8 Facts About Catalan Sheepdogs

Catalan Sheepdog puppy

The Catalan Sheepdog is a herding dog that hails from Spain. They love their families, get along great with children, and have playful personalities. Here are a few more facts about Catalan Sheepdogs:

1. They Have a High Prey Drive

Catalan Sheepdogs were originally bred to herd and protect flocks of sheep. In addition to their protective instincts, they also have a high prey drive. This gives them the urge to chase and herd, so they should only be let off-leash in securely fenced-in areas.

If there are other smaller pets in the family, you will need to introduce and socialize your Catalan Sheepdog appropriately with them. Although they may need an introduction to smaller pets, they tend to get along fabulously with children and other dogs in the home.

2. The Catalan Sheepdog Has a Few Names

This dog breed is popular across Europe as both a herding dog and a family companion. Although they originated in the Catalonia and Andorra Regions of Spain, they are also popular in Germany, Finland, and Sweden.

Because of this, they go by a few names. Catalan Sheepdog is the most common, especially in the United States. But, they may also be referred to as the Catalan Shepherd, the Perro de Pastor Catalan, and the Gos d’Atura Catalá.

3. They Are Naturally Wary of Strangers

Catalan Sheepdogs have an innate protective instinct, which makes them naturally wary and suspicious of strangers. They also are devoted to their families and become quite attached to them. This means they tend to be protective of their territory and their families.

Socialization early and often is important for any dog breed, but it is especially important for dogs with natural protective instincts. Properly socializing your Catalan Sheepdog helps them be a little less wary of strangers and ensures their protective instinct doesn’t run unchecked into a fear response.

4. Catalan Sheepdogs Are High-Energy Dogs

The Catalan Sheepdog is a high-energy working dog with an independent nature. As with any working dog, they are happiest when they have a job to do.

And, in the case of the Catalan Sheepdog, they are happiest when they have a job that allows them to be active with their family. Whether that job is herding sheep or just being your hiking partner for the day, this dog will just be happy to be doing something and spending quality time with you.

5. They Are Highly Intelligent

Catalan Sheepdogs are highly intelligent dogs. Their intelligence, paired with their eagerness to please their owners and learn, means they pick on things quickly and easily. Normally, these traits would make them a good fit for owners of all experience levels. But, the Catalan Sheepdog is a high-energy working dog with an independent streak that can also get bored easily.

These traits can be challenging for first-time dog owners to navigate on their own. So, it’s important for novice dog owners to enroll in puppy training classes or obtain the help of an experienced trainer. This will help them gain the skills, confidence, and training methods to successfully train and handle a high-energy working dog.

6. Catalan Sheepdogs Served in the Spanish Civil War

Although they were relatively rare dogs, Catalan Sheepdogs were working dogs in the Spanish Civil War. Their skills as guard dogs made them good watchdogs and sentry dogs. Their intelligence and trainability also made them good messenger dogs.

7. They Almost Disappeared After World War II

Similar to several dog breeds, Catalan Sheepdog numbers declined after World War II and the breed almost disappeared. Thanks to selective breeding programs during the 1970s, the breed recovered and their popularity returned in Spain. Their numbers and popularity continue to grow in Finland, Germany, and Sweden as the breed continues to gain popularity in countries around the world.

8. The Catalan Sheepdog Undercoat Sheds in Phases

Catalan Sheepdogs are fluffy dogs. They have a double coat with a dense, thick undercoat and a straight or slightly wavy top coat. They shed a little year-round, but will blow their undercoat and shed heavily twice a year.

What is interesting is that they shed their undercoat in two phases; they will generally blow their coat on the front half of their bodies before the back half sheds. During this time, they look like they have two different coats on the front and back halves of their bodies.

Is a Catalan Sheepdog Puppy the Right Fit For Your Family?

These are just a few facts about Catalan Sheepdogs. A Catalan Sheepdog can be a great fit for active owners and families who can provide them with plenty of exercise, attention, affection, and mental stimulation.

If you think this dog breed could be the right fit for you, learn more about them and check out the available Catalan Sheepdog puppies. You could end up finding your new best friend!