The Catalan (Catalonia) Sheepdog, also known as the Gos d'Atura Català or Perro de Pastor Catalán, originated in Catalonia, Spain. The breed's origins can be traced back to ancient times, when it is believed that the Celts brought their herding dogs with them to the Iberian Peninsula. These dogs were then bred with other local breeds, resulting in the development of the Catalan Sheepdog we know today. This breed has been used for centuries to help herd and protect flocks of sheep in the Pyrenees mountains. The Catalan Sheepdog was recognized as a distinct breed in 1929, and it was first exhibited at the Barcelona International Dog Show in 1933. However, the breed suffered a decline in numbers during the Spanish Civil War and World War II, and it was not until the 1970s that efforts were made to revive the breed.
Currently, there are no known genetic conditions tightly associated with the Catalan Sheepdog breed. However, as with many other breeds, Catalan Sheepdogs can be prone to hip dysplasia and some eye conditions.
Catalan Sheepdogs are known for their intelligence, agility, and versatility. They are quick learners and are naturally protective, making them excellent herding dogs. These dogs have a high energy level and require regular physical and mental stimulation. They can perform well in dog sports like agility, obedience, and herding events. In addition to their working attributes, Catalan Sheepdogs are known to be loyal, affectionate, and good with children and other animals, making them excellent family pets. They are known to be somewhat reserved with strangers but are not generally aggressive or overly shy. Catalan Sheepdogs are also known to be vocal, often using their voice to alert their owners of anything unusual. Early socialization and training are important for this breed, as it helps them become well-adjusted, confident adult dogs.
The Catalonian Sheepdog breed was recognized by the United Kennel Club (UKC) on July 1, 2006.
It was only in the late 19th and early 20th centuries that the breed was formally recognized and began to be widely used. In the mid-20th century, the breed suffered a decline due to changing farming practices and urbanization, but enthusiasts have worked hard to maintain the breed.