White Galgo Espanol Running at the Beach

Galgo Espanol Dog Breed

Other names:
Spanish Galgo
Spanish Greyhound

The Galgo Espanol, also referred to as the Spanish Greyhound, is rarely found outside Europe. It has been the primary sighthound of the dry, uneven Spanish terrain for centuries used for hunting and coursing hare. Much controversy exists regarding their poor and even brutal treatment at the end of the hunting season. Galgo Espanols are large size dogs that are sometimes confused with greyhounds due to certain visible similarities in its slender, elegant body. Members of this breed, however, are smaller and come in various coat textures and colors. Extremely quick and agile, although not as fast as they greyhound, they have flat, lean musculature.

This dog is perfect for active owners or families that want a pet to accompany them for daily exercise and sporting activities. They make sweet, calm indoor dogs and are gentle and affectionate with children. Galgos have low guard dog ability but are generally reserved and wary around strangers. This breed is great for those desiring a dog with low maintenance in regards to grooming. Trainability is high for these sensitive dogs but they require soft handling, patience and positive reinforcement such as praise and treats.

Galgo Espanol Breed Details

The Galgo Espanol is a Sighthound type; dogs of this breed have existed since ancient times, and were used in Spain and a few other European countries as hunters of hares and other small game. As an extremely athletic breed, Galgos are best suited for active families or for those who participate in canine sports.

Some breed facts: Galgos are large-sized with slender builds, and have short-haired coats that are either smooth or wiry in texture. Here are some advantages and drawbacks to owning this rare breed:


  • Fantastically agile and athletic
  • Intelligent
  • Affectionate and gentle
  • Little grooming required
  • Fairly easily trained
  • If properly exercised, can adapt to a variety of living situations (house or apartment)
  • Good with children and other pets
  • Healthy and hardy
  • Low barking tendencies
  • Excellent hunting/exercise companion


  • Can be shy, timid, and reserved
  • Very high exercise requirements
  • Low watchdog abilities
  • May require frequent socialization with humans and other animals
  • Leash required when outdoors (unless extensively trained)
  • Rare outside their native Spain, so may be difficult to find/obtain
12 - 15 yrs.
23½ - 27½ in.
50 - 60 lbs
OverallFamily FriendlyChild FriendlyPet FriendlyStranger Friendly
Easy to GroomEnergy LevelExercise NeedsHealthShedding Amount
Barks / HowlsEasy to TrainGuard DogPlayfulnessWatch Dog
Apartment DogCan be AloneGood for Busy OwnersGood for New OwnersIntelligence

Galgo Espanol Breed Description

Galgos are smaller with flatter muscles than greyhounds that grant them more stamina, although they are not as fast. Typically, males reach 24.5-27.5 inches and can weigh up to 60 pounds while females stand around 23.5-26.5 inches and weigh in at 50-55 pounds.

Members of this breed make sweet, affectionate and gentle house dogs for owners or even families with children. They find their best match to be an active family that exercises and participates in frequent sporting activities. Those without time to properly exercise their Galgo should not consider the breed. Galgo Espanols are also quite friendly with other pets, especially dogs. It is always important to consider a hunting breed's prey drive towards small animals, but experts vouch for their reliability to do well with even these pets. Strangers should not be concerned with aggression from this dog but shouldn't expect them to be outgoing either. Chances are, this breed will be shy around strangers.

This breed has high exercise requirements and fits best with active owners or families. Those requirements can be met with a daily long walk, run, hike, biking, hunting and many other activities. Grooming needs of this breed are few. They will be trained somewhat easily if the owner is patient and soft with them; they are sensitive and can easily become reserved if they are handled too roughly.

