6 Best Companion Dogs For A Catahoula Leopard Dog

best companion dogs for a catahoula

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It is a rewarding feeling to have a strong bond with your Catahoula Leopard Dog, especially since they can be such an independent character!

While you have built up this remarkable friendship, you may consider bringing a new canine pal into your family to provide that extra enrichment for your pup.

You’ll have to research the best companion dog to ensure that they’ll get along with one another because of the Catahoula’s serious and wary nature around new arrivals. However, if you find the right breed and follow the proper steps to introduce them, you should have a happy and energetic household!

So, what are some ideal breeds to look for to join your Catahoula Leopard Dog?

The best dog breeds for a Catahoula will be larger in size, energetic, intelligent, loyal, and tolerant of others. This includes Weimaraners, Golden Retrievers, Greyhounds, Spanish Water Dogs, and Coonhounds. Most breeds of a larger stature will work given your Catahoula is completely socialized and introduced properly to your new pup.

A Catahoula’s Temperament and Personality

Every individual dog varies in who they are based on their upbringing and past experiences, just like us humans. However, for dogs, you’ll notice trends in temperament and personality among that entire specific breed. Catahoula Leopard Dogs (also referred to as Louisiana Catahoula Dogs) are no different, and there are a few traits they are known for.

Before you decide to add a new furry friend to your pack, it is crucial to understand your individual Catahoula! We will also delve a bit deeper into some common character traits that are important to look for when finding your pup’s new best friend.

They Are Intelligent

A multitude of breeds was mixed when creating the Catahoula Leopard Dog, and this book does an excellent job of explaining the full history of how this intelligent breed came to be.

Your Catahoula pup’s ancestors originated in Louisiana and became a desired breed to have once the settlers realized their impressive ability to scent, track, and hunt down game, while also being able to herd cattle and hogs. While not only physically strenuous tasks, they also required intelligence in the dog to effectively fulfill those tasks.

Would you think a simple-minded dog could hunt down small prey in the swampy marshes of Louisiana or herd livestock to specific places?

Intelligence also shows itself in the Catahoula’s trainability.

Though intelligent dogs may know what you want them to learn, they feel smart enough to do what they want anyways. Luckily, our Catahoulas (when properly trained) will know you are the boss and utilize their intelligence for learning the tasks you give them. They’ll enjoy performing them for you and seeing their reward, and these tasks can become a hobby for you both.

Finding a breed that displays intelligence (mixed with more desire to please their owner) will be beneficial for your Catahoula as they can keep up with the training sessions and will constantly be wanting to learn more!

They Are Very Active & Need Mental Stimulation

Catahoula dogs require plenty of mental and physical stimulation in the form of interactive exercise (fetch or similar), playtime with treat puzzles, dog sports, or working on a farm herding or hunting with you. If you don’t own a farm, that is okay! Just be sure to go for hikes, jogging, cycling, or any other strenuous exercise to get your dog the activity it needs.

They are not indoor dogs and being left inside will cause them to relieve their boredom through destructive forces (which is never fun to come home to).

With a high energy level requiring 60-90 minutes of activity each day, you’ll want to get a dog that can keep up with this demand. Being able to run around and play together is one of the best forms of physical and mental stimulation that you can offer your pup, and it will be less likely you’ll find him trying to dig a hole through your carpet later on.

They Are Independent & Like Structure

The Catahoula Leopard Dog is a very independent breed, one that you wouldn’t expect to be glued to your hip at all times. They simply enjoy their alone time like the rest of us, and that’s understandable.

Breeds that are also more naturally independent may mesh better with your Catahoula as they will both feel comfortable doing their own thing. When they desire attention or get bored, they will have each other to turn to if not you!

Dependent dogs, though very possible to pair okay, have the chance to annoy your pup (if they are extra needy) and leave him turning assertive to protect his personal bubble.

Another factor to consider is that your Catahoula Leopard Dog thrives off of structure in the household. They may do their own thing but still know that you are the boss they come to and where they stand in the family. Tying into Catahoula’s history, they are used to orders, routines, and rules and can be a bit rigid with this.

An optimal breed to look for would be one with a similar mindset, as the two furry pals will keep each other in line, though it might leave you with two stubborn dogs.

Even a breed that can be more flexible and adaptable would be good to pair with your pup, as they may ease any nerves associated with a sudden change in the normal routine and can adapt to your Catahoula’s way of life.

They Are Loyal & Protective

Though independent and sometimes with an unwanted willful moment, Catahoula Leopard Dogs display strong loyalty to their loved ones and are one of the best protective breeds to have around.

People often mistake these pups for being aggressive, but rather they are assertive and show that through force. Even unsocialized individuals will do this purely out of self-defense!

They mean well, as they are just trying to protect whatever or whoever is being mistreated. This can include themselves, their family, their prized toy, or even their “special” area in the yard.

Take a look at this pup, Ranger, who adores his sticks during playtime and gives a great example of the breed’s high energy, goofy self, and protective habits all in one video (he would not give up his sticks easily!)

