I like what you guys tend to be up too. This sort of clever work and reporting! Keep up the very good works guys I’ve incorporated you guys to our blogroll.
    Duck

    ReplyDelete
  6. Love these tips, I will be following your other posts also. I have recently visited a marketplace dogpeer.com.au that would also offer me some good tips.

    ReplyDelete
  7. Pretty nice post. I just stumbled upon your weblog and wanted to say that I have really enjoyed browsing your blog posts. After all I’ll be subscribing to your feed and I hope you write again soon! thedoggycrates.com

    ReplyDelete
  8. When that a significant number of the wealthy American families visited Paris, they were enamored with the Frenchies and started to import them in the United States. In 1896, the French bulldog breed was at first recorded in the Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show. Frenchie clothes

    ReplyDelete
  9. nail on the head. Your concept is excellent; the difficulty is something that not sufficient people are speaking intelligently about. I am very blissful https://trainingroomsg.com

    ReplyDelete
  10. If you do have such an animal it's a sure bet that it's a dangerous dog, one that causes people in your neighborhood to cross the street to avoid.All dogs big and small

    ReplyDelete
  11. Oh my goodness! a wonderful post dude. Appreciate it However My business is experiencing issue with ur rss . Don’t know why Unable to enroll in it. Perhaps there is any person finding identical rss problem? Anyone who knows kindly respond. Thnkx hwww.k9nerds.com/how-to-stop-a-dog-from-digging/

    ReplyDelete
  12. It is truly a well-researched content and excellent wording. I got so engaged in this material that I couldn’t wait reading. I am impressed with your work and skill. Thanks. www.k9nerds.com/why-do-dogs-dig-in-their-beds

    ReplyDelete
  13. The content is utmost interesting! I have completely enjoyed reading your points and have come to the conclusion that you are right about many of them. You are great, and your efforts are outstanding! read here about mastiffs

    ReplyDelete
  14. I would like to say that this blog really convinced me to do it! Thanks, very good post. training collar

    ReplyDelete
  15. I have a Catahoula 5 years old now. I unfortunately have been lacking in his training. He is an excellent dog very smart and has chosen me as the in partner in the house. Mybquestion is it to.late to restart his training as he is obedient but surely needs more work

    ReplyDelete
  16. I found so many interesting stuff in your blog especially its discussion. From the tons of comments on your articles, I guess I am not the only one having all the enjoyment here! keep up the good work... hamster cage ideas

    ReplyDelete
  17. ทำเงินได้เป็นแสน ได้ที่นี่ที่เดียว คลิก -> สูตร slotxo
    วิธีการเล่นสล็อตออนไลน์ที่ง่าย ได้ที่นี่ที่เดียว คลิก -> วิธีเล่น slotxo
    ท่านสามารถเชิญเพื่อนมาเล่นได้ที่ คลิก -> slotxo ฝาก 200 ได้ฟรี 3%

    ReplyDelete
  18. โกลเด้นสล็อต Goldenslot เว็บสล็อตจากการเสิร์ชอันดับ 1

    ReplyDelete
  19. pgslot เกมส์สล็อตออนไลน์ที่ดีที่สุด

    ReplyDelete
  20. ทำเงินได้เป็นแสน ได้ที่นี่ที่เดียว คลิกที่นี่-> สูตร slotxo
    วิธีการเล่นสล็อตออนไลน์ที่ง่าย ได้ที่นี่ที่เดียว คลิก -> วิธีเล่น slotxo
    ท่านสามารถเชิญเพื่อนมาเล่นได้ที่ คลิก -> slotxo ฝาก 200 ได้ฟรี 3%

    ReplyDelete

  21. Are Chihuahua puppies hard to train?
    chihuahua puppies for sale
    Chihuahuas are intelligent, strong-minded dogs that like to do their own thing. This can make them stubborn, earning them a reputation for being hard to train. However, reward-based training methods do appeal to a Chihuahua and there's no reason why they can't be trained to be obedient, just as with any dog

