Our Information to the Catahoula Leopard Canine vs the Blue Heeler


The Catahoula Leopard Canine is commonly mistaken for the Blue Heeler and, with regards to appears to be like, it’s simple to grasp why. Though each are members of the American Kennel Membership’s herding canine group, they’re, actually, two distinct breeds.

So, in case you are contemplating bringing both a Catahoula Leopard or a Heeler into your life, and may’t but determine, then learn on. In our Catahoula Leopard Canine vs Blue Heeler information, we discover the similarities in addition to variations between these two energetic, loyal, and clever breeds.

Origins of The Breeds

The primary main distinction between these two breeds is that they originate from completely different continents. Also called the Australian Cattle Canine or the Queensland Heeler, the Blue Heeler is from ‘the land down beneath’, whereas the Catahoula Leopard initially hails from america.

Earlier than we go deeper into the similarities and variations between these two working canine breeds, right here’s a bit of extra about their histories.

Historical past of the Catahoula Leopard Canine

Louisiana Catahoula Leopard dog lying down on the stairs

The official state canine of Louisiana, the Catahoula Leopard originates from the wolf canine saved by the area’s Native American tribes and the warfare canine owned by 18th Century Spanish and French settlers. They’re named Catahoula after a small village within the state. Initially used for rounding up cattle and pigs, the Catahoula Leopard Canine turned famend as a superb guarder and hunter.

The Louisiana Catahoula was formally acknowledged by the American Kennel Membership in 1996.

Historical past of the Blue Heeler

Australian Cattle Dog lying down in field

An Australian unique, the Blue Heeler is the results of crossing a wild Dingo with a blue merle Collie. A sort of Australian Cattle Canine, the Blue Heeler was initially bred to herd cattle within the outback, nipping on the herd’s heels to maintain them in line – therefore the heeler identify.

By 1840, this energetic breed was being extensively used as a working canine throughout New South Wales, due to its immense stamina and drive.

The Blue Heeler breed was acknowledged by the American Kennel Membership in 1980.

What’s The Distinction Between a Blue Heeler and a Catahoula?

At first look, the Catahoula Leopard and the Blue Heeler are remarkably comparable. However the distinctions between the 2 breeds are extra than simply appears to be like. Listed below are the important thing similarities and variations between the 2 breeds.


With their merle, flecked coats, and medium stocky construct, the Catahoula Leopard and the Heeler each completely painting a herding canine breed. However there are some variations in how they give the impression of being.

australian cattle dog (aka blue heeler)


The Catahoula Leopard Canine is the bigger of the 2 breeds, with an grownup male averaging out at round 90 kilos, in comparison with the 50 kilos seen in grownup Heelers. The Catahoula Leopard sometimes grows to round 24 inches tall, whereas the Heeler suggestions the tape measure at round 20.


As working canine, each breeds are constructed for stamina and endurance, in addition to working in troublesome environments and unpredictable climates. Which means they’re each sturdy and robust animals.  The Catahoula Leopard appears to be like a bit of extra athletic and muscular than the Australian Cattle Canine, who in flip, is stockier and extra compact.


A singular characteristic of the Catahoula Leopard is the webbing between the toes, which many canine develop to allow them to swim and run by way of the marshy wetlands of Louisiana. The breed can also be recognized for its floppy ears and lengthy tail, though that is typically bobtailed. One other uncommon characteristic is the eyes, that are blue or blueish white, and are referred to as marble glass eyes.

In the meantime, the Heeler has darkish eyes, offset by its massive, pointed, and erect ears and lengthy, downward-hanging tail. His physique form is longer than he’s tall, making a strong profile. In addition they have a robust, quick neck and broad, rounded heads for an amenable, but serious-looking face.


Each the Catahoula Leopard Canine and the Blue Heeler are low upkeep with regards to grooming. Nonetheless, they’re susceptible to bigger seasonal sheds which do want a bit of extra grooming administration.

Coat-wise, that is the place the 2 breeds are comparable, in each composition and coloring. With the Catahoula, the clue is within the identify with regards to coat sample as he has a noticed coat like a leopard. The coloring, nevertheless, means he additionally has a coat of many shades, typically mixing brindle with blue or crimson merle, or black and tan.  His double coat is often clean and quick to medium in size.

The Blue Heeler has a dense, waterproof coat in a colour that’s more true to a blue merle however with a definite blue mottled or speckled look. Different colours embody black or tan on the face, head, and legs.


As herding canine, each breeds are recognized for his or her intelligence in addition to their independence. And let’s not overlook the wanderlust potential! Each animals are additionally loyal and might be over-protective, which is why socialization and coaching are important.

