Are Catahoulas Good Hunting Dogs? – Find Out The Truth!

Is it true that Catahoulas are good hunting dogs

How can I train my Catahoula to be a good hunting dog?

Are you looking for an answer to these questions?

If so, then read on as I will be providing you with factual answers which I am optimistic will cover everything you need to know about Catahoulas and hunting.


Are Catahoulas Good Hunting Dogs?

Yes, Catahoulas are good hunting dogs.

These smooth gaited and masculine dogs, when trained at an early age (4-6 months), make excellent hunting dogs.

What Makes A Catahoula A Good Hunting Dog?

Below are some of the qualities that make Catahoulas exceptional hunting dogs;

#Alert And Fast

Catahoula’s inherent ability to notice anything unusual around its environment and react positively make them excellent hunting dogs.

Thanks to their smooth gait and masculine body, these hounds are fast, prolific runners (can run 72 km per hour without stopping).


Catahoulas are not dependent on their owners. This means they can decisively make a hunting decision without their owners’ approval.

Something that makes hunting with them spontaneous and extremely enjoyable.

#Intellegent And Easy To Train

These superior dogs are pretty intelligent, making it easy to train them a number of hunting tricks and techniques.

#Energetic And Strong

Catahoulas are incredibly energetic and robust dogs.

They can withstand long hours of extreme pressure and extreme environmental conditions without being fatigued.


These 20-26-inch-tall hounds are fearless.

Their boldness is exhibited by the fact that they can hunt prey such as deer, bears, and even wild hogs, who are almost twice their size.

#Good Sense Of Smell

These workaholic hounds have an excellent sense of smell.

Something that is a must-have if a dog is to make a good hunting dog. They have the ability to air scent and ground scent.

#Low Tendency To Bark

Catahoulas rarely bark; they silently follow their prey with very minimal vocalization.

And when they do bark, be sure that they have secured their ‘target.’

#They Can Climb Trees

Yes, Catahoulas can climb trees. These hounds take their hunting skills to the next level.

They won’t hesitate to climb a tree if its prey climbs one.

Their long, sharp, and hard nails provide them with optimal grip and balance, thus making it easy for them to climb with swiftness and ease.

#Innately Hunters

If you have watched how Catahoulas herd cattle, you can attest that these hounds are innate hunters.

Catahoulas work in precision by circling their prey to keep it cornered, thus making it unable for it to escape while giving you the chance to hunt it down.

What Kind Of Hunting Are Catahoulas Used For?

Catahoulas are used for a number of different kinds of hunting, including big and small game hunting, active hunting, bird hunting, and active hunting.

Do Catahoulas Make Good Tracking Dogs?

Yes, Catahoulas make good tracking dogs. These hounds are both hot-nosed and cold-nosed hunting dogs.

Hot-nosed hunting dogs track fresh scents, that is, scents that have been laid about 1-2 hours before.

Cold-nosed hunting dogs track old scents, that is, scents that have been laid for at least 2 hours and above.

How Do I Train My Catahoula To Hunt?

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

Below is the complete guide on how you can efficiently and effectively train your Catahoula to become an unmatchable hunting dog;

#Establish What Exactly You Want It To Hunt For

Establishing what you exactly want your Catahoula to hunt for is of immense importance as it will help you structure its hunting training appropriately.

For instance, if you want your Catahoula to hunt for water game(s), then you will have to train it how to swim.

And since Catahoulas love water and are exceptional swimmers, this won’t be a challenging task for you.

And if you want your Catahoula to hunt for land games such as rabbits, deer, bears, or wild hogs, then you will have to structure its hunting training to be more land related.

That is, the training will be more focused on how to chase the prey and pin it down.

#Train It Basic Obedience And Advanced Commands

After establishing what exactly you want your Catahoula to hunt for, then you can proceed to teach it basic commands like sit, come, go, go, or go.

Repeat these commands until you are satisfied that your hound is conversant with them before training it complex commands like fetch, run or even attack.

