Appearance Of the Spanish Greyhound
Due to the wide range of colors and the variant with rough hair, many say that the Spanish Greyhound is a cross of sighthounds (although we will talk about many of these later). By the standard, the Spanish greyhound, like all sighthounds, is long-legged and very slim. This means that, with a height at the withers from 60 centimeters to a maximum of 70 centimeters, it weighs about 25 kilos. The head is long and narrow. It has a broad chest and a very tucked belly. The tail is long and reaches the ankle. The hind legs are muscular, well-marked, and perpendicular to the ground.
In addition to the short-haired variant, there is another one with semi-long hair with rough fur, bushy eyebrows, some beard, and a toupee on the head. Again, all colors are allowed, although dark brindle variants and black greyhounds are prioritized. These coat colors are often seen with or without white markings.
Origin And History Of The Spanish Greyhound
This ancient time breed comes from the sighthounds of the Celts, who, since 600 BC, helped in hunting. The Celtic tribe later introduced it to Spain, where, after the conquest of the Iberian Peninsula by the Romans, it was called canis gallicus, that is to say, Gallic dog, hence the name Greyhound. During the reign of the Moors, the Sloughi and the Ibizan hound greatly influenced the development of the Spanish Greyhound. In northwestern Spain, this dog was used mainly for hunting. These robust dogs persistently pursue wild animals, mostly hares and larger animals such as wild boars, over longer distances and difficult terrain.
Between the 16th and 18th centuries, numerous dogs were exported from Spain to Ireland and Great Britain to be crossed with breeds from the area. As a result, the Spanish greyhound is considered the ancestor of the greyhound. This kinship was almost fatal for the breed: after less use was made for hunting and more for greyhound racing, multiple crossings with greyhounds nearly caused the breed to become extinct.
The Spanish Greyhound has a heart of gold: it is very kind to people and collaborates with its peers. He is very attached to his reference people, but without being too needy. In general, it has a rather careful character. According to the imprint during its development, it adapts very well, making it an ideal companion for sportspeople. Just as he is very calm and prudent indoors, he is quick as an arrow when he sees possible prey. This is how the hunter instincts of centuries ago come to light, almost impossible to stop.
Training Your Spanish Greyhound
The rather reserved dog can always be educated with gentleness and lots of positive reinforcement. He is not submissive and has his own head. These are qualities that you must appreciate if you want to have a Spanish Greyhound. The bond with their human is essential and will most motivate the furry independent to obey.
However, this obedience does not include paying attention when it has seen a possible prey. It is then that the primal instincts of the breed reappear and disappear before you can yell “still.” Although it is useful to practice calling him in areas where there may not be wild animals, it is best not to lose him. In terms of hygiene, greyhound puppies can take a little longer to learn to relieve themselves. Be patient. Playtime with other puppies and training in a dog school is very positive for this quadruped, as long as the teaching methods are gentle.
Health Of The Spanish Greyhound
Despite the delicate complexion, Greyhounds are quite hardy dogs. The genetic makeup of certain diseases is hardly known. Ideally, your vet will already have other sighthounds as patients since Greyhounds, compared to other breeds of the species, have a much lower percentage of body fat, around 15%. The Spanish greyhound can reach an average of 12 years with the proper care and diet.
Spanish Greyhounds are deeply attached to their owners, which means that they tend to suffer from separation anxiety. If you are going to be gone during the day, it is best to purchase more than one Spanish Greyhound so they can keep each other company in your absence.
Feeding Your Spanish Greyhound
The Greyhound diet should be rich in protein and low in fat. A good quality feed for large dogs is a perfect option for a developing Greyhound, as the body mass of young dogs of this breed mustn’t grow faster than the bone structure. Pay special attention that meat is the first ingredient on the label and does not contain grains.
We advise you to serve your quadruped food in a height-adjustable feeder, as it helps to reduce the risk of suffering from such dangerous gastric torsion and guarantees a relaxed body posture when eating. Also, breaks after eating are important: sports activities on a full stomach are prohibited! Instead, offer your dog healthy snacks such as meat treats, dental hygiene snacks, or occasionally a special bone to chew on or dried ox ears. Freshwater should always be available.
Caring For You Spanish Greyhound
The coat of Greyhounds does not require much care. Just brush it every few days, for example, with a brush with rubber bristles to remove dead hair. After a walk in the rain, you should dry its furry because it cools down very quickly due to its low body fat. Examine the hair daily for any ticks and fleas. If so, use tick removers to remove them immediately.
Due to the drooping ears and the warm climate in them, it is easier for them to become infected. That is why it is important that you inspect them regularly and, if necessary, clean them with a special ear cleaner for dogs. If the nails grow too long, you can trim them with a dog nail clipper.
This dog athlete needs a lot of exercise. Take him out for long walks every day, and if you have a fenced yard where he can safely vent and play with others, much better. Greyhound racing and country jogging are ideal opportunities for this tough hunting dog to burn out. Since he likes to work with his humans, depending on the dog’s personality, sports for dogs such as agility or mantrailing are interesting options.
If you also like to play sports, canicross would be good entertainment for both of you. Of course, pay attention to physical balance, as a delicate Greyhound should not pull a person weighing 100 kilos. In any case, training must always be adapted to the physical condition of the quadruped.
This breed is ideal for sports families with a fenced yard and a lot of free time. It goes without saying that such a sociable dog should not be kept in a kennel. At home, after having ventured outside, the Greyhound is calm and cuddly. He gets along very well with children but sees that he has opportunities to withdraw when the situation gets very busy.
If you have cats, you should bear in mind that, in the fervor of the moment, this great hunting dog quickly forgets the education it has received: your cat or that of the neighbor can be prey for him. Only Greyhounds that have socialized with cats since puppies can live with them; otherwise, it can become dangerous for the feline. This breed is suitable for people experienced in dog ownership, as their education requires a lot of knowledge.
Before getting a greyhound, you must take into account the costs involved: good quality food, visits to the vet, civil liability insurance, etc. As for the basic equipment, it is good that, before the arrival of the furry, you find out about collars or special harnesses for sighthounds: normal accessories for walks often slip down the neck of the slim dog, as it has a very narrow head, in addition to a dog jacket, which will keep him warm in winter and a raincoat, because of these dogs like warmth and comfort.
Finding A Spanish Greyhound Breeder
Where can I get a Spanish Greyhound? Most Spanish Greyhounds are still in Spain. If you want to have a puppy of this breed, go to a serious breeder who treats his animals with affection and breeds according to the breed standard. Avoid kennels that offer non-pedigree or cross-breed puppies, as there are many of this breed. So if you’re a fan of the breed, you should also be concerned about the animal welfare associated with it – adult Greyhounds and mongrels are looking for a new home.
Unfortunately in Spain, there are many Greyhounds kept for hunting and, later, when they are no longer “useful,” they are abandoned or euthanized. That is why there are so many of these sociable dogs in the animal shelters that have been left without a home. Many of them are mongrels who are in no way inferior to their purebred relatives. The best thing is that you contact a serious and recognized protector if you want to have one of these dogs: many are waiting in foster homes throughout Europe. They have already been examined to verify that they do not suffer from Mediterranean diseases such as leishmaniasis.
If you adopt from abroad, make sure everything is in order and find out about the health of the quadruped. If you have everything organized, adopting a Greyhound from a shelter is a wonderful opportunity to enrich your life and, at the same time, allow a dog to live a happy life. It is best to try to discover as much as possible about the history of the furry to see if your experience with dogs is enough. It is important to change our consciousness in the long run so that these sensitive creatures do not have to suffer such a cruel disposition.