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Catalan Sheepdog

Popular as a herder and family companion from Spain


BREED ORIGINS

Originally from the Catalan Pyrenees, Catalan Sheepdogs are thought to be an ancient breed, the results of crossbreeding the native Pyrenees and Catalan dogs with two distinct types of Roman dogs, one used for herding cattle, the other for guarding them. The offspring of these dogs are thought to be the earliest ancestors of today’s Catalan Sheepdog, as well as numerous others of similar types found throughout the region. Because of their high intelligence and overall versatility, these dogs quickly became popular in Spain, so much so that they were even used as both messengers and sentinels in the Spanish Civil War. Unfortunately, like many breeds, their numbers plummeted during WW II as food and supplies became scarce, and many owners were rightfully more focused on survival than breeding. But thanks to a passionate group of breed enthusiasts, the dog’s numbers increased in the 1970’s. Strangely enough, despite all their good qualities, Catalan Sheepdogs are still considered extremely rare outside of their region of origin, but continued breeding and awareness efforts have begun to change that narrative, including the 1992 Olympic Games in which they were the mascot.

Read more about the history of this breed – HERE

OTHER NAMES – Catalan Shepherd Dog, Catalonian Sheepdog, Perro de Pastor Catalan, Gos d’Atura Català


LIVING WITH THIS BREED

In their nature, they are loyal and devoted house companions, and are considered to be easy-going and relaxed. Catalan Sheepdogs are energetic but usually gentle playmates of children. In general they are recognised as being an affectionate, friendly breed and good with other dogs and pets – that is especially true if the dog has been correctly socialised from an early age. The Catalan Sheepdog’s nature is to be protective of their family in an intelligent, watchful way, as opposed to being aggressive. They are inherently wary of strangers, choosing to calmly position themselves between unknowns and their home or family, as they would while guarding flocks of livestock, until they know their is no danger. The breed is very resistant to hot or cold weather conditions, they are what can be called an all-weather dog, so they don’t care if it’s raining, snowing, frosty or boiling hot, they just cope no matter the weather. They are a highly intelligent breed and unlike many others who translate their smarts into stubbornness, Catalan Sheepdogs use their brains to the best of their ability, quickly learning commands and exercising obedience with regularity.


BREED INFORMATION

This information is taken from kennel clubs and other reliable sources

COUNTRY OF ORIGINSpain
PURPOSE BRED FORFlock Guardian, Herding, Companion
OVERALL SIZEMedium
TEMPERAMENTIntelligent, Lively, Devoted
EXERCISE NEEDED1 – 2 hours per day
HEIGHT – MALE47 – 55 cm / 18.5 – 21.5 in (to shoulder)
HEIGHT – FEMALE45 – 53 cm / 17.5 – 21.8 in (to shoulder)
COAT TYPEMedium Length, Dense Double Coat
GROOMING NEEDSWeekly
RARE BREEDYes
LIFE EXPECTANCY12-14 years

DID YOU KNOW?

  • They are very skilled “sniffer dogs” and often used for search and rescue missions.
  • They generally do best in a household with an active family or at least one with a large garden where they can run and play or patrol at will.
  • Most Catalan Sheepdogs enjoy swimming and will take to the water whenever they can more especially when the weather is hot.
  • There are actually two varieties of this dog, one common and long-haired, the other short-haired and considered not only extremely rare but nearly extinct.
  • Despite having a heavy, lumbering look, they are actually quite athletic and often do quite well with skills and agility training.

LINKS TO KENNEL CLUBS

Click the buttons below for more information about this breed


PHOTO GALLERY

Click on any photos to view them larger and in a slideshow


VIDEOS

Here’s a video about Catalan Sheepdogs, you can view the entire playlist of videos about this breed and subscribe to our YouTube Channel by clicking the button below:


WEBSITES ABOUT CATALAN SHEEPDOGS

Here’s some websites specifically dedicated to this breed, please click to view them. I am not affiliated with any of these sites, they’re just here for further information. Please note I will not advertise breeders on this site and as many websites dedicated to a specific breed are run by breeders, sometimes there’s fewer sites listed here.

Thanks for reading!

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