The Catalan Sheepdog (Gos d’Atura Catala) is similar to the sheepdogs of the Pyrenees, so it is assumed these dogs migrated to Spain along with other herders, and were then subsequently crossed with other well known breeds such as the Briard and Bergamasco to develop the specific traits of the Catalan Sheepdog we see today. They were bred particularly with the local climate and rocky terrain of Catalonia in mind, and used primarily as a herder but with light guarding and general watch dog duties too. While the Catalan Sheepdog is still used in his native environment as a sheepdog, nowadays he is bred mainly as a pet companion.
An amiable character, the Catalan Sheepdog is an active, intelligent and obedient dog. He is easily trained and is a good solid worker, lively around other animals but gentle and docile with his human companions. He has been used in police and guarding work, so could be an ideal watchdog come companion. An active, loyal and affectionate dog, there's no wonder he's gaining in popularity.
A relatively active dog, the Catalan Sheepdog will require around an hour of exercise a day. Being nimble he might be well suited to agility or fly ball, but being actively involved in family life, and nice long walks in the countryside or on the beach will help keep him fit and healthy, in both mind and body.
Basic obedience training should be commenced as early as possible to ensure that the Catalan Sheepdog develops into an enjoyable friend and is acceptable to society in general. Being intelligent and willing to work with a loved and respected handler he will be receptive to training. Only positive methods which reinforce good behaviour with praise and treats should be used. Heavy-handed methods which rely on harsh physical or verbal discipline will fail miserably and may result in a dog that becomes untrusting of his handler. Socialization should also start as soon as possible, to get him accustomed from a young age to all sorts of people, noises, sights, other dogs and animals - to help him mature into a self-confident, sensible adult who is a pleasure to live with and an outstanding representative of his breed.
- Hip Dysplasia
Some photographs of the Catalan Sheepdog...