Catalan Sheepdog

fast facts

About Catalan Sheepdog

Weight
35-40 lb
Lifespan
12-14 years
Group
not applicable
Best Suited For
active singles, active families, house with a yard, family with children
Temperament
gentle, mild-mannered, intelligent, quiet
Height
17.5-21.5 inches
Comparable Breeds
Croatian Sheepdog, Maremma Sheepdog
Catalan Sheepdog Basics


When you hear the word “sheepdog” you probably picture a medium-sized dog with a long, shaggy coat. Not only is this image correct for sheepdogs in general, but it also applies to the Catalan Sheepdog in particular. Descended from ancient mountain breeds, this pooch is a talented herding dog that also makes a great family pet. If you are looking for a versatile dog with excellent work ethic and intelligence, consider the Catalan Sheepdog.


Descended from ancient mountain breeds, the Catalan Sheepdog is a talented herding dog that also makes a great family pet.


Origin

As the name would suggest, the Catalan Sheepdog originated in the Catalonia region of Spain. These dogs are thought to have been bred from ancient Pyrenees-type dogs, perhaps with influence from other herding breeds. This sheepdog is also known by several other names in its native land including Perros de Pastor Catalan and Gos d’Atura Catala. Though developed for herding, the Catalan Sheepdog was also used as a messenger breed and guard dog during the Spanish Civil War and they continue to be used as police dogs and search-and-rescue dogs in Spain. The breed nearly went extinct until in the 1970s a group of breed lovers worked to revive it.


Pedigree


The Catalan Sheepdog originated in the Catalonia region of Spain, having been bred from ancient Pyrenees-type dogs, perhaps with influence from other herding breeds.


Food/Diet


As a medium-sized dog breed, the Catalan Sheepdog should be fed a high-quality commercial dog food diet formulated for dogs of its size. Because this breed is a high-energy herding breed, however, an active or working breed formula may be more appropriate to meet his needs.


Though this breed was developed for herding, the Catalan Sheepdog is a versatile breed that excels at a variety of dog sports.


Training


As is true for most herding breeds, the Catalan Sheepdog is a highly intelligent dog. These dogs are easy to train and they are always eager to please – they respond particularly well to positive-reinforcement training. Though this breed was developed for herding, this sheepdog is a versatile breed that excels at a variety of dog sports. These dogs can sometimes be a little independent but they respond well to a firm and consistent hand in training. Early socialization is also recommended to ensure that these dogs do well with children.


Weight


The Catalan Sheepdog is a medium-sized dog breed that typically stands 17.5 to 21.5 inches tall and weighs 35 to 40 pounds at maturity.


Temperament/Behavior

The Catalan Sheepdog was developed as a herding breed but it is also popular as a family pet. These dogs are mild-mannered, gentle, and quiet, though they are also highly intelligent and hard-working. The Catalan Sheepdog generally does well with children, but early socialization and training is recommended to make sure that they get along well. This breed tends to bond closely with family and they can become quite protective – they even make good guard dogs because they won’t hesitate to defend their loved ones when necessary.


Common Health Problems


The Catalan Sheepdog is generally a healthy and hardy breed but because it is also a fairly rare breed, little is known about its inherited health conditions. One problem to which this breed does seem to be prone, however, is hip dysplasia.


Life Expectancy


The average lifespan for the Catalan Sheepdog breed is 12 to 14 years.


Exercise Requirements


Because the Catalan Sheepdog was developed as a herding breed, it is a fairly active and energetic dog. This breed needs plenty of time outside as well as a long daily walk in order to meet its exercise needs. Extra exercise can come in the form of training for various dog sports.


The Catalan Sheepdog was developed as a herding breed but it is also popular as a family pet.


AKC


The Catalan Sheepdog is a fairly old breed but it is also fairly rare outside of its native region. It is recognized as part of the Pastoral Group for the United Kingdom Kennel Club and belongs to the Herding Group for the United Kennel Club but it has yet to be recognized by the AKC.


Coat


As you might expect, the Catalan Sheepdog has the typical long, shaggy coat. These dogs have an abundant undercoat with a long, rough outer coat that may be either flat or wavy. This Sheepdog has facial furnishings including a beard, mustache, and tufts on the eyebrows. Its coat comes in a variety of colors ranging from brown to fawn to gray to black.


Puppies


The average litter size for the Catalan Sheepdog breed is 3 to 6 puppies. Because these dogs are a hard-working breed they do best when trained for herding or other dog sports from a young age – this will also help to prevent puppies from developing problem behaviors. Early socialization is also recommended to ensure that these dogs get along well with children and other household pets.


Photo credit: Life on White/Bigstock; alfonsodetomas/Bigstock

Kate Barrington
Kate Barrington

Kate Barrington is the loving owner of two cats (Bagel and Munchkin) and a noisy herd of guinea pigs. Having grown up with golden retrievers, Kate has a great deal of experience with dogs but labels herself a lover of all pets. Having received a Bachelor's degree in English, Kate has combined her love for pets and her passion for writing to create her own freelance writing business, specializing in the pet niche.

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