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Gos d’Atura Català – The Catalan Sheepdog

Click here to read the complete article
268 – The Annual, 2019-20

Text and illustrations

By Ria Hörter

It is in the driving of flocks that the true essence of this breed manifests itself, because not only does he obey the shepherd, but in numerous cases, he shows his initiative, directing the flock with marvellous ease, preventing any animal from separating from the others. Through his great bravery and courage, he can also be used for guarding missions. Because of his size, his beautiful coat, his intelligence and his great loyalty to his masters, he can be an excellent companion.”

– Fédération Cynologique Internationale (fci.be)

Not a Dialect

I can see you thinking, “‘Gos’ what?” But in Catalonian, a language spoken by about 12 million people, gos simply means “dog” and atura means “stop.” Català refers to Catalonia, an autonomous region in northeast Spain. When driving the flock, the Gos d’Atura will suddenly stand still, facing the sheep, which is what atura refers to in the name.

Put a Gos d’Atura Català next to a Portuguese Sheepdog, followed by a French Pyrenean Shepherd, a French Briard, and a Polish Lowland Sheepdog and even judges or other dog fanciers will have trouble putting the right breed name to the right dog.

Spectators sitting ringside, watching these sheepdogs trot, will also have trouble keeping them apart. These breeds form a long thread through Europe from the Polish Lowlands to the French and Spanish Pyrenees.

At the beginning of the 20th century, some well-known dog writers still did not know about the Gos d’Atura. European dog writers such as Ludwig Beckmann (1822-1902), Richard Strebel (1861-1940), and Comte Henri de Bylandt (1860-1943) did not mention the breed, but some 30 years later, Max von Stephanitz (Der Deutsche Schäferhund in Wort und Bild, 1932) and Hubert Heuillet (Tous les Chiens, 1934) were familiar with the Gos. French Impresionist painter André Lagarrigue (1886-1980) contributed a beautiful watercolor of the breed to Tous les Chiens.

Tac and Iris

 Click here to read the complete article
268 – The Annual, 2019-20

Short URL: https://caninechronicle.com/?p=176270

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