Because of their loyalty to your family’s safety, Catahoulas make marvelous watchdogs. You can rely on them to protect your family and yard all of the time. This is why you may see them sleep by the door, waiting to take down any danger that shows up!

Similar-minded breeds may take more time to introduce to your pup, as the protective nature might cause them both to be a bit wary in the beginning. With this said, guarding breeds would still be an excellent addition to your family, especially if you can train both of your pups to protect together!

You can still adopt a breed that isn’t the greatest in the guarding department, they will just have to be ok with the supporting role under your Catahoula.

It is also important to search for a loyal breed as that will help your Catahoula form a lifelong bond with the new canine pal. Loyalty is a strong bond that keeps the family together!

They Are Affectionate

People may worry that after talking about the protective and assertive nature of Catahoulas, they would be distant and cold, only wanting to protect and hunt. However, our little leopard mutts are extremely affectionate with their family and will become a big ball of ecstatic love when you come home!

A notable book I read discussed how research has shown dogs to exhibit love similarly to the ways humans do for one another; their brains have even been found to change, spiking in oxytocin levels when with their parents!

All breeds are capable of this, and they show more affection the more company and quality time you share.

Any breed you choose will give you all the love he has, but make sure you will be able to split your affection equally so your Catahoula doesn’t feel like he’s been pushed aside for the new arrival.

The Difference Between Male and Female

Temperament and personality are impacted not only by the breed of dog but also by gender. While gender isn’t normally a deciding factor in who the dog is, there are key differences that may make or break a peaceful household, particularly in the case of Catahoula Leopard Dogs.

Males are usually the problematic gender for the Catahoula breed, that is when faced with another male. They are known to be more protective over their territory and more assertive in defense of themselves (different from aggression). They also like to be the dominant ones in the room! And with their strong physique and larger body mass, this can make a situation dangerous rather quickly.

Females will (usually) shy away from new dogs and people. This wariness means they will be less assertive, though two females will still spell trouble as they have a protective streak in them. Think of girls’ stereotypical fights, and that’s what you’ll get with two female Catahoula Leopard Dogs- very catty.

An ideal scenario would be one neutered male and one spayed female to limit competition and maximize serenity in your home.

What Are The Best Companion Dogs For Catahoula Leopard Dogs?


If you are looking for an insanely active dog to keep your Catahoula busy, then a Weimaraner is your guy! These dogs not only play as much as they physically can in a day, but they also desire continuous mental stimulation. They can run forever and enjoy training sessions, so you would be able to train and exercise both pups together without fear of one tiring out sooner.

This breed is fearless and protective over its owner as well, giving you a dynamic duo watching over your family. And, a Weimaraner’s adaptability can allow him to adjust to the rigid schedules that your Catahoula prefers and settle in with less of a headache.

Golden Retriever

This breed is one of the most popular dogs out there, and it’s understandable why. They are affectionate, devoted to their family, very playful, and especially intelligent! Author Stanley Coren discussed his data findings in regard to intelligence in dog breeds, and he found that 167 judges determined the Golden Retriever to be in the top ten smartest dogs, specifically ranked number four!

Training will be a breeze, and their want to please you will influence your Catahoula Leopard Dog to do the same if he’s looking for a piece of reward too. You can exercise them and do mental stimulation activities together as they are relatively equal in these departments.

The Golden Retriever’s easy-going and friendly nature allows it to get along with almost any dog and will lessen the hesitation from your Catahoula. They will become best friends in no time!


A particularly lovey-dovey pet, the Greyhound feels most comfortable in a pack of pups or nearby their family. This group mentality makes them pretty adaptable and tolerant of other dogs, though they can still be quite independent.

Greyhounds (and the descendant Whippet) are known as the fastest dogs yet, and this high energy level will mix perfectly with your Catahoula! You can also make great memories training your Catahoula with a Greyhound, as both enjoy “brain workouts” that yield a yummy treat afterward.

Spanish Water Dog

This is a breed that deserves some more recognition, from their curly luscious coat to their overall personality. The Spanish Water Dog is part of the herding group of dogs, and with that prefers a list of tasks to do constantly to remain mentally stimulated. They are also highly active, intelligent, and eager to please in training. They can do pretty well with other dogs given enough time, but they will always adore the hand that feeds them the most!

Another interesting fact I like about them is their webbed feet, similar to a Catahoula Leopard Dog. This makes them great for swimming (hence the name), so you can feel confident in bringing the pair out for a day at the lake!


Black and Tan Coonhound

Coonhounds are a terrific option if you’re looking for a new companion for your pooch and each has its own set of personality traits. A Black and Tan Coonhound is less protective by nature which would minimize any territoriality issues caused between the two dogs. They are amazing with other dogs and very adaptable, giving your Catahoula the best chance to make a new friend.

While they enjoy a variety of puzzle games and training with their owners, you probably won’t see them running for miles, which is something to consider if your pup doesn’t get tuckered out easily.

American English Coonhound

Just as sweet and sociable as the Black and Tan Coonhound, the American English Coonhound will also get along splendidly with your pup. You’ll provide them with entertainment through training and toys. They have more energy than their counterparts, so they are more likely to keep up with a hyperactive Catahoula.

