Although there is still some debate as to how the Catahoula was developed, extensive
research has shown that the most likely scenario took over 150 years to come into being. It is
thought that some of the Spanish "war dogs" brought to the United States were injured
during conflicts with the Native Americans while in Louisiana and abandoned by Hernando de
Soto in the 16th century. These sick and injured animals were cared for by the Natives and
were allowed to run free where they interbred with the red wolf. These "war dogs" are
believed to have been the Mastiff and the Greyhound which produced a large wolf-dog that
the Natives used to hunt game. In the 18th century the Beauceron was introduced when
French settlers came to Louisiana. The Beauceron was crossed with the wolf-dog in an
attempt to create a breed more suitable for herding cattle in the swamps. Today the Catahoula
is one most versatile breeds of dog in existence.
The Greyhound is believed to have existed as early as
4,000 years ago and was held in high regard by hunters
Greyhound was only second in importance to that of a
mourning. These dogs were imported into Rome and
Greece most likely through trade with Egyptian merchants  
is believed to have existed as early as
The before 100 B.C.
later arrived in Europe only to be nearly wiped out during
the famine years. Protected and nearly wiped out during
the famine years. Protected and bred by European
clergymen, the Greyhound became hunting companions
for nobility.
In the 10th Century King Howel of Wales decreed that the killing of a Greyhound was
punishable by death and by the 11th Century King Canute of England had passed laws in
which only nobility was allowed to own a Greyhound. Commoners caught with any never
hunt again. During the Renaissance Coursing became the "sport of Queens" when Queen
Elizabeth had Thomas, Duke of Norfolk, draw up rules judging competitive races. Spaniards
brought Greyhounds to the new world and in the mid-1800's dogs were imorted in large
numbers to America from England and Ireland to help control Jackrabbits and Coyotes.
They became familiar sights on farms and ranches in Kansas, Missouri, Oklahoma, and
Texas and one of the first national coursing meets was held in Kansas in 1886. Over the
years Greyhounds have been used by the US Cavalry, farmers and hunters and have
remained a popular breed in America. You can see the Greyhound in Catahoulas that have
lean bodies and deep chests.
The Beauceron is believed to be descended  from a hardy
ancient canine known as the "Chien des Tourbieres" from
the  French Jura and was originally domesticated and
employed as larger game hunting dogs (bear, boar and
stag). It is from this background that they became adapted
to the tasks of flock guardian and herding dog. The
Beauceron's  role as esteemed companion and protector
is also recorded as royal portraiture, where they are
portrayed as companions to kings.
outside of France, as it is truly rare by any standard. At
present there are perhaps 7,000 in the world, Although the
The Mastiff is believed to have originated in Central Asia. It
is not known exactly how they developed or were bred but
what is known is that they are part of a group of large dogs
known as Mollosus which were used as war dogs not only
in ancient times but throughout history. They were
inported to Europe possibley by Phoenician traders and
were used for bear-baiting and dog fighting which were
popular activities in Britian during that time and through
the renaissance period. Romans used them to fight lions
and other African animals brought home from expeditions
and many were trained for protection and war and
European nobility kept Mastiffs to control illegal hunting
on their lands.
By the early 20th Century only a handful of Mastiffs still existed but was carefully restored by
introducing the short haired St. Bernard into the lines with positive results. Mastiffs are
known to have been brought to the Americas by Spanish explorers. Today you can see
some of the Mastiff's traits in the some Catahoulas through the shape of their heads,
brindling and breadth.
The Red Wolf is one of the rarest canid species and is one
of the most endangered animals in the world. It once
roamed throughout the Southeastern United
States.Aggressive predator control programs, hunting and
agriculturalization have combined to bring the red wolf
near to extinction, because it was thought to be a threat to
livestock.It is thought that its original distribution included
much of eastern North America, where Red Wolves were
found from Pennsylvania in the east, Florida in the south,
and Texas in the south-east. On the basis of further
study[citation needed], its historic range is now thought to
have extended further north into the northeastern USA and
extreme eastern Canada.
There are thought to be only 249 red wolves remaining in the world, and 200 of those reside
in captivity. It is believed that the dogs brought over from Europe intermixed with the Red
wolf which has helped contribute to some of the instictive traits we see in the Catahoula
today.
Houla History