The cheerful Catalan Sheepdog Temperament makes this breed a fun and lively pet for many households.
The Catalan Sheepdog originated in the mountains of Northern Spain as a versatile working dog for farmers.
The Catalan Sheepdog is also sometimes known as the “Catalan Shepherd” or the “Gos D’atura.”
Today, the Catalan Sheepdog is rare, but it is beloved by the people who know the great qualities of this breed.
If you are thinking about adding a Catalan Sheepdog to your household, it is important to make sure that the Catalan Sheepdog temperament will fit into your lifestyle.
This article will provide you with some starting information about Catalan Sheepdog behaviors and traits.
Before you bring one home, make sure the Catalan Sheepdog temperament is right for you.
Five Catalan Sheepdog Temperament Traits
Below you will find some of the most common Catalan Sheepdog traits.
However, please remember that all dogs are individuals, so there will be some variation between distinct dogs within the breed.
1. Exuberant and Playful
Catalan Sheepdogs are often described as cheerful, energetic, joyful dogs!
Catalan Sheepdogs have a lot of energy—especially when they are young pups.
If you acquire one as a puppy, it is important to make sure you have enough time and stamina to keep up with their boundless energy.
These dogs are not couch potatoes. A Catalan Sheepdog will do best with a guardian who maintains an active lifestyle.
These dogs need plenty of daily exercise. Make sure you can devote at least an hour a day to exercising your Catalan Sheepdog.
Catalan Sheepdog exercise can take the form of jogging, hiking, biking, swimming, or a canine sport.
Popular canine sports include agility, herding trials, rally obedience, flyball, nosework, or disc dog.
Catalan Sheepdogs that do not receive enough exercise might display nuisance behaviors such as digging, barking, or chewing.
If your Catalan Sheepdog is becoming bored and destructive, try increasing his mental enrichment and his physical exercise.
The energetic Catalan Sheepdog temperament makes the Catalan Sheepdog a great addition to an active family, but if you live a laid-back lifestyle, this might not be the breed for you.
2. Playmates for Children
The Catalan Sheepdog is known for being a wonderful companion to children.
The exuberant and goofy Catalan Sheepdog temperament makes this dog a perfect playmate for kids.
As with all dogs, it is important to socialize your Catalan Sheepdog with children. Make sure your Catalan Sheepdog has positive experiences with children and associates children with good things (like treats).
No matter what, always supervise playtime between children and animals.
Also, be sure to teach the children in the household to treat the animals gently and not to try to interact with them when they are eating or sleeping. Never allow children to sit on the dog or to pull the dog’s hair or tail.
3. Wary of Strangers
Catalan Sheepdogs tend to be naturally watchful when it comes to strangers.
Catalan Sheepdogs are very loyal to their families, but they can be standoffish with new people.
When visitors come over, have your guests toss a few treats to your dog. Instruct them not to pet your dog right away. Rather, let your dog come to them when he feels ready.
The alert Catalan Sheepdog temperament can make this breed an excellent watch dog.
Catalan Sheepdogs will bark to alert you of any suspicious characters on your property.
Just make sure that this tendency does not get out of hand. If your Catalan Sheepdog shows any aggression towards strangers (such as nipping or snapping at guests), seek assistance from a professional dog trainer.
4. Accepting of Other Pets
Most Catalan Sheepdogs will accept other animals into their “packs” as long as the introductions are done slowly and properly.
Always take things slow when you bring a new pet into the household.
Keep the animals separated at first, and only let them interact on supervised walks.
Over time, you can allow them to have more contact, but always separate them for mealtimes. Also be sure to separate them when they are left unsupervised.
Socializing your Catalan Sheepdog from a young age will help him learn to tolerate other animals.
If you acquire your Catalan Sheepdog as a puppy, sign up for a puppy socialization class. Puppy pre-K is a great way for your puppy to learn vital canine social skills.
If you adopt your Catalan Sheepdog as an adult, you can still use positive reinforcement methods to help him become comfortable around other pets.
