There are various reasons why the Spanish Greyhound Temperament would be an ideal fit within a home. He’s an energetic, quiet, and affectionate dog that loves his family. What more could you want in a family pet?
But these traits come with some others that are less than desirable. He has a high prey drive and can be overly co-dependent. So you definitely needed to weigh the temperament pros against the cons before you decide on the Spanish Greyhound.
The discussions below provide you with all the information you need to make a final decision. So please, keep reading to get a better grasp on owning this breed.
The Spanish Greyhound Temperament and Personality
Quiet and Reserved
One of the best Spanish Greyhound temperament traits is his quiet demeanor. Due to this, he’ll never give you migraines with his constant yapping. You can instead count on him to mind his business and leave people passing by alone.
This quiet demeanor does result in a dislike for strangers. Some would even describe him as shy around people he doesn’t know. This trait never completely goes away either, but early socialization can ensure he never becomes overly shy.
If he does become too shy, it might build into frightening anxiety. This anxiousness could cause him to approach these situations with an aggressive mindset. An outcome like this one isn’t something anybody wants.
The Spanish Greyhound exercise needs are extensive. He needs up to 60 minutes of daily activity. You can satisfy this requirement in a variety of different ways.
Long walks are a great source of physical stimulation for him. He’ll also enjoy visits to the dog parks as he’s quite dog-friendly.
If you don’t have time for these activities, playing fetch in the backyard will tire him out quickly.
These activities will also strengthen the bond between you and him. And once you meet his exercise needs, the best parts of the Spanish Greyhound temperament appear. He becomes a dog that’s content to lounge around until its bedtime.
The affectionate side of the Spanish Greyhound temperament often flies under the radar. But he can show incredibly signs of affection towards the people he loves. And sometimes it even extends outside his family as well.
If he sees a non-family member daily, he’ll start getting more and more comfortable each day. It’ll get to the point where he starts treating this person as a part of his family. It’ll result in him showing the person levels of affection only your family receives.
This action is also something you should encourage as an owner. It’ll only make it easier to take him out into public places and help lessen his shyness around strangers.
High Prey Drive
The Spanish Greyhound temperament has been used to hunt rodents for centuries. His high prey drive isn’t something he can easily turn off without proper training. As a result, he tends to have issues with smaller pets.
He can learn to live with cats and smaller dogs, as he gets more comfortable with them. But if you have rabbits, ferrets, rats, or other small pets, he isn’t the dog for you. He’ll end up chasing them around your home and making their lives miserable.
The Spanish Greyhound hunting instincts also mean that you'll need a fenced backyard. This safety feature will ensure he doesn’t end up chasing your neighbors’ pets either. Experts recommend at least a 6-foot fence to keep his high prey drive from causing any trouble.
The level of co-dependence within the Spanish Greyhound temperament is quite burdensome. He tends to develop such a deep bond with his family that their absence makes him anxious. This condition is called separation anxiety.
It might not sound like a big deal, but dogs that suffer from this condition often end up hurting themselves. They’ll scratch at the door causing their paws to start bleeding or chew their skin until a hotspot forms.
In severe cases, dogs end up acting out in tragic ways and hurting other pets in the home. This issue isn’t something to take lightly for any potential Spanish Greyhound owner. You’ll have to dedicate yourself toward getting him comfortable with being by himself.
A Quick Look at the Spanish Greyhound History
The Spanish Greyhound’s history isn’t as straightforward as some other breeds. There’s a wide range of theories about where his journey began. But most experts believe his heritage started with the crossing between the Irish Greyhound and one of two breeds:
His history was sadly wasn’t documented until the 1900s, and a lot of it ended up lost. It’s interesting to note that his other name, Galgo Espanol, honors this missing part of his story. It was the name of a Celtic tribe inhabiting the Iberian Peninsula around the 6th century.
The Spanish Greyhound was first mostly a companion for noble people. But people from the lower classes started stealing and breeding them. This common practice made them less wanted in high-class circles and saw as undesirable.
This breeding also caused their appearance to change significantly. As a result, more coat textures and colors became acceptable within their breed standard. Spanish Greyhound breeders decided to change the breed again around the 20th century.
