Now primarily bred across Europe in Germany, Finland, Spain and Sweden, the Catalan Sheepdog is considered one of the world's oldest and rarest dog breeds, dating back to the time of the ancient Romans in 200-100 BC. Bred in the Pyrenean Valley regions and in Catalonia, the Catalan Sheepdog began as a versatile working breed, utilised on farms before the onset of the War. Brought back into existence on numerous occasions through selective breeding, the Catalan Sheepdog has many relatives and is the result of breeding between the Italian Bergamasco and native Catalan dogs.
A medium-sized breed possessing strong limbs, a proportionate frame, a long, wavy coat in colour variations of fawn, black, yellow-red, grey and chestnut, as well as round features and dark eyes. The thick, tonal coat is characteristic of the breed, protecting the dog from extreme temperatures and adding to its distinctive appearance. Whilst still being used for guarding and herding, the modern Catalan Sheepdog is progressively being utilised in search and rescue, agility and competitive stock dog trials.
A highly intelligent breed with good trainability; the Catalan Sheepdog originated as a light, working breed and maintains an instinctual working temperament today. With an approximate weight of between 17-25 kg depending on gender and a life expectancy of 14 years, the Catalan Sheepdog is a resilient and vigilant breed, alert to threat and change. With an easy, sedate temperament, this is the ideal breed choice for families, whilst being a great companion for a sole owner. Very active-minded, the Catalan Sheepdog benefits from wide outdoor spaces where it can exercise and play.
Re-bred for its inherent hardiness, the Catalan Sheepdog is not susceptible to any known health complaints, but like most dogs, may potentially be afflicted by hip dysplasia. Otherwise, this breed is generally healthy and long-lived, when shown appropriate care.