Catalan Sheepdog vs Austrailian Blue Heeler - Breed Comparison

Austrailian Blue Heeler is originated from Australia but Catalan Sheepdog is originated from Spain. Both Austrailian Blue Heeler and Catalan Sheepdog are having almost same height. Austrailian Blue Heeler may weigh 9 kg / 19 pounds lesser than Catalan Sheepdog. Both Austrailian Blue Heeler and Catalan Sheepdog has almost same life span. Both Austrailian Blue Heeler and Catalan Sheepdog has almost same litter size. Austrailian Blue Heeler requires High Maintenance. But Catalan Sheepdog requires Moderate Maintenance

Basic Information

Group:
Herding dogs
Herding dogs
Origin:
Australia
Spain
Height Male:
45 - 50 cm
17 - 20 inches
47 - 55 cm
18 - 22 inches
Height Female:
43 - 48 cm
16 - 19 inches
45 - 53 cm
17 - 21 inches
Weight Male:
14 - 16 kg
30 - 36 pounds
16 - 25 kg
35 - 56 pounds
Weight Female:
12 - 14 kg
26 - 31 pounds
15 - 25 kg
33 - 56 pounds
Life Span:
12 - 16 Years
12 - 14 Years
Litter Size:
1 - 7
4 - 6
Size:
Medium
Medium
Other Names:
Queensland Heeler
Gos d'Atura Català, Catalan shepherd
Colors Available:
blue, red
Fawn, brownish, dark grey, black
Coat:
blue speckled or red speckled with dark or cream marks
Long coat - fairly wavy
Shedding:
Constant
Moderate
Temperament:
Alert, Courageous, Curious, Energetic, Independent, Intelligent, Lively, Loyal, Outgoing, Playful, Protective, Responsive, Social, Territorial
Affectionate, Alert, Cheerful, Courageous, Curious, Docile, Energetic, Friendly, Gentle, Independent, Intelligent, Lively, Loving, Loyal, Outgoing, Playful, Protective, Responsive, Social, Sweet, Territorial
Grooming:
High Maintenance
Moderate Maintenance
Trainability:
Easy
Easy
Hypoallergenic:
No
No
Kids Friendly:
Yes
Yes
New Owners Friendly:
No
Yes

History

In 1840, George Elliott made a match with Australian Dingo and Collie and got a clever and very active dog breed – Australian Blue Heeler. Soon, he showed his good herding instincts and protective nature and got really popular among the cattlemen and ranchers. Soon, as the USA soldiers arrived in Australia, they decided that it will be a great dog to bring home.

Australian Blue Heeler has short, double coat. The coat is water resistant and helps them when the temperature is too high as well. Their coat is rough to the touch, naturally. They can be found in blue or red coat colour mix. The Blue Heeler isn’t actually blue, but their black coat has a bluish tint. Red Heelers have red fur instead of black. They have long tails, strong legs, Dingo-like heads with pointy ears and muscular necks and balanced and athletic bodies.

The Catalan Sheepdog, known also as the Gos d’Atura, hails from Catalonia, Spain. It is believed that the dog is related to the Portuguese- and Pyrenean Sheepdogs.

The standard for this breed was formulated in 1929. The sheepdog developed during Roman Empire times between 200 and 100 BC already, being used as livestock guard dogs. With the breed dwindling in the 1970s, Catalonian Sheepdog lovers started promoting it, but it remains a rare breed.

Description

This breed is somehow designed for an outdoor life and outdoor activity. This implies that Blue Heelers have nature made of the high dose of energy. They are always ready to go anywhere you go, and they will be a loyal friend. They are actually very clever, intelligent and ready to help.

If you are a type of the person who prefers being indoors and having minimal physical activity, Blue heelers are not the type of a furry companion for you. They have a high daily need for the activity, and they love having lots of space to run and explore. Sometimes, you will realize that having a leash is a must because they will get so playful that they will forget about you!

If you start teaching them to be friendly with other dogs while they are still pups, they will accept that kind of lifestyle. But, if your Blue Heeler is raised as the only dog on the ranch, note that they won’t be very friendly toward other dogs.

Since most of the herd dogs usually respond to only one person, most of the Blue Heelers can follow this old instinct. They can be very independent, as well, and they are usually not the type of the dog that will always be around your leg waiting for a cuddle or ear scratch. But, they build the respect towards humans depending on how they treat him so they can be very lovable and friendly pets.

If you are still confused about their name, you must know that the Blue Heelers can actually lightly nip your heel for attention. They are not aggressive, but they tend to be very protective of the family, humans around them and their property.

The Catalan is a medium sized dog but gives the impression of being bigger than he actually is. He stands from 45 – 55cm in height and weighs between 20 to 25kg.

This breed also has double dew claws on the hind feet. He has a long coat which is slightly wavy and available in different shades such as fawn to brownish to dark grey to black. He has floppy, feathery ears and a fairly long, feathery tail. He has quite a bit of hair on he face too, so you’ll notice a beard, moustache as well as hair which covers the eyes somewhat.