These breeders crossbred Spanish Greyhounds with English Greyhounds to create a faster breed. It essential we mention this breed is still widely mistreated in Spain. They’re often bred to be seasonal hunters and when the season ends people kill them.
Understanding the Spanish Greyhound Appearance
This breed’s size is considered average within the dog community and features a long, elegant body:
- The Spanish Greyhound height will range between 23 and 27 inches
- The Spanish Greyhound weight on average ranges from 50 to 55 pounds.
This elegant body will seem athletic due to his long legs. His head will also appear longer than what you’d usually see on a dog. The nose, eyes rims, and lips will all be the same black color.
The eyes themselves will be small and oval-shaped. Their coloring will typically be dark, but a lighter amber’s acceptable when his coat’s a lighter color. His ears will resemble triangles with a rounded tip and broad base.
His coat can come in various types such as rough, smooth, or flat. If it's rough, you can expect his facial hair to create a beard, eyebrows, and mustache. The most common Spanish Greyhound colors for his coat are:
- Dark brindle
But it’s essential you understand that all coat colors are considered acceptable.
Spanish Greyhound Vs. Italian Greyhound
These two European breeds often get confused with each other. With this in mind, we thought it’d be helpful to point out a critical difference between the two dogs. This way you don’t accidentally pick the wrong dog.
The most notable difference between the two breeds concerns their body type. You see the Spanish Greyhound size is much bigger than an Italian Greyhound. It’s almost like the Italian Greyhound breed is a miniature version when you consider its measurements:
- The Italian Greyhound height ranges between 13 and 15 inches
- The Italian Greyhound weight on average hovers from 7 to 13 pounds.
Spanish Greyhound vs. Greyhound
Another breed the Spanish Greyhound gets mistaken for is the Greyhound. One slight difference between the two dogs is that the Greyhound has slightly large measurements:
- The Greyhound height will vary between 25 and 30 inches
- The Greyhound weight on average ranges from 60 to 85 pounds
There’s a difference in the accepted coat colorings as well. You see the Spanish Greyhound can come in four colors that Greyhounds can't:
Greyhounds will also feature a double coat, which isn’t a part of the Galgo Espanol appearance. These subtle differences should give you enough information to tell these breeds apart.
Spanish Greyhound Training
The Spanish Greyhound tends to be a little nervous around strangers. This behavior makes socializing him early a crucial factor in his training process. It’s also essential you stick with positive reinforcement techniques when teaching him basic commands.
He will not under any circumstance benefit from harsh methods. It’ll only cause him to trust you less as an owner. You must also understand that he isn’t the best at learning obedience.
As a result, you shouldn’t expect much out of his training besides the basic commands.
Helpful Dog Training Resource:
For help with training your Spanish Greyhound dog, you should take a look at The Online Dog Trainer by Doggy Dan. Doggy Dan is an expert Dog Trainer based in New Zealand. His online resource contains Hundreds of Excellent Dog Training Videos that will take you step-by-step through the process of developing a healthy, happy well-behaved dog.
Relevant Spanish Greyhound Health Issues
There aren’t many health issues this breed has a proclivity to contracting. It’s the main reason why the Spanish Greyhound lifespan tends to be longer than most dogs, 12 to 15 years. This little piece of good news doesn’t mean he’ll be immune to all disease though.
He still has a few conditions that he’s been known to contract:
It’s essential you don’t underestimate the importance of a regular vet visit.
These consultations could go a long way in preventing these issues from presenting themselves. It’ll also allow you to ask questions about what you can do better as an owner. Experts recommend visiting your vet every six months as a good guideline.
Another good idea would be separating his feeding schedule into multiple servings. You see gastric torsion or bloat comes from your dog sucking in too much air when he eats. This event comes from the dog’s inability to contain his excitement and eating at dangerous speeds.
Separating his food intake into multiple servings will slow down his eating. As a result, the likelihood of bloat occurring becomes much less.
You can lessen the risk of hip dysplasia as well by ensuring your puppy has the right paperwork.
This paperwork is a certification that states a test was done on the parents’ hips. It should mention that the exam was conducted by the OFA (Orthopedic Foundation for Animals).