This breed of Coonhound is brave and adaptable which will give you the confidence you need to introduce your current fur baby to a new member of the pack!

What If I Want A Different Dog Breed?

If you aren’t interested in a breed on this list, that is okay! Other dog breeds can work as an addition to your family, but you need to consider a few factors: disposition, energy level, and size.

Choosing another breed can work as long as you understand your individual Catahoula Leopard Dog first and determine what may be the best fit for him. Some dogs just don’t like other dogs, while others take time to like a new dog (and others love them right away). Catahoulas are independent and need firm guidance, especially when bringing another dog into the home. A proper introduction is the best thing you can do for ideal results.

What About A Small Dog?

I would recommend getting a medium to large breed dog to bring home to your Catahoula. While it is entirely possible for you, it takes more patience and attention when trying to facilitate a meeting between a large breed and a small breed.

Smaller breeds may not work as Catahoulas have an instinctual prey drive, so they could get excited and think their friend is a snack instead. They could also assert their dominance over the small pup and guard resources, which could lead to anxiety for a small breed as they feel backed into a corner.

Since Catahoula Leopard Dogs like to play so frequently and let their energy out in a crazy fashion, it puts the smaller pup at risk. They might want to join in on the fun, but they are also more prone to injury during playtime. Some have frailer bones than other small dogs (a chihuahua versus a french bulldog), which could easily break during a game of wrestle.

Your Catahoula’s energy level will usually surpass that of a smaller breed, leaving him longing for more playtime. Just be sure to account for this difference in activity level and make sure your Catahoula still gets the exercise he needs each day, even if your new pooch wants you to come inside for some cuddles on the sofa!

Can I Get Another Catahoula Leopard Dog?

You can still get a second Catahoula to add to your family, that is if you can find another one! They are still relatively rare and only common in the southern United States. If you adopted one at a shelter, then it is unlikely you’ll find a second one there.

However, there are still plenty of shelters that end up with the beloved Catahoula Leopard Dog throughout the nation, so don’t be afraid to look online! This website lets you search for any kind of shelter pet you’d want and even specify your zip code. I have already found dozens of Catahoula mixes on there, including this lovebug, River:

Getting a puppy would make for a better situation than an adult because, for the most part, you can train it to behave how you’d like and its personality is largely dependent upon how it was raised. It will also be less threatening for your current Catahoula than bringing home an adult since the puppy doesn’t have the size, strength, or thoughts to be effectively dominant. However, it’s hard to beat the cost savings of adopting a Catahoula and the great feeling you get by saving a life.

Finding a reputable breeder that can sell you a Catahoula puppy might be your best bet if you can’t find a shelter pup first, but be willing to travel for it if you don’t already live in the southern states! Ensuring that the breeder has undergone genetic testing for the parent dogs will give you greater comfort in knowing that your new puppy won’t have health issues (blindness or deafness) associated with the Merle gene.

Can I Help My Catahoula Get Along With Another Dog?

The dog’s capability for learning and its’ natural intelligence will help you in his puppy stage for teaching your dog acceptable behaviors, establishing a routine, and the general laws of the land. This is where training your dog and setting rules are crucial, as a new arrival can spell problems for behavior later on!

You should socialize your puppy as much as possible and reward him every time a positive encounter occurs, whether it be with a human, a new place, or an animal. Make obedience commands common in the household to remind your Catahoula growing up that he must listen to you.

This will set you up for a higher chance of success when introducing a new dog to the clan (especially if your puppy is now an adult). You cannot expect an unsocialized Catahoula to be accepting of a new dog as they can be wary, defensive, and assertive around strangers!

Catahoula Leopard Dogs can be protective over their home and resources, since, well, they never had to share with another dog! Do your best to introduce the two on neutral territory, so your Catahoula doesn’t feel like he has to guard his territory. This will keep them on an even playing field and lessen the chance of the dogs feeling threatened by each other.

It will take time for your pup to adapt to a new situation, so don’t be discouraged by the lengthy process. The introduction is the most crucial step (behind socializing your dog) in the two pups getting along in the future. Be prepared to give lots of treats to both parties involved. It will be so worth it if you’re patient, I promise!

Be prepared to be consistent and proactive in training the two pups, and take the introduction slowly. Remember, the tortoise wins the race! It will be much better for the introduction to take time and have a happy household rather than throwing them together and dealing with behavioral problems that form.

Closing Thoughts

Catahoula Leopard Dogs can be stubborn just as much as they are goofy. While it is entirely possible for you to bring a new furry friend into your home, assess which breed will mix best with your pup based on shared characteristics. These 6 breeds are a great starting point when determining which dog you want to add to the family!

Be confident in yourself and the introduction process, and don’t worry if it takes longer than you expect. Prepare your Catahoula with plenty of socialization and obedience training, and this will help set you up for success.

Some Catahoulas may never get along with another dog and are better off in a single-dog household depending on their individual qualities and past experiences. Though if it works out, then you might just give your pup a new canine best friend!

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