American Leopard Hound Breed Card

American Leopard Hound Breed Overview

Group

Hound Group

Height

21-27 inches tall

Breed Recognition

No

Weight

35-75 pounds

Country of Origin

Spain

Personality

Intelligent, Sociable, Energetic

Lifespan

12-15 years

Shedding

Moderate

American Leopard Hound History

The origin of the American Leopard Hound dog breed is largely unknown with stories of their arrival to the Americas dating back to the Spanish Conquistadors’ arrival in the new world. Some opinions state they were bred with a mixture of Spanish, French, English, Irish, and Scottish hound and herding breeds. Others suggest that the Conquistadors’ dogs were mixed with Mexican dogs and were later brought to the United States by settlers, where they continued to develop into the breed known today.

By the early 1700s, American Leopard Hounds had become established in eastern North Carolina. From there, it made its way west into Tennessee and Kentucky and, later, south into Texas and Oklahoma.

These days the dog is bred as an all-purpose tree dog breed more eager to please their owner than any other treeing and hunting hound. They are built to hunt and hold down games without taking damage and are gentle enough to be affectionate to young children, of which they tend to be very protective.

Cost âś…

COST LEVEL

Low End: $800

High End: $1000

American Leopard Hound Physical Traits

General Appearanceđź’ˇ

The American Leopard Hound is a large dog standing over two feet tall at the shoulder. It comes in a variety of colors and, depending on the coat color and whether or not they have the merle gene, they will have either brown or blue eyes. Their tail is strong and lengthy with a solid girth around the base and their legs are equally as long as their body. Their topline is level and capped by athletic and muscular legs that stride gracefully along the ground during a hunt.

The colors are many with this dog. Their dense double coat is stiff and straight on top but with a fine, wool-like undercoat that is uniform in length across the body. This coat sheds seasonally but it is not generally considered to be heavy shedding.

There is no breed standard for this scent hound but they have general characteristics that make them look like an American Leopard Hound. These are large, athletic dogs with large ears that droop to the bottom jaw. These help to stir up smells during a hunt, allowing the dog to remain on task throughout the journey. They have a medium build for a large dog and a long tail that trends upward toward the sky. Their legs are roughly as long as their body, making their height-to-length ratio almost even. This also gives the dog a level topline from tail to shoulders.

The mottled double coat of the American Leopard Hound has a smooth and stiff top coat of short hair and a fine, wooly undercoat. It lends their coat many colors such as black, gray, yellow, brown, blue, and any combination of the above. Their fur is short and stiff with moderate ability to shed. Their eyes can range from a dark brown, almost black, to a piercing blue framed by darker fur to further intensify the aesthetic.

Size & Weight ❤️

Height: 22-27 inches
Weight: 45-75 pounds

Height: 21-25 inches
Weight: 35-65 pounds

Coat & Color

Eye Color

Blue, Brown

Coat Color

Black, Blue, Brown, Gray, Red, Yellow

Coat Length

Short

Coat Texture

Smooth

American Leopard Hound Temperament and Personality

This is a friendly and personable hound dog. They are very eager to please their owners and always ready for the next adventure. They are fantastic with other dogs, although they still require socialization, and with small children, although they are energetic and should be supervised when around small children. Their size can pose an unintentional threat to the safety of the child should the dog get a little too excited and start playing rough. This energy also leads to a lot of barking as they require a ton of mental stimulation to be satisfied.

The American Leopard Hound is highly trainable and adaptable to any climate and environment, provided they have the right owner. These are very protective dogs, barking at the slightest of disturbances so you can rest knowing you have a great watchdog at your service.

Kid Friendly?

GOOD WITH KIDS

Bad Idea

Excellent Nanny

Yes, the American Leopard Hound is a kid-friendly dog. This is a fantastic family dog and they tend to like kids and often become protective over them.

Good with Other Pets?

GOOD WITH PETS

Bad Idea

Friendly Socialite

Yes, the American Leopard Hound is good with other pets. However, other pets should probably be kept to other dogs as these hunting dogs have a high prey drive and will not likely do well with pets like rats, ferrets, or cats.

