If you are looking for a dog that loves every stranger it meets, the Catahoula Leopard Dog is not the breed for you. Catahoula Leopard Dogs can get extremely aggressive with strangers. If not, they will definitely shy away from unfamiliar faces. They may act afraid, shake or back away. They may perceive strangers as a threat and act accordingly. They may scratch and bite.
Catahoula Leopard Dogs are better off in rural areas, where they don't come across many people. They love to run and play in grassy fields. If you live in the suburbs, it's best not to purchase or adopt a Catahoula Leopard Dog. They don't enjoy walking through busy neighborhoods. Cars and strange sounds frighten them.
If you do have a Catahoula Leopard Dog in the suburbs, walk the dog when the neighbors are tucked away inside. Otherwise, the dog could be a liability. It's really best to avoid the situation altogether.
If your dog is going to meet someone new, say a family member or friend, allow them to adjust at their own pace. Don't push the dog on strangers. They need to warm up to people, not the other way around. Introduce someone new slowly. Let the dog adjust in its own time. This may take some sniffing and a lot of patience.
Catahoula Leopard dogs will adjust to children within the family if properly socialized. Still, they will require extra supervision. They may respond negatively to a child's unpredictability. So, watch them at all times. Also, explain to your child not to jump at or startle the dog. Have them approach the dog in a calm manner.
Catahoula Leopard Dogs may behave aggressively toward children outside the family. Strange children, especially small children, may frighten the dog. So, if your child has a playmate over, it's best to separate the dog from the children. In this case, supervision may not be sufficient. Put the dog outside or in another room.
If a Catahoula Leopard Dog is brought into a home as a puppy, the animal will adjust quicker. This is a loving but strong breed with distinct personality traits. They will require obedience training. Owners should expect stubbornness. Group training is discouraged. If possible, bring a trainer to the home or train the dog yourself.
As puppies, they are less timid but around age two, they develop a fondness for the familiar. They become territorial and will fiercely protect their families. They will alert the family if a stranger is present. Remember, they will react aggressively if needed. If you don't want them to consider a person a threat, be sure and show them you are okay with the person. Then, separate them from the new person until they calm down.