Other names: Gos d'Atura Català, Catalan Shepherd, Catalonian Sheepdog
The Catalan Sheepdog is a breed of Pyrenean mountain dog. The breed originates from the Spanish province of Catalonia and has since found a home in other countries including Finland, Germany and the UK. It is a droving dog that is taught to use its initiative in the course of its work. Intelligent, loyal and easy to train (if not a little stubborn) the Catalan Sheepdog would make an excellent household pet.
Key facts about the Catalan Sheepdog
- Life expectancy : Between 13 and 15 years
- Temperament : Calm, Intelligent
- Size : Medium
- Type of coat : Long
Group 1 - Sheepdogs and Cattledogs (except Swiss Cattledogs)
Section 1 : Sheepdogs
Physical characteristics of the Catalan Sheepdog
|Female dog||Between 18 and 21 in|
|Male dog||Between 19 and 22 in|
|Female dog||Between 35 and 44 lb|
|Male dog||Between 40 and 57 lb|
This dog’s coat can be of various different colours including fawn, black, sable, grey and reddish brown.
Type of coat
A flat and wavy top coat above an abundant but rough undercoat.
Strong and well-proportioned is the Catalan; it has a slightly elongated body. The overall impression is of a muscular and agile dog. Its head is strong and angular with a short, blunt muzzle. Its ears hang close to the head.
The Catalan Sheepdog has a pleasant personality and is exceptionally affectionate.
This dog likes to please its owner but can be a bit of a show off; sometimes silly as well.
Exercising this dog regularly keeps its temperament cool, calm and well-balanced.
This is a very intelligent dog; it wears an expression that suggests clarity of mind.
Catalan Sheepdogs are not hunters; they are herding dogs. They do not have a high prey drive.
Fearful / wary of strangers
Catalans tend to be reserved and timid around strangers, but with some coaxing will soon relax.
Because it is a herding dog, the Catalan is prone to independence and willfulness.
Behaviour of the Catalan Sheepdog
Catalan Sheepdogs do not tolerate solitude. They are hungry for human company.
Easy to train / obedience
Exceptionally easy to train is the Catalan. Training however must be carried out by a confident master who is consistent and who varies their style of training; Catalan Sheepdogs get bored easily.
The Catalan does not bark to excess if properly trained to know when to stop. It is likely to bark at visitors during its first meeting with them.
Tendency to run away
Consistent training will ensure that your Catalan will respond to your voice outdoors and not run away.
If it finds itself at home for long periods of time without human company the Catalan Sheepdog will be destructive.
Greedy / Gluttony
Catalans are prone to obesity if fed too many treats or too much human food.
Catalan Sheepdogs are alert to new and unfamiliar sounds and people. They will not hesitate to bark to warn you of an approaching visitor.
A good first dog in terms of its companionability, the Catalan Sheepdog needs to be challenged physically and mentally in order to stay out of trouble.
Catalan Sheepdog in a flat
The breed requires a large and securely fenced garden in which to exercise. As long as it is given plenty of time outdoors, a Catalan’s indoor living space does not have to be huge.
Need for exercise / Sporty
An energetic dog is the Catalan. With a dog such as this you need to be willing to devote time to long walks.
Travelling / easy to transport
Once trained, a Catalan Sheepdog is exceptionally obedient and comfortable with travel.
Catalan Sheepdog and cats
Although a Catalan Sheepdog is not known for its high prey drive it will still be interested in small scurrying animals and will enjoy chasing anything that moves. This dog will soon become accustomed to living with a cat.
Catalan Sheepdog and dogs
Catalan Sheepdogs get on well with other dogs.
Catalan Sheepdog and children
Young children that run around the house of a Catalan may find themselves being herded like sheep. Catalans enjoy the chase, whether of animals or people.
Catalan Sheepdog and the elderly
The Catalan Sheepdog may not be the perfect choice of dog for someone of senior years due to the dog’s want of lots of exercise.
Buying a purebred puppy will cost you around £1,000. Cost of care will be £70 to £120 per month.
Nutrition of the Catalan Sheepdog
It is always worthwhile to feed a Catalan a high-quality and specially formulated dog food rather than human food. The Catalan’s diet should consist of good amounts of protein and fat.
Health of the Catalan Sheepdog
Having been successfully bred for centuries, the Catalan Sheepdog is generally healthy and robust. It's life expectancy is 12 to 14 years.
Strong / robust
A Catalan Sheepdog outdoors will not care what the weather is like and is not quick to complain.
The Catalan Sheepdog does not tolerate hot weather overly well.
The double coat of the Catalan Sheepdog keeps the dog warm even when walking in snow.
Tendency to put on weight
Weight gain can be a feature of the Catalan. If your Catalan is not exercised as regularly as it should be and is fed too much human or substandard food it will become obese.
Good to know
The Catalan is known to suffer with allergies either caused by food additives or the environment. If you notice symptoms of an allergic reaction (paw-licking, scooting, coughing, sneezing) you should consult a vet to find out what are the best remedies of the ailment.
Origins and history
The Catalan Sheepdog is thought to have been brought to Spain by the armies of Rome over two thousand years ago. Dogs of the breed were used as military messengers during the First and Second World Wars when they joined armies involved in European conflicts. By the 1970s the breed was almost extinct; it still remains rare today.
Chico, Miguel, Loca, Blanca
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