American Leopard Hound

Breed summary

American Leopard Hounds are medium to large all-purpose tree dogs and one of the oldest tree dog breeds in the United States. They are also known as the American Leopard, American Leopard Cur, and Leopard Cur. According to the United Kennel Club (UKC), their noses are black, brown or liver, depending on coat color. The eyes are round and wide-set, and come in shades of yellow or brown, but they can also have 1 or 2 blue eyes. The tapered ears are short to medium and set high on the head. Their feet are rounded and similar to those of a cat, and the low-set tail may be any length or docked for working dogs.

Country of Origin: USA

AKC Breed Popularity:

AKC Classification: Foundation Stock Service

UKC Classification: Scent-hound

Exercise Requirements: 40 minutes/day

Height: Female: 21-25 inches; Male: 22-27 inches

Weight: Female: 35-65 lbs.; Male: 45-75 lbs.

Physical traits: Medium to large sized, Compact, Powerful

Coat: Length: Short

Characteristics: Dense

Colors: Blue, black, mouse, red, yellow, brindle, with white or other color of spotting

Overall Grooming Needs: High

Personality traits/Temperament: Sociable, Energetic, Intelligent

Energy Level: Average

Tendency to Drool: Low

Tendency to Snore: Low

Tendency to Bark: Low

Tendency to Dig: Low

Social/Attention Needs: Low

Life Expectancy: 12-15 years


Most American Leopard Hounds are healthy dogs. Prospective American Leopard Hound owners should work with a responsible breeder, who can educate them about specific health concerns within the breed. Good breeders utilize genetic testing of their breeding stock to reduce the likelihood of disease in their puppies. The mating of two merle-colored American Leopards creates the possibility of puppies called double merles. These pups carry a much higher risk of being blind, deaf, or sight or hearing-impaired.


The American Leopard Hound should do well on high-quality dog food, whether commercially manufactured or home-prepared with your veterinarian’s supervision and approval. Any diet should be appropriate to the dog’s age (puppy, adult, or senior). Add a high quality multivitamin to complete the nutritional circle. Some dogs are prone to getting overweight, so watch your dog’s calorie consumption and weight level. Treats can be an important aid in training, but giving too many can cause obesity. Learn about which human foods are safe for dogs, and which are not. Check with your vet if you have any concerns about your dog’s weight or diet.


American Leopard Hounds are eager to please and, therefore, easy to train. Bred to be a hunting dog, they are known for their stamina, focus, and agility. As a scent-hound, they also tend to follow their nose and wander off, so it is important for them to be trained to listen and react to commands.


American Leopard Hounds are an energetic breed. Options for exercise include playtime in the backyard, preferably fenced, or walks several times a day. Exercise can also come in the form of indoor activities, like hide-and-seek, chasing a ball rolled along the floor, or teaching them new tricks. Training for dog sports like agility, obedience, and rally can also be a great way to give your dog exercise. As a hunting breed with energy to spare, American Leopards would do best as part of an active, rural family. Ensure to use paw balm to protect their feet.

Fun Fact

They were used to track and hunt small and large game, including bears and cougars.


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