The Catalonian Sheepdog, also known as the Catalan Sheepdog, is a breed of Catalan Pyrenean dog used as a sheep-herding dog. The dog is bred in Europe, especially in Catalonia, Finland, Germany, and Sweden. This breed is used for herding and as a companion. Catalan Sheepdogs are an ancient breed that date back to Roman times. It was the Romans who bought the breed with them to the Iberian Peninsula in around 200 to 100 BC when they invaded these lands. In fact, the Romans bought two kinds of dogs with them, the first was to defend/protect and tend flocks of sheep and to prevent enemies from attacking them. However, the second dog they bought with them herded cattle and are thought to be the ancestors of Italian Bergamascos. These dogs were subsequently put to dogs that were native to Catalan and so the Catalan Sheepdog was born.
The Catalan Sheepdog is a medium size hardy dog used as sheepdog. It is an efficient flock driver and guardian dog that originated in the Catalonian Pyrenees Mountains and is now being bred in Germany, Finland, Sweden and Catalonia. This hardy and sturdy dog stands between 18.5 to 21.5 inches and weighs between 60-80lbs. Females are shorter and lighter. It is a well-balanced dog with a strong head and slightly longer than wide and doomed skull. Muzzle is short, straight and slightly tapering towards the tips having straight black nose. Eyes are wide, round and come in dark amber colour with an alert and intelligent expression. Ears are set high, triangular in shape and can naturally hang down the head or cropped. Neck is short but solid and mobile.
The body shape is slightly elongated with wide and deep chest and curved ribs that allow for good capacity for work. Topline is straight and belly is tucked in. The body gives impression of power and agility. Tail is low set and reach below the hock. It is hanging low down when the dog is at rest and carried high when the dog is alert. When seen close up, it is noticeable that the colour comes from a mixture of hairs of different colour shades: fawn, brown more or less reddish, grey and black.
Their coat is long and either flat or slightly wavy, and ranges from fawn to dark sable and light to dark grey. There is also a short-haired version of this breed, but is nearly extinct. sheepdogs, is easy to train. In spite of its appearance, this courageous dog is also used as a watch-dog. This breed is an “all-around-dog” and great companion. This breed is used for herding and as a companion. Because of its intelligence, the Gos D’Atura, like most sheepdogs, are easy to train. They guard sheep without needing instruction. Enough (outdoor) action and distraction makes this dog a quiet and well-balanced home companion. Early socialization is important, particularly if the dog will be around children. The dogs defend their family and become attached to it. This breed is appropriate for people with firm techniques and who can give the dog enough exercise. They gained popularity in Spain because of their courage and lovely natures, they were used as messengers and sentries during the Spanish Civil War and earned themselves a reputation of being brilliant guard dogs.
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.
The breed boasts a long coat whether wavy or straight and this means regular grooming is a must to prevent it from becoming tangled and matted. Brushing them at least three to four times a week, gets rid of dead and loose fur which helps keep it off the furniture and carpets. Because they are very active dogs, Catalan Sheepdogs must be a fed good quality food and a well balanced nutritious diet. Just like any other breed, regular check-ups at the vets are a must as they get older, and so they are kept up to date with all their vaccinations.