Today is World Galgo Day. Today, we celebrate a breed bred to hunt and to race. A breed whose real qualities are often overlooked.
Sadly, Galgos are seen more as tools for hunting than house pets in certain parts of Spain. Every year, when the hunting season is over and their owners no longer see any use in them, thousands of these dogs are culled or abandoned.
No dog deserves such treatment. Thankfully, more and more people are becoming aware of the problem. Rescues are popping up everywhere, and many Galgos are now saved and adopted around Europe. Still not sure what a Galgo is exactly? Here are some interesting facts about these beautiful dogs:
1. Spanish Greyhounds have a strong urge to give chase
They were bred and often trained to hunt. It’s part of their instinct to chase small furries when they catch a glimpse of them. You shouldn’t trust a Galgo with your cat, guinea pig, or any other little pets you may have scurrying around the house. Galgos will also chase wildlife, so teaching them the recall command is essential, though it won’t always be enough to keep your dog and other animals safe. It is recommended to exercise Galgos in fenced-in areas.
2. Spanish Greyhounds run like cheetahs
They can’t run as fast, of course, but the way they run is very similar. They have what’s known as a “double-suspension gallop”, which means that while running, there are two separate times during a single stride when all four feet are off the ground. Sighthounds are the only dogs that can do this!
3. Greyhounds are the dogs of pharaohs
Not surprising, with their regal and elegant looks. When Tutankhamun died, he had his greyhound embalmed with him, so they could enjoy the afterlife together.
4. Galgos are shy
Galgos are wary of strangers in general. They are never aggressive, but do prefer to stay at a distance until they can make their acquaintance, in their own time. Once a greyhound trusts you though, you have a friend for life.
5. Galgos have two speeds
60 km/hour on the track, and 0 km/hour on the sofa. Despite their athletic side, Galgos are actually real couch potatoes. They love nothing more than getting comfy and cosy next to you on the sofa, especially if you’re willing to share your blanket. In fact, Galgos are so laid-back and calm when indoors that they’ve often been compared to cats and are said to do well in apartments.
So what do you think? Pretty amazing dogs right?