Catalan Shepherd Dog

History

Unfortunately most of the history of this breed is lost, although it is known to be very old since according to some experts, it dates back to 150 BC The most accepted theory says that the Romans brought their own dogs to the Iberian Peninsula, where they were mixed with local breeds that gave rise to different breeds, among which is the Catalan Shepherd. Within Catalonia he was very popular, as he not only has very good herding and guard skills, but also has an excellent docile and obedient character. 

In 1919 it was recognized as a Spanish canine breed and 10 years later the breed standard was issued. Unfortunately, the arrival of other foreign races took away its prominence and with the outbreak of World War II, the race that was on the brink of extinction was greatly affected. Fortunately, in the 70s, a man named Ángel Jorba, together with his colleagues, took charge of the rigorous selective breeding of the breed, managing to enhance it again. in 1982 a new breed standard was made, which is the one that is preserved to this day.

It is not a very popular breed outside of its country, but the numbers are increasing, since it has been proven that they are very good companion animals. Fortunately, they are no longer in danger of extinction and their numbers are slowly but steadily increasing. 

Physical characteristics

Body

The Catalan Shepherd Dog, also known as Gos'd Atura Catalán or Catalan Sheepdog by its English name, is a medium-sized, well-muscled dog. It has a straight upper line with a slight descent in the area of the animal's back. The origin of the tail occurs in a low area and this is of such a length that it almost touches the ground. His chest is broad and his cinch is well rounded. Their limbs are robust, long and strong, they have sturdy joints and rounded legs. As for the upper area of the animal, it has a muscular, robust and strong neck.

Head

Its skull is slightly longer than the muzzle, the lower part of it is prominent. Its ears are large for the size of the animal, long, triangular, quite hairy and hang on both sides of its head. The teeth of the Catalan Shepherd Dog are scissor-shaped.

Weight

The weight of this breed ranges between 17 kilograms and 20 kilograms approximately, for both males and females.

Height

Its height ranges between 47 and 55 centimeters in males and between 45 and 52 centimeters in females.

Fur

The coat of these dogs is smooth in some cases and with small undulations in others, both their tail and their ears and their eyebrows are quite hairy as well as the upper area of the lip creating a nice mustache in this breed from Spain.

Colors

The colors of the Catalan Sheepdog vary a lot, ranging from all shades of gray to brown. They usually have light spots on their chest hair and on their legs. Their eyes generally tend to be light brown in color.

Temperament

Character

Catalan Sheepdogs are working dogs, they like to learn and are very intelligent and brave. They tend to be good watchdogs, although they are not usually very barking. He is very reserved with those people he does not know, very calm and quite resistant.

Behavior

The Gos'd Atura Catalán tends to be a very familiar dog that gets along very well with children. He is usually reserved and shy around strangers and has a good level of acceptance with other animals if he has been socialized with them since childhood. Many times it happens that it tends to be somewhat dominate.

General care

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Cleanliness

The Catalan Shepherd usually has a somewhat messy appearance in its coat so there is no need to worry or spend a lot of time brushing and maintaining its coat. However, this does not imply that you should not give a dedication to your brushing. Brushing every 10 days with a thick comb is usually more than enough to keep the coat in good condition. Pay attention to those areas where the hair tends to tangle the most. In the molt, the hair loss is not uniform, first the hair falls from its front legs, then from its back legs and finally on the rest of the body.

Training

It is a dog that is very willing to learn and is also intelligent. Ideal for owners with little experience since it does not tend to present many drawbacks. It is characterized by learning quickly and by getting bored in case of repeating the same exercise several times.

A recommendation that is usually made for all those owners who have a dog of this breed is that they be varied with the exercises they give to the animal and demonstrate to the same that it is the owner who dominates and controls every situation.

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Exercise

The Catalan Shepherd Dog needs a lot of exercise and loves being outdoors. It is an ideal dog for those homes that have a large area. However, it is well adapted to living indoors and even in apartments. Take into account, if this is the case, that it will do the animal very good to be taken for a walk outdoors on a daily basis and make it exercise constantly.

Applications

It is an excellent dog for obedience sports, agility and those that are to catch objects in flight. There are many Catalan Sheepdogs that have been trained for avalanche rescue.

Health

As the breed was all its history in the open, it became especially resistant to diseases, but in addition, 2 completely healthy specimens were used for the “re-foundation” of the breed. Thanks to all this, there are no known diseases that afflict the Catalan Shepherd, who in turn has a good life expectancy of between 12 and 14 years. 

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Photos of the Catalan Sheepdog

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