What's a


Sighthounds used
to be dogs of aristocracy.
Today they are the most
abused breed in Spain.

Sighthounds used
to be dogs of aristocracy.
Today they are the most
abused breed in Spain.

Sighthound History

Sighthounds have a rich history, with origins dating back to the Middle East as well as a broader region encompassing North Africa and the Egyptian area. Several sighthound breeds were developed and valued in the Middle East, with the saluki being one of the oldest and most famous. An appreciation for sighthounds is evident in the historical records of the time, and apparent in ancient Mesopotamian art.

There are depictions of dogs resembling sighthounds on the tomb walls of ancient Egypt; these were likely pharaoh hounds, descended from the saluki breed. Sighthounds were highly prized by royalty and aristocrats as status symbols and hunting companions. Different cultures and regions practiced selective breeding. This has resulted in a diverse array of characteristics among sighthound breeds such as greyhound, whippet, Afghan hound, borzoi, saluki, azawakh, Ibizan hound, Irish wolfhound, Scottish deerhound, and Spanish galgo.

During the Middle Ages and the Renaissance, the Galgo Español breed was favored by Spanish nobility for its exceptional speed, agility, and keen eyesight. These periods saw an increase in the popularity and importance of hunting as a pastime and sport. In the Middle Ages, the galgo was highly regarded and used to pursue various game, including hares, deer, and wild boars. The Spanish nobility organized elaborate hunts as a display of their wealth and power.

The Renaissance period, with its emphasis on cultural and intellectual pursuits, celebrated the beauty of the galgo breed in artwork and tapestries which reflected its status as a symbol of nobility and grace. The depictions often showcased the galgos alongside their noble owners while engaged in hunting activities or leisurely pursuits. The dogs were used for coursing – a popular pastime during this era – during which they would pursue small prey across open fields.

Unfortunately, in more recent times, the breed has fallen from grace in Spain. Galgos are frequently subjected to cruelty and abuse by the hunters.

Physical Characteristics and
Temperament of Galgos

Sighthounds are known for their exceptional eyesight, which enables them to spot and pursue prey from great distances. In appearance, the galgo closely resembles the greyhound; it has the same classic sighthound silhouette with some minor variations. They are dogs, averaging 23 to 27 inches in height, and weighing approximately 40 to 60 lbs.; individual dogs may vary widely within this range. Their coat is generally short and smooth, with the same variety of colors and patterns as greyhounds; a small percentage of galgos are rough-coated. The head is narrow, with a long, tapered muzzle; the ears are set high on the head, and may fold back or be upright; the large eyes are very expressive. There is a graceful curve to the neck, and the legs and tail are long and slim. Galgos are built for speed, agility, and endurance, with a flexible spine and a deep chest to accommodate the heart and lungs.

The galgo temperament is sensitive and gentle in nature; it can be shy or timid, and may require patience and gentle handling. They are generally good with children and other dogs, following proper socialization. Although highly athletic dogs – some are excellent jumpers – their exercise requirements are moderate; regular walks, zoomies in a safely fenced environment, and mental stimulation usually suffice. They need to be kept in a secure, enclosed environment, due to their incredible speed, and ability to jump. Galgos require minimal maintenance grooming, thrive in a loving and supportive environment, can be very affectionate, and they form strong bonds with their owners.

Galgos are resilient and adaptable animals; with their grace and gentle temperament, they are becoming popular pets around the world. Their mistreatment in Spain remains a significant problem. They deserve to be treated with care and respect, and they respond to kindness with loyal affection.

Differences Between
Galgos and Greyhounds

Although galgos and greyhounds are closely related, they are two distinct breeds with subtle differences. The galgos originate from Spain; greyhounds are generally believed to come from North Africa.

Galgos tend to have a slightly narrower frame and a greater arch to the back, than the more muscular greyhounds. Greyhounds (up to 30 inches at the shoulder, and up to 88 lbs.) are slightly larger in general than galgos. There is a significant variation of size in both breeds, which have short coats, although a small percentage of galgos has a rough coat. Greyhounds have been used for both racing and coursing, galgos are bred for hare coursing in Spain.

The energy level of both breeds is considered to be moderate; they are consummate athletes, and some are accomplished jumpers. The musculature of the two breeds differs: greyhounds have thick, round muscles of sprinters; galgos have flat, long musculature of endurance runners, and they are more resistant to fatigue. As sighthound hunters, members of either breed may have a strong prey drive. Like the greyhound, the galgo is bred for hunting small game. However, the galgo has been developed to hunt for longer stretches, which makes him a sprinter of greater distance.

In play behavior, greyhounds often exhibit a strong form of competitive racing. It’s important when introducing sighthounds who are unfamiliar with each other, that they wear their comfortable basket muzzles.

Both galgos and greyhounds are sensitive and have a gentle nature. Galgos may be somewhat more timid and shy, although they bond affectionately with their owners.

When considering either of these breeds, it is recommended that you spend time with your potential pet in order to understand and appreciate its needs and personality.

Come walk with me
Through valleys of moss and sorrel.
Cobweb tickling your truffle nose on paths that no one's crossed.

Come sit with me by the lighthouse.
Seagulls soaring past.
Your soft floppy ears, waggling in the wind.
Breeze so strong it carries my I Love You towards the sun.

Come rest with me on our favourite beach
The sunset turns the air into peaches and pinks.
Erasing the line between ocean and sky with a silky brush.
Curl up next to me and watch the evening ignite a canopy of stars.

Come be my best friend and I'll be yours.
Turning wondrous adventures into memories of love.

Important Note:
This artwork was created in safe areas. We do not recommend you to let your dog off leash.

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