Temperament

Brave and courageous, the Catalan Sheepdog is also intelligent, active and hardy. He has a round face with a friendly, amicable expression. He is totally pleasant and sweet natured. However, in his role as guardian of sheep he took his role seriously, forming a strong relationship with both shepherd and sheep.

He is wary of strangers. Early socialization and training is always important, and while he makes a wonderful family pet, this training and socialization makes him more relaxed and obedient and he gets on well with children in the home as well as with other pets. While he is a placid, docile and gentle pet, he is also looked upon as a protector, and will defend his family.

Health Problems

Eye problems

Progressive Retinal Atrophy usually causes slow and painless loss of sight. This process takes years, but there are cases where this disease took only months before the dog ended up completely blind. It is advisable to take your Blue Heeler to the vet for a test that can tell you if your dog is carrying the gene for this disease.

Lens luxation is a disease where the lens of dog’s eye separates partially or completely. Good news is that this disease can be treated.

Joint diseases

Most common is the hip or elbow dysplasia. This is the disease where hip joints do not develop properly and begin to grind. This condition can sometimes be treated with physiotherapy, but there is a chance that your Blue Heeler will need a surgery. If you have a habit of regular vet checks and keeping your dog slim and fed with quality food, you can a make a big difference.

Osteochondritis Dissecans (OCD) causes the dog to have excess cartilage and deficient bone, where cartilage does not get replaced by bone during fetal development. This disease usually requires surgery and prescribed medicines.

Deafness

Congenital hereditary sensorineural deafness – CHSD is a common form of deafness.

Bilateral deafness can be identified when the dog is still a puppy, more-less at six weeks of age. A puppy with deafness in only one ear is harder to identify, but it can happen.

Portosystemic shunt means that the blood flow is getting back into the bloodstream instead of passing through the liver. That means that liver can’t clear out the toxins, and the organ itself fails to grow properly. This inherited type of shunt can be treated with surgery if the diagnose is set on time.

The Catalan Sheepdog is a fairly healthy breed and has a life expectancy of 12, 13 or 14 years. Nonetheless you will still need to watch out with common dog ailments with him, particularly hip dysplasia.

Hyp Dysplasia:

This is a joint and hip disease which can start with symptoms from 6 months of age already. Your dog will be hesitant to play and jump, doesn’t like to go upstairs, tires easily during a walk and develops a hop-like way to walk. You’ll notice that when he lies down, he battles to- or is reluctant to get up again.

X-rays may be required to confirm the diagnosis of hip dysplasia. There are different treatment options, all with the wellbeing of your pet in mind. You don’t want him to have a life of pain and lameness.

Caring The Pet

Feeding the puppy

Choose a dog food that will provide nutrients that will help in the bone developing. Since they are more likely to suffer from joint diseases, you must take this advice seriously. It would be great if you speak about this with your vet before you choose food on your own.

Feeding the adult

The best food for Blue Heeler is a high-quality food which supplies them with premium nutrition to fuel their activity.

They also drink a lot of water, so be sure that they always have a fresh water available.

Points for Good Health

Lots and lots of the outdoor activity and a quality food. You must be very cautious because this kind of dogs gets overweight easily because they just love the treats and extra food portion.

Games and Exercises

Any outdoor activity that is mentally challenging and interesting enough to keep them from running in the field trying to catch anything that moves.

Exercise:

The Catalan Sheepdog is a working breed, so he is going to need plenty of exercise. While he adapts easily to city- or country life, it will be to his benefit to have a garden to romp in. You will still need to take him for walks and play ball- and rope games with him. This will prevent boredom and destructive behavior from him.

Grooming:

The Catalan Sheepdog has long hair so he will need to be brushed twice a week to avoid matting. This will help to remove loose hair too, but also distribute natural oils through his coat, keeping his hair and skin healthy and free from skin rashes and itchiness.

This brushing ensures other benefits as you can simultaneously check him for parasites such as fleas and ticks.

Diet:

If you feed him commercial dog food, make sure its a high quality one. He is an active breed so will require high protein. Give him some homemade rice, vegetables and meat, and include raw meat in his food from time to time too. Always ensure that there is fresh, cool water constantly within reach.

Characteristics

Children friendliness

They are generally good with children, but you must be aware of their inherent desire to herd. Always supervise when your Blue Heeler is around small children.

Special Talents

Ball tricks, frisbee fun, running companion, herding cattle.

Adaptability

It is best to buy a puppy. These dogs get attached to one human and to the territory.

Learning ability

They are generally quick learners. If you teach them to be playful, friendly and loving, they will learn it in no time. So be aware of the decisions that can cost you when the dog grows up.

The Catalan Sheepdog is such an amicable character – he is going to make an awesome pet. He is an intelligent and obedient dog and is easily trained.

He has been used for guarding- and herding work and as a family pet makes a excellent guard dog as well. Capable of being gentle too, he is everything his human family wants him to be and just becomes a regular member of the family.

Comparison with other breeds

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