Are Catahoulas Good Family Dogs? (Solved!)

The Catahoula is a unique breed that is loved for its loyalty and its beautiful look.

However, are Catahoulas good family dogs?

I’ll be answering this question in detail throughout this post.

Generally speaking, these dogs are friendly and do well in many different home settings.

But, you want to get all the information you can.

Especially before you bring this pet into your home. I’ll discuss the traits of this pet and whether they are a good family dog for you.

You’ll also learn how to introduce the Catahoula into your home and to your family.

So, keep reading to find out everything you need to know about the Catahoulas dog!


Are Catahoulas Good Family Dogs?

This is the first thing we need to talk about before we go any further on the topic of Catahoula dogs.

A lot of people wonder whether this large dog will do well with a family.

Luckily, Catahoulas are the perfect family dog!

They are extremely loyal and kind to the people that live with them. And these dogs are surprisingly great with children.

If you want a dog that will protect you and your family, I highly recommend this breed. Catahoulas love their families and are very protective, especially of children.

This is usually a good thing, but be mindful of their protectiveness when you bring strangers or new people around your home.

The Catahoulas won’t harm your family but they can get aggressive with other people. So, you want to socialize your dog early on. This way they won’t get overprotective.

In general, though, Catahoulas are great family dogs.

They have a lot to offer families and they are lovable and love to play and exercise with their families.

How to Introduce A New Catahoulas Dog to The Family?

Cataholula Leopard Dog by Nagygabornet (CC BY-SA 4.0)

So, you’ve learned that a Catahoulas dog is perfect for families, but how can you introduce this pet into your home.

Again, you are going to need to prepare yourself and your family.

Catahoulas are good family pets but they need training and the right kinds of attention to make them the best family pets for your home!

1. Be Patient

When you are introducing your new pet to your family, you want to be patient. Don’t overwhelm your dog right away.

Slowly introduce them to each member of your family in a neutral setting. I recommend bringing them to your living room or in your backyard.

Don’t crowd the dog and give them a chance to meet everyone at their own pace. Let your family get close to the dog at a gradual pace.

You should never drag your dog around or force them to interact with others. They will get used to living with your family they just need time.

2. Be Active With Them

Another great way to get your family used to your new dog is by playing with them. Since the Catahoulas are highly active, they will love to play with your family.

And they will need to spend a lot of time getting their energy out by exercising and walking with you.

You can use treats and toys to get your new pet out of its shell.

I also recommend letting your dog go on plenty of family walks this way they get used to everyone in the family faster.

The more active you are with them, the better they will behave and the sooner they will learn to love their new family.

3. Use a Barrier

When introducing your pet to younger children, you do want to be a little careful.

Catahoulas are good with kids and know how to be gentle. But when they are puppies they can get a little excited and clumsy.

I recommend getting a small gate when you first introduce your pet to your kids.

In addition, don’t let your kids run over to your pet. Instead, let your dog slowly make its way to your children.

You also always want to watch any interactions with your kids and your dog. Not that your Catahoulas will get aggressive, but they could be overly playful at first.

So, it’s best to watch them.

4. Set Up An Area For Your Pet

Catahoulas can be a little territorial so it’s good to set up a space for them. Put their food and water bowl down in a specific location.

Don’t let your kids or family mess with it. And let your dog know this is their area.

You can also put down a dog bed and some toys to make your pet more comfortable. Doing all of this will ensure that your pet feels safe and welcomed.

5. Use Treats and Diligently Train Them

In addition to making your dog feel welcomed with their own space, you want to take the time to train them.

In particular, use treats to reward your pet. If your dog doesn’t jump on you, stops barking, or does other good things give them a treat.

This will teach them how they should act in your home. At first, it will be a little hard training this energetic dog.

But as long as you take the time to really pay attention to their needs you can train your dog well.

Be consistent and don’t neglect training even if it gets tough. Be patient with your pet above all else though. This is not an easy breed to train.

I also recommend socializing with your dog early on.

You want them to learn how to be around other people and animals from a young age. Otherwise, this can lead to behavioral problems down the road.

If you take your dog to the dog park or invite friends and family over slowly.

This can teach your dog to be more social. Use caution as the Catahoulas can be a little territorial at first.

But in time they can learn to be more friendly and less wary of people and animals they don’t know.