5. Intelligent and Trainable
Catalan Sheepdogs are very smart, cunning dogs.
They are problem solvers, and they love to use their brains.
This is great because it means that they are trainable and eager to learn new things.
However, it can also be a challenge, because they will get into mischief if they are not entertained.
Use enrichment items such as Kongs, food puzzles, busy balls, and other food dispensing toys to keep them focused. You can stock up on these items at your local pet supply store. You can even make some from supplies that you may have at home!
If you are looking for a clever, trainable dog, the Catalan Sheepdog temperament might be the kind of temperament that you are looking for!
A Brief Look at Catalan Sheepdog History
The Catalan Sheepdog is an ancient breed that has been around for many centuries. Understanding a dog’s history can help you better understand the Catalan Sheepdog temperament.
Legend has it that Charlemagne had two dogs that closely resembled Catalan Sheepdogs in 800 AD.
They were used as sentries during the Spanish Civil War.
After World War II, many people moved away from farms and moved into cities. Catalan Sheepdog numbers dwindled during this time and the breed became quite scarce. However, Catalan Sheepdogs never completely disappeared.
In 1992, a Catalan Sheepdog was selected as the official mascot of the Barcelona Olympic Games.
The United Kennel Club recognized the Catalan Sheepdog in 2006.
A Guide to Catalan Sheepdog Size and Appearance
The Catalan Sheepdog has a distinctive appearance. It is described as a “well-balanced, medium-sized herding dog with a long, rough coat.”
The average Catalan Sheepdog weight range is between 45 and 50 lbs, with males being larger than females.
The typical Catalan Sheepdog height range is between 17 and 19 inches.
Catalan Sheepdog colors can be fawn, sable, grey, black, or black and tan. At first glance, the coat appears to be a solid color. However, on closer inspection the coat is actually a subtle mixture of shades.
The tail can be long, naturally bobbed, surgically docked, or naturally tailless.
A Guide to Catalan Sheepdog Training
The smart Catalan Sheepdog temperament makes this dog an excellent candidate for training.
Catalan Sheepdogs are alert, attentive and focused on their handlers.
It is important to use positive, gentle methods with this sensitive breed.
Try to find a local trainer who uses positive reinforcement, force-free techniques.
Never use rough punishments or painful training tools, such as shock collars or pinch collars, on your Catalan Sheepdog.
Keep training sessions short and interesting to keep your dogs attention.
Once you have mastered the basics, you and your Catalan Sheepdog can sign up for more advanced classes such as herding trials, competitive obedience, or search and rescue work.
Helpful Dog Training Resource:
For help with training your Catalan Sheepdog, you should take a look at The Online Dog Trainer by Doggy Dan. Doggy Dan is an expert Dog Trainer based in New Zealand. His online resource contains Hundreds of Excellent Dog Training Videos that will take you step-by-step through the process of developing a healthy, happy well-behaved dog.
A Guide to Catalan Sheepdog Grooming
The Catalan Sheepdog has a hardy double coat that is resistant to weather.
The coat requires frequent brushing and occasional clipping, especially around the ears, feet and sanitary region.
Catalan Sheepdog shedding is moderate, but can be reduced by regular bathing and brushing.
Is the Catalan Sheepdog Hypoallergenic?
No, the Catalan Sheepdog is not hypoallergenic.
If you are looking for a dog that is hypoallergenic, check out this list of breeds.
What to Feed a Catalan Sheepdog?
Talk with your vet about the best nutrition for your Catalan Sheepdog.
If possible, feed your Catalan Sheepdog a high-quality commercial dog food that is free from animal by-products, artificial ingredients, and fillers (such as corn).
Make sure to feed your dog the appropriate amount for his age and size to avoid obesity. You can give him treats in moderation.
Staying Healthy: Catalan Sheepdog Health Issues
In general, the Catalan Sheepdog is a hardy breed with few health issues.
If you purchase your Catalan Sheepdog from a breeder, talk with the breeder about the medical history of the parents.