    Chihuahuas Have Fun, Playful Personalities
    teacup chihuahuas for sale
    Though chihuahuas are loyal and affectionate with their owners, they are anything but dull and love to play! However, no two chihuahuas are the same, so if you have a friend with a chihuahua, your pet is likely to be quite different and unique

    What food is bad for Chihuahua?
    teacup chihuahua for sale
    Foods Your Chihuahua Shouldn't Eat
    Alcohol. Alcohol (ethanol) is highly toxic to dogs. ...
    Caffeine. Coffee is one of the world's most popular beverages, with roughly 83% of the United States adult population consuming it on a daily basis. ...
    Chocolate. ...
    Some Fruit Seeds, Pits and Cores. ...
    Garlic. ...
    Grapes and Raisins. ...
    Hops. ...
    Onions.
    chihuahua puppy for sale

    The easiest way to adopt a Chihuahua would be through a rescue that specializes in Chihuahuas. A great place to start would be by starting a breed search on https://www.chihuahuapuppiesforsale1.com/chihuahua-puppies-for-sale-near-me/. The search will show you all the available Chihuahuas in your area.
    chihuahua puppies for sale near me


    ReplyDelete


  22. Are Yorkies good for first time dog owners?
    teacup yorkie for sale
    The Yorkshire terrier is a great starter dog for those who want a little lap dog. This breed is affectionate towards its owner and may even act protective around strangers.
    The Yorkie has a moderate energy level and only needs basic exercise.

    yorkie puppies for sale good for first time owners?
    yorkie puppies for sale
    It is the ideal pet for people who don't want to deal with pet fur at home or in their cars. This is the ideal pet for first time dog owners, since it trains easily and needs only moderate grooming maintenance. Yorkie poos are good with kids. It will play with them, is energetic and affectionate.

    Are Yorkie hypoallergenic? Yes
    Are Yorkie Poo good for first time owners?
    yorkie for sale
    It is the ideal pet for people who don't want to deal with pet fur at home or in their cars. This is the ideal pet for first time dog owners, since it trains easily and needs only moderate grooming maintenance. Yorkie poos are good with kids. It will play with them, is energetic and affectionate.
    teacup chihuahuas for sale

    Are Yorkie Poos good dogs?
    yorkies for sale

    ReplyDelete


  23. Is a Yorkie a good family dog?
    yorkie puppies for sale
    Yorkies, like many other Toy breeds, make good pets for people; they're especially good for senior citizens, people with medical issues, and those who may worry about the size and strength of a larger dog. ... They're loving, devoted, and very affectionate: This makes them great personal companions and good family pets.

    Do Yorkshire terriers bark a lot?
    teacup yorkie for sale
    Yorkshire Terriers are little dogs with huge personalities. yorkies for sale With those huge personalities come a fierce territorial bark. Any time your phone rings, someone speaks or knocks on your door, or your doorbell chimes, your Yorkshire Terrier will likely bark. Outside noises aren't even required for barking for some Yorkies. yorkie for sale near me

    How much do Yorkshire terriers cost?
    yorkies puppy for sale
    Typical Yorkie prices range from $1,500 to $3,000, but the cost can fall far below or above that range. Prices will vary based on the puppy's lineage, appearance, health, and the breeder. It's also possible to adopt an older Yorkie for significantly less through a rescue shelter.