Galgo Espanol Breed History

Galgos are said to have originated during the 6th century B.C. when the Celtic Gauls settled in the Spanish Iberian Peninsula region and began breeding hunting dogs. Romans continued the lines of this breed which they referred to as Canis Gallicus (Celtic Dogs). These dogs were, over time, likely bred with Irish Greyhounds, deerhounds, Sloughi and possibly even African sighthounds. The more recent history has seen them as superb hare hunting and coursing dogs because they possess the agility, stamina and speed necessary to do the job in the uneven terrain of Spain; these areas are very dry, variable and rocky. Although this breed used to be a favorite treasure of Spanish elite documented as early as the 12th century, they are now typically not kept as pets and instead just used and abused. Rescue organizations maintain that at the end of the hunting season these dogs are brutally disposed of by being shot, hung, abandoned down wells or in dumps and numerous other atrocious behaviors. These persevering dogs were finally classified as a distinct breed in 1972. Many organizations exist presently to improve the plight of these dogs such as GRIN and SAGE, which strive to rescue and adopt Galgos.

Galgo Espanol Appearance

The Galgo is might be mistaken for the greyhound with its elegant, slender body, long neck and narrow head. The hips are higher than the shoulders and the chest does not reach the elbows. Large ears are held back from the face and they have a very long hooked tail. They have quite a few differences; for instance, the Galgo is built not only for speed but endurance and agility so the muscles will be flatter. They are smaller than Greyhounds, with male Galgos reaching around 24.5 to 27.5 inches tall and females 23.5 to 26.5 inches. There is no strict standard for the coat; some are smooth haired while others are wiry. Color can also vary greatly and includes: black, red, cinnamon, white, yellow, golden, beige, white with colored patches and brindling of these shades. White markings may or may not be present.

Galgo Espanol Colors

The images below represent the coat colors and patterns associated with Galgo Espanols.

Additional Coat Colors

Galgo Espanol Variations

The Galgo Espanol has no specific sub-types within the breed. Size amongst these dogs is pretty consistent: an average of 25 inches at the shoulders in height, and 55 pounds in weight. There are no toy Galgos recognized as variations of the breed.

The one variant within dogs of this breed is coat type. Some are smooth-haired, with short, silky fur; others have rough, wiry fur that is often longer. The wire-haired Galgos sometimes have more abundant facial hair as well. Both coat varieties exist in the same wide array of colors.

Galgo Espanol Temperament

This breed has many good qualities; they are laid-back and do not typically bark, which makes them a wonderful breed to have indoors. Outside they are happy, energetic and make a superior choice for an owner that enjoys long walks or hikes, running and biking. Overall, they are affectionate to their owners are quite adaptable.

This breed enjoys being around other dogs and is generally friendly with most pets. They will likely be reserved and shy around strangers at first. Galgos make sweet and gentle playmates for children.

Training this breed will not be difficult, however, the Galgo is a sensitive breed and the right techniques must be used. Never handle this breed roughly or show your impatience with them. They thrive off positive words, gentle handling and treats. Members of this breed that have not had extensive obedience training should always be kept on the leash when outside of an enclosed area; due to their speed and stamina they may easily get away from you.

Galgo Espanol Maintenance

This breed has high exercise requirements and fits best with active owners or families. Those requirements can be met with a daily long walk, run, hike, biking, hunting and many other activities. Grooming needs of this breed are few. They will be trained somewhat easily if the owner is patient and soft with them; they are sensitive and can easily become reserved if they are handled too roughly.

Grooming Requirements

Members of this breed have a short coat that requires very little care. Leaving this coat intact is necessary is colder climates.

Exercise Requirements

Galgo Espanols are a perfect fit for sporty owners or families. They have a long history of hunting utilizing speed, stamina and agility so they will need to be exercised quite a bit. These requirements could be met by long daily walks, runs, hikes, bike rides, hunting activities, etc. Unless trained exceptionally well, Galgos should be leashed when outside enclosed areas; they run extremely fast for long distances and it may be hard to catch them.

Living Requirements

These dogs can adapt to both indoor and outdoor living environments. They may even be apartment dwelling dogs as they are calm and do not frequently bark. If kept indoors they need adequate outdoor exercise time.

Galgo Espanol Health

If exercised frequently this breed is unlikely to have major health issues. Sensitivity to anesthesia is common within the breed so your pet should be tested before any procedures where those compounds will be necessary. This breed has a lifespan of 12-15 years.

About this Article

Authored by:Dog-Learn
Updated:May 9, 2017