Make sure the breeder has performed recommended health tests such as a hip evaluation and an eye evaluation.
Talk with your veterinarian to learn more about the following conditions and their early warning signs:
Like all dogs, your Catalan Sheepdog should visit the veterinarian at least once per year for an annual exam and vaccinations.
It is imperative to keep your Catalan Sheepdog current on heartworm, flea and tick control at all times. Talk with your veterinarian about the best preventative medicine for your dog.
Spaying and neutering are highly encouraged to avoid adding to the animal overpopulation problem in this country. There are also health and behavioral benefits! Speak with your vet about scheduling this procedure at the right time for your pet.
With excellent care, the Catalan Sheepdog lifespan is between 12 years and 14 years.
Note: if you agree that your health and your dog's health should be a top priority then get a copy of The Ultimate Guide to Dog Health. Your Catalan Sheepdog friend will love you for it. This guide will help save you money, time and most of all help you keep your dog healthy.
Catalan Sheepdog Rescue and Adoption
If you think the Catalan Sheepdog temperament is a match for you, there are many options for finding the right dog for your household.
A great option is to adopt a Catalan Sheepdog that is in need of a new home.
There are many benefits to adopting a rescue dog. For example, adopted dogs are:
- Usually older and have some prior training, including housetraining.
- They are usually done with the destructive puppy stage.
- They are usually calmer, and they require less attention than puppies.
- It is also significantly cheaper to adopt a dog rather than buy one from a breeder. Plus you are saving a dog’s life!
If you would like to find a Catalan Sheepdog for adoption, and like in the UK a great place to start is with the Catalan Sheepdog Club of UK. The club can direct you to Sheepdogs that are in need of new homes.
You can also search through adoption websites such as Petfinder.com or Adoptapet.com.
Facebook and Google are also great resources for finding dogs for adoption.
Be sure to visit your local animal shelter or humane society. Even though this breed is rare in American animal shelters, you never know what you might find on any given day at your local shelter.
Ask to leave your name on file so you can be contacted if similar dogs come in.
If you choose to adopt through a rescue organization, your adoption fee will likely be between $100 and $300 depending on the organization. Most rescue dogs will come already spayed/neutered, vaccinated and vetted.
Finding a Catalan Sheepdog for Sale from a Reputable Breeder
If you decide to purchase a Catalan Sheepdog puppy from a breeder, be prepared for the price tag to be substantially higher.
The average Catalan Sheepdog price from a high-quality breeder is between $800 and $1200.
It may take some time to find Catalan Sheepdog puppies for sale from a reputable breeder. This breed is still quite scarce in the United States, and there are a limited number of breeders.
If you would like to find a Catalan Sheepdog for adoption, a great place to start is with a national breed club or a community of enthusiasts.
For example, if you live in North America, you can find an active community of Catalan Sheepdog devotees on Facebook.
If you live in Europe, there are numerous official Catalan Sheepdog Clubs in countries such as Spain and the United Kingdom (Catalan Sheepdog Club of Great Britain). Even if you live in the United States, you can still reach out to these organizations and they can put you in touch with rescue contacts in the US.
Make sure your potential breeder is highly invested in the Catalan Sheepdog temperament and health.
Once you identify a potential breeder, set up an appointment to visit the breeder in person.
Always make sure you see the property with your own eyes. Never purchase puppies over the internet or from a pet store. If you do, you may wind up with a sick puppy from a puppy mill.
A good breeder should welcome your visit. They will want to get to know you as well. Good breeders want to make sure that their puppies go to excellent homes.
Responsible breeders will not overbreed their dogs, so a puppy may not be ready immediately. You may have to be placed on a waiting list.
Conclusion: Why the Catalan Sheepdog?
The Catalan Sheepdog temperament is ideal for many people, but is not the perfect fit for every family.
Spend as much time as possible getting to know the traits of this breed before you commit to living with one for the next 14 years.
If you lead an active lifestyle and you are looking for an alert, intelligent and athletic companion, the Catalan Sheepdog temperament might be a good match for you!