The Catalan Sheepdog (also known as Gos d'atura Català or Perros de Pastor Catalàn) is a breed of sheepdog that originated in Catalonia, Spain. It is a breed of the Catalan pyrenean dog from antiquity and perhaps with a mix of other herding breeds as well.
The breed is a well-proportioned and muscular dog that is longer than it is tall. It is an agile breed with solid body structures – a character of a true working dog. It is a medium-sized breed with a well-proportioned head that is defined by a straight muzzle, dark amber nose with wide setting eyes that shows an attentive and highly intelligent expression. It sports a beard, moustaches, tuft and prominent eyebrows. Triangular ears with well-defined tips hang close to the skull and covered with long hairs. The tail is well-covered with hair and is set low when the dog is not active. The long, shaggy coat is either flat or somewhat wavy with abundant undercoat. Colours include red, grey, fawn, sable, brown, and black.
The typical height for the breed is 47 to 55 cm at withers while the ideal weight is between 20 and 27 kg. Females are typically smaller and lighter than males.
All dog breeds have different levels of intellect. Some dog breeds; working dogs in particular, are very independent thinkers and have been evolved to be very intelligent. Typically, a highly intelligent dog does well in obedience training and other activities. A highly intelligent dog can be very demanding and do require lots of physical and mental stimulation. If you’re looking for a relatively laid-back dog, that doesn’t require lots of mental and physical stimulation, then you must fully understand the level of intelligence of your dog breed of choice.
Before committing to a certain dog breed, you must fully understand their intellect levels and their specific levels of energy. To keep your dog well-balanced and happy, their needs must be met and maintained.
All dog breeds have different needs when it comes to the level of exercise they require. For the high energy dogs; which are your typical working dogs, they have a lot of energy and require lots of daily exercise along with plenty of mental stimulation. A highly energetic dog breed would suit an individual or family that is equally as active and loves the outdoors. There are also breeds that have relatively low exercise needs, such as toy dog breeds. Although they require daily exercise and mental stimulation, they’re just as happy chilling at home with their loved ones. This type of dog breed would suit an individual or family that prefers the peace and quiet and relaxation.
Before deciding on your chosen dog breed, Mypetzilla recommends that you research the exercise needs and whether you’re well equipped before committing to buying or adopting a particular dog breed.
There are several dog breeds that are known and potentially predisposed to developing health related conditions. Sensible breeding can help prevent the onset of health related conditions and this should always be taken into condition when researching your dog breed of choice. Before committing to a dog, you should speak to the breeder about any health related conditions that may affect the dog you’re looking to buy or adopt. You can also request to see any test results from genetic testing.
There are many dog breeds that tolerate children really well and are not affected by the constant noise and need for play-time. However, there are some dog breeds that don’t do very well with children and can become frustrated and snappy. That being said, all children should be shown how to handle and care for a dog in their home and should always be supervised when playing. As much as a dog can become annoyed and snappy with a younger child, the child can also become less tolerant and misbehaved towards the dog.
Mypetzilla recommends that you always supervise play-time between your children and dog. Children need to respect the boundaries and feeding time for the dog and likewise for the child. We also strongly advise that play-time doesn’t get out of control and too rough which can cause injury to both child and dog.
There are lots of dog breeds that are well suited to living in an apartment. It’s worthwhile noting that you need to check that you’re allowed dogs in your building before committing to bringing one home. If you do decide to own a dog and are living in an apartment, then you must make sure that they have plenty of room to roam around and frequent walks outside to prevent them from becoming bored and depressed.
Mypetzilla recommends that you check as to whether you’re allowed dogs in your apartment building and to fully ensure your apartment is dog proof before committing fully to bringing a dog home.
All dog breeds shed to some extent, some more than others. With this, all potential dog owners should be aware of this, as it will be a matter of putting up with some hair or lots of hair being left around the house. Depending on the dog breed, there are certain times during the year where some dog breeds shed the most and this is typically around spring and autumn. However, there are some dog breeds that shed all year round.
If you’re very house-proud, they you may want to choose a dog breed that sheds very little. Mypetzilla strongly recommends that you fully research your dog breed of choice and their shedding levels before committing.
All dog breeds require different levels of grooming. Some dog breeds are easier to maintain than others and only require a weekly brush to help keep their coat in good condition. There are some dog breeds that require regular trips to the grooming parlour and this can come at a huge cost. Either way, all dog breeds require their coat and nails to be maintained and cared for.
Mypetzilla strongly advices that potential owners research the grooming needs and associated costs with their desired dog breed before fully committing.
Barking is a necessity for your dog to communicate. However, it can also be a nuisance to yourself and fellow neighbours if it’s not kept under control. If you live in an apartment, then you’re better off choosing a dog breed that doesn’t bark as much. If you live further out and far from civilisation, then it’s worthwhile looking into a dog breed that does bark and will bark to alert you of any other company on your property.
Mypetzilla advices that you research the behaviours of your dog breed of choice and whether this would work for you and your family. It’s worth noting that dogs can be trained to bark less and this will take a lot of effort and training from the owner.
