The American Leopard Hound is one of the oldest breeds in America. The breed was developed for hunting and is known for its tracking abilities. One of the most distinctive features is their eyes, which can be blue, green, brown or amber. Dogs of this breed are versatile and loyal.
The breed has a medium size and an athletic build. Males can weigh between 20 and 34 kg, while females range between 16 and 29 kg. The height in males is between 56 and 68 cm and in females between 53 and 63.5 cm. Its life expectancy is 12 to 15 years and it is not recognized by the Fédération Cynologique Internationale (FCI).
Breed history in brief
The American Leopard Hound is one of the oldest breeds in America. The origin of the breed is still unclear, but two theories are proposed. First, it is proposed that the dogs brought to America by the Spanish conquistadors were crossed with native Mexican dogs before appearing in the United States where they would eventually develop. The second theory proposes that the breed developed in the southern United States through crossbreeding with Spanish, French, English, Irish and Scottish hounds and sheepdogs.
The breed has been bred for a variety of hunting tasks, such as tracking and charging. In the early 20th century, the breed declined in popularity and began to crossbreed with other breeds, until 1950, when the goal of re-establishing and promoting the pure breed was raised. Today, the American Leopard Hound remains an excellent choice for many hunters, although its affectionate and protective nature with children has increased its popularity as a companion animal in many families.
The American Leopard Hound breed has a body slightly longer than tall, with a broad, strong, medium length back. The head is broad with somewhat rounded, wide-set eyes. Eye color can range from yellow to brown, however, some dogs with specific coloration patterns may have one or both eyes blue. The ears are short to medium length, drooping, high set and broad at the base. The tail is straight, low set and variable in length.
The coat is dense and soft. It has two layers of fur, a fine, woolly undercoat and a rougher outer coat. The double coat allows it to work more agile in the thick undergrowth of hunting forests. The coloration of the coat can be diverse: leopard-colored spots, yellow, black or red and blue. They may also have white spots.
American Leopard Hound dogs are known for their loyalty, energy and affection. They are active and playful dogs, however, they require regular exercise and stimulation to avoid unwanted behavior. Therefore, this breed is a great companion for individuals or families with an active lifestyle.
Common health problems
As with other dog breeds, the American Leopard Hound can be prone to health problems. Some of the most common disorders and diseases are progressive retinal atrophy, hip dysplasia, cataracts and deafness.
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