Where Did The Natural Bobtail Trait Come From?
There is not a definitive answer to this question. It is almost as elusive as the actual origin of the Catahoula breed itself for which there has been a great deal of speculation over the decades.
What breeds went into the making of the purebred Catahoula that was first registered in 1951?
We will never know for sure. Traditionally, these dogs were handed down from father to son for
hunting or working livestock, but one thing is definite, our starting point is the other Cur breeds being developed at the same time, during the early 1900’s. The similarities in the traits and characteristics tell us that the Catahoula originated from this same type of stock and from the same areas in the southern United States. It is at this point in history - the beginnings of a true type breeding of the Catahoula that we know today - where you will find evidence of the bobtail trait.
The following purebred Cur breeds carry the same natural bobtail trait as the Catahoula -
Black Mouth Cur
Kemmer Stock Mountain Cur
Personal accounts from one of the first ARF Catahoula breeders, indicates evidence of the bobtail trait within the Catahoula Cur breed dating back as early as the 1930's. Mr. Vernon Traxler (Traxler Catahoulas), who was six at the time, reminisces of a trip to the Sandy Lake area of Jonesville, La. There he befriended a yellow/brindle bobtail cur pup belonging to the Indians. He was allowed to take that pup home and to the best of his recollection, the litter whelped by that female two years later, was the first bobtail litter that his father bred. Mr. Traxler continued to breed the bobtail traitin his own line of Catahoulas for many decades to come. He also interbred his dogs with the kennel of Mr. Kline Rushing, (Tophand Catahoulas - father of Betty Ann Eaves, founder of the NALC - National Association of Louisiana Catahoulas)
In 1951, the ARF - 'American Research Foundation', was the first to register the Catahoula Cur as a purebred. The bobtail dogs have always been included in their standard.
Although we may never know exactly where the bobtail trait came from, of this we can be certain - for as long as the Cur breeds have been developing into separate purebreds, the bobtail trait has been part of these dogs’ history. This trait should be preserved as much as the colour of their eyes,their leopard coats; and, their uncanny ability to bay hogs in the swamp, round up livestock in the brush and then tree a coon for supper that same evening. These are the traits that made this breed as we know it today and should be preserved for future generations!