    ReplyDelete
  24. How long does a Yorkie live? 13 – 16 years
    Are Yorkies cuddlers?
    A lover of all things comfortable, the Yorkshire terrier enjoys cuddling with loved ones and snuggling into everything soft and fluffy. And for you, their silky coat isn't too bad for petting. https://www.newdaypuppies.com/

    Adorable Teacup and Toy AKC Yorkie Puppies
    We have adorable Yorkshire Terrier puppies male and female (she is pictured with the bow).The little girl was born on and the male was born on. yorkie teacup for sale Both puppies have started potty training and have had all sets of puppy shots and deworming. They both come with AKC papers.The girl is very petite and has an adorable baby doll face. yorkies for sale near me She is a teacup and will mature to be around just lbs. She is very gentle and easy going She is the princess in our home and loves to be held.The male is full of spunk and is super playful He will mature to be lbs and would make an awesome family dog. He has a gorgeous silky coat and adorable teddy bear face.Both puppies are AKC registered and will come with a health guarantee shot record and sample puppy food. teacup yorkies for sale, teacup yorkie puppies for sale

    Adorable Teacup and Toy AKC Yorkie Puppies is a Female, Male Yorkshire Terrier Puppy for sale in US. Adorable Teacup and Toy AKC Yorkie Puppies by newdaypuppies for Female, Male Yorkshire Terrier Puppies. yorkshire terrier for sale

    ReplyDelete
  25. Hi! I could have sworn I’ve been to this website before but after
    looking at some of the posts I realized it’s new to me.
    Regardless, I’m certainly happy I found it and I’ll be
    book-marking it and checking back often!
    great dane puppy for sale
    great dane puppies for sale near me
    goldendoodle for sale
    ragdoll kitten near me
    ragdoll kittens for sale near me
    bernedoodles for sale
    aussiedoodle for sale
    havanese puppies for sale near me

    ReplyDelete
  26. Hi, I do believe this is a great website. I stumbledupon it ;) I am going to revisit yet
    again since I book-marked it. Money and freedom is the greatest way to
    change, may you be rich and continue to help other people.
    teacup havanese puppies for sale
    teacup havanese puppies for sale
    pomeranian teacup for sale
    doodle puppies
    aussiedoodle puppies for sale
    bernedoodle puppies for sale
    goldendoodle puppies for sale
    ragdoll kitten for sale
    ragdoll kittens for sale

    ReplyDelete
  27. https://www.redemptionbullies.com/
    https://thegorgeousdoodles.com/
    https://www.fluffyhavanese.com/
    https://thegorgeousragdolls.com/
    https://www.pomeranianpuppiesforsales.com/

    ReplyDelete
  28. you will need support or suggestions, write me privately.
    I interested in your implementation/use case.
    the best kera4d
    Togel2win

    ReplyDelete
  29. Great, The type of article you describe is exactly what I was looking for .Turkish visa Australia specifically for Australian citizens. With this visa an Australian visa applicant can easily visit in Turkish .

    ReplyDelete

  30. Poodle Dog Breed Information, Pictures, Characteristics & Facts, Poodle Guide: Toy, Miniature, Standard, Teacup, Shedding, Sizes of Poodles, Poodle Colors, Types of Poodle Coats, Poodle Mixes, nutrition and care, health
    Elegant. Proud. Clever. The Poodle is an impressive dog, as the many best-in-show winners from this dog breed can attest. But behind the blue ribbons, impressive hairdos, and regal attitude, you’ll find an affectionate family dog with an ancient history and many talents.

    Even though these are purebred dogs, you may find them in the care of shelters or rescue groups. Remember to adopt! Don’t shop if you want to bring a dog home.

    Poodles are regarded as one of the most intelligent breeds in the world. They’re highly trainable and well suited for just about any task you put them to — and you will want to give them tasks to do. Bored Poodles can get destructive if they aren’t physically and mentally stimulated. But active owners who can meet their dog’s needs will find a loving, smart, trainable, and loyal family companion.
    Poodle Dog Breed Information, Pictures, Characteristics & Facts, Poodle Guide: Toy, Miniature, Standard, Teacup, Shedding, Sizes of Poodles, Poodle Colors, Types of Poodle Coats, Poodle Mixes, nutrition and care, health

    ReplyDelete
  31. I've recently just acquired 3 catahoula males that I would like to train to be lion dogs, do you think I should make 1 the alpha of the 3 or just train them to be under me as alpha equally

    ReplyDelete