The American Leopard Hound is a very intelligent breed of hound. They are one of the oldest tree dog breeds in the US and have extremely strong tracking abilities. The origin of the breed is unknown, but those that have done research on the breed believe that dogs brought over by the Spanish conquistadors may have played a role in the breed development. Others contend that the breed’s entire development took place within the southern United States from a mixture of Spanish, French, English, Irish, and Scottish hound and herding breeds.
By the 18th century the Leopard hound was well established in eastern North Carolina, from there it spread to Kentucky, Tennessee, Texas and Oklahoma.
During the early 20th century the breed began to decline and so breeders started crossing breeding, by 1950 it was difficult to find a pure bred Leopard hound. Recognizing this J. Richard McDuffie, Leroy E. Smith, and A.W. Carter, began searching for examples of the breed. Meeting in 1960, these three men established the American Leopard Cur Breeders Association (ALCBA) to establish and promote the breed.
The American Leopard Hound has been recorded in the Foundation Stock Services since September 19, 2012. It has also been assigned the Hound Group Designation.
The Leopard Hound comes in 3 different patterns: solid, leopard (or merle) and brindle. 60% of all leopard hounds are a solid color, but they have up to 9 different recognized colors and a variety of different markings. The American Leopard was officially organized and named the American Leopard Cur in 1960, but changed by the breed club members to the American Leopard Hound on May 1, 2008, years before coming to the American Kennel Club. They are an especially tough breed that can hunt in many different terrains and weather, after a wide range of tree minded game like raccoons, bear, cougar and squirrel. Their feet are much tougher than other breeds of dogs and tend to not get sore. They have an intense drive to please their handlers, thus making them a very easy dog to train. They are also unsurpassed in their ability to fight and hold game at bay without getting hurt and at home they are extremely loving, loyal and very protective of children.