American Leopard Hound – Full Breed Profile

Written by: Bojana Radulovic
American Leopard Hound is a great breed for experienced dog owners. Check this guide to learn more about the breed's history, grooming needs, and personality traits.
Dog Breed Group:
Hound Dogs
21 to 27 Inches.
35 to 75 pounds.
Life Span:
12 to 15 years.

Breed Characteristics:

Apartment Friendly


How well will this breed adapt to apartment living? Is the apartment size the most important factor when it comes to proper living conditions? Is the breed suitable for apartment living?

Good For First-Time Owners


Some dogs aren't suitable for first-time dog owners. Is this breed a good match for someone with no dog experience? Can training help them be on their best behavior with owners with no dog experience? Are they suitable to be handled by someone who is just entering the canine world?

Overall Sensitivity


Some dogs are sensitive. Certain breeds are rough on the outside, while having the softest heart on the inside. In other words, some dogs are 'thick-skinned' while some are 'easygoing.' Is this breed prone to sensitivity?

Tolerates Being Alone


Separation anxiety in dogs is a serious condition that can affect a dog's life quality. Is this breed prone to this condition? Can you leave him alone for hours? How destructive this breed can become when bored, neglected, or not loved enough?

Affectionate With Family


How affectionate this breed will be around his humans? Will he welcome new family friends easily or he will choose to be shy? Some breeds can be clingy with owners, while others don't attach a lot. Will this breed act as the family's best friend?



Some dogs will tolerate children, while others will adore well-behaved ones. Dogs and children should always be supervised, no matter how well trained the dog might be. Will this breed act as a nanny dog or he will stay away from children?

Friendly Toward Other Dogs


Some dog breeds cannot wait to run to the dog park and run with others. Others prefer to be with their humans, and not to be a part of a multi-pet household. Is this breed dog lover or not? How friendly this breed will be toward other dogs?

Friendly Toward Strangers


Some dog breeds tend to be reserved toward strangers and highly suspicious. Others are fast to walk away with them easily. How welcoming this breed is toward strangers?

Drooling Level


If you love to clean all the time drooling level in dogs is a trait that you should mind. Is this breed less likely to drool, or you will always need a towel on hand?

Easy To Groom


Heavier shedding during the shedding season is something that every dog needs to go through. However, some dogs shed just a bit all year round. Is this breed one of them? How often should you groom this dog?

Overall Health


What can you expect from this breed in terms of health? Are there any genetic conditions to vary about? Is obesity a major issue in this breed? By knowing more about the dog's health, you are learning how to help him live a longer and healthier life.

Prone To Obesity


Treats are a great addition to training sessions. Dogs love sweet bites of dog treats but they should be served in moderation. Treats can lead to obesity, next to poor nutrition. Can this breed gain extra weight from treats? How prone to obesity this breed actually is?

Trainability Level


Training some dogs is easier than others. How easy this dog will be to train? What can you expect? Some dogs are huge people pleasers and they will master commands easily, while others will try to outsmart you.

Intelligence Level


Dogs are smart beings. We do our best to train them, but they do still end up training us to adapt to their needs. How intelligent is this breed? Will he try to outsmart you? Or he will need multiple training sessions to master basic commands?

Prey Drive


Dogs were bred for a specific purpose. Those who were bred to hunt have natural instincts to hunt, even today. This is why many dogs, like Terriers, will chase other animals. They will also have a hard time concentrating on your commands when there is something small moving. Is this breed prone to following his prey instincts?

Barking Level


How vocal this breed is? Can you expect neighbors to ring you often to calm your dog? Or you can sleep without worries of hearing your Fido bark? Some breeds are highly vocal, others have unusual sounds, and some are silent. Is this breed prone to barking?

Energy Level


Low-energy dogs are happy with regular walks and indoor chill times. High-energy dogs are always ready for action. Is this breed a couch potato, energetic dog, or somewhere in between?

Exercise Needs


Some dogs are more than happy with a slow stroll down the street. Others need hours of active time to stay happy and fit. Is this breed demanding in terms of exercise? How much exercise this breed needs to stay happy and healthy?

Playfulness Level


Some dogs never lose that puppy spirit, not even in their senior years. Others are more serious and prefer having a job to do. Is this breed demanding in terms of playfulness? Can you expect playfulness in their senior years as well?

American Leopard Hound is all American star when it comes to the canine world.

This is a purebred dog who has deep roots in Mexico. When this breed was first brought o the States, it was an instant hit.

People fell in love with this medium size dog of unusual appearance. Moreover, they loved these dogs for their soft nature, loyal personality, and all-around useful traits.

The American Leopard Hound goes by many names, including the Leopard Cur, American Leopard, and American Leopard Cur.

They may go by many names, but their traits won’t change. One of the biggest traits in this breed is the fact that they are a high-energy breed.

As such, they will need a fair amount of exercise to keep their energy in order.

Having a backyard would be great for this breed. They thrive on human companionship and will love spending every moment with them.

These dogs are a great choice for a household of any type, from single pet parents to large families with children.

If you want a family dog, this is a breed to think about. This is a breed to have if you want a great watchdog.

They will alarm you of any possible danger and this is something to take into consideration when it comes to choosing this breed.

Quick Facts

Real name: American Leopard Hound
Origin: States
Breed type: Hound Dogs
Weight: 35 to 75 pounds
Height: 21 to 27 Inches
Lifespan: 12 to 15 years
Litter Size: 5 – 8 puppies
Color: Yellow, black, red, brindle, mouse, red or blue
Coat: Dense and double coat

American Leopard Hound History

Did you know that American Leopard Hounds are among the oldest breeds in the States?

