Portrait Galgo espanol

About the Galgo Espanol


The Galgo Espanol, or Spanish Greyhound, is the third Spanish dog breed I want to dedicate a post to. After the Bodeguero Basics and 5 Facts about Podencos, it is now time to find out a little bit more about the Galgo Espanol.

I am unsure about Anuska’s exact genetic makeup. That she is at least part Podenco is certain, but it is likely that she is a mix with something else. When I first got her, I thought she was a Podenco/Bodeguero mix, but when I once saw a white Galgo, that dog’s face was exactly the same as Anuska’s! Since then I am not sure whether perhaps she has some Galgo in her…

What is a Galgo Espanol?

A Galgo Espanol is a Spanish breed of sight hound – a dog that hunts by sight. Galgos are bred to hunt rabbit and hare.

The Galgo Espanol is an ancient breed, named after the Gauls, a Celtic tribe that lived in the Iberian Peninsula the sixth century BC. It is believed that the Celts bought dogs from the Phoenician merchants who sailed the Spanish coasts. The Moors, who conquered Spain in the eighth century, may have bred African sighthounds with Spanish Galgos. Most of the Galgos used for hunting today are mixed with Irish racing greyhounds or other breeds to produce a faster moving dog.

What does a Galgo Espanol look like?

Even though a Galgo Espanol looks similar to the Greyhound, there are some significant differences.

Galgos are higher in the rear than in the front, and have flatter muscling than a Greyhound, which is characteristic of endurance runners. They also tend to be smaller, lighter in build, have longer tails and have a very long, streamlined head that gives the impression of larger ears. Their chests are not as deep as a Greyhound’s.

Unlike Greyhounds, Galgos come in two coat types: smooth and rough. The rough coat can provide extra protection from skin injuries while running in the field. The Galgo’s smooth or wiry coat can be any color, but is usually seen in brindle, fawn, red or black, with or without white markings.

How does a Galgo Espanol behave?

Galgos can by nature be quite shy. It is important they are well socialised as puppies, but this is of course more difficult when you adopt an adult Galgo. Even though they are shy and sometimes even fearful, they are not generally aggressive.

Galgos are quiet, gentle and laid back. They love to chill, but at the same time have tons of personality.

Do Galgos make good pets?

Galgos don’t just make good pets, they make excellent pets! They are smart and easy to train, they respond very well to positive reinforcement. They are adaptable to different living arrangements and they are very loyal to their owners. Because of their calmness, Galgos are very suitable for families with children, and if you are not just a dog but also a cat lover, the Galgo can make a perfect addition to your family as they are also considered cat-friendly. They generally go well with other dogs too, larger and smaller breeds, but little furry creatures can sometimes set off their hunting instinct. Galgos are affectionate and gentle, and true lovers of comfort!

So, surely, everyone must want one?

Unfortunately not. In Spain the Galgo is often very badly treated and not regarded as a pet, but rather as a commodity to be used for hunting hare and rabbits. Galgos should live until they are 12-14 years old, but they often die many years before that. These dogs get dismissed when the hunting season is over, in a whole range of horrible ways.

In tomorrow’s post I will explain more about the cruelty afflicted to the Galgo Espanol and the other Spanish hunting dog breeds I have recently introduced you to. Make sure to have a tissue ready.


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