Majority dog breeds form very close relationships with their owners and as a result can become very stressed when left alone for a period of time. If a dog is suffering with separation anxiety then they’re very likely to become destructive around the home as a way of dealing with their anxieties. Dog breeds that do form strong bonds with their owners are better accustomed to a household where one member of the family remains home, whilst the others are out, this is to help avoid further anxieties and destructive behaviours.
Mypetzilla recommends that all potential owners research their dog breed of choice on their bonding abilities and how well-adjusted they are to being left alone at home. It’s also worth noting that you should never leave your dog for longer than 4 hours alone at home.
There are certain dogs breeds that have very high intellect and therefore easier to train than other dog breeds. There is also a downside to this; as fast as they learn the new trick or command, they can easily pick up bad habits just as quick. Other dog breeds that don’t rank as high on the intellect scale require patience and plenty of reward treats from their owners during training.
Before committing to a certain dog breed, Mypetzilla advices you to fully research your dog breed of choice and their level of training needs.
All dog breeds have different energy levels. The working dog breed has one of the highest energy levels in comparison to the low-energy dog’s breeds such as the Toy dog breed group. To keep a dog truly happy, healthy and well-balanced, their energy levels must be met.
High-energy dog breeds need lots of exercise and mental stimulation. High energy dog breeds would suit an active family or person. Dog breeds that are considered as low-energy, love to spend the majority of their time relaxing and sleeping in their favourite, comfy spot. A low-energy dog breed would suit an individual that equally loves the quiet life and relaxing lifestyle. Of course, low-energy dogs still need their daily walks and mental stimulation, just not as much as a high-energy dog breed.
Mypetzilla recommends that potential owner research fully on the type of dog breed that would suit their existing lifestyle and to also take into consideration the dog breeds energy levels and exercise requirements.
Before you decide on what dog breed would be suitable for you and your family, you must consider whether they’re a friendly dog breed and if you already have other pets within the household. For homes that already have dogs and other domestic pets, then it’s wise to choose a dog breed that has a friendly personality and temperament.
There are some dog breeds that mix well with other dog breeds and there are others that don’t suit one another and this could potentially cause issues later on down the line.
Another important point to consider is whether the dog breed of choice is friendly towards people and children.
Mypetzilla recommends to research fully on the right dog breed for your family and to also consider their temperament and characteristics.
According to legends, Charlemagne (c.742 – 814 also known as Charles the Great; Charles I), had two large, long-haired black dogs that resemble the Briard which he took with him in his campaigns. As he moved southwards, these two dogs mated with local breeds which may have produced the modern day Briard, Beauceron, Picardy, Pyrenean sheepdog and the Catalan Sheepdog.
The Catalan Sheepdog was used primarily for herding sheep. During the Spanish civil war, this dog was used as a messenger dog and as a guard dog. Its population substantially declined during the latter half of the 20th century because demands for herding dogs declined due to the migration of people from farmlands to towns. In the 1970s, several Catalan breed enthusiasts rescued from dog further dwindling when they came together and started an intensive breeding program. Although it is still considered an uncommon breed in the UK, its popularity is steadily rising in recent years.
In modern pop culture, the Catalan Sheepdog was represented in the 1992 Summer Olympics in Barcelona as Cobi – the official mascot.
This breed is a versatile dog with an excellent work ethic and a high level of intelligence. It can do its assigned task with minimal supervision, making it at par with other highly intelligent herding dogs. It is a vigilant and courageous breed, often tending and protecting the herd on its own. It is an affectionate dog which makes it a gentle companion of children. It is also a highly devoted breed which can easily create a strong bond with its family. It is highly protective of its family and property, making it an excellent guard dog.
The Catalan Sheepdog has a similar intelligence level with other working dogs so it is a highly trainable breed. It excels in a variety of dog sports including agility trials, obedience, showmanship. Flyball, tracking and herding contests and Rally. Positive reinforcement training from a firm and gentle hand is the ideal training method for this dog. However, it may need a special training to remedy its natural herding drive, edginess, and shyness. Early socialization is essential, particularly if the dog is going to be with a family with small children.
The Catalan sheepdog has a long, shaggy coat that needs a fair amount of time to groom. Daily good brushing is required to keep a clean-looking coat. Shedding occurs in two parts: the front coat sheds earlier than the back coat, which gives the impression of two different coats. After the back coat sheds, the coat appearance will become uniform again.
The average lifespan of a Catalan Sheepdog is between 12 and 14 years. Like most medium-sized working breed, this dog is prone to:
The Catalan Sheepdog is very resistant to extreme weather conditions – be it hot or cold, wet or dry. In other words, the Catalan Sheepdog is a robust, heavy-duty, all-weather breed.
Being a working dog, the Catalan Sheepdog shares the same exercise requirements as that of the other herding dogs in its class. It is an active breed that needs daily exercise to stay healthy both physically and mentally. An hour of physical activity in a large yard, a long walk or jogging alongside a bike is an ideal daily routine. It is not recommended for an apartment life but if the owner is able to meet its exercise requirements, then it will make a wonder pet in the home. The best home for the Catalan Sheepdog is a house with a large fenced-in yard where it can frolic and run a couple of hours every day.
This breed is a talented herding dog which makes a good family companion. Its gentle nature makes it a wonderful companion for children and other animals in the house.