The Catalan sheepdog is a working herding breed from the Andorra region of Spain, which is also today popular as a companion and household pet. While the Catalan sheepdog is generally seen with a long, shaggy coat, there is also a shorthaired variant of the breed, but this is incredibly rare. The coat of the dog is generally fawn or grey in colour.
The Catalan is an intelligent, lively and active dog that is also eminently trainable, and able to turn his paw to many activities, including canine sports. They are classed as medium sized, and can stand up to 55cm tall at the withers, and are strong but in proportion, and should not be bulky.
Thanks to their kind, open temperaments, intelligence and trainability, the Catalan sheepdog is a popular choice of pet all across Europe, and is developing a progressively larger following here in the UK. In this article, we will look at some of the core traits of the Catalan sheepdog, and consider whether or not they make for good household pets. Read on to learn more.
The Catalan sheepdog is a true multi-purpose dog, being equally well suited to working roles and domestic life. They are considered to be among the easiest and most amenable of breeds to train, and are classed as excellent all-rounders with many skills and talents.
Providing that they get enough exercise and stimulation, they are calm, non-destructive household companions, who are level headed and relatively easy to keep within the home.
As a breed with a strong working history, the Catalan sheepdog requires a fair amount of exercise, and will not be happy with just a couple of sedentary walks per day. They like to lead an active lifestyle and have a job to do, and need to spend several hours per day stretching their legs, either on supervised walks or while playing outside.
If you lead an active lifestyle and enjoy walking, jogging, running, hiking or anything else that gets you outside and involved in activities that you can share with your dog, the Catalan sheepdog may be a good fit, and an excellent exercise companion!
If you are interested in getting involved with canine sport such as agility or flyball, again, the Catalan sheepdog would be a good pick, and is one breed that can often be seen competing in such events.
The Catalan sheepdog has naturally strong herding instincts, and does not need to be taught how to herd! This can potentially be a problem in rural areas if the dog is not trained to avoid chasing livestock, but as a very receptive breed, they are obedient and not likely to go off on a rampage!
Their prey drive is of a medium level rather than being particularly pronounced, but like all dog breeds, they may potentially chase smaller animals if not taught that this is bad and forbidden!
The Catalan sheepdog coat is slightly curled, and lies long and limp. They are well-covered and have dense enough fur to offer them protection from the elements and hazards such as thorns, and have longer hair around the eyebrows and muzzle. The rear of the dog particularly is covered in a very thick, dense undercoat, and this causes the dog to shed their fur in two stages, usually beginning with the front half, and finishing with the rear.
Catalan sheepdogs that lead an active, outdoors life will require checking over when they return from walks to remove any debris that have accumulated in the coat, and to un-knot any tangles. However, they do not require excessive grooming, and a thorough brushing and combing a couple of times per week is usually sufficient to keep their coats in good condition.
The Catalan sheepdog needs a medium sized home, but they do not need to have masses of internal space provided that they are exercised enough. They should have access to a safe, supervised garden or other area that they can play in, and have plenty of provision made for sufficient walks and exercise.
Early socialisation with other dogs is important, and assuming that this is achieved, they can live happily with other dogs. If you have children, they should also become socialised with children from an early age, and will often bond strongly with the younger members of the family and be protective over them, but they do also have a tendency to herd small children on occasion!
An active lifestyle is essential for the Catalan sheepdog, and so active families that like to spend plenty of time outside taking part in activities that the dog can join in with is the ideal environment.