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THE GALGO IS AN ANCIENT BREED AND A MEMBER OF THE SIGHTHOUND FAMILY. DESPITE IT’S SIMILAR APPEARANCE, IT IS NOT CLOSELY RELATED TO THE ENGLISH OR AMERICAN GREYHOUND. GALGOS HAVE LEANER MUSCULATURE AND MORE STAMINA FOR ENDURANCE RUNNING, AND ARE EITHER SMOOTH OR ROUGH-COATED IN A WIDE VARIETY OF COLORS.

GALGOS MAKE FANTASTIC PETS!  LIKE GREYHOUNDS, THEY HAVE A MELLOW AND FRIENDLY TEMPERAMENT.  THEY HAVE A SLIGHTLY HIGHER ENERGY LEVEL THAN GREYHOUNDS AND LOVE TO PLAY WITH EACH OTHER OR OTHER DOGS.  UNLIKE RETIRED RACING GREYHOUNDS, GALGOS ARE ACTUALLY PRETTY GOOD RUNNING BUDDIES FOR PEOPLE WHO HAVE AN ACTIVE OUTDOORSY LIFESTYLE.  HAVING BEEN TRAINED TO RUN FOR MILES CROSS COUNTRY IN ROUGH TERRAIN, YOU DON'T HAVE TO "WORK THEM UP TO IT" LIKE YOU DO WITH A GREYHOUND.  GALGOS HAVE A LONG AVERAGE LIFE SPAN LIKE GREYHOUNDS DO; 12 - 14 YEARS.  FINALLY, BECAUSE THEY ARE SO SIMILAR TO GREYHOUNDS IN APPEARANCE AND ATTITUDE, THEY FIT SEAMLESSLY INTO A GREYHOUND HOUSEHOLD!

IN SPAIN, GALGOS ARE MAINLY USED FOR HUNTING OR COURSING HARE. DURING THE ANNUAL HUNTING SEASON (OCTOBER TO JANUARY) MANY LIVE IN DARK SHEDS IN EXCESS NUMBERS. THEY SPEND MOST OF THEIR DAYS CONFINED, NEGLECTED AND BARELY FED BECAUSE IT IS BELIEVED THAT A HUNGRY DOG HUNTS BETTER.  ONCE THE SEASON IS OVER, GALGUEROS (HUNTERS WHO OWN THE GALGOS) DISPOSE OF THE DOGS BY HANGING THEM FROM TREES, THROWING THEM INTO WELLS, BEATING AND ABANDONING THEM OR TURNING THEM IN AT KILLING STATIONS, WHERE MOST NEVER HAVE A CHANCE AT LEAVING ALIVE.  THEY DO THIS SO THAT THEY DON'T HAVE TO FEED THEM IN BETWEEN HUNTING SEASONS, AND ALSO SINCE THEY ARE ALLOWED TO BREED AT WILL THERE IS ALWAYS A READY SUPPLY OF REPLACEMENT DOGS FOR THE NEXT HUNTING SEASON.  A VERY FINE HUNTING DOG MAY BE ALLOWED TO LIVE THROUGH TWO OR THREE SEASONS BEFORE HE IS DISPOSED OF.

THE EXCESSIVE, UNCONTROLLED BREEDING AND MASS ABANDONMENT OF DOGS AT THE END OF EVERY HUNTING SEASON LEAVES A MASSIVE POPULATION OF LOOSE, STARVING AND SICK DOGS. ASSOCIATIONS IN SPAIN RESCUE AND REHABILITATE AS MANY DOGS AS THEY CAN TO GIVE THEM A CHANCE FOR A FUTURE. IT IS ESTIMATED THAT MORE THAN 100,000 GALGOS ARE KILLED EVERY YEAR.

PODENCOS ARE AN ANCIENT BREED OF HUNTING DOGS NATIVE TO SPAIN, THE BALEARIC ISLANDS AND THE CANARY ISLANDS.
PODENCOS ARE BELIEVED TO DATE BACK TO THE PHARAOHS, EGYPTIANS AND THE ROMANS.  IN THE 8TH AND 9TH  CENTURY BC  THE MERCHANTS SAILED AROUND THE MEDITARANEAN ISANDS, MALTA, IBIZA AND THE CANARY ISLANDS WHERE THEY KEPT THE PODENCOS TO HUNT RABBITS FOR THEIR SUPPLIES.
OVER CENTURIES THESE PODENCOS WERE USED ON DIFFERENT TERRAIN ON THE MAIN LAND AND BECAME VERY  POPULAR FOR HUNTING AS THEY WERE GREAT ATHLETES AND TOUGH DOGS WHO ARE NOT PRONE TO ILLNESS.
SADLY THEY HAVE BEEN ABUSED IN MANY WAYS BY THE HUNTERS AS THIS WONDERFUL BREED ARE VERY INTELLIGENT, AFFECTIONATE,  SOCIABLE AND SUBMISSIVE BUT GREAT CARE MUST BE TAKEN IN TRAINING AS PODENCOS ARE UNFORGIVING IF TREATED  BADLY AND TRAINED USING ANY HARSH METHODS.
PODENCOS MAKE WONDERFUL FAMILY PETS AND ARE GREAT WITH CHILDREN. THEY ARE VERY VERSATILE DOGS AND HAVE PROVEN TO EXCEL IN AGILITY, CANICROSS, BIKEJORING AND WE ARE NOW ALSO DISCOVERING THE BEAUTY AND THE SOUL OF A PODENCO AS THERAPY DOGS. THEY ARE VERY INTUITIVE AND EXCEL AT PICKING UP ON EMOTIONS WHEN THINGS ARE NOT QUITE RIGHT.
TO OWN A PODENCO IS ONE OF THE MOST WONDERFUL THINGS YOU CAN DO TO GIVE THEM LIFE.
THE MOST POPULAR PODENCOS COME IN ALL SIZES -
PODENCO CANARIOS - SOME OF THE MALES CAN BE AS TALL AS 70 CM`S BUT OTHER CANARIOS ARE ONLY 50 CM`S TALL
PODENCO IBICIENCO - WHO VARY IN SIZE BUT ARE MOSTLY TALL LIKE THE CANARIOS WITH 60 CM FOR THE FEMALES 65 FOR THE MALES.
PODENCO ANDALUZ IS THE SMALLER AGAIN OF THE PODENCOS AND THEY ARE GENERALLY 40 CM TALL BUT CAN BE SLIGHTLY TALLER.
PODENCO MANETO - THE LITTLE DOG THAT PACKS A LOT OF POWER AND CHARACTER ARE AROUND 30 CM`S TALL.
PODENCOS LIVE QUITE HAPPILY WITH CATS AND SMALL DOGS.
THEY DO NEED A SECURE GARDEN AND NEED TO BE STIMULATED AS THEY GET BORED VERY EASILY  BUT MANY OTHER BREEDS ARE THE SAME, THEY LOVE MANY TOYS AND LOVE TO BE LOVED.
PUT A PODENCO IN YOUR LIFE AND YOU WON`T REGRET IT – ONE IS NEVER ENOUGH.

PHOTO COURTESY OF IRENE ALLEN