Catalan Sheepdog: Dog Breed Profile

Catalan Shepherd

The Catalan Shepherd is a medium-sized dog with a muscular body. It gives off strength. Dog with long and slightly wavy hair, the Catalan Shepherd has a rustic appearance.

It’s an excellent sheepdog, endowed with appreciable intelligence. It’s vigilant, alert. Over the years, It has also transformed into a perfect companion dog.

In particular, he is very loyal to his master. It will defend Its task against anything and everything. It can sometimes be seen as anti-social towards strangers. Excellent playmate for children. It’s gentle and accepts the presence of Its fellows.

Other names: Gos d’Atura Català, Berger de Catalogne, Perro de Pastor Catalan, Catalan Sheepdog

History of the breed

Originally from the Catalan Pyrenees, the Catalan Shepherd probably comes from the cross between the Bergamo Shepherd and other local dog breeds, with characteristics that lend themselves more to the climatic and topographical specificities of the region.

It quickly established Itself with the shepherds and pastors of Catalonia for whom It ensured the tasks of leading and guarding the flocks.

The number of Catalan Shepherds subsequently declined over the last century, before a marked resurgence of interest in the breed observed around the early 1970s. Its first standard was established in Spain in 1929

Physical features

  • Its hair: rough, long, flat, or slightly wavy. Characteristic presence of beard, mustache, tuft at the top of the head and eyebrows, but the latter do not obstruct the sight of the dog.
  • Its color: unicolor, but made up of a mixture of shades: fawn, reddish-brown, gray, white, and black. Shades lighter at the ends. Some dogs may also have a black and tan coat.
  • Its head: strong, slightly rounded at the base, well proportioned, with a skull less broad than long and well developed frontal sinuses, as well as well-marked superciliary arches. The stop is clearly visible, without being too pronounced.
  • Its ears: triangular in shape, thin, set high, mobile, pointed at their end, drooping and close to the head. They have fringes.
  • Its eyes: round, wide-open, dark amber in color, displaying an expression of liveliness and intelligence.
  • Its body: slightly elongated, strong, agile, with the withers well extended, the back straight and slightly raised at the croup, the large and well-developed chest and the belly slightly raised.
  • Its tail: set low, of variable length (less than 10 cm at a length exceeding the hock), hanging at rest, forming a hook in its lower part. Lifted in action, without curling up on the back. Generously lined with hair.

Behavior with others

The Catalan Shepherd is a dog naturally gifted for leading and guarding herds. It always shows spirit and initiative at work. Intelligent, very loyal, and gentle with children, It’s an excellent family dog.

The Catalan Sheep Dog is also particularly vigilant and suspicious of strangers. This dog with a  very beautiful coat has a  simpler character than its cousin, the  Pyrenean Shepherd.

It needs to feel loved and useful by his adoptive family. This dog knows how to take initiatives. It excels in custody and surveillance since he is particularly vigilant.


Intelligent and attentive to Its master, the Catalan Shepherd Dog is not a difficult dog to train, as long as it’s done with the necessary firmness. The Catalan Shepherd is calm, thoughtful.

It listens to what is asked of It and, as a result, education will be even more simplified. You just have to be careful to show patience, a little firmness.

Its ability to understand will do the rest. Do not hesitate to socialize It from an early age so that It decreases Its level of mistrust towards strangers.

Living Conditions

The Catalan Sheep Dog is compatible with all family situations, especially those involving children. However, It’ss much happier in a house with a garden than in an apartment. In either case, It needs a master who is available and can offer It frequent outings.

Its origins make it an indefatigable dog, endowed with great resistance to effort and very enduring. It will never balk at a family walk or jogging. What’s more, it withstands temperature variations and cold very well. It doesn’t like loneliness.

Health & Maintenance

The Catalan Shepherd is a rustic and resistant dog. It tolerates difficult climatic conditions quite well, whether it is cold or heat. In addition, there is no particular predisposition to any affection in this breed.

Like all dogs of a certain size, its growth should be monitored during its first years of life, so that its cartilage is well preserved.

The life expectancy of a Catalan Shepherd is, on average, between 12 years and 14 years.

The Catalan Sheepdog is subject to a moult , the course of which is quite surprising. This is carried out in 2 phases: first the hairs of the anterior part of the body, then those of the posterior part.

At the end of the first phase, the dog gives the impression that Its coat is divided into 2 distinct halves. Once the 2nd phase is finished, the dress becomes uniform again.

Brushing should be done more frequently in the 1st phase. And for good reason, it is necessary to maintain an abundant undercoat. On the other hand, after 2 years, the Catalan Shepherd can be satisfied with a weekly brushing.

Either way, its messy look will stand up to the smartest brushes.

It is recommended to brush the dog several times a week, or even daily during the moulting period. Baths are not necessary as long as it is regularly brushed.

In addition, like all dogs with floppy ears, they should be  cleaned regularly to avoid any infection.

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About Amanda

Passionate about animals, Amanda draws her expertise from her training as an educator, pet behaviorist as well as her extensive experience with animal owners. A specialist in dog and cat behavior, Amanda continues to learn about our four-legged companions by studying veterinary reference books but also university research sites (UCD, Utrecht, Cambridge, Cornell, etc..)

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