Catahoula Australian Shepherd Mix: Complete Guide

Catahoula Australian Shepherd Mix
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Many dog owners prefer having a hybrid canine breed over purebreds and one such interesting designer dog breed is the Catahoula Australian Shepherd Mix. Chances are if you see one, you may not have immediately guessed that it is a Catahoula Aussie Mix.

That’s because many may confused the Catahoula Australian Shepherd Mix with the Blue Heeler Australian Shepherd Mix since they both share some similar physical characteristics.

In this comprehensive guide, we’ll discuss everything you need to know about the Catahoula Australian Shepherd Mix, including who their parents are, their physical appearance and temperament, common health issues, and what you should be aware of before buying one from a breeder. Let’s begin!

Catahoula Australian Shepherd Mix: Breed overview

Crossbred or designer canines have seen a recent surge in popularity. These pups combine the best qualities of two or more breeds, appealing to fans of different types of canines. One such cross is the Louisiana Catahoula Leopard Dog Australian Shepherd mix.

The name may be a mouthful, but they also go by Catahoula Australian Shepherd Mix, Catahoula Cur Australian Shepherd Mix, Catahoula Aussie Mix, Catahoula Shepherd Mix, and other names.

Let’s have a quick overview of the pup.

Catahoula Australian Shepherd Mix
Purity Crossbred
PurposeCompanion/Herding dogs
AKC RecognitionNo
Size groupMedium-large
Weight40-80 pounds
Height18-24 inches
ColorsRed, blue, red, black, chocolate, yellow
PatternsMerle, brindle, solid, bicolor, tricolor
Child friendlinessHigh
Canine friendlinessAverage
Training difficultyEasy
Exercise needsVery high
Lifespan10-15 years
Puppy cost$400-$600

Catahoula Aussie Mix: Parent breeds

The Catahoula Aussie is a Catahoula Leopard Dog and Australian Shepherd mix.

Both parent breeds are hardworking, intelligent, and helpful canines that humans have used to herd livestock for centuries. Let’s look into the parent breeds of the Catahoula Cur Australian Shepherd Mix in a bit more detail.

Catahoula Leopard Dog + history 

Catahoula Mini Australian Shepherd
Catahoula Leopard Dog posing for the camera

The Catahoula Leopard Dog owes its title to its unique spotted coat pattern. They also go by the Catahoula Hog Dog because one of the tasks they excelled at was hunting wild hogs.

Another name you’ll frequently come across is the Catahoula Cur. Cur means a North American Hound that was used as a working dog.

When early French settlers arrived in Louisiana, they bred the Catahoula Leopard Dog by mixing pets they had brought along with native wolf dogs. The goal was to create an independent, intelligent, loyal, energetic, and hardworking canine to fit multiple roles. 

The Catahoula Leopard Dog is the state dog of Louisiana. They make excellent cattle herders, hunters, and guards and are very loyal to their families.

Australian Shepherd + history 

Catahoula Australian Shepherd Mix puppy
Australian Shepherd Dog walking in the forest

The Australian Shepherd was developed in the USA by mixing several Collies and Sheepdogs — many of which came from Australia and New Zealand.

Although their ancestors served humans for centuries since the 15th century, the modern Australian Shepherd was bred during the 19th century in California by Californian farmers.

American ranchers needed a multi-purpose canine that was good at herding and protecting livestock. They began to cross different breeds, creating an intelligent pup that could herd, provide protection, and even help with hunting. The Australian Shepherd has an excellent memory and frequently ranks high on intelligence tests.

An excellent cattle and sheepherder, the Aussie Shepherd successfully transitioned into the role of a companion dog. The canine was unknown outside the livestock industry, but they became immensely popular as pets once people saw how beautiful they are.

Their gorgeous coats and unique eyes made them stand out in conformation and beauty shows. Today, the Aussie Shepherd is among the top pet breeds in the USA.

ALSO READ: Rottweiler Aussie Mix (Complete Guide)

Catahoula Australian Shepherd Mix facts

The Catahoula Australian Shepherd Mix goes by multiple names, including the Catahoula Shepherd mix. However, this name can stir up some confusion as the name also refers to a Catahoula German Shepherd Mix. To avoid any confusion, we refer to them as the Catahoula Australian Shepherd Mix.

Some people also confuse them with the Australian Cattle Dog Catahoula Leopard Mix and call them a Catahoula Blue Heeler Australian Shepherd mix.

However, Australian Shepherds and Australian Cattle Dogs are separate breeds. The former was produced and used in the USA, while the latter was developed in Australia and served the Australian drovers.