If you are a newbie dog owner or you have never trained a hunting dog before, I strongly urge you to hire a pro and let them do it for you.

NOTE! Dogs, especially Catahoulas, tend to grasp their training very fast. This makes it hard to reverse the process.

So the moment you train your doggie to do something wrongly, chances are that’s how it will be performing the given task or maneuver.

#Improve Its Stamina

Stamina is of the essence for any hunting dog.

A Catahoula that has its stamina enhanced through proper training will always be mentally and physically alert while out in the field hunting.

Things that you can do to improve your Catahoula’s stamina include; Have it perform agility drills like jumping through tires or running through weaved poles.

Swimming, playing tug of war, scavenger hunting, dog puzzles are also other ways of enhancing your Catahoula’s physical and mental stamina.

Let the sessions be interactive for both of you. Provide in-between breaks to avoid boredom/monotony. Use treats to reward positive performance.

NOTE! Young Catahoulas have somewhat fragile bones, so it’s vital that you don’t overwhelm them to perform agility training or other physically strenuous activities.

Please wait until your puppy turns at least 8 months before introducing it to agility training.

Nutrition also plays a substantial role in determining your Catahoula’s overall stamina. Feed it a balanced dog diet from the moment you adopt it.

#Train It To Scent Track

Did you know that a dog can tell another’s animals’ gender through smell and know whether it’s aggressive, healthy, or diseased?

This is why it’s crucial that you train your Catahoula to hunt. You can do this by;

Dispersing its favorite treats in your backyard and letting it sniff around. Let it eat the treats each time it finds them. Do this for at least 2 weeks.

Make this session versatile by using a variety of scents.

Research conducted has shown that zinc particles significantly improve a dog’s smelling ability.

Supplementing your dog with zinc may improve its scent tracking abilities!

Extra tip; It’s crucial that you keep your dog’s nostrils clean and moistened for excellent scent tracking.

#Invest In Decoys And Use Them

At the trail’s end, place a decoy that resembles exactly what you want it to hunt for.

The decoys should be average in weight, dog-safe, resistant to tear and wear and most importantly, be as realistic as possible.

#Desensitize It To Noise

Suppose you are planning to hunt with a firearm; then it’s essential that you desensitize your Catahoula from noise.

Remember, a Catahoula’s can become hyper or anxious due to noise, so don’t startle it.

To achieve positive results, consider; Playing firearms sounds recordings to your dog at a minimal volume. Gradually increase the volume.

Do this for at least 1 week. If you feel your doggie can handle a firearm sound, then proceed to take the actual shots but do it a distance away from your dog.

Progressively minimize the distance between you and your Catahoula when taking the shots.

Only stop when your Catahoula can bravely withstand the sound of a gunshot without getting startled.

#Proof Its Training

Perform the hunting drills with your dog in different environments in order to prove its training.

Each time your dog achieves a hunting milestone, appreciate it by giving it high-value treats (not those used for scent tracking training).

#Invest In Hunting Gears And Equipment

After successfully training your Catahoula to become a guru at hunting, it’s wise that you invest in hunting gears and equipment for both you and your hound.

A dog’s leash, collar, vest, and lifejacket should be among your top things to purchase before going out for actual hunting session(s).


Are Catahoulas good hunting dogs?

Yes, Catahoulas make exceptional active, small, big, and bird hunting dogs, provided they are adequately trained in hunting skills at a young age.

These tree-climbing dogs alert, intelligent, independent, easy to train, bold, energetic and robust temperament contribute to their superior hunting skills.

They also have a superior sense of smell, which makes them unmatchable scent trackers.

If you want to train your dog to be good at hunting, please make sure that you;

Establish precisely what it is you want it to hunt for, sufficiently train it both basic and complex obedience commands, and also train it to scent track.

Use decoys and treats to make the training more effective. Progressively desensitize it from gunshot noise.

After successfully training, prove its training in different environments. Don’t forget to purchase hunting gear for your dog from a reputable pet store.

Authored By

Madeline Wright

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