Out of the 2, the Blue Heeler is taken into account essentially the most energetic whereas the Catahoula Leopard might be extra cussed with a stronger impartial streak. Each breeds want house to wander, which implies they don’t make good condominium canine.

beautiful catahoula leopard dog posing

Household Life

In case you are on the lookout for a household pet, each the Catahoula Leopard and the Australian Cattle Canine can match nicely into the house. However there are some key persona traits you might want to contemplate. Whereas not naturally aggressive, they’re herding animals and might be suspicious of strangers. And the blue heeler is understood to attempt to herd small children and animals by nipping at their heels.

And eventually, the even-tempered Catahoula Leopard Canine craves companionship greater than the Heeler, who in flip might be intensely devoted – and protecting – of their people.

Well being

As sturdy working canine, the Catahoula Leopard Canine and the Blue Heeler are each usually wholesome and durable breeds.

Life Expectancy

As medium-sized animals, you possibly can count on a great few years together with your Catahoula or Heeler. Nonetheless, on common the Blue Heeler in good well being can stay longer and so simply beats the Leopard canine with regards to longevity. The common lifespan for a Heeler is between 12 and 15 years, in comparison with a life expectancy of 10 to 14 years for the Catahoula Leopard.

Well being Points

Though robust and sturdy working animals, each breeds are recognized to be inclined to sure well being points.

The Catahoula

The Catahoula Leopard Canine breed might be susceptible to hip dysplasia, eye issues, congenital deafness (linked to the blue eyes and merle coat), and pores and skin most cancers.

The Blue Heeler

The Blue Heeler can also be inclined to hip dysplasia, elbow dysplasia, and congenital deafness.  Eye well being issues, and progressive retinal atrophy, particularly, are additionally recognized to probably have an effect on the breed.

adorable australian cattle dog puppy


With excessive power ranges in each working canine breeds, you have to to place within the train and playtime hours with each the Heeler and the Catahoula Leopard Canine. We’re speaking no less than 60 minutes of onerous train, lengthy walks, and bodily exercise every day. In addition they want loads of room to train, so are greatest suited to properties with an enormous backyard or simple every day entry to a big out of doors house.

Psychological Stimulation

With out enough common train, bodily actions, and psychological stimulation, each these energetic canine can grow to be bored, which might result in harmful habits. This implies an energetic household or residence life-style is the most suitable choice to maintain them joyful and content material.


With their excessive power ranges, intelligence, and, within the case of the Catahoula hound, a definite cussed streak, coaching from a pet is important. Total, the Australian Cattle Canine is the better of the 2 to coach however will nonetheless want endurance, in addition to constant dealing with, to convey out their greatest. And early socialization can even make a distinction.

To maintain your Catahoula Leopard Canine or Heeler’s consideration, it’s a good suggestion to maintain your coaching session quick to keep away from boredom and embody loads of clever in addition to bodily playtime. And, in case you are a much less skilled canine handler, working with a canine coach can also be a good suggestion to make sure your Catahoula or Heeler will get the right coaching.

Which One is Proper For You?

Though they have been initially bred as herding animals, each the Australian Cattle Canine and the Catahoula Leopard Canine could make a great companion canine. And if their personalities are allowed to return by way of, they will additionally make wonderful household pets. However there are some things to contemplate about every breed that could possibly be the deal-breaker when deciding if both one is best for you.

Each breeds will want a excessive quantity of train and loads of residence house, in addition to constant and efficient coaching. This implies whereas they are often very best for an energetic household, they’re greatest suited to extra skilled canine house owners. Nonetheless, for novice house owners, then Blue Heeler Canine are in all probability the higher breed to decide on.

Two Louisiana Catahoula puppies

The Catahoula and Heeler with Kids

In terms of being round youngsters, there’s little to separate the Blue Heeler and the Catahoula Leopard Canine. They’re each loving and affectionate and like to play, though they could be a little tough and hard so aren’t very best for smaller children. And the Heeler can have a behavior of making an attempt to herd youngsters, small animals, and different pets.

As working canine, the Catahoula Leopard Canine breed and the Australian Cattle Canine also can each be on the protecting facet and might be cautious of strangers, which new house owners want to concentrate on.

The Ultimate Phrase

In case you are contemplating both a Catahoula or a Blue Heeler, then with the appropriate coaching, socialization, residence surroundings, and psychological and bodily stimulation, both could make great lifelong canine mates. And it’s all these concerns that may assist you to to determine which breed is actually best for you.


  1. The Australian Cattle Canine – American Kennel Membership
  2. Catahoula Leopard Canine – American Kennel Membership


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here