There are 23 breeds that are listed as being native to Spain on the Spanish Royal Canine Society’s books. The dogs that are native to Spain vary in personality and traits, so which ones will match you and your lifestyle best? Here is a list of Spanish dog breeds and a little bit about their personality and look:
Most Popular Spanish Dog Breeds
Ratonero Bodeguero Andaluz
A Ratonero Bodeguero Andaluz is a type of terrier, its name translates roughly to ‘Andalusian Wine-Cellar Rat-Hunting Dog’. This is due to the dogs origins in hunting rats in the wine-cellars of Andalusia.
The Ratonero Bodeguero Andaluz is a medium sized dog with a very similar appearance to the Jack Russell Terrier. Therefore it has quite an athletic build with a triangular-shaped head. Their hair is short and thick and they tend to be white with tricolour markings (brown, white, black, and sometimes tan). They have quite a long snout to help with hunting and their ears are high sitting and bend at the top. Their tails tend to be docked to a quarter of the length, but there are also some that are born with a bobtail.
They are quite energetic and bold dogs, who are also said to be good with children due to their sweet temperament. They can also be quite sociable dogs and so get along well with other dogs and most people. Due to their instincts as a hunter however, they do not get on well with smaller animals such as rabbits etc.
The Spanish Galgo, also known as the Spanish Sighthound is very similar to the Greyhound. They were originally used for hunting and for coursing hare. They are also used sometimes for racing, it is not uncommon to breed them with Greyhounds for this purpose.
As mentioned Galgos have a very similar appearance to the Greyhound, but they stand slightly higher up at the front than a Greyhound and don’t appear as muscly as Greyhounds either. They are also slightly smaller and lighter than Greyhounds, and have a slightly different shaped head. Their heads tend to be more pointy and longer than a Greyhound, and their tails are also longer. Another difference is the Galgo’s fur comes in two different types, either smooth or rough. There are many different colours of Galgo – brindle, black, and golden to name a few.
They are gentle, shy, quiet, and calm dogs, sharing a similar temperament to Greyhounds. They are also thought to be sociable dogs, especially when it comes to cats with many living together happily, but they are also friendly with other dogs. As well as being good with other dogs and cats, they are also good with children due to their gentle nature.
As its name states, the Andalusian Hound originates in Andalusia. It is similar to breeds such as the Portugese Podengo. They make good hunters and are frequently used for hunting rabbits.
The Andalusian Hound comes in three sizes; small, medium, and large, and also has three hair types; smooth, wire-haired, or long-haired. Their size often dictates their purpose when used for hunting. Smaller and medium sized Andalusian Hounds are used for tracking larger animals, whereas larger dogs can go after prey. They have quite pointed and long faces with big ears that tend to sit pointed on their head. Their large and erect ears make them incredibly good at hearing, thus their use as hunters. Their colours can either be white, cinnamon, or a mixture of both the colours.
They are loyal dogs with a gentle nature, but they are also highly intelligent and known for their ability to pick up on things fast. If they aren’t given enough exercise then they can become quite naughty and destructive as they are quite active dogs.
Podencos have origins that may even date back as far as the Ancient Egyptians. They are often used for hunting rabbits nowadays due to them being sighthounds.
Podencos range in type and height. They can range from small dogs, to quite large dogs and have either smooth, wired, or long coats. They also come in a range of colours including red, brown, and white.
The Podenco are known as quiet dogs and they very rarely bark. They are gentle, loyal, and emotional dogs and so they require kindness, love, and softness. They are also intelligent dogs and so their high energy can be stimulated through training.
Spanish Water Dog
The Spanish Water Dogs make great sheepdogs and guard dogs, they are also really good as gun dogs. They have links to Poodles and the Portugese Water Dog.
The Spanish Water Dog is naturally curly haired with a sort of wooly texture to it, when it is grown out it can form cords. When the hair is fully grown it will cover the dog’s eyes. They come in a range of colours including black, brown, beige, and white and their size is that of a medium dog.
The Spanish Water Dog is a loyal and affectionate dog who tend to have natural guarding instincts and so they will most likely take upon this role in your home. They can be quite wary of strangers and other animals, although socialising them from a young age will help with this issue.
Perro de Presa Canario
The Perro de Presa Canario is also known as the Canary Mastiff. They were originally bred for working livestock, traditionally as cattle dogs.
They are very large and muscular dogs with a chunky body and have a square shape. When working with cattle, their ears tend to be cropped in order to avoid injury, this makes the ears stand erect. If they are not cropped then their ears hang down. Their mouths are slightly droopy and their snouts are thick.
These dogs are naturally not very sociable and require training at an early age in order to become such. They need this training as they can be aggressive to other dogs and humans otherwise. They are quite dominant dogs due to their nature to guard, paired with their suspicion of new people and surroundings. Although, they can also be gentle and calm, especially if brought up as such.
The Catalan Sheepdog is a breed of Catalan that is used as a sheepdog.
They tend to be medium-large in size and have a long coat with either flat or wavy hair. Their colour is either fawn to dark sable, or light to dark grey.
It is an intelligent dog that is easy to train and they make great pets. They are quite quiet and loyal companions, but they need to be socialised early in order to interact well with children and other dogs. They also have a relative amount of energy and will require plenty of exercise.
The Pachón Navarro is a Spanish hunting dog that appears to descend from the Talbot Hound or the Old Spanish Pointer. After the Spanish Civil War, this breed became extinct, but slowly it has been brought back.
They are quite a large and strong dog, but they are also incredibly agile. Their legs are quite strong, but powerful and they have short hair with loose skin around the neck and snout. They have floppy ears and a long snout and they come in a range of colours including black, white, and brown.
They are quite energetic dogs and will require a lot of exercise. They are loving dogs that adore the company of people and like to be kept near their owner. They are also incredibly friendly dogs and are great with children and other dogs.
The Spanish Mastiff is a giant dog whose original breeding purpose was for guarding livestock.
They are a large and powerful dog with a strong and heavy appearance. They have drop ears and small eyes. Their coat is most commonly the fawn colour, but it is not unusual to see them brindle, black, or ‘wolf-coloured’.
These dogs need to be socialised early in order to get along well with other dogs. They are naturally protective and loyal towards their family and home. They are large but affectionate, and they are also highly intelligent.
Basque Shepherd Dog
The Basque Shepherd Dog is a landrace breed that were traditionally used as shepherd dogs to look after livestock.
They have drop ears and oval eyes, they tend to have a yellow medium length coat that is rough in texture and shorter in the head so as not to hide their oval eyes. Although you do see them in different colours such as red and fawn.
The Basque Shepherd Dog is kind and calm in nature. They have a friendly temperament and are also quite sociable dogs making them good with children and other dogs. They are also highly intelligent and love to learn new things, you can teach them as a way to use up the mass of energy that these dogs have.