Being an ancient breed, the Spanish Greyhound or Galgo Espanol belongs to the family of sighthound. Primarily used in the countryside of Spain for hunting hares, Galgos bear a resemblance to the Greyhound, though their conformation appears to be a little different than the latter. In fact, they have a smaller body stature and are also higher at the back than in front. Other physical features of the Spanish Greyhound include a streamlined head, giving the impression of big ears, and long tails. Their quiet and docile nature has earned them the reputation of great house pets.
|Other names||Spanish Galgo|
|Coat||Smooth, short-haired or even rough|
|Color||Any color (Black, white, cinnamon, yellow)|
|Lifespan/ Life Expectancy||12-15 years|
|Weight||Male: 60-65 lb
Female: 50-55 lb
|Behavioral Characteristics||Calm, gentle. Polite, quiet, laidback|
|Good with children||Yes|
|Climate compatibility||Prefer warm weather|
|Shedding (Does it shed)||Moderate|
|Competitive Registration Qualification/Information||FCI, UKC|
The Galgo not just comprises the Spanish Greyhound but even the Spanish dog. Their name has possibly been attained from “Canis Gallicus,” that stands for a Celtic dog in Latin.
There have been a lot of theories as far as their lineage is concerned, with speculations being that it might be a cross between the Irish Greyhound and Sloughi or even the Deerhound. This dog may have originated as early as the 9th and 10th century in Spain when it was primarily used as a hunting dog as well as for coursing hares, mostly kept by those belonging to the aristocratic classes. During that time interbreeding may have occurred between the Galgo as well as other sighthounds like the Saluki and Sloughi. These breeds were so esteemed that killing or stealing them was considered as a punishable offense. The Galgos have also appeared in mural paintings of the 12th century where they have been seen hunting. Besides art, these favorite dogs were even mentioned of in literature and hunting books. However, over the span, their importance diminished and they were mostly bred and kept by the lower classes. When their utility declined, cruel treatment was meted out to them. They were hung from trees, thrown into wells, and stuffed into garbage vans after being shot. Dog fanciers protested against such inhumanity with laws also being implemented.
At present, they have attained popularity as show dogs in Europe. They are, however, not much familiar in the United States, also not being recognized by the AKC and UKC.
Galgos are just like the Greyhounds regarding temperament. They are perceived to be as quiet and shy dogs, with a gentle and calm disposition. These dogs are quite laidback, loving to spend most of their times relaxing and lazing on a couch. Since they are cat-friendly, these pets are ideal for feline lovers. They even get along well with smaller dogs if raised with them, though furred outdoor animals may trigger their chasing instinct. They are also extremely friendly towards kids and owing to their calm nature; these dogs would rarely knock down the little ones when interacting with them. Owing to their reserved and shy temperament, they might be wary towards strangers.
Socialization: Since the Spanish Greyhound tends being reserved and shy, imparting socialization training to the puppies is of utmost importance. Invite friends and acquaintances at your place since the time you have brought your puppy home so that he gradually gets used to them. You can even ask guests to carry a treat so that your puppy associates goodies with meeting unfamiliar people. However, it is essential to teach him to differentiate the good from the bad so that he can identify a friend and a foe and not get lured by treats from everyone.
Obedience: Teaching it commands like “come,” “stay,” and “stop” since the time it is a puppy to keep its chasing instinct under control.
Feeding your Spanish Greyhound with good quality dog food as well as a diet rich in protein and vitamin is essential to keep it physically and mentally energized.