The Galgo Espanol is a very old ancient dog breed from Spain. They are named Galgos after Celtic Tribe Gauls who lived in the area of today Spain, on Iberian peninsula in the 6th century. The uncestry is unclear, but it is believed that these Celtic Gauls bought some sighthounds from Phoenician traders. Later, when Moors conquered Spain, these sighthounds were bred with some North African Sighthound dogs, for example with Sloughi. And most Galgos were also most likely interbred with fast Irish greyhounds, to improve their speed and hunting abilities.
For a long time, Spanish Greyhounds were highly valued for their hunting abilities. They even symbolized a high social and economic status and only the nobility owned them. When they are hunting, they are using their sight and speed. They are mostly used to hunt hare in open fields in fast pursuit, but they can also hunt rabbits, foxes or even boars.
3) Today situation
Even today, the Galgo Espanol is used for hunting and they are still great at it. What changed is, that they are not highly valued for it and very often they are not treated well. They are used for hunting on Spanish countryside and often times they are just viewed as hunting tools, rather than actual living creatures. It is common that they live in groups in small spaces without windows and when they are injured or too old for hunting they are abandoned or just killed. From symbol of nobility, they are now symbol of animal cruelty.
Luckily, not all Spanish people view them as hunting tools, of course there are many good people and those are saving the abandoned and mistreated dogs. And those rescue stations are not only in Spain, because there is just too many abandoned Galgos and Spanish shelters could not handle the situation. You can find Galgo rescue stations all over the Europe. They are in Czech republic, Netherlands, Germany, UK and i believe in many many other contries as well. So if you are thinking about getting a sighthound, you can try to search for Galgo rescue station in you area first and make a good deed.
So what can you expect if you decide to rescue a Spanish Greyhound? Well, some of them might have some temperamental problems, because they were mistreated badly, but majority of Galgos are calm, quite, docile and well behaved dogs. They tend to get along well with people and other dogs, and they can be well-behaved around cats if properly socialized. Overall, they are affectionate towards their whole family, but can be reserved and alert around strangers.
The Galgo Espanol is extremely fast and they just love running, its their passion. They have perfect aerodynamic slender body and long legs, which enables them to run up to 40 miles per hour, which is 65 kmh. When running they spend 75% of the time in the air and their tail works as a rudder when running. They also have higher amount of red blood cells, in comparsion to other breeds, which helps them to send more oxygen to their muscles and run faster.
The Spanish Greyhound can be found in variety of colors and coat textures, ranging from smooth to flat coat to rough coat. They can be found in almost all the colors, but the most common would be cinnamon, yellow, white, red, dark brindle.
Not only that Galgos are extremely fast, they are also excellent jumpers. If you dont want them to access some rooms or areas, baby gates or smaller or even medium fences are not enough. Galgos are known for jumping higher than 7 metres.
The Galgo Espanol is a very athletic, slender, yet elegant dog breed with average height around 25 or 26 inches, which is 64-66 cm and weight is typically between 50-65 pounds, which is 23-29 kg. Females tend to be slightly smaller than males.
Galgos are usually very healthy dogs with average lifespan between 12-15 years. Just like many other sighthounds, they can be sensitive to anesthesia and ocassionaly they can suffer from hip dysplasia or gastric torsion