Symbols of distinction, noble and elegant, the Spanish greyhound is intimately linked to the history of our country. His trot has been with us since long before we were Spain and his worth has been reflected in art: «Somewhere in La Mancha, whose name I do not want to remember, not long ago lived a nobleman of the spear shipyard, old shield, skinny nag and running greyhound.
Despite the fact that its physical characteristics have remained stable throughout the centuries, the perception of the breed has evolved and actually have begun their conquest of all sofas, regardless of whether they are nationals or foreigners 😉
ORIGIN AND HISTORY OF THE SPANISH GALGO
The presence of the greyhound in Spain comes from ancient times, being the first reference in 2nd century BCE in Arrian of Nicomedes' treatise Cynegeticus, where the Hispanic custom of hunting hare with greyhounds and their varieties of smooth hair and wire hair is described.
Although there is no historical record of what happened to the race, several theories suggest that the Spanish greyhound is the result of crossing the existing greyhound in the Peninsula with the Arabian sighthounds that came to our lands during the Muslim expansion in the Middle Ages. During this historical period, the greyhound became popular in Christian and Muslim kingdoms thanks to its ability to hunt the hare and was considered a "property" of great value.
Between the 16th and 18th centuries, the Spanish greyhound gained popularity in Ireland and England, with the aim of getting faster greyhounds to compete on dog tracks and becoming one of the parents of the current Greyhound, with which he shares great physical similarities.
Currently, the situation of the greyhound in Spain far from idyllic and have become victims. With the end of the hunting season in, the abandonment and murder of greyhounds multiplies. To fight against this reality, numerous organizations have emerged throughout the national territory to fight against the mistreatment, abandonment and murders suffered by this race. Thanks to his work, the image of the greyhound as a hunting dog has been transformed, showing its great capacities as a family and home dog.
PHYSICAL CHARACTERISTICS OF THE SPANISH GALGO
The official standard for the Spanish greyhound was established by the International Cynological Federation in 1982. Classified in group 10 section 3 as short-haired sighthounds, their physical characteristics are:
- Hope of lifetime: between 12 and 15 years.
- Size: big.
- Height: between 62 and 70cm.
- Weight: between 20 and 30kg.
- Complexion: slim and muscular.
- ExtremitiesLong, muscular hindquarters and fine forelimbs.
- Eyes: small, oblique and almond shaped. Preferably dark, hazelnut in color.
- Truffle: Small, moist and with black mucous membranes.
- Snout: long, narrow basal shaft.
- Ears: small, tall and drooping.
- Jaws: scissor bite with highly developed canines.
- Neck: long, slim, strong and flexible.
- Line: long, low and fine.
- Hair: bushy in two varieties, fine and short or hard and semi-long.
- Coat colors: indeterminate. The most typical colors are:
- Barcinos and attrigados more or less dark.
- Dark and light wafers.
- Howls and peeps.
The Spanish greyhound has been genetically selected for hunting. Despite being a hunting dog, his nose is very poor, being his long distance visual ability your best tool. It is characterized by a walk smart and one great explosive power in the race, with a long, low trot.
Despite being a very calm dog at home, you have to satisfy your level of physical activity, allowing you to develop your speed running in wide open spaces. It must be remembered that its capacity is explosive, so sessions of high intensity physical exercise should be very brief (about 10 minutes).
CHARACTER OF THE SPANISH GALGO
At first, the Spanish greyhound is a dog of docile, serious and withdrawn character, very shy. To overcome it we must be patient, understanding and very attentive. In this way the true character loving, sweet and cheerful will come to light.
It is important to keep in mind that greyhounds they are very sensitive dogs and they can easily enter learned helplessness if punishments are used as part of their education. The learned helplessness supposes a blockage for the animal, which ceases to show behaviors due to the fear of being punished again.
Despite being dogs intended to hunt small prey on the move, you can work on their socializing with other small animals, like cats and rabbits. This work must be done mainly in the period of imprinting, when the dog experiences and fixes its behavior in the face of new stimuli. You can also work in the adult period, although at this stage the results are not as reliable as they depend on their genetics, imprint and behavioral history.
SPANISH GALGO DISEASES
The Spanish greyhound is very resistant and lacks genetic predisposition to certain diseases depending on their race. Still, it can be affected by a series of pathologies more frequent in their racial group:
- Cutaneous asthenia.
- Progressive retinal atrophy.
CARE OF THE SPANISH GALGO
The Spanish Greyhound does not require great care being a short-haired dog. A basic hygiene and take care of your hair health during shedding periods.
His skin is very thin and it's possible tear easily, so you should avoid elements that can get caught while playing or practicing physical exercise (for example, brambles). The same thing happens with The tail, which being very long and thin can be damaged tip with ease when impacting on hard surfaces.
As with other dogs, it must visit the vet regularly for your vaccination, deworming and health checks. You should also maintain a stable routine of daily walks and feeding.
YOU AND YOUR SPANISH GALGO
Are you one of the lucky ones who shares your couch with a Spanish greyhound? Well, don't wait any longer to share your experience with us. Go ahead and leave us a comment telling us your story. We can't wait to meet her!