Character and Appearance of the Gos d'Atura
The homeland of the Gos d'Atura is the north Spanish province of Catalonia, which extends from the coast near Barcelona up to the Pyrenees.
The Catalans maintain their traditions, language and their dog breeds. The shepherd dogs have worked with sheep here for centuries.
The work, the climate and the living conditions have formed their appearance and character: robust, frugal, unaffected by the weather, lively, watchful, but do not bark without reason. Older descriptions mention the following qualities: intelligent, very lively, mid-sized length, well built, a splendid coat, a noble gaze, able to cope with heat and cold.
The breeding selection follows the above mentioned criteria, sometimes very natural -- ???, which results in a diverse appearance: some are brown, some gray, sand colored or black. Usually they are a mix of several colors or just three. Pure white spots are not desired. The missing appearance criteria, which is normal for other breeds, have resulted in a robustness and naturalness of the breed. Its intelligence makes them easy to train, but a trait of stubbornness requires a consistent training, especially with males.
Dogs of this breed love kids, are faithful to their family and master but require close contact with people. This means they often lay down at the feet of someone. They are, however, very reserved toward strangers and have a certain “natural edge“: they guard their house, garden and pack and bark at intruders. When a stranger is accepted by the master, then the dog quiets down quickly and even “demands“ to be petted. Because of its herding instincts they like activity and have perseverance. They like long walks, playing in the open, excursions with bicycle or on horseback and also playing with children. A loving but consistent training is necessary for this breed. Their intelligence is a joy for their owners. They can do tricks, agility, tournament sports and dog-dancing. Many like their long stride, a kind of floating trot, as a running gait.
A Gos d'Atura can handle terrain like a chamois and is just as modest in care requirements. They eat only the amount they need, often at nighttime after work is completed. Their coat is impressive: it is fluffy stands way from the body and is almost bristly. On the back, the legs and the paws it is long and flows down soft and silky. They don't require intensive hair-care, since the coat does not tend to entanglement (youth coat!). Practically this means that a brushing once per week is enough in a typical situation.