All About the Breed Catalan Sheepdog

Have you recently fallen for the Catalan Sheepdog or do you simply love rare breeds? Learn all about the breed here, including: Breed History, Personality Traits, Train-ability, Benefits and Disadvantages of the Breed, and Common Health Concerns.

Also known as the Catalonian Shepherd, Gos d'Atura Catala, Perro de Pastor Calatan, and the Catalonian Sheepdog, the Catalan Sheepdog is an intelligent and affectionate breed. But how do you know whether you are ready to purchase a pet and if this breed is right for you?

This information is absolutely necessary in making the decision to purchase a pet.


The origin of the Catalan Sheepdog can be traced back to 18th century Spain. Enthusiasts believe the Catalan Sheepdog to have descended from such breeds as the Great Pyrenees and the English Cocker Spaniel, though this has never been proven scientifically or otherwise.

Throughout its history, the Catalan Sheepdog has been most commonly used for herding, driving, and guarding cattle, proving its superior abilities to perform in most any terrain and climate while providing companionship.

Today, while the Catalan Sheepdog has attained an underground popularity as both a working and companion dog, the breed remains extremely rare outside of Europe.

Personality Traits

Best known for its loyal and lively nature, the Catalan Sheepdog is a genuinely happy breed. These dogs thrive on strong and dependable relationships with humans, and often look to their owner for guidance and leadership. This breed is highly intelligent and generally very easy to train. As a pet, this breed is obedient, loyal, loving, and affectionate.

The Catalan Sheepdog is not suited for full-time indoor or apartment living, as these dogs enjoy spending time outdoors, playing games such as fetch, frisbee, and tug-of-war, and taking long walks.


Due to its need for human relationships and willingness to learn, the Catalan Sheepdog generally responds well to basic training and commands. This breed is highly intelligent and has the ability to learn to perform most any task its trainer is willing to take the time to teach.

Establishing immediate trust and respect is key to successfully training the Catalan Sheepdog. These dogs respond best to a confident, patient, and caring handler with a stern yet gentle approach to repetitive exercises and tasks.

Benefits and Disadvantages of the Breed

There are many benefits to owning a Catalan Sheepdog. This active breed is always on the go, and often quite amusing and entertaining to watch while at play. These dogs are highly intelligent, easy to train, and capable of learning to perform many impressive tricks and tasks.

When properly socialized from a young age, the Catalan Sheepdog gets along well with children and other pets, known for its sweet and gentle approach to small children. The Catalan Sheepdog is obedient, loyal, loving, and affectionate, making an excellent working dog, family pet, and companion alike.

Unfortunately, there are also disadvantages to owning a Catalan Sheepdog. These energetic and athletic dogs require large amounts of daily exercise and room to run and play. Anyone wishing to purchase this breed lacking the adequate amount of time and space to dedicate to the dog is strongly advised against doing so.

A Catalan Sheepdog not receiving the proper amount of exercise and space will often act out by destroying property, chewing, barking, whining, and ignoring basic training such as housebreaking.

The Catalan Sheepdog has a strong instinct to hunt and will occasionally indulge in a good chase. When on the run, these dogs are surprisingly quick, and may pose a threat to other animals, neighborhood pets, and small woodland creatures. The Catalan Sheepdog must be leashed or properly secured at all times when outdoors.

This breed's thick and gorgeous coat requires almost constant attention such as brushing, grooming, and bathing in order to prevent tangling and maintain its attractive appearance.

As previously mentioned, the Catalan Sheepdog remains rather rare outside of Europe and can prove quite difficult to obtain. Individuals seeking to purchase this breed often encounter such challenges as inability to locate a breeder, extremely high prices, and being placed on long waiting lists.

Common Health Concerns

While the Catalan Sheepdog is typically known as a healthy and hearty breed, they do suffer from a few health problems, including: hip dysplasia, patellar luxation - dislocation of the knee, epilepsy, progressive retinal atrophy, glaucoma, and various dental issues.

Now that you know all about the breed, do you think you are ready to own a Catalan Sheepdog?

Remember, purchasing a pet is a big decision and should be discussed thoroughly and seriously with your entire family.