The American Leopard, is one of the oldest tree dog breeds in the Americas. The breed was officially organized in 1960 with the formation of the American Leopard Cur Breeders Association. Along with many other strains of curs, the Leopard had it's foundation in the back hills, farms and deep woods of rural America. Some of the ancestry of the Leopards is known and some is not and there will always be a certain level of mystery concerning the complete history of the development of the Leopard breed. It has certainly provided a great many tree dog enthusiasts with an ample supply of enjoyment picking apart all of the old stories and leads concerning the ancestry and development of this fine breed of ours. For those of you who are doing some window shopping, the typical Leopard is a medium sized dog that moves a track with an open voice. Most Leopards run a track with above average speed and many run their tracks head-up whenever possible. The types of voices you'll hear from the Leopards vary at least as much as their coat colors. The average Leopard would seem like quite a smarty among the other six U.K.C. Coonhound breeds and that intelligence is one of their very best attributes.
American Leopard Breed Hound Standard
The American Leopard Hound is a powerful, agile tree dog of medium-to-large size. The body is just slightly longer than tall. Legs are long enough to allow the dog to move quickly and with agility in rough terrain. The head is broad, with a moderate stop and a heavy muzzle of moderate length. Ears are set high and drop. The tail is straight, set low, and may be any length. The coat is dense but close fitting. The American Leopard Hound should be evaluated as a hunting dog, and exaggerations or faults should be penalized in proportion to how much they interfere with the dog’s ability to hunt. Scars should neither be penalized nor regarded as proof of a dog’s working abilities.
The American Leopard Hound is an all-purpose tree dog, noted for stamina and the ability to withstand all extremes of temperature. This breed is noted for its extreme desire to please, which makes it an easy dog to train. They can handle a cold track and still be under the voice control of the
handler. They are open trailers with a very strong desire to stay on track. They excel in their ability to hold game at bay without getting injured. Although they have been bred and used for all varieties of small game, the American Leopard Hound is also outstanding on big game such as bear and cougar.
The head is large but proportionate to the size of the body. When viewed from the side, the muzzle is slightly shorter than the skull and they are joined by a definite stop. The planes of the top lines of the skull and muzzle lie in parallel planes.
SKULL - The skull is flat and broad, tapering in width slightly toward the muzzle. Cheeks are muscular and prominent.
MUZZLE - The muzzle is of medium length and well proportioned to the rest of the head. Lips are tight and darkly pigmented.
TEETH - The American Leopard Hound has a complete set of evenly spaced white teeth meeting in a scissors bite.
NOSE - Nose is black.
EYES - Eyes are nearly round and set wide apart. Eye color may be any shade of yellow or brown. Leopard spotted dogs may have one or both blue eyes or wall eyes. Eye rims are tight and darkly pigmented. The expression is soft and appealing.
EARS - Ears are drop, of short-to-medium length, wide at the base, and set high.
The neck is slightly arched, strong, very well muscled, and of moderate length. The neck gradually widens from the nape and blends smoothly into the shoulders.
Shoulders are well laid back. The upper arm is long and wide, and forms an apparent 90-degree angle with the shoulder blade.
FORELEGS - The forelegs are strong and straight, with large, round bones. The elbows are set close to the body, but able to move freely in action. The pasterns are short, powerful, straight and flexible.
A properly proportioned American Leopard is slightly longer than tall. Back is broad, strong, of moderate length, and level, blending into a muscular, slightly arched loin with slight to moderate tuck-up. The croup slopes gently to the set on of the tail. The ribs extend well back and are well sprung out from the spine, then curve down and inward to form a deep body. The brisket extends to the elbow. Viewed from the front, the chest between the forelegs is muscular and wide. This is a dog bred for stamina and faults should be penalized to the degree that they detract from that goal.
The hindquarters are strong and muscular. The bone, angulation, and musculature of the hindquarters are in balance with the forequarters.
HIND LEGS - The stifles are well bent, and the hocks are well let down. When the dog is standing, the short, strong rear pasterns are perpendicular to the ground, and when viewed from the rear they are parallel to one another.
The cat-like feet are of moderate size, round and compact, with well arched toes. Pads are large, tough, and well cushioned.
The tail is set on low and may be any length.
Coat is double and dense, but smooth. The outer coat is rough, and the undercoat is fine and wooly. This makes it possible for dogs to work in the thick underbrush for long periods of time after most dogs have given up.
Disqualifications: Excessively long hair, silky or wavy hair.
Leopard spotted; yellow; black (may have brindle or tan trim); brindle; red and blue or mouse color. Any of these may also have white points and a white collar. No more than one-third white is allowed.
Disqualification: Color that is more than one-third white. Albinism.
HEIGHT AND WEIGHT
Height at the withers for mature males is between 22 and 27 inches. For adult females, it is 21 to 25 inches. Mature males weigh between 45 and 75 pounds. Mature females weigh between 35 and 65 pounds. American Leopard are working dogs and should be presented in hard, muscular condition.
American Leopard Hound gait is smooth and effortless, with good reach of forequarters. Rear quarters have strong driving power, with hocks fully extending. Viewed from any position, legs turn neither in nor out, nor do feet cross or interfere with each other. As speed increases, feet tend to converge toward center line of balance.
Unilateral or bilateral cryptorchid. Viciousness or extreme shyness. Color that is more than one-third white. Albinism. Excessively long hair, silky or wavy hair. Deaf. Blind.
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