The Galgo Español: Everything You Need to Know

The Galgo Español, or Spanish Greyhound, is a remarkable and unique breed. Known for its distinctive features, friendly personality, and loyal nature, the breed is a great companion.

This article will explore the history, physical characteristics, personality, health, and lifespan of the Galgo Español breed, so you can decide if it is the right breed for you. 

History and Origin of the Galgo Español

The Spanish Galgo is an ancient breed whose ancestors can be traced thousands of years back. It is believed that the breed was developed from Asian, African, and European sighthounds. 

The Spanish Galgo is portrayed in Spanish images dating from the 10th century. There is even a mention of the breed in the popular Spanish novel “Don Quixote” by Miguel de Cervantes. 

Breed Development and Challenges 

Over the centuries, the Galgo Español became an essential part of Spanish culture and was highly regarded by the aristocracy. They were often given as gifts to royalty and were even used as a form of currency in some parts of Spain.

Their reputation as skilled hunters quickly gained popularity, and their popularity only grew during the period of the Spanish Empire. Despite their popularity, the Galgo Español faced many challenges throughout history.

During the Spanish Civil War, many Galgos were killed, and their numbers dwindled. However, dedicated breeders worked tirelessly to preserve the breed, and today, the Galgo Español remains a beloved breed in Spain and beyond.

The Galgo Español in Modern Times

Despite their hunting skills and cultural importance, Spanish Galgos are relatively rare, especially outside Spain. The breed is recognized by the United Kennel Club since 2006, but it is not recognized by the American Kennel Club. 

Physical Characteristics and Appearance

The Galgo Español is a fascinating breed with unique physical characteristics and stunning appearance. In this section, we will explore in more detail the size and proportions, coat types and colors, as well as distinctive features.

Size and Proportions

The Galgo Español is a medium-sized dog. However, don’t let the size fool you – breed members are incredibly fast and agile dogs that can outrun most other breeds.

Male Galgo Españols stand 24.5 to 27.5 inches tall and 60 to 65 weight pounds. Females are typically smaller – they stand 23.5 to 26.5 inches tall at the shoulders and weigh 50 to 55 pounds. 

Coat Types and Colors

The Galgo Español comes in two distinct coat types: smooth and rough. The smooth coat type is short and dense, while the rough coat type is longer and wiry with a noticeable beard.

Both coat types come in a variety of colors, including brindle, chestnut, fawn, cinnamon, red, black, and white. White markings are also allowed in breed members. 

Distinctive Features

One of the most distinctive features of the Galgo Español is their almond-shaped eyes, which are large and bright and come in shades of brown or amber. The ears are long and soft, and the snout is long, slender, and elegant.

Another unique feature of the Galgo Español is its flexible spine, which allows for bending and twisting the body in mid-air when chasing prey. The body is well-proportioned, with a lean and muscular build, a deep chest, and long and powerful legs that are perfectly designed for speed. 

Personality and Temperament

General Disposition

The Galgo Español has a friendly and outgoing personality that makes it a great companion for families. It is also very loyal to its owners and protective. It is intelligent and a quick learner when trained well.

Relationship with Humans

The Galgo Español breed is known for their excellent relationship with humans. They are social animals and love spending time with their owners. They are also very affectionate and crave human attention.

However, Galgo Español dogs can be shy and timid around strangers if not socialized well. It is vital to socialize them from a young age to prevent any behavioral issues in the future.

Interaction with Other Animals

Galgo Español dogs get along well with other animals, including other dogs, cats, and even smaller pets such as birds. Despite their hunting instincts, they are often non-aggressive towards other animals and can be trained to coexist peacefully with them.

Health and Lifespan

Common Health Issues

Just like any other dog breed, the Galgo Español is susceptible to certain health issues, such as: 

  • Bloat: A life-threatening condition caused by the stomach’s filling with gas & liquid and subsequent twisting on itself 
  • Cancer: The breed is prone to osteosarcoma, an aggressive type of cancer affecting the bones (usually the long bones of the legs) 
  • Anesthesia Issues: Due to the extremely low body fat percentage, breed members are sensitive to anesthesia 

Life Expectancy

The Galgo Español has a life expectancy of around 12 to 15  years, which is common for most medium-sized dog breeds. With proper care and a healthy lifestyle, they can live even longer.

Tips for Maintaining Good Health

To maintain the good health of your Galgo Español, ensure they have a nutritious diet, regular exercise, and plenty of love and attention. Brush their coat regularly to prevent mats and tangles, and trim their nails every few weeks.


Overall, the Galgo Español dog breed is unique, elegant, and charming. Its rich history, striking physical features, and lovely personality make it a great pet choice.

By understanding the Galgo Español’s unique qualities and needs, one can provide them with the best possible care and ensure their lifetime of happiness and love.

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