One must go back several centuries to find the origins of the Catalan Sheepdog or Gos d’Atura Catala. Most experts agree that during the expansion of the Roman Empire, the Bergamasco or the ancestors of this breed were taken throughout the Empire and crossed with local breeds. Influenced by the local climate, the terrain and the work required of the dog, the result was the beginning of the evolution of many breeds found today throughout a large part of Europe. These include the Cao de Serra d’Aires from Portugal, the Petit Berger from the Pyrenees, the Briard from France, the Nizzins from Poland, the Bearded Collie from Great Britain and of course the Bergamasco from Italy. The Gos d’Atura Catala, is above all, a very Mediterranean dog which can still be seen today working in the Pyrenean valleys and throughout the Catalunya region in Spain, including along the Costa Brava where the sea meets the pastures.
The Gos d’Atura Catala has lived on farms in Catalunya for centuries driving livestock and warning households of the approach of strangers. However, during the last century and, as a result of demographic movement from the countryside to towns, many farms closed and the Gos d’Atura saw its numbers dramatically reduced. It wasn’t until the beginning of the 1970’s that a recovery process began to take place.
Adult dogs and puppies were bought from the remaining shepherds, who worked with only pure bred examples and followed a particular blood line. The Gos d’Atura Catala is a breed that has remained faithful to its origins and has not been bred for a particular look or on personal whims, so much so that a dog from the beginning of the 20th Century could be shown at a present day dog show with no problem at all.
The first moves to set out the standard for the breed were made at the beginning of the 20th Century. As a result the Gos d’Atura Catala was recognised by the FCI (no. 87) based on two examples, Tac and Iris, which were shown at the Barcelona Exhibition in 1929. Today, the Gos d’Atura Catala is found principally as a pet. It is an intelligent animal with a balanced character. Whilst it is an active dog, it also adapts well to family life and is patient and friendly with children. In Catalunya this breed can still be seen working on farms with all types of livestock from cows and horses to ducks and geese. It can also be found taking part in agility classes and competitions. They are also used as police sniffer dogs and for Search and Rescue.
A very sedate dog, active, intelligent, and very vigilant. A noble expression, with a pleasant character. Resistant to both heat and cold. A dog of well balanced, medium proportion and medium size with a beautiful long flat or slightly wavy coat, with abundant undercoat.
On the head a beard, moustache and tufted eyebrows. Wide open round eyes, amber in colour with black rimmed eyelids. High set, triangular hanging ears carried close to the head covered with long hair ending in mobile fringes. Slightly longer in the body than in height, approximately in a ratio of 9:8.
Straight top line. Well developed chest, with curved ribs, allowing for a good thoracic capacity.
Catalan Sheepdogs are generally a health breed .All dogs and Bitch's should be hip scored and eye tested prior to mating.
The breed should have Double Dew claws on each rear leg.