You may be interested in: Australian Mountain Doodle – Complete Guide

Catahoula Australian Shepherd Mix physical appearance

The appearance of an Australian Shepherd and Catahoula mix depends on which parent he takes after. He can have the dense coat and pointy ears of an Australian Shepherd or the short, droopy ears and smooth coat of the Catahoula Leopard Dog. They can even have a mixture of these qualities.

The Catahoula Aussie stands out with his merle coloration, a patchy pattern we see in both his parent breeds. This pattern also affects the canine’s eyes, and they have pale blue and light brown eyes.

Catahoula Australian Shepherd Mix size, height, and weight 

The Catahoula Australian Shepherd Mix is a medium to medium-large canine, similar to his parents. Males are heavier, taller, and longer than females.

For prospective owners looking for a more compact option, there’s also the mini Australian Shepherd Catahoula mix. The Catahoula Mini Australian Shepherd comes from breeding the Catahoula Cur with a mini Australian Shepherd.

Here’s how big these pups get.

Catahoula Australian Shepherd Mix sizes

Male FemaleMiniature
Size groupMedium-largeMediumSmall-medium
Height20-24 inches18-21 inches14-18 inches
Weight60-80 pounds40-55 pounds30-60 pounds

Catahoula Aussie Mix coat colors

The Australian Shepherd and Catahoula Leopard Dog mix come in various unique coat colors like blue, red, chocolate, yellow-merle, blue-merle, red-merle, and white-merle.

They also come in more conventional coats like brindle, bi-color, tri-color, and solid.

The Australian Shepherd Catahoula Mix often carries the merle gene since both his parents have it. 

Similar mixed dog breed: Blue Heeler Australian Shepherd Mix (Complete Guide)

Australian Shepherd Catahoula Mix temperament and personality

The Australian Shepherd Catahoula dog mix is an intelligent yet stubborn canine. Shepherds and cattle dogs were bred to think independently without relying on constant human input. Such pups can be headstrong, and the same applies to the Catahoula Australian Shepherd Mix.

Owners who don’t like their pets acting too clingy would like this pooch.

The Catahoula Aussie is loyal, loving, and protective of his human family despite a slightly rebellious nature.  Thanks to his vigilant personality and alert nature, he also makes for an excellent guard dog.

This pooch is versatile and would excel in obedience, agility, search and rescue, therapy work, competitive obedience, flyball, barn hunting, cart pulling, herding, and other canine sports. 

Does Catahoula Aussie Mix make great family pets?

Yes, an Australian Shepherd Catahoula Mix will be an excellent addition to your family if you have energetic children that need an active playmate.

Although these pups are friendly towards children, owners would need to monitor their interaction with small children. That’s because the Catahoula Leopard Dog Aussie mix isn’t the most tolerant breed and can react if some kid bothers him too much.

These pups also carry herding traits and may subconsciously try to herd children and other pets. This can be a problem, but early training can eliminate it.

Catahoula Australian Shepherd Mix training

The question many readers would have at this point would be, “Are Catahoula Australian Shepherd Mixes easy to train?”

Since these pups come from two intelligent working breeds, training them would be easy with the right strategy. Training an Aussie Catahoula mix will require a firm and consistent approach with lots of rewards and tasty treats when he does something right.

It would be best to socialize him early in life, or he may develop behavioral issues like shyness, fearfulness,  anxiety, and aggression in certain situations (like meeting strangers). 

Check Out: Leash Training – How to Train Your Dog to Walk on a Leash

Catahoula Australian Shepherd Mix exercise requirement

Owners of the Catahoula Leopard Australian Shepherd mix should set aside 1.5 to 2 hours to play with their furbabies. Being a descendant of two hardworking and active breeds, the Australian Shepherd Catahoula Mix constantly looks for something to do.

That’s why they get antsy and destructive if they stay idle or cooped up for too long. Apartment dwellers will need to take these pups out at least twice a day to help them run around and deplete their energy stocks.

The best living condition for Catahoula Australian Shepherd Mix would be a relatively large house. They fare better in houses with large spaces and plenty of room to run around.

Catahoula Australian Shepherd Mix living conditions

As mentioned above, the ideal living conditions for the Catahoula Leopard and Australian Shepherd mix would be to have lots of space, kids to play with, and things to do.

These pups like having something to do at all times. Play with your Catahoula Australian Shepherd Mix as much as you can and don’t leave them alone for too long.

Have puzzles and toys available for them to occupy their mind when they get bored. A house with a yard will let your pet explore his surroundings on his own, burn energy in the process, and get plenty of fresh air.

