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Catalan Sheepdog

Other names: Gos d'Atura Català, Catalan Shepherd, Catalonian Sheepdog

Catalan Sheepdog
Catalan 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. 

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Key facts about the Catalan Sheepdog

  • Life expectancy : Between 13 and 15 years
  • Temperament : Calm, Intelligent
  • Size : Medium
  • Type of coat : Long

FCI Group

FCI Group

Group 1 - Sheepdogs and Cattledogs (except Swiss Cattledogs)

Section

Section 1 : Sheepdogs

Physical characteristics of the Catalan Sheepdog

Adult size

Female dog Between 18 and 21 in
Male dog Between 19 and 22 in

Weight

Female dog Between 35 and 44 lb
Male dog Between 40 and 57 lb

Coat colour

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.

Eye colour

Dark amber

Description

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. 

Temperament

Affectionate

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The Catalan Sheepdog has a pleasant personality and is exceptionally affectionate.  

Playful

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This dog likes to please its owner but can be a bit of a show off; sometimes silly as well.

Calm

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Exercising this dog regularly keeps its temperament cool, calm and well-balanced.

Intelligent

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This is a very intelligent dog; it wears an expression that suggests clarity of mind.

Hunter

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Catalan Sheepdogs are not hunters; they are herding dogs. They do not have a high prey drive. 

Fearful / wary of strangers

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Catalans tend to be reserved and timid around strangers, but with some coaxing will soon relax. 

Independent

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Because it is a herding dog, the Catalan is prone to independence and willfulness. 

Behaviour of the Catalan Sheepdog

Tolerates solitude

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Catalan Sheepdogs do not tolerate solitude. They are hungry for human company. 

Easy to train / obedience

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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. 

Barking

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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

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Consistent training will ensure that your Catalan will respond to your voice outdoors and not run away.  

Destructive

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If it finds itself at home for long periods of time without human company the Catalan Sheepdog will be destructive.  

Greedy / Gluttony

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Catalans are prone to obesity if fed too many treats or too much human food.

Guard dog

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Catalan Sheepdogs are alert to new and unfamiliar sounds and people. They will not hesitate to bark to warn you of an approaching visitor. 

First dog

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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.

Lifestyle

Catalan Sheepdog in a flat

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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

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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

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Once trained, a Catalan Sheepdog is exceptionally obedient and comfortable with travel. 

Compatibility

Catalan Sheepdog and cats

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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

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Catalan Sheepdogs get on well with other dogs. 

Catalan Sheepdog and children

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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

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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. 

Price

Buying a purebred puppy will cost you around £1,000. Cost of care will be £70 to £120 per month.

Grooming

Brush regularly once or twice a week to prevent the dog’s coat from becoming tangled and matted. Bathe this dog only when necessary. 

Shedding

Catalans do shed and shedding usually peaks throughout spring and autumn. These dogs shed in two stages: first at the front and then at the rear. 

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

Life expectancy

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

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A Catalan Sheepdog outdoors will not care what the weather is like and is not quick to complain. 

Withstand heat

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The Catalan Sheepdog does not tolerate hot weather overly well. 

Withstand cold

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The double coat of the Catalan Sheepdog keeps the dog warm even when walking in snow. 

Tendency to put on weight

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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. 

Common illnesses

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. 

Names

Chico, Miguel, Loca, Blanca

Find out more dog name ideas here

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