Training and socializing your pet is a lot of work. But doing this will help your dog become closer to you and your family.

What Makes A Good Family Dog?

If you have a growing family, you want to get the right dog for your house.

Still, what makes a good family dog and how do you know that Catahoulas are a god family dog.

Here in this section, I’ll talk about the top traits of family dogs that you need to be on the lookout for.

This way you find the perfect pet for your home.

1. Good With Kids

The most important trait of a family dog has to do with your kids.

You can’t have a dog that is aggressive or violent with children, otherwise, they won’t make good family pets.

Families with children should be mindful of this and make sure to get a dog that is playful but gentle.

This way there are no accidents or incidents with your pet.

Luckily, the Catahoulas are great with kids and know how to play and share with smaller children.

But not every large dog will meet this criteria.

So, make sure to do some research if you plan on getting other dogs for your family. Also, make sure that your dog is okay with staying at home alone.

You’ll have to take care of your kids and bring them to after-school activities and other events.

So, you won’t be able to be with your pet all the time.

2. Friendly and Affectionate

Another important trait of family dogs is affection. You want a dog that will get along with your family well and show you a lot of love.

Aggressive dogs can be dangerous in a family environment.

And dealing with more aggressive dogs, especially ones that are violent with a family member can be dangerous.

So, this is why I recommend choosing a dog that is friendly and open with families.

Again, the Catahoulas is a great choice. It can be a little aggressive with people it doesn’t know.

But if you prepare and train them properly this shouldn’t be a big issue.

3. Smart

Not only do you want your dog to be loving, but they should also be smart. Dogs with higher intelligence are easier to train and integrate into your family.

You can also have a lot more fun with a smarter dog who knows how to play and even watch out for its family.

The Catahoulas also fall into the category of intelligent dogs.

They were bred to work on farms and protect their owners. So, they have a lot to offer your family in this regard.

They are smart and very loyal to their family.

4. Loyal and Protective

You don’t want your dog to get protective to the point of being totally aggressive. But a good family dog knows how to be loyal and guard their family.

Larger dog breeds can be great for families and help prevent danger. And if your dog is protective and loyal this can be even better for your family’s safety.

Really, a loyal dog is a must for any family. Not only will they want to please you. But they will do anything they can to keep your home happy and safe!

5. Plenty of Energy

Finally, you want your dog to be energetic and playful with your family.

A low-energy dog can be a great addition to your family depending on your family’s dynamic and personality.

Some people prefer dogs that are a little less active. But if you like to be active and go outside a lot then an energetic dog is a must.

Dogs with a lot of energy can occupy your children and be a lot of fun on trips and outdoor activities.

An energetic dog can also keep your family more active and healthy. So, keep this in mind.

Are Catahoulas Good For First Time Owners?

Unfortunately, while these dogs are great family pets, they are not ideal for first-time dog owners.

I would suggest going with a more laid-back breed if this is your first time owning a dog.

It’s not that these are bad pets, but they require a lot of specialized attention and training.

And if you haven’t dealt with dogs before this can be a bit overwhelming. It’s totally up to you what you decide.

But be prepared to commit a lot of time and energy to your Catahoulas dog. They need to be socialized and taken out to exercise a lot!

Are Catahoulas Good With Other Animals?

Finally, the Catahoulas are good with children and family members. But you might wonder if you can bring them into a home with other pets and animals.

In most cases, this won’t be a good idea. This is one of the downsides of these large dogs.

They don’t like other animals very much, especially dogs of the same gender. And they can get territorial and even hostile with other pets.

Socializing your dog with other pets early on can help. But I recommend not getting this dog if you have other dogs or plan on getting other pets.

As they don’t like to share their family or their things.


The Catahoula is a great family dog that has many positive points.

I talked about all the reasons why you should get this pet if you are looking for a family dog.

But remember that the Catahoulas do have some downsides.

I don’t recommend this dog if you don’t have the time or energy to commit to a highly athletic dog.

Also, if you don’t know how to train dogs, then this might not be the best choice for you either.

However, if you are experienced with dogs then this is a great family dog.

The Catahoulas are loyal, fun, and great with kids. And they are good guard dogs that will keep your family safe.

Read back over this post again if you still aren’t sure whether this is the family dog for you.

Authored By

Madeline Wright

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