If you do allow your canine companions to roam around in your backyard and don’t have a physical fence due to county zoning laws, installing a wireless dog fence is a good solution. This allows your dogs to freely roam your backyard and get their exercise and fresh air without escaping your yard and getting lost.

Catahoula Australian Shepherd Mix grooming and cleaning 

The Australian Shepherd Catahoula Leopard mix sheds moderately year-round. They also shed when seasons change, so brush them twice a week to remove dead hair and distribute skin’s natural oils evenly on the coat. Doing so will keep them looking shiny and fresh.

Bathe your Australian Shepherd Catahoula Mix only when necessary and use a canine-friendly mild shampoo. Check their ears monthly for excessive earwax buildup, and ensure dental hygiene by brushing their teeth every other day.

In between bathing sessions, you can use doggy wipes to clean your dog’s paws, coat, and skin. Below are two dog wipes we highly recommend since we use them on our two canine family members. These wipes keep them clean, moisturized, and smelling fresh after a long walk or hike.

Is a Catahoula Australian Shepherd Mix hypoallergenic?

No, the Catahoula Australian mix is a moderate shedder that sheds heavily during certain seasons. They also produce dander and saliva that trigger allergies, even though they don’t drool as much as other breeds. They may not trigger allergies in everyone, but those with heightened sensitivity to canines may experience reactions. 

WANT MORE INFORMATION? Check out Are Australian Shepherds Hypoallergenic? 15 Tips To Reduce Dog Allergy Around Your Home

Catahoula Australian Shepherd Mix food and diet

The Australian Shepherd Catahoula Mix does well on high-quality commercially prepared dry food. Always check the ingredients to make sure there’s enough protein and essential vitamins in their diet.

If you’re not sure or need advice, we highly recommend consulting your veterinarian about how much food should your furry friends eat every day according to their size, age, metabolism, and activity level.

Avoid feeding your Aussie Catahoula mix human food, table scraps, and food with sharp small bone fragments. Make sure he gets to digest his meal before you take him out for a walk or exercise. It’s best to prevent him from eating and drinking too much at once.

Related Article: French Bulldog Lifespan – How Long do Frenchies Live?

Catahoula Australian Shepherd Mix common health issues 

The Catahoula Australian Shepherd Mix is a generally healthy breed. As with most mixed-breed canines, they enjoy a higher quality of life and have a lower chance of inheriting congenital diseases.

However, they can be prone to certain health conditions.

1. Hip dysplasia 

Hip dysplasia is a genetic disease that weakens the hip joints and causes a lot of pain and agony. Pups with this condition have uneven gait, trouble standing up from a lying position, and difficulty going up or down the stairs.

2. Eye problems

Eye problems are frequent among breeds with the merle gene. Many pups are born partially or completely blind. They can also have missing or malformed eyes or conditions that lead to blindness later in their lives. This issue is higher in double merle puppies.

3. Deafness

The Australian Catahoula can inherit total or partial deafness from its parents. Again, the merle gene is responsible for these issues, and the chance of your pup being born deaf increases if both his parents are merle.

4. Bloat 

Bloat occurs when a canine’s stomach gets stuffed with food and gas. Left untreated, this condition can be fatal since the pressure compresses the pup’s vital organs.

The affected dogs will vomit repeatedly, look anxious with their tails tucked in, and have a swollen abdomen.

Handy Hint: The color and texture of your dog’s vomit can tell you a lot about why your dog is throwing up or not feeling well. Check out Dog Vomit Color Guide to find out what different vomit colors mean and be sure to bookmark it for future reference.

5. Hypothyroidism

Hypothyroidism is a condition wherein the thyroid gland doesn’t produce enough hormones like thyroxine and triiodothyronine to regulate the body’s metabolism.

Pups with this problem will be tired and weak even after sleeping. They may also have chronic ear infections, scanty or brittle fur, and weight gain despite not eating much.

6. Liver disease

Liver diseases refer to several conditions in which the liver fails to function normally and can’t break down toxins in the body. The pup may vomit, have diarrhea, become lethargic, lose his appetite, and have a lack of energy.

Catahoula Australian Shepherd Mix lifespan

There isn’t enough data on the Catahoula Australian Shepherd mix to say for sure how long they live. However, their parents can give us an estimate of how long the pup will live. You can expect your Australian Shepherd Catahoula Mix to live for 10 to 15 years.

