Born and bred in Louisiana, in the United States, Catahoula Leopard Dogs are a complicated breed with a strong personality. They love being independent and enjoy having a job. They are playful, hard-working, and naturally protective of their family. Provided with proper socialization training, you’ll be able to raise a well-tempered and friendly dog in the comfort of your apartment.
Catahoula Leopard dogs are not suitable for apartments as they are highly active and require space to expend energy. However, if you’ve decided to adopt one, you need to understand their temperament and start training from a very young age. Let’s look at some training tips you can use to apartment train your Catahoula Leopard puppy.
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1. Schedule Play Times
Like any other dog, Catahoula Leopards love the outdoors. However, living in the city, in an apartment or a condo, greatly limits their ability to move around freely. Schedule your time and try to take your dog out for a stroll or to play in the park every day, if or whenever possible. That way, you’ll have a tidy house and a calm dog.
2. Work on Commands and Tricks
Train your dog to follow commands such as “Stay” and “Come.” That way, they’ll know when to stop if they slip out of their collar and run into oncoming traffic.
Training your dog to learn tricks also helps in developing respect and obedience. They learn from positive and negative consequences. Positive consequences mean that you reward them with treats, a new toy, or simply by petting and praising their good behavior.
Negative consequences, on the other hand, corrects their undesirable behaviors by not following a command. This includes using corrective words with an appropriate tone of voice and collars, hands, or the leash. Note that negative consequences do not mean abuse! All that’s needed is patience and time to help her catch up with you.
After all that, you’ll know your dog has come to respect you if she stops misbehaving upon a single command from you without expecting a treat.
3. Puppy or Dog-proof Your Apartment
Just like new parents baby-proof their home before the arrival of the baby, you need to do the same in the case of your new adopted dog. Since you’ve decided to adopt a pup or an adult Catahoula Leopard, here are few things you can do to dog-proof your apartment:
- Invest in a Dog Gate: Invest in a good retractable dog gate to keep your furry friend away from accessing dangerous areas or to keep her away from children. A dog gate also helps your pup to have a designated space for herself. This way you’ll only have to clean that particular area rather than cleaning the entire room over and over again.
- Block Access to Toilets: For dogs, the toilet seems to be a giant bowl of water. However, that bowl of water, especially if you’ve just cleaned it, can be harmful for your pup due to leftover chemicals and can make her really sick. So always remember to keep the toilet lids closed after using or just close the bathroom door once you’re done.
- Keep Food and Toxic Items Out of Reach: Food such as chocolates, fruits, berries, raisins, etc. can be harmful for your dog. Likewise, household items like cleaners, soaps, and detergents are equally toxic. Keep these locked up in a store room or inside a cabinet where your dog can’t reach.
- Stow or Encase Electrical Cables and Wires: Dogs are naturally inquisitive creatures. They’d love to play, taste and chew on everything they see. So before bringing your little pup home, make sure the electrical cords and wires are neatly tucked away out of reach so they can’t use them as chew toys.
You can also purchase or order cord boxes to neatly organize your cables in a box. Besides being good for your dog, it’ll also reduce visual clutter.
- Clear Out Crockeries and Expensive Items: Having a dog means you cannot keep glasses and plates on the counter or the tea table. Clear them out and stash them in cabinets so your crockeries and your dog is safe.
Catahoula Leopard puppies are relatively easy to train. If you’re bringing home a pup, start socializing training as soon as possible. Training your dog to socialize very early will make her a confident and friendly adult.
Dogs usually begin to develop their senses around three weeks of age. This is the window for your pup to learn from its surroundings, such as sights, sounds, smells, and sensations. This window closes when the dog is around 16 to 20 weeks old, so you should train them early on.
Start introducing your pup to people, take her outside for strolls every day, and allow her to meet up with other dogs and pups.
On the other hand, if you adopt an older Catahoula Leopard, set up play times with other dogs. Take her to the park every day to familiarize her with the surroundings. Have parties at your apartment inviting a few people at a time so as to not scare her. It’ll be slow, but eventually, she’ll open up.
5. Stay Clean & Tidy
Typically, dogs require grooming sessions once every week. This includes brushing hair, cleaning teeth, and bathing a few times a month. However, living in a small apartment with your dog means undesirable smells. Catahoula Leopards love the outdoors, which makes it necessary to bathe and scrub her frequently to avoid bad odor spreading around the apartment.
In addition, invest in tiles or vinyl flooring so you can clean up messes easily and quickly.
6. Set Boundaries
Dogs are adorable, no doubt about it! That does not mean they can invade your space. From the very beginning, train your dog to give you space. This will help in reducing separation anxiety when you leave your dog alone in the apartment to run an errand.
Set up boundaries! Your Catahoula Leopard needs to know that she has to eat and drink from her own bowl and sleep on her own bed. This is very important for your dog to build character and responsibility.
7. Provide Assurance
Dogs are sensitive to sounds, deafening sirens, and horns. Living in an apartment in the city means a lot of noise where their instinct to bark comes out.
Even if you live in a dog-friendly apartment, nobody likes excessive loud barking. Catahoula Leopards can hear sounds from miles away and instinctively begin their barking frenzy. When this happens, you can do deter it, is turn on loud music or a loud fan (if you plan on going out).
Other than that, when you see your dog panicking, hold her and let her look into your smiling face, which says the sound is friendly and non-threatening. Your facial features assure her that it’s normal for loud noises to pass by from time to time.
8. Give Them Jobs
A dog busy with work is a dog who causes less trouble. Keeping your Catahoula Leopard dog busy will spare you some time for you to complete other unfinished tasks.
They love learning new tricks, and you can teach them right at your apartment. You can tell her to hold on to a toy while you finish your dinner. You can ask her to get you the clothes on the floor when you do your laundry. Or you can teach them tricks such as playing dead, roll over, spin, and so on and try them out when sending an email. Giving them a job reinforces their role in the apartment and makes them behave at their best.
9. Potty Training
Potty training your Catahoula Leopard puppy in an apartment can be challenging. There are crates available for puppies to potty indoors. However, that isn’t possible with adults. In that case, you’ll need to watch out for body language signs that’ll indicate they want to potty. In any case, it is a good rule of thumb to create a routine. Fix a scheduled time, preferably when you take her to play outdoors, to relieve herself. Make sure you don’t change her diet and provide meals at the same time every day.
10. Accept the Unexpected
Even when you do everything right, there will be times when it’ll all go sideways. And that’s okay! Sometimes your Catahoula Leopard will accidentally have a potty mishap, broken items and sometimes require unexpected trips to the vet. You must remember to put your shoes back in the closet or put away the ceramic bowl. That doesn’t mean you’re a bad pet parent.
Training a new puppy or dog, especially in an apartment, is no easy task. Catahoula Leopard dogs are quick, intelligent, and highly energetic. They require constant physical and mental stimulation daily to keep them satisfied and happy. Schedule outdoor playtimes, introduce new people, and set limitations to raise them as friendly adult dogs. And no matter what happens, just like in the case of a baby, expect and accept the unexpected.
Source: Source of image Freepik