I'm going to be getting a dog soon, and I've been researching Catahoulas. I fall more and more in love with the breed. What made you decide on a Catahoula?
Bravo for putting in the research to find the best dog for your situation!
We knew that we didn’t need a dog to go fast. We just needed a dog that was capable of handling 15+ mile, multi-day excursions on rugged terrain. We were considering spitz breeds, but figured that a double coated dog would get too hot during long runs/hikes in non-winter weather.
So I looked at the Runner’s World running dog breeds list again and noticed Catahoulas are a recommended breed for long slow runs. I did more research and was impressed with their description - rugged, hard working, loyal, and affectionate.
… which, when looking at the “best running dogs”, all breeds start to sound the same - strong, athletic, energetic, versatile, able to go long distances, agile, great outdoor companion, etc. So in the end, it was all about balancing what we needed with the running-potential dogs that were available to us at the time. We actually met a number of dogs of different breeds and ages before Frankie, but she was the one that stole our hearts.
Bonus! We loved their history, the main theory (or “legend”) being that they are a 16th century Louisiana bred jambalaya of Native American dogs and red wolves with Hernando de Soto’s war dogs - greyhounds and mastiffs, making them “America’s oldest bred dog.”
Another bonus consideration was that Catahoulas are not fully registered with / “ruined by” the AKC and are generally primarily bred for temperament, work ethic, and ability over appearance.
Also, if you’re willing to come off anonymous, I could private message you to go into more detail about my experience so far!