If a breeder doesn’t have this information, moving onto a different one would be a wise choice.
Note: Don't let the many issues above scare you. The best way to approach health problems is to prevent them in the first place. The Ultimate Guide to Dog Health is a great place to start. Get a copy to keep at home. It will help you prevent the painful health issues that can plague your lovely Spanish Greyhound from expressing his winning personality and maximizing his life
The Spanish Greyhound Grooming Requirements
Spanish Greyhounds are a rather low-maintenance breed. It doesn’t matter whether he has a smooth or rough coat; all he’ll need is a weekly brushing with a rubber curry brush for both coat types.
But rough-coated Spanish Greyhounds need their facial hair combed with a metal comb. If you don’t attend to this area, his face will soon have a pungent odor. This area might need brushing a few times a week.
Experts recommend bathing him once every three to four months as well. However, don’t over bath them as it could result in dandruff and rashes. We should also mention he does shed, but it’s rather minimal.
The rest of his maintenance needs will fall under basic care requirements:
- Brushing his teeth weekly
- Trimming his nails monthly
- Checking ears for build ups regularly
Finding Your Spanish Greyhound
Spanish Greyhound for Sale
Finding a Spanish Greyhound puppy within the US will be difficult. And since there isn't a significant club that recognizes him, you’ll have to rely on sites like Puppyfinder.com. This particular one will point you toward the nearest available dog.
The problem with using these websites is the breeders don’t have to follow any specific rules. It’s an issue that raises some concern about coming in contact with a bad breeder. It becomes apparent you’ll need to set up a meeting.
This meeting should take place at their breeding facilities. It’ll allow you to evaluate the entire situation fully. If you notice any of the following, move onto a new breeder immediately:
- Doesn’t have the proper paperwork (OFA hip certifications)
- Multiple litters available at once
- Paying online via credit card
- Offering reduced prices for puppies without papers
- The breeder doesn’t seem interested in your life
All of these things are standard practice for bad breeders. Don’t fall for their tricks and make sure you do a thorough background check on them. After all, many people selling dogs are only looking for a quick payday.
The Average Spanish Greyhound Price
A reputable breeder will sell Spanish Greyhound puppies for $600 to $800. This price could end up being more or less depending on certain factors such as DNA or medical issues.
Spanish Greyhound for Adoption
Adopting might be the easier route with this particular breed. There are numerous Spanish Greyhound rescue organizations that would love to help. It’s a simple matter of filling out an application and waiting for them to make contact.
This process will end up taking a little bit because there are several different steps. These organizations want to ensure these often-neglected dogs end up in a good home. And they’ll do a thorough background check before letting you adopt from them.
If you want a more immediate adoption, you could try a site like Adoptapet.com. This website will direct you towards the nearest adoptable Spanish Greyhound. Another option would be going down to the local shelter or humane society.
It’s highly unlikely a Spanish Greyhound will be at these places, but it doesn’t hurt to check. Plus, you can express your interest in the breed. It'll give them someone to contact when/if one does enter the facility.
Topics to Cover Before Adopting a Spanish Greyhound
If you do find one, please ask a lot of questions before bringing him home. These questions should at least cover the following topics:
- Previous living situation
- Medical history
- Family history
- Kid and pet-friendly
This information will help you determine whether or not your household’s a good fit. It’ll also give you some ideas about how you can make the transition smoother. So please, don’t hesitate to ask any question that’ll help ensure you feel comfortable.
Estimated Cost of the Adoption Fee
The adoption fee will vary from organization to organization. On average expect to pay around $650.
While this might seem overly expensive the cost might cover a microchip, blood tests for diseases, and a spay or neuter procedure.
But a local shelter might only require a measly $50 to get your new dog.
However, that $50 at the shelter will only get you a dog. And you may have to come out of pocket $600 in vet fees anyway.
Conclusion: Is the Spanish Greyhound Temperament Right for You?
If you want an enthusiastic exercise companion, the Spanish Greyhound could be a great fit. He’ll provide you with great company on your runs and won’t ever get tired before you.
But if you plan on leaving him alone for several hours a day, you need to look somewhere else. His tendency to develop separation anxiety in these circumstances could end tragically.