They may be the oldest, but their origin is still a bit of mystery. However, some facts about the breed’s history are known.

That’s how the world knows that American Leopard Hounds were brought to the New World by Spanish conquistadors.

All in all, this is indeed an old breed. Researchers claim that Spanish conquistadors played a huge role in breed development as well.

By the early 18th century, this breed has become established in eastern North Carolina.

From there, the breed’s popularity continued spreading to other countries, as well. Not much else is known about this breed.

The United Kennel Club officially recognized this breed in 1998, as the Leopard Cur.

In 2008, the UKC changed the name of the breed to American Leopard Hound. This was the only way for these dogs to participate in coonhound events.

Another big year for this breed was 2012 when the American Kennel Club placed this breed under its Foundation Stock Service.

As you may know already, this is the first step in full breed recognition.

Are you still interested in this breed? Make sure that you think about adoption first.

You may be surprised to learn how just how many purebreds can be found in shelters.

Plus, adopting a dog is always a humane thing to do.

American Leopard Hound Physical Appearance

American Leopard Hound is definitely a breed of unusual appearance. Not that they aren’t beautiful, it’s just that they are unusual.

They come in different colors with small spotted markings. Who doesn’t love seeing a spotted dog, right?

There aren’t strict standards when it comes to the breed’s appearance, but some general traits are easy to spot. That being said, there are only a few standards when it comes to the American Leopard Hounds.

What can you expect from this breed in terms of appearance? The very first thing that you can expect is that you will get a dog of medium to large size.

They commonly have between 35 to 75 pounds and height between 21 to 27 inches at the shoulder.

As expected, females are usually smaller than males, and many may be smaller or larger.

Their coat is what makes them stand out in the crowd. This breed has a splotched coat called merling.

The variety of colors is big, from red, grey, brindle, black, blue, and red. The coat is always short and dense.

His long legs are extremely strong, which enables them to easily climb trees. The feet are tough, the nose is dark and black in color.

However, a red merle American Leopard Hound can have a brown nose. Eyes are round only adding to that alert and soft look.

It’s rare, but some may have blue eyes.

American Leopard Hound Personality

American Leopard Hound is a goofy hound, who loves nothing more but to spend time with his humans.

He thrives in a safe and nurturing environment. They will always be protective of their family, especially children.

Still, children should be educated on how to behave around dogs. No matter how well they get along together, dogs and children should never be left without supervision.

Dog-related accidents happen during rough playtime. Children tend to see dogs as moving toys, which is why they feel free to pull their ears or tails, which puts dogs in stressful situations, and leads to sudden actions.

This is why children should know how to interact with dogs safely. Your American Leopard Hound will get along nicely with other dogs, although they should be introduced slowly and in a safe environment.

As an intelligent breed, this dog should be easy to train, as long as you have experience as a dog owner.

American Leopard Hound Traning

Training should start as soon as you bring your American Leopard Hound home. This breed is highly intelligent, and as such, they are quick learners.

It’s up to you to create training sessions that will be consistent, engaging, and fun.

Dogs get bored easily, especially dogs with more intense energy levels. It is always better to make training sessions short, but consistent, than extremely long and once in a week.

If you need extra help, think about puppy classes. A professional will help you create stronger training sessions and help you bond with your canine faster.

Plus, professional inputs on training can only help, and never harm, right? Before your American Leopard Hound arrives do the following:

  • Prepare toys
  • Have diverse treats
  • Have a dog bed or a crate
  • Have the right grooming tools
  • Learn about parasite control

American Leopard Hound Grooming

American Leopard Hound’s coat is commonly spotted. The main colors of this breed are black, brindle, yellow, red and blue, or grayish color.

They may also have white points or a white-collar. This breed always has a dense double coat, with the outer coat rough to touch.

The undercoat feels more woolly. All in all, this breed is easy to groom.

If you are not a fan of long brushing sessions, you are in luck.

A simple 20-minutes long brushing once a week, should keep their coat shiny, clean, and healthy.

The rest is basic care:

  • Clean ears regularly and know how to clean dog’s ears
  • Trim or grind nails monthly
  • Check ears and gums weekly

Bathe your dog only when it’s really needed. Dogs have different skin opposite to people, and they don’t need frequent bathing.

Even when they need a good bath, make sure that you use shampoo specially designed for dogs.

American Leopard Hound Health

American Leopard Hounds are commonly described as helahty dogs.

Like any other breed, they may develop certain health conditions over time, but that may happen due to several reasons.

As long as you provide proper care, high-quality food, and enough exercise, your American Leopard Hound should be fine.

If you want to be sure that you’re getting a healthy dog, you should only deal with responsible dog breeders.

This way you will get medical documentation on the puppy, show you the facilities, and even let you meet the bitch.

Plus, they will ask you a lot of questions, to make sure that you are a good fit for the puppy.

As soon as you bring your American Leopard Hound home you should take him to the vet’s office for a full check-up.

Prevention is the best way to keep your Fido healthy and provide a long life.

As for the health conditions that this breed may experience, you may expect to see:

  • Deafness
  • Blindness
  • Hip dysplasia

Once you get a dog you are directly responsible for his weight.

Obesity in dogs is on the rise and you don’t want your dog to be part of this rising trend.

Weight loss in dogs is possible, but it will demand more time, energy, and investment. Specially designed food will always cost more.

Is American Leopard Hound For You?

American Leopard Hound isn’t a breed for first time dog owners. They are active, independent, and stubborn from time to time.

They are a great choice for experienced dog owners who know their way with hounds.

If you have enough time to invest in training this breed, then this breed might be for you.

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