Barks a Lot?

BARKING LEVEL

When Neccessary

Noise Maker

Yes, the American Leopard Hound is known for its excessive barking. Like many hound dog breeds, this dog is very watchful and will alert their human to any potential danger or hunting opportunity. The vocality of these dogs does not end at barking, however, as they are also known for their howling.

Can Be Left Alone?

LEFT ALONE

Likes Being Alone

Sepration Anxiety

Yes, the American Leopard Hound can be left alone. They can succumb to separation anxiety if training has not been a priority, especially in the early years. With some patience, though, these dogs can be left alone without fear of destructive behavior.

American Leopard Hound Training

Unlike many other hunting dog breeds, these hounds are eager to please their humans. Their ease of training helps to give them great versatility as well as they can be trained to perform nearly any sort of task. They require basic obedience training, like any dog, and specialized training can be done at the owner’s whim. 

These dogs do well with basic training but will likely require some training in quiet commands since they are known to be vocal. Heel and recall commands can also aid in making this a dog that is easy to live with. This will help to control their prey drive and get them to return to you in the event they charge after an animal. 

Since these dogs are so easily trained compared to their hound dog counterparts, they can be useful for tasks in many other aspects of life. From ranching to nosing to being a watchdog and guarding the house these dogs are well suited for the job. A softer touch and positive reinforcement will go a long way when it comes to training this dog and this will help to make your life a little easier.

American Leopard Hound Needs

The American Leopard Hound dog is easily trainable but still requires training to keep its barking and prey drive under control. Positive reinforcement and a firm hand is a must. Their high energy also requires that owners of the American Leopard Hound exercise them regularly and vigorously. A half-hour walk won’t cut it with these dogs, they were bred to hunt for days at a time in the rugged wilderness.

To support this activity they will need high-quality dog food. Whether it’s homemade or kibble, it should be high in protein and provide dogs with the energy they need for all-day activities. The food should also be specific to their age, size, and activity level to ensure you are getting the best outcome possible in your canine.

Grooming the American Leopard Hound is not difficult either. They only require occasional brushing and bathing and they are able to keep clean thanks to the oils on their fur that repel dirt. They do, however, have strong and fast-growing claws that will need to be trimmed regularly. Their ears should also be inspected on a regular basis to avoid the buildup of wax and debris that can pose the threat of ear infection or injury.

Nutritional Requirements

FOOD MOTIVATED

Picky Eater

Voracious Eater

A good dog food formulated for large-breed active dogs should be used to feed these dogs. They are very high energy and will require food full of nutrients, rather than fillers, to fuel their activity. Dog treats will also go a long way to training them as these dogs tend to be highly food-motivated.

Exercise & Activity Levels

ENERGY LEVEL

Couch Potato

Go-All-Day Stamina

This breed was bred for multi-day hunts, so they have the energy of a working dog. This high energy level means they have near-endless stamina. A daily walk will likely not be enough to satisfy this dog, instead intense daily exercise like running or hiking for long periods is best.

Grooming Needs

SHEDDING LEVEL

No Shedding

Shedding Machine

Shedding is low to moderate with the American Leopard Hound. They are known to shed seasonally and regular brushing should keep any shedding outside of that to a minimum.

American Leopard Hound Average Lifespan

The average life expectancy of the American Leopard Hound is 12-15 years. Although these dogs are generally healthy well into their later years, be aware of American Leopard Hound puppies that have been bred with two merle American Leopard Hounds. When two merle-colored dogs breed together the puppy inherits a gene that doubles their chance of being born with vision or hearing impairments. In many cases, this ends up in total blindness and deafness.

Commom Health Problems

  • Hip dysplasia: The degeneration of the hip socket. This is common in dogs but can lead to limited mobility, muscle atrophy, and arthritis.
  • Deafness: This can be caused by anything from trauma to infection but in dogs, it is most often inherited. Be especially diligent with double merle dogs as they are twice as likely to be born deaf.
  • Cryptorchidism: A condition in which one or both of the testes fail to descend from the abdomen into the scrotum. This can lead to infertility if it is not caught and remedied in the earlier stages of development.

