Catahoula German Shepherd Mix: Pictures, Size, and Facts

When you breed a German shepherd dog and a Catahoula leopard dog, you get a Catahoula German shepherd mix. The hybrid shares some similarities with the parents but has a different appearance and temperament. For instance, a Catahoula German shepherd mix has only one coat, while German shepherds have two coats and Catahoulas have one. Their ears are also erect like those of the German shepherd. 

Catahoula German shepherd mix has short hair with various combinations of white, blue, black, brown, tan, and sable colors. It is similar in size to its parents, growing to 22-26 inches tall. Catahoula German shepherd mix takes about two years to mature, and they can live up to 14 years. 

Training the hybrid from an early age increases their socialization skills and makes them more protective, loyal, and intelligent. This guide will help you to distinguish the Catahoula German shepherd mix. You will also learn how to care for the hybrid dog and make them excel in almost any situation.

Catahoula and German Shepherd Mix Info

A  Catahoula german shepherd mix with blue and brown eye
A Catahoula german shepherd with blue and a brown eye

Catahoula german shepherd mix is not the most common dog breed but is gradually becoming more popular. Petfinder is one of the best places to adopt a Catahoula German shepherd mix. 

In this section, you will learn a brief history of the Catahoula German shepherd mix and some health issues to expect. Don’t worry about health issues. I will give you some tips to care for your hybrid dog and keep it healthy, happy, and friendly.

Here is what you need to know about Catahoula German shepherd mix info:

1. Breed information

Catahoula German shepherds give birth once a year to about ten puppies. Even the puppies born from the same dog are likely to look unique and distinct. They do not have the same appearance, but their appearance varies from hybrid to another. 

DNA results reveal that Catahoulas and German shepherds descended from wolves. Therefore, a Catahoula German shepherd mix is a versatile, playful, and intelligent dog. 

Their parents are extremely energetic hunting and herding dogs. Therefore, Catahoula and the German shepherd mix tend to be overly protective. The dog is known as a working dog. Experienced dog owners usually keep the crossbreed because of its energy. 

A Catahoula German shepherd mix obtains traits from either parent. The dog will look like the parent with the most dominant genes. 

For example, if the German Shepherd’s outstanding intelligence supersedes Catahoula’s average intelligence, their hybrid becomes very intelligent. However, some traits like coat color and pattern are usually derived from Catahoula’s genes. 

I will talk about their color and appearance shortly. But you understand where I am coming from. The coat of a Catahoula and German shepherd mix is always spotted and does not easily shed. However, I don’t recommend the Catahoula German shepherd mix for novices.

The dog interacts best with experienced dog owners.

2. Size

A Catahoular german shepherd by the river

Catahoula German shepherd mix grows nearly as tall as their parents. They are medium to large dogs that can grow between 22 – 26 inches tall and weigh anywhere from 50 to 90 pounds. The dog grows to its full size in 18 months.

It is essential to monitor your puppy’s weight because if it is underweight or overweight, the Catahoula German shepherd mix will need veterinary assistance. Feed the dog three to five cups of high-quality dog food for healthy and proportional growth and development.

Unlike the German shepherds, the Catahoula German shepherd mix is not fuzzy and fluffy. The hybrid dog has a medium-length coat and is a low shedder. However, you can notice some semblance of the German shepherd on the hybrid. 

They can adapt to any situation and environment. You need about $400-$1,000 to buy a Catahoula German shepherd puppy. However, I am pro-dog adoption. 

Dog adoption is essential to break the cycle of pet overpopulation. Most dogs desperately need shelter and adoption to live full and happy lives.

3. Temperament and family friendliness

I will classify Catahoula’s German Shepherd dog temperament according to their level of friendliness. How friendly are they, for example, to your family? Is a Catahoula German Shepherd dog child friendly? Is it stranger friendly?

Generally, Catahoulas and German shepherds are kid-friendly, but the latter is more child-friendly than the former. Therefore, their crossbreed is also child friendly. You can leave a Catahoula leopard dog at home with your kid and they will relate well.

A Catahoula German shepherd mix will constantly require mental stimulation. They are not as easy to teach as the German shepherds but they learn with significant ease as they are pretty intelligent.

You should train the crossbreed to lower its aggression against strangers. There are several ways to train Catahoula German shepherds how to socialize with humans. For instance, daily walks are key for making the dog comfortable around people and the environment around him.

Another tip for introducing the dog to a stranger is by feeding it close to a person and gradually reducing the distance between them until the stranger starts feeding your dog. It is worth noting that Catahoula German shepherds need regular exercise to release pent-up energy.

Otherwise, the dog can become destructive. Remember that the dog descends from the herding and hunting instincts of its parents. So it also needs significant physical stimulation.

Without releasing the built-in energy in its muscles, a Catahoula German shepherd will bite and chew materials like clothes, dig around your house, and bark excessively.

4. Color and appearance

A Catahoula German shepherd puppy

Catahoula German shepherds have a mix of at least two colors. The dog’s coat has leopard-like spots of either brown, black, white, or sable. The crossbreed’s coat color patterns can be brindle, patched, solid, or tricolor. 

However, one of the colors is usually more dominant than the other. Similarly, the dog’s ear can either be pointy or dropped depending on the dominant trait.

Distinguishing a Catahoula German shepherd mix from its parents is pretty simple. The first thing to look at is the dog’s coat. The crossbreed has short hair, a light coat, and leopard-like spots. Sometimes their right and left eye colors differ like the Catahoula leopard dog.

There is no standard eye color for Catahoula German shepherd dogs. Both or either eye could be amber, blue, brown, or green. Catahoula leopard dogs have short hair, which grows to a certain height and stops. That means they are low-shedding dogs compared to the German shepherds who grow hair throughout their lives and shed heavily.

5. Lifespan

If you care for a Catahoula German shepherd mix correctly, it can live up to 15 years. They are extremely active and agile dogs that excel with proper training. Catahoula and German shepherd mix will reach maturity at 18 months or two years. 

However, the crossbreed’s lifespan is particularly dependent on the dog’s diet, genetics, and environment among other things. Wash your Catahoula and German shepherd mix once every three or four months and give it high-quality nutrition.

A portion of food rich in proteins is essential to keep their energy up. You can boil the meat for Catahoula German shepherd puppies. Give the adults Diamond Naturals Large Breed Adult Chicken and Rice, Instinct Raw Boost with Real Duck, or Eagle Pack Power Adult Dog Food.

It is worth noting that the Catahoula German shepherd mix can face some severe health issues that can threaten its lifespan. Let’s look at some of the health issues below.

6. Health issues

A Catahoula german shepherd mix with a tumor on the wrist

Catahoula and German shepherd mix are instinctively hunters and herders. They need a large area to play and exercise to release their pent-up energy. That means they are more likely to pick up pests and parasites such as ticks and fleas from the field.

The blood-sucking and biting parasites are a major health risk to dogs. The parasites can cause severe itching and discomfort to your Catahoula German shepherd and even infect your dog. 

Other health issues you are most likely to face with a Catahoula German shepherd are hip dysplasia, bloat, cancer, and deafness. 

Note that the crossbreed is not a heavy shedding dog. If you notice any abnormality in the dog’s health and shedding, take it to the vet as soon as possible.


American Kennel Club. (2022). Catahoula Leopard Dog

Dreger, D. L., Hooser, B. N., Hughes, A. M., Ganesan, B., Donner, J., Anderson, H., … & Ekenstedt, K. J. (2019). True Colors: Commercially-acquired morphological genotypes reveal hidden allele variation among dog breeds, informing both trait ancestry and breed potential. PloS one, 14(10), e0223995.

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