How much does a Catahoula Leopard Dog cost?


How much does a Catahoula Leopard Dog cost?

Catahoula Leopard dogs are popular because of their merle coloring and guard dog qualities. They are decently inexpensive, especially compared to other working dogs of a similar size (such as English Shepherds). They are a newer breed that was bred in the USA for hunting purposes. Many hunters still breed and use them, which is why they are less expensive than other breeds. 

Generally, puppies are as little as $600 to $900 from a professional, registered breeder. Some may be more expensive at around $1,000, but these are typically dogs with competitive pedigrees. 

Of course, you also have to consider the average cost of expenses. For the first year, you should expect to pay about $3,000 on supplies and other gear. Because you’ll need a lot of startup gear for the first year, the price will lower substantially for the following years – probably to around $2,000.

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How much is a Catahoula Leopard dog?

The price of these dogs will depend primarily on where you get them from. Breeders are the most expensive option, but there is a reason for this. They put a lot of time and money into their puppies, which typically means that they are more expensive. 

Rescues and animal shelters commonly have these dogs, though adults are more common than puppies. Rescuing a dog is less expensive than adopting one and typically only costs a few hundred dollars. 

Sometimes, you may notice that these dogs are available on Craigslist or a similar marketplace. While they may be less expensive from these sources, there is typically a reason for this.

Catahoula Leopard Dog on the white background

Getting a puppy from Craigslist

Craigslist is often full of puppy listings. In some areas, Catahoula Leopard Dog litters are often advertised at a low price. They may be as low as $50 a puppy. However, these dogs are often cheap for a reason. 

Most of these litters are from puppy mills or backyard breeders. While backyard breeders mean well, they often don’t correctly health test or socialize their dogs. Therefore, they may be prone to both health and behavioral problems. 

Puppy mills are known for producing as many puppies as possible as cheaply as possible. This leads to lower levels of well-being for the dogs. Puppies typically aren’t socialized at all and usually don’t receive any healthcare either. Many of these dogs are separated from their mother when they are too young, leading to behavioral and health problems. 

Getting a puppy from a rescue

These dogs are prevalent where hunting is popular. They are commonly lost during hunting, which means that many may show up at your local animal shelter. 

While dogs from rescues have an unknown passed, they get proper vet care while at the rescue. If they have any underlying condition, they are often treated at the animal shelter.  Therefore, you can be reasonably sure that the dogs at the shelter are healthy – at least for now. 

Dogs at rescues typically cost anywhere from $50 to $300.

Getting a puppy from a breeder

Many breeders specialize in these canines. Some of them breed dogs for show, while others breed them for hunting. Either way, these puppies are usually more expensive because breeders put quite a bit of time into them. 

These puppies often get plenty of vet care and socialization. Therefore, they are more likely to adapt well to a new home, resulting in a more well-behaved puppy. Furthermore, they are usually less prone to health problems and have received some basic preventative care. 

These dogs usually cost around $600 to $900, depending on the breeder. This is extremely inexpensive compared to other breeds out there.

Costs of health test

Dogs from breeders are so much more expensive because their parents usually undergo health testing. This helps ensure that only the healthiest dogs are bred, which leads to healthier puppies. However, this can be pretty expensive. 

Usually, these dogs are tested for elbow and hip dysplasia at the very least. These conditions are a widespread problem among many dog breeds. This testing is done through x-rays so that it can be pretty expensive. Because both hip and elbow x-rays are both needed, the cost is typically around $500. Sedation may cost extra. 

Testing for hearing loss may be done on adult breeding pairs and puppies. This can be done at a very young age, so many breeders will test puppies before they put them out for adoption. This can cost anywhere from $50 to $200 a puppy, depending on local costs and litter discounts.

Annual costs of owning a Catahoula Leopard Dog

The annual costs of owning a Catahoula Leopard Dog will be highest the first year, as you’ll have to pay for many startup costs and supplies. Puppies will also need more medical care in the first year. The first year may cost as much as $3,000. This covers preventative care and similar issues, but not medical problems that your puppy may need to be treated for later. 

In the following years, you can expect to pay around $2,000.

Catahoula Leopard Dog and her puppy

Vet expenses

For your first year, you can expect to pay about $600 for your Catahoula Leopard puppy. This covers all your puppy’s necessary physical exams and vaccinations. You may also want to get your dog spayed or neutered, which will cost about $250. Some clinics will do it for much cheaper. Sometimes even for as cheap as $50. However, these typically have waiting lists of some sort. 

Adults will probably cost around $600 as well. While they only need one appointment, more things need to be done at this appointment. This also covers flea, tick, and heartworm prevention. As you might imagine, they’ll need higher dosages as they get older, which will make the cost go up. 

Food costs

For a growing puppy, you can expect to pay about $300 a year in food. Adults will be a bit more expensive at $450 simply because they eat more than puppies. While puppy food may be more expensive, the size of the Catahoula Leopard offsets this. 

This assumes that you’re purchasing a decently high-quality option with plenty of meat. Prescription diets will cost more, usually upwards of $600 for an adult, depending on the health condition that needs to be treated.

Training costs

Professional training is not required for most dogs of this breed. They are usually quite easy to train if you’re an experienced dog owner. However, getting them into some group classes is recommended for socialization purposes. This will cost as little as $100, depending on where you take your dog. This typically covers a few group sessions. 

Beyond this, you probably won’t need any more training unless your dog develops behavioral problems.


Factors influencing the price

The biggest thing influencing the price of these puppies is the pedigree. Dogs with better pedigrees are typically going to perform better in the show ring and while hunting. Therefore, they are more valuable. This doesn’t necessarily mean that they are better companion animals, of course. But breeders and hunters will typically pay more for them, which drives the price up. 

Some breeders charge extra for dogs with perfect coloring. Similar to Dalmatians, some types of spotting are more desirable than others in this breed.

Any medical care the dog has received will also raise the price. If the puppies have had their hearing tested, they will usually cost more. However, this may save you money down the line. Most breeders give their puppies their first shots, which will also lower your first-year vet bills. 

If the dog has received any training, then it will likely be more expensive. While all puppies receive some sort of socialization, extensive socialization may lead to the puppy costing more.

Catahoula Leopard puppy with bow

Price considerations

Be sure that you can budget for your dog before adopting them. These dogs may not be very expensive to adopt upfront. However, they will cost you a few thousand a years to take care of. They may cost even more if they have a health problem. Some health problems can cost thousands of dollars to treat effectively.

The bottom line

These dogs are very inexpensive to adopt. They are commonly at animal shelters and rescues, where they are often very inexpensive. Even adopting a puppy from a breeder is inexpensive. This is mostly because they are so common, which means that their supply and demand ratio is in a good place for buyers. It typically pushes the prices down. 

However, these dogs are just as expensive to take care of like other dogs. They will cost you thousands of dollars a year after accounting for all the necessary expenses.

Author: Kristin

Author: Kristin

Kristin was born in Tennessee and currently lives there with her husband and children. She is passionate about educating pet parents and helping them make the best possible decisions for their pets. She currently owns one dog, two cats, a lizard, and a variety of fish.