Spanish Greyhound

Origin of the Spanish Greyhound

The origin of the Greyhound, as with a large number of breeds, is not precisely known. Some suggest that its predecessor is the Ibizan Hound, others claim that it comes from the Saluki (or Persian Greyhound as it is known) But we do know that it is a very ancient breed, whose origin, as its name indicates, was in present-day Spain.

Lucio Flavio Arriano, who was the consul of Betica (in Hispania, as the Romans knew him at the time), recounted his experiences in that beautiful area of Europe. It was in these documents that this breed was first written, we are talking about the 2nd century BC. It is at least peculiar to add that Lucius explains hare hunting with greyhounds in an almost identical way as it is done today.

Later in the story, the trace of what happens to this breed is lost, but the important thing is that it survived. It was with the arrival of the so-called "Reconquista" (9th and 10th centuries) that the Spanish Greyhound regained its popularity. In fact, it rises to the point of being part of all Spanish culture, its appearance being common in texts and paintings of the time. It is worth highlighting the quotation that takes place in the famous novel by Cervantes, Don Quijote de la Mancha, where it textualizes as follows: “In a place in La Mancha, whose name I do not want to remember, not long ago lived a nobleman of the spear in the shipyard, old shield, skinny nag and running greyhound”.

From the 16th to the 18th centuries it was exported to England and Ireland in large quantities, obtaining considerable popularity in various countries of the world. The arrival of greyhound racing (at the beginning of the 20th century) led some breeders to cross this breed with the English Greyhounds seeking to obtain faster dogs. This mix produced what is known as the Anglo-Spanish Greyhound, a breed that is not recognized by the FCI

However, many experts and breeders took pains to maintain the purity of the breed (this means that it does not come from a cross of races, but from continuous selection over time) and they succeeded. Currently the popularity of the Spanish Greyhound is increasing, although not only as a hunting dog but also as a companion dog.

Character and personality

This breed is characterized by having a good, noble, sweet, affectionate but somewhat shy character. In other words, it is a great companion animal, a special dog for a family willing to give it a lot of affection and love.

They are excellent for families with children, they have a lot of patience with them and they love to play.

In addition, despite being dogs used for hunting, they are widely accepted (especially if they are raised from puppies) by other pets in the house, such as cats, birds and rodents.

To keep in mind, this breed is shy and reserved with strangers, it is important to educate it from a young age but with great tact and patience. They don't like abuse (like nobody else), but they are especially sensitive to it, they get stressed and get sick easily if they don't feel loved and cared for.

Finally, it is important to dedicate your time, we have to remember that it is a greyhound so its energy is high and it needs to be spent to keep it in perfect physical and mental shape.

Physical characteristics

They present the physique so typical of greyhounds, that is to say that they are rather tall, with long and thin legs. Its head is elongated, with a thin muzzle, its ears are short, triangular and broad-based; and his eyes are small almond-shaped. His body, as we said, is slim, with a fairly deep and muscular chest. The legs are long and athletic. The tail is long, thick at the base and tapers to the tip.

The most common variety of Galgo Español has a dense, short and fine coat. But there is also another variety of tough and semi-long hair. They do not have a characteristic color, which means that there are many varieties ranging from brindle to white or black.

Its height at the withers ranges from 60 to 70 centimeters, so we can say that it is a considerably tall dog. On the other hand, their weight varies between 20 kg and 25 kg for females and between 25 and 30 kg for males.

They also have a life expectancy of 12 to 14 years, which means that it is a fairly long-lived breed.

An interesting fact about this breed is that they manage to reach 60 km / h in races. But that's not all, recent studies have shown that this breed has a huge amount of red blood cells in their blood, which allows them to send oxygen more quickly to their muscles during a race. Also noteworthy is their 270 ° range of view, which helps them greatly in hunting.

Images of Spanish Greyhounds

Health and possible diseases

It is a considerably healthy breed, which, although it suffers from some problems that we will explain below, is much longer-lived and healthier than other breeds with similar characteristics.

Bone cancer

This very complicated disease is one of the most frequent in this breed. The most important thing is to identify it in time to be able to treat it. In the case of malignant tumors, they must be controlled (removed if possible) so that they do not spread the disease throughout the body. Benign tumors are not cancerous but may need to be removed if they prevent the body from working properly.

Gastric torsion

When problems of gastric tension or stomach torsion occur, it happens that the dog's stomach dilates excessively and causes this organ to twist on its axis. The consequence of this is that the connections with the esophagus and the intestine are obstructed and the blood stream is affected, making it impossible to properly oxygen some organs and causing damage, sometimes irreversible and even causing the death of the animal if it is not treated. on time.

Dental disease

Some specimens have dental problems such as tartar (which can be especially serious if it leads to a dental infection) or periodontal disease (it is the accumulation of tartar along with the infection of the gums). It is very important to maintain good dental health for your dog. If you detect that plaques are forming or that he already has tartar, it is very important to take him to the vet for treatment.

Urinary tract infections

This term is used to refer to any of all the infections that can occur in any part of the urinary tract. Most of these problems can be reversed with proper diet and treatment. In some more severe cases (such as chronic kidney failure) they are irreversible but can still be treated to slow the progression of the disease.

Recommended food

The Spanish Greyhound, despite its slim figure, can consume large amounts of food if required. It is important to bear in mind that the energy needs of each specimen will vary depending on its activity (we cannot compare what a dog intended for greyhound racing should eat, than a companion specimen that only exercises on walks) .

We recommend serving the food in raised containers, which will help to avoid gastric torsion that is quite common in this breed. The feed must be of excellent quality, rich in protein and low in fat.

Finally, do not forget to always provide them with fresh water, they tend to suffer from heat stroke and should not become dehydrated.

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More photographs of Galgos

Grooming and coat of the Spanish Greyhound

A single weekly brush will suffice to remove dirt and dead hair. It is a breed with a fairly simple grooming, having to pay special attention to its oral care. It is necessary to check his teeth weekly and get your dog used to brushing them. Finally, bathing it will only be necessary if it is really dirty, otherwise we do not recommend it, although most of the dogs of this breed like water.

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If you want your Spanish Greyhound to be in optimal physical and mental condition, you have to pay special attention to its exercise. Like all Greyhounds, the Spaniard needs a lot of exercise to expend its enormous amounts of energy. We recommend between 2 and 3 daily walks of at least 30-40 minutes each, it would also be optimal to be able to let him run freely in a park or similar place at least 2 times a week.

Do not forget that it is essential to properly hydrate these dogs so it is necessary to bring bottles of water when they go on walks and / or activities.

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