Training a Catahoula on sheep gets me side-eye because Catahoulas are supposed to be too header-y/rough/their instinct isn't real herding drive they really just want to kill things because hawg dawg so tuff/other things that haven't proven true so far. (The feedback we got today was that we're "almost there" in terms of usability as a chore dog so I'm taking that as a sign that I'm not totally delusional, especially considering we've only been to like 8-12 lessons with 1-2 week long gaps in between, and don't have stock other than ducks at home, and I'm a stock dog handling noob that he has to put up with.)
Mentioning that a dog's biases toward the known Catahoula working style (rather broadstroke and forceful by herding dog standards, really) means more work training for trials than might otherwise be true gets me side-eye.
There's a median perspective, I think? Like yes, trained in the standard style with a sufficiently dedicated and knowledgeable handler many Catahoulas undoubtedly have what it takes to make pretty decent herding dogs even for smaller stock. Most of the people I've met saying otherwise are either Catahoula people that know hog hunting but have relatively little serious herding experience or herding dog people attached to another breed to the point of elitism. And most of the people I know that have tried Catahoulas on sheep with
concentrated sheep-oriented training methods have had noticeable success, not that I know too many at all...
But as proud of my dog as I am right now (I am), I really don't think the average working bred Catahoula and the average working bred BC, handled by the same expert handler, are probably
going to be climbing through AKC/AHBA/whatever titles at the same pace. Trials have their values, which tend to make sense in the context of competition especially, and they favor dogs with a more precise and lighter touch in general. And on top of that they take place in venues that may put easily overstimulated or territorial dogs at a disadvantage in a way that doesn't apply on their own farm. It's not an insult to the breed to point those things out: the "cur way" of doing things has some benefits, they just aren't as likely to shine fully in an all-breed competition ring. It's also not a reason to cop out of compensatory training, just recognition of the extent and nature of the work ahead.
I dunno. Seems like you can't please anybody teaching a Catahoula to herd. Either you're giving the breed too much credit as a herding dog, or you're not giving them enough.