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Galgo Espanol

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Is the Galgo Espanol right for you?

Species group:

Other name(s): Spanish Galgo; Spanish Greyhound; Galgo

The basics:
The so-called Spanish Greyhound shouldn't be considered a true Greyhound, since this aerodynamic-looking breed is used for hunting for long hours in wild mountain terrain, while the true Greyhound sprints on a level track. Nonetheless, a lot of Greyhound blood found its way into the Galgo population when track racing become popular in 1930s Spain. Fortunately, the pure breed survived in rural areas where it was used to hunt hare, and it was recognized by the Federation Cynalogique Internationale (FCI) by the 1980s.

Both the Greyhound and the Galgo Espanol share a common ancestor, the Celtic dogs that appeared in Europe around 500-400 BC. As a result, you may notice some personality similarities. If you take your Galgo on a brisk daily run or jog, it can be quite content to laze around the house with you the rest of the evening-- making for a relaxed pet that may fit more easily into many people's lives. They should be socialized with kindness and positive rewards to prevent them from becoming timid. Like the Greyhound, they are stimulated to give chase when they spot potential prey, so you need to take care to keep them on a leash when out in public.

Appearance / health:
Galgo Espanols have all the characteristics that make them suitable for running long distances over rugged terrain. They are very long with less depth of chest, less rear angulation, less weight and height, and longer muscles for endurance.

The typical Galgo Espanol is a medium-sized, lean, slender dog with a small head and a long pointed muzzle. The neck is long, slim, muscular and supple. The ears are triangular, set high, broad at the base and semi-pricked when the dog is alert. The eyes are small, dark, and almond-shaped. The legs are straight, thin, long, well boned, and muscular. The tail is very long, slightly tapering towards its tip and resting between the legs when the dog is at rest.

The wirehaired variety needs more care and grooming compared to the smooth coated ones. Wirehaired Espanols need to be combed or brushed once or twice a week to prevent matt formation. Bathing can be done once a week or once a month or only when it is required. Before a bath, thorough combing or brushing is done to prevent matting.

The smooth haired needs less brushing and bathing compared to the wirehaired. Nails can be trimmed once in two or three weeks. Ears should be checked and cleaned regularly. Teeth can be cleaned occasionally using special toothpaste and toothbrush available at pet stores.

Galgos are great sporting companions who cheerfully accompany their family to country walks. Taking them for a walk twice a day is necessary to keep them physically fit and mentally stimulated. They should not be left off leash as they are sighthounds and would start running once they locate the prey.

The Galgo Espanol is a healthy breed but can be prone to hip dysplasia (an inherited disease in which the hip joint displaces, causing crippling), skin allergies, periodontal disease (an infection of the tissues that hold the teeth leading to sore and bleeding gums), bloating, epilepsy (a debilitating nervous disorder characterized by recurrent unprovoked seizures), and an irritable bowel. It may also be prone to cancer.

Behavior / temperament:
Galgo Espanols possess a strong will to please the owner, a trait that makes them trainable. Usually, they are calm and unobtrusive, but are very energetic while going for walks or on field. Fast, persistent, and agile, they make excellent hunters in rugged terrains. They are sighthounds and are quick to run once a potential prey is located.

They have a strong protective instinct and need to be extensively socialized from an early age lest they turn into shy or fearful adults.

They have an overpowering instinct to chase and catch moving objects and are likely to run after poultry, rodents or other animals and even moving vehicles if left off leash.

They are trainable as they are intelligent, calm, and eager to please the owner. Basic obedience and household rules training are important for Galgos. They need to be trained firmly and consistently. Harsh disciplinary measures need to be avoided as this could make the dog shy or nervous. Positive reinforcement yields excellent results with them.

They do not bark much, making them suitable for urban settings.

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