Spanish Hound

Other names: Sabueso Español, Perro de caza sabueso, Spanish Scenthound

Spanish Hound

The Sabueso Espanol is a scent hound dog, initially bred in the north of Spain. For hundreds of years, these dogs have been used to hunt and track game, such as chamois, roe deer, red deer, fox, wolf, brown bear, hare and wild boar. This working breed is often used by sportsmen hunting with firearms. 

Key facts about the Spanish Hound

Life expectancy :





Temperament :


Size :

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Origins and history

This dog is often called the Spanish Scenthound as he hails from the Iberian Peninsula, mainly from the north of the mainland. The breed was initially developed as a hunting dog, and this is still today its main purpose. The Sabueso Español has been around for centuries, so it’s difficult to ascertain the exact date of his first appearance. However, it is known that the breed was described in a book by King Alphonse XI in the late 14th century.

FCI breed nomenclature

FCI Group

Group 6 - Scent hounds and related breeds


Section 1 : Scent hounds

Physical characteristics of the Spanish Hound

Adult size

Female : Between 19 and 21 in

Male : Between 20 and 22 in


Female : Between 53 and 55 lb

Male : Between 53 and 55 lb

Coat colour

Type of coat

Eye colour



The Sabueso Español is of medium build with a rectangular shaped body. This dog has long, silky ears, drooping lips and solemn eyes. As an athletic dog, he has powerful limbs. He has a domed skull with a prominent dewlap on his neck. The dog’s tail tapers to a brush of fur at the tip.

Good to know

In Spain, there are many Sabueso Español dogs that are abandoned, many with no chance of being adopted. This is generally due to the fact that not many people know that although they are a hunting breed, they also make excellent family pets. The Sabueso has a very amenable character, is calm and very affectionate. In some situations, this breed is also used as search and rescue dogs and in bomb detection situations. 


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    It is not very often that the Sabueso Español is kept as a family pet. Despite this, this dog still has a very loyal and loving nature. He will be affectionate with the people he knows.

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    While the Sabueso Español will happily play with older children, he doesn’t tolerate smaller children too well. This is not really a playful dog, he prefers to work when given the opportunity.

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    This breed is very easy going and gentle, but brave and relentless when hunting. 

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    The Sabueso Español is always eager to please, a very intelligent dog.

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    In the mountains of Northern Spain, the Sabueso Español is generally used for hunting wild boar. He is used to hunting either alone or in pairs.

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    Fearful / wary of strangers

    Although this dog can be quite affectionate with his master and family, he will be wary of strangers.

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    Certainly a very independent dog.

    Behaviour of the Spanish Hound

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      Tolerates solitude

      Even though this dog is very independent, he will also devote himself to his master, and isn’t too happy when left alone for long periods of time.

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      Easy to train / obedience

      It’s important to have strong leadership when training the Sabueso Español. He can be quite willful and needs consistent routines. You will need dedication and time to help your dog adapt to a lifestyle that may not be familiar to him. However, when training to hunt, little or no instruction is required. 

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      The Sabueso Español has a distinctive, booming, loud howl. When following his prey, the dog will alert his owner by using different tonalities, from loud, long howls, to shorter choppy barks when he finds his quarry. In Spain, this bark is known as “latido”.

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      Tendency to run away

      As a hunting dog, if he gets the merest hint of prey, he will give chase and run off.

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      The majority of Sabueso Español dogs are kept for hunting purposes. This dog can get easily bored if he isn’t kept active and of course, destructive behaviours will result.

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      Greedy / Gluttony

      Not a gluttonous dog providing he is fed a highly nutritious, good quality diet. 

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      Guard dog

      Although the Sabueso Español will likely alert his owner to the presence of an unknown visitor, he won’t defend his territory and isn’t an ideal guard dog.

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      First dog

      This breed is generally not kept as a companion, but used in the main for hunting purposes. Therefore, it is not an ideal choice for a first time pet.

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        Spanish Hound in a flat

        This dog is more suited to an outdoor, rural lifestyle, where he can run freely.

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        Need for exercise / Sporty

        This breed certainly needs lots of exercise to suit his hunting capabilities. He loves to roam without restraint.

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        Travelling / easy to transport

        This breed is happy to travel in a dog crate in the rear of a vehicle. It is not recommended to travel with this dog on public transport. 


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          Spanish Hound and cats

          As a hunting breed, the Sabueso Español will recognise cats and other small animals as prey. 

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          Spanish Hound and dogs

          The Sabueso Español has a good reputation working alongside other dogs. It is fairly uncommon for this breed to display canine aggressiveness.

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          Spanish Hound and children

          When socialised with children, this breed with happily play around older children, however not so tolerant of younger kids. Supervision is recommended.

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          Spanish Hound and the elderly

          The Sabueso Español enjoys vigorous and long walks and needs to be kept very occupied and active. It is therefore not the ideal choice for an elderly owner.



          The initial purchase price for a Sabueso Español puppy can be between £300 to £500. A further monthly budget of between £80 to £100 is required to fund his food, vet bills, and pet insurance


          The Sabueso Español has a short coat that requires little grooming. Care should be taken to check this dog’s ears on a frequent basis, especially after a hunting expedition. 


          The Sabueso Español is a heavy shedder.

          Nutrition of the Spanish Hound

          As a very energetic hunting dog, the Sabueso Español needs a high-quality feed, suitable for his size and energy requirements. Twice daily meals are recommended. 

          Health of the Spanish Hound

          Life expectancy

          As is quite common with hunting dogs, this breed is generally quite healthy. Its average life expectancy is 12 to 14 years.

          Strong / robust

          When hunting, there is very little that would prevent the Sabueso Español from completing the task in hand. This is a very strong and endurant dog.

          Withstand heat

          This breed is more common in Spain, where the climate is often hot and sunny. As long as shade is provided in the heat of the midday sun, this dog will cope very well in hot weather.

          Withstand cold

          The Sabueso Español dog will hunt over many different terrains, in all weathers, without issue. 

          Tendency to put on weight

          When a canine has a very high need for exercise, he can become obese when allowed to over-eat and isn’t sufficiently exercised. This is certainly the case with this dog.

          Common illnesses

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          • Frankie
            Very clever, very fast leaner. Loving and gentle. But strong prey drive.
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