The Galgo Español is a Spanish sighthound created to course rabbit and hare, but these days he is primarily a companion dog who is rarely seen outside of Spain. He is large and muscular with a longer, finer, less deep-chested build than a Greyhound, a breed to which he is often compared. The Galgo Español comes in a smooth or wire coat that may be any color but is most often seen in brindle, fawn, red or black. Here’s what you need to know if you’re interested in acquiring a Galgo Español.
Is the Galgo Español the Right Dog for You?
The Galgo Espanol has a serious, reserved temperament and can be shy in the presence of people he doesn’t know, but he is affectionate toward his family and gentle with young children. Plan to give him frequent early socialization to overcome his tendency toward shyness. In the home, he’s quiet, but when he is hunting, he turns into a lively, energetic dog.
His height of 24 to 27.5 inches gives him easy access to kitchen counters, so don’t leave food out where he can get to it. He will have no qualms about stealing it.
Give a Galgo Español regular exercise to keep him conditioned. He’s an ace competitor in lure coursing, a sport that involves chasing a mechanically operated artificial lure.
The Galgo Español gets along with other dogs and he has a reputation for being friendly around cats. Even so, if you acquire an adult Galgo, it's best to supervise him around cats until you’re sure they get along. And the Galgo Español won’t have any qualms about chasing unknown cats or other small furry animals he sees outdoors, so he must always be walked on leash.
The 50- to 65-pound Galgo Espanol can live contentedly in an apartment or condo as long as he gets a daily walk or run of at least half an hour. He’s an excellent partner for joggers and runners and is then satisfied to be a couch potato for the rest of the day. Never permit a Galgo Español to run free except in a safely enclosed area. An underground electronic fence does not constitute a safe enclosure; the Galgo Español will run right over it, heedless of any level of shock.
Galgo Espanols respond well to positive reinforcement techniques, especially food rewards. If you are firm, fair and provide the right motivation, they learn quickly and easily. If you don’t, well, this is a big dog that can do a lot of damage when he is untrained and left to his own devices.
Looking for a dog with an easy-care coat? The Galgo Espanol has you covered. Weekly brushing of his smooth, shorthaired coat (the majority of Galgos have a smooth coat) and regular nail trimming and ear cleaning are all he needs to stay clean and in good condition, plus the occasional bath if he rolls in something stinky.
The Galgo Español loves his family and should live indoors with them, preferably with access to furniture or soft bedding.
5 Tips to Bring Home a Healthy Galgo Español Puppy
- A good breeder will match you with the right puppy, and will without question have done all the health certifications necessary to screen out health problems as much as possible. That said, the Galgo Espanol is rare outside of Spain. You may need to travel to that country to find one. At least one American breeder has shown interest in the breed. For more information, contact the Galgo Español Club of America.
- Consider an adult dog from a shelter or a rescue group. Often, health and behavior problems in dogs aren't apparent in puppyhood, but by adopting an older dog, most of them can be ruled out. In addition, Galgo Españols can live as long as 15 years, so an adult dog will still be a part of your family for a long time to come.
- Take your Galgo Español to your veterinarian soon after you purchase or adopt him. Your veterinarian will be able to spot visible problems, and will work with you to set up a preventive regimen that will help you avoid many health issues.
- Don’t ever, ever, ever buy a puppy from a pet store. You’re more likely to get an unhealthy, unsocialized and difficult to housetrain puppy and will be supporting the cruelty of high-volume puppy mills.
- Make sure you have a good contract with the seller, shelter or rescue group that spells out responsibilities on both sides. In states with “puppy lemon laws,” be sure you and the person you get the dog from both understand your rights and recourses.
Health Issues Common to Galgo Españols
Because there are so few of them, little is known about the Galgo Español's health. In general, he appears to be a healthy breed. He may suffer muscle or toe injuries while running. Osteosarcoma, or bone cancer, is seen in sighthound breeds, so it is something to be aware of. A reputable breeder will discuss potential health problems with you, including any problems she has seen in her own lines.
Pet Insurance for Galgo Españols
Pet insurance for Galgo Españols costs more than for mixed breed dogs. This is because Galgo Espanols are more likely than mixed breed dogs to make claims for hereditary conditions that are expensive to treat.
Embrace pet insurance plans offer full coverage for all breed-specific conditions (excluding those that are pre-existing) to which Galgo Espanols are susceptible. The best time to get pet insurance for your Galgo Espanol is while he’s still healthy. You can’t predict what will happen in the future, and pet insurance is the one thing you can’t get when you need it the most.