About This Book

"Catahoula Coat Color Genetics - Painting The Canvas"
By: Mary Langevin
Copyright 2016

A detailed analysis of all the coat colors and patterns known to express in the Catahoula breed.

Book Cover -
Designed By: John Rice
Background of the cover photo is a picture of Catahoula Lake taken by Dr. Bobby Fields, DVM and submitted by Renee Jackson.


Plain and simply put - canine color genetics are complicated with one gene depending on another and another to determine the final outcome of the color and pattern of the dog. There is nothing simple about the subject. It is abounding with long and complex scientific words that most of us can barely pronounce, never mind spell and explain in everyday language. Internet searches for information will provide you with hundreds of sites full of these words and information laid out in such a manner that unless you already have some knowledge on the genetic inheritance of the colors involved, not too much of it makes sense. You may also source outdated information and just when you think you might be getting the hang of it, you find out that there are newer findings available and what you've just spent the past hour trying to grasp is obsolete. Even more frustrating are some of the unexplained color expressions that, as of yet, science cannot clarify. You'll find many different theories that claim to be the legitimate one and assumptions that are presented as near fact.

I am not a geneticist nor do I have any degrees in the field of biology or any of the sciences for that matter. I can't really even pronounce the majority of the words I'm going to do my best NOT to use in this book. The idea for documenting all the colors and patterns in our breed came from Renee Jackson, a fifth generation Catahoula breeder. Renee is currently working on her new book, "Catahoula, the Native's Perspective." When she approached me to write a chapter on color genetics for her book, I accepted the challenge. Some colors are easily recognized in our breed and others are not so straightforward. There had already been quite a bit of Merle testing done by our fellow European owners and breeders but very little testing done on other colors. So began an amazing journey into the world of our breed's color genome. Piebald testing became the main focus and then onto verifying the presence of the more obscure colors. It became apparent that there was more information and photos to share than what a single chapter could accommodate and the project became a book in its own right.

About The Author

In 1996, I began my own journey into the world of Catahoulas. In 1998, I had a black leopard female whelp some interesting looking yellow, spotted and striped pups. She produced these pups no matter which of three different males she was bred to. I know now that these interestingly colored pups are genetically "Sable, Brindle Merles."

But where did it come from??

The dam herself was a plain looking leopard with not even a hint of trim to add some color to her. What follows in this book will be the answer to a question I pondered 18 years ago, as well as many more answers to the question that most breeders ask themselves at one time or another.

"Where did this pup come from?"

Note - The Catahoula is a working/hunting breed and should always be bred as such.
This book in no way should be viewed as a way to create a "colorful" dog.

~Ernst Heizmann~