Tag: foxhound

The Catahoula Leopard Dog and the Foxhound: Jealous Much?

The Sage Leopard is a lifestyle blog primarily about cooking, but bear in mind it is named for a dog who thinks he is a prince. Today, Higgins reminded me I have always told him I love him more than anything, except he now notices I love someone else too.

That someone is Buster Tobias, our Catahoula Leopard Dog, who is at this writing is 50 pounds and counting. He’s nine months old and new aspects of his personality continue to emerge, including jealously.Catahoula Leopard dog in jealous repose.

As I pet Higgins on the love seat tonight, Buster first sat in disbelief and let out a protest howl. He then laid down and bore into my soul with the guilt-trip eyes. Higgins challenged me to stop giving him my undivided attention.

This dynamic might be part of the reason I’ve struggled to train them alone. Instead, my boyfriend and I took them to our favorite dog trainer. Higgins immediately knew his master from his boarding school days and Buster is so happy-go-lucky he had no idea what we were bringing him into. After a few visits, Buster started crying on the way to obedience training, even if training mostly amounts to heel, sit, stay and lay down.Foxhound-Catahoula mix lounging on couch.

The truth is Buster is not a fan of rules any more than Higgins is. When he first was learning to stay in lay-down mode, he started stretching out his back and front legs to inch forward with his paws.

His trainer was not letting him get away with it. Whining ensued. I think I caught Higgins laughing at Buster. The key to getting this training to stick was bringing Byron along so the four of us trained together. That’s when the hounds realized I was serious. Now they had two humans to follow.

Tonight when Byron got home, Buster had not immediately noticed because he was outside. When he came back in, I asked, “where’s Daddy” and Buster ran to the front door. When he eventually found his human daddy in the master bedroom, he wagged his tail and wholeheartedly greeted Byron.

This begins a night of relaxing and a cycle of habits: Higgins racing around the backyard looking for possums and barking like crazy, Buster climbing furniture to watch Higgins through windows and crying, and of course: Higgins and Buster vying for the role of top dog.

This Dog – How the Sage Leopard Took over My life

I’ve never met anyone quite like Higgins. When we first laid eyes on him at the pound he was a high-energy, playful puppy of 7 months. He was labeled as a cross between an English foxhound and a Catahoula Leopard Dog. I had no idea what a Catahoula was and supplemented my internet search knowledge by joining a variety of Facebook groups for Catahoula lovers.

IMG_5237In short, the breed is the official dog of the state of Louisiana. The stewards of the breed guard it and express concern that some Catahoulas are not living the life for which they came into being: hunting and working. Well, we’re working on it. For the record, I think he might be a cross between Catahoula and Beagle. He is only 40 pounds, which is much smaller than the typical Catahoula Leopard Dog, which is an amazing breed. Higgins is not purebred, but we consider him part Catahoula and he does have some traits: he has webbed paws, spots in his fur (within the white part of his patchwork markings) and incredible intelligence. As I type, he is crying at me to stop and go play with him. His vision is stunning. He can spot an owl up in a tree in darkness, a squirrel down the street and wood ducks in a high flyover formation. Sage Leopard dogThe challenge is for me to harness all his skills and prowess. When I initially got him, I thought he would make a great jogging partner. He soon started running, and running really fast. He actually pulled me down, jerked loose and ran to the bayou’s edge. Amazingly, he also came back when called. He exerted himself in a very bossy manner and refused to direction from the eldest dog in the house. She was beside herself that Higgins ignored her. He also seemed to ignore me or rather listen selectively. I grew up with golden retrievers who happily complied with every command, so I became exasperated and took him to a trainer with a two-week boarding program. After two weeks, I hadn’t heard anything and called to check on the dog.Catahoula dog mix The trainer informed me that there are rare occasions with some dogs that take longer to train. After about three weeks, he came home much more obedient, but not quite. Unfortunately, the incident followed. A lost dog was staying with us a little while and Higgins was very possessive of me. Higgins and I sat on the couch when Roscoe, a miniature schnauzer, sought attention from me. Higgins snarled and I moved toward him chiding him to stop. Big mistake. I should have stood up and commanded him to get off the couch. His snarl turned to snap and he caught my lower lip. He realized his mistake and ran outside to hide. It was bad enough for me to go to an urgent care to have it checked out. This led to my beloved hound being reported to the county pound where we originally got him. My vet referred us to a behavioral vet who guided us on more training. Higgins has become far more affectionate, reliant and obedient. I haven’t given up on him because I absolutely adore him. We wrap up most nights with Higgins on possum watch and me watching him. The possum crossings over our fence line provide endless entertainment for the dog and it warms my heart knowing he is happy at home with us. He is my best friend, my inspiration and my happiness. He has many nicknames: cutey booty, pound hound, bossy boots, punk and, of course, the Sage Leopard. Higgins dog

The Sage Leopard