Catahoula Australian Shepherd puppies

Catahoula Shepherd mix puppies can take after either parent and inherit the physical and temperamental traits of either breed. They’re smart like Australian Shepherds but still quite relaxed like Catahoula Leopard Dogs. As with all mixed breeds, Aussie Catahoula pups can come in any combination of traits.

However, it’s also possible for an Australian Shepherd Catahoula mix puppy to be totally different from his littermates.

Catahoula Aussie Mix Puppy Prices and Expenses

Buying a Catahoula Australian Shepherd Mix can set you back a modest $400 to $600. Some breeders can take advantage of the rarity and charge much higher for these pups, but mix breed pups generally cost less than purebred ones. Nevertheless, that’s only the upfront cost. Owning a pet comes with subsequent expenses.

When bringing a Catahoula Australian Shepherd Mix home, here is how much you need to invest:

Puppy cost$400-$600
Leash and collar$20-$50
Training classes$25-$300
Medical expenses$700-$2,000
Vaccination and supplements$200-$600

Catahoula Australian Shepherd Mix puppies for sale 

It can be challenging to find reputable breeders with Catahoula Australian Shepherd Mixes. The breed is fairly new, and breeders aren’t keen on producing crossbred pups.

Nevertheless, you can check breeders that sell Australian Shepherds or Catahoula Leopard Dogs and ask if they have any Catahoula Australian Shepherd Mix puppies available.

You can also check the following online resources.

AKC Marketplace

Although the AKC only deals with purebred dogs, the AKC Marketplace is a good place to find dog breeders from all over the country. The website has a huge network of breeders and pets for sale that you can search online.


PuppyFinder is another popular site that has thousands of adoptable pets across the United States, including purebreds and crossbreeds. You can list your own pet for sale here, too.

Lancaster Puppies

Lancaster Puppies has thousands of adoptable pets across the country on an easy-to-search database. You can also find purebreds and crossbreeds here.

Catahoula Leopard Dog Australian Shepherd Mix for sale 

Finding the Catahoula Leopard Australian Shepherd mix for sale isn’t going to be easy. The designer breed hasn’t been around for too long, and most breeders are reluctant to become known for making crossbred pups.

You can still find Catahoula Australian Shepherd mix for sale at the sites we mentioned above, or you can take the adoption route.

Catahoula Aussie Mix for adoption

Adoption is a very economical and noble way to get a loving pet. However, it’s very unlikely for you to find an Australian Shepherd Catahoula Mix up for adoption. You may check the following online resources to see if they have any Catahoula Aussies available.

Catahoula Rescue of New England

Catahoula Rescue of New England is a rescue organization that specializes in Catahoula Leopard Dogs. However, the group may have other pets available for adoption, depending on who they’re working with in your area.


Adopt-a-Pet is not specifically for Australian Shepherd Catahoula mix puppies, but you’ll likely find them up for adoption on this website.

Rescue Me!

Rescue Me! has thousands of domesticated animals up for adoption. On this site, you’ll probably find Catahoula Australian Shepherd Mixes listed under Catahoula Leopard Dogs, but it can still be a good place to start looking if you’re anywhere in the US.

Catahoula Australian Shepherd Mix rescues & shelters

You can adopt a Catahoula Australian Shepherd Mix from shelters and rescues, but be prepared to pay an adoption fee of $200 to $300. Some pet organizations can waive the charges, but don’t count on that happening too often.

They also charge other processing fees, including initial vaccination, medical tests, and spaying/neutering. These procedures can cost up to $100 to $1,000.

Is the Catahoula Australian Shepherd Mix right for me?

The Australian Shepherd Catahoula Mix is a loving and loyal companion. They’re smart, energetic, sporty, and playful canines that form strong bonds with their owner and their families.

Plus, they can be great watchdogs since they are vigilant around strangers or unfamiliar animals that approach your family.

However, they’re not that easily available, and there’s limited information on their behavior and health. If you think you can handle the Aussie Catahoula’s unpredictability, feel free to bring one home.

Frequently Asked Questions

Do Catahoula Aussie Mixes shed?

Yes, the Catahoula Australian Shepherd Mix sheds moderately all year and “blows out” his coat during the fall and spring seasons; they’ll shed more during this time.

Do Catahoula Aussie Mixes bark a lot?

The Catahoula Aussie is a low to moderate barker depending on which parent he takes after. You can minimize your pup’s barking by giving them adequate physical and mental stimulation and avoiding leaving them alone for a long period of time.

The information, including but not limited to, text, graphics, images and other material contained on this website are for informational purposes only. No material on this site is intended to be a substitute for professional veterinary advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your veterinarian or other qualified health care provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.