Recommended Health Tests

  • Hip evaluation
  • Thyroid evaluation
  • Cardiac exam

Tips for New American Leopard Hound Owners

Being a responsible American Leopard Hound parent is challenging. To make parenting easier, follow these tips.

Tip 1

Buy only from a reputable breeder: A responsible breeder will have genetic tests done on their breeding stock to ensure they are healthy to minimize the risk of health issues in the future. They will also have documentation on the dog’s lineage and will begin obedience training before you pick up your new puppy.

Tip 2

Buy supplies ahead of time: Buying everything you need for dog ownership will make your new dog’s transition into your home easier and reduce much of the stress. This will also ensure you have everything you need when you need it so you aren’t caught unprepared in any event.

Tip 3

Train your dog early and often: It is important to train any dog as early as possible, regardless of breed. This will not only help you to teach the dog who is in charge and install a dynamic between you and your dog, but it will also help you bond with your dog. This will strengthen the relationship you have with them, thus making them loyal to and protective of you while also making them listen to you when needed.

Tip 4

Avoid double merle dogs: Good dog breeders won’t breed two merle-colored dogs together, but that doesn’t mean bad breeders can’t fool people into thinking the double merle dog is a good investment. Unfortunately, these dogs are born with a 1 in 4 chance of being blind or deaf and this can be avoided by reviewing the documentation from the breeders. If the breeder does not have documentation on this they should be avoided.

American Leopard Hound Similar Breeds

– Bluetick coonhound
– Catahoula leopard dog
– Mountain Cur
– Bloodhound

American Leopard Hound Supplies You Need

The American Leopard Hound is a large and vocal dog that is full of energy. This means you will need plenty of stimulating activities with which they can keep themselves entertained. High-quality dog food and dog treats are also a must-have. This will ensure the dog is receiving all of the nutrients it needs to support its large size and high energy demand. Dog treats also provide nutrients to dogs like protein and fiber, which is a bonus.

Dog toys may be required to keep the dog’s mind working. Things like puzzle toys and snuffle mats are great forms of mental stimulation and can help to make your dog more relaxed and less likely to bark or exhibit problem behavior. These are typically very healthy dogs but it never hurts to give them supplements for their joints, ears, and eyes, particularly if they are of the merle-coated variety.

Best Dog Beds for American Leopard Hounds

FurHaven Faux Fur Round Ultra Calming Donut Dog Bed

FurHaven Faux Fur Round Ultra Calming Donut Dog Bed

$32.99 Get it on Amazon
PetFusion Orthopedic Dog Bed

PetFusion Orthopedic Dog Bed

$119.95 Get it on Amazon

Best Dog Food for American Leopard Hounds

The Honest Kitchen Dehydrated Limited Ingredient Turkey

The Honest Kitchen Dehydrated Limited Ingredient Turkey

$114.99 Get 30% Off The Honest Kitchen
Open Farm Homestead Dry Dog Food

Open Farm Homestead Dry Dog Food

$25.99 Get it on Open Farm

Best Dog Supplements for American Leopard Hounds

Honest Paws Probiotics

Honest Paws Pre+ Probiotic

$24.95 Get it on Amazon
PetLab Co Joint Care Chews

PetLab Co. Joint Care Chews

$32.36 Get it on Amazon

American Leopard Hound Fun Facts

If you are thinking about getting an American Leopard Hound, here are some fun facts about the breed:

Fun Fact 1

This breed has many nicknames including American Leopard, American Leopard Cur, and Leopard Cur.

Fun Fact 2

Although the leopard hound has no breed standard through the AKC, it was recorded in the Foundation Stock Service in September of 2012.

Fun Fact 3

The feet of the American Leopard Hound are tougher than most dogs and more resilient to fatigue.

Fun Fact 4

Although this is not a purebred dog, it has been classified by the AKC as belonging to the hound dog group.

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