English Greyhound vs Spanish Galgo

María Besteiros
By María Besteiros, Expert veterinary assistant and canine/feline hairdresser.. December 15, 2021
English Greyhound vs Spanish Galgo
Spanish Sighthound

Animal file: Spanish Sighthound

It is easy to identify greyhounds by their elegant and athletic body, their elongated head, and their slender legs, which allow them to reach great speeds. In addition, they have wonderful qualities that make them wonderful companion dogs. There are several very similar breeds of greyhounds, such as the English greyhound and the Spanish greyhound. They can even be easily mistaken for one another.

In this AnimalWised article, we will examine the basic characteristics of both breeds, as well as the differences between the English Greyhound and the Spanish Greyhound.

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  1. Origins of the English Greyhound and the Spanish Greyhound
  2. Physical characteristics of the English Greyhound and the Spanish Greyhound
  3. Character of the English Greyhound and the Spanish Greyhound
  4. Caring for the English Greyhound and Spanish Greyhound
  5. Health of the English Greyhound and the Spanish Greyhound

Origins of the English Greyhound and the Spanish Greyhound

The first difference between these breeds of greyhounds is their place of origin, as is evident from their names. Greyhounds are thought to have originated in Egypt, but the dogs we know today evolved in the United Kingdom, where they may have been introduced by the Celts. In fact, a carving was found in an Egyptian tomb dating back 4900 years, confirming their antiquity. The name Grei means "fine" or "beautiful".

The Spanish Greyhound, also known as the Galgo Español, is a mix of the English Greyhound, the Podencos, and other dog breeds brought to the peninsula by traders or invaders. The Galgo has always been very popular in Spain. In the past, it was considered a noble breed and was mainly kept by aristocrats in the Christian and Islamic kingdoms in which the Spanish territory was divided at the time. Galgos are not only mentioned in hunting books, but also in common Spanish expressions and popular literature.

As their physical characteristics suggest, both dogs were designed for speed, although there are some differences between them. The English Greyhound was originally used for hunting hares, which is not surprising considering they can reach speeds of up to 37.28 mph. Their outstanding speed and eyesight allow them to outrun their prey. They are also excellent sprinters and are great for short, explosive races. The Spanish Greyhound, on the other hand, is slower in comparison, reaching an average speed of 29.8 mph. However, this breed has greater endurance and a longer running time than the English Greyhound.

If you wish to know more about popular Spanish breeds, keep reading this article on 26 Spanish breeds.

Physical characteristics of the English Greyhound and the Spanish Greyhound

Size is the most obvious difference between the English Greyhound and the Spanish Greyhound. Although both breeds are considered large, the English Greyhound is slightly larger. The English Greyhound weighs 60-70 pounds and averages 30 inches tall, while the Spanish Greyhound weighs 44-66 pounds and averages 25 inches tall.

Greyhounds all have long, thin legs, a muscular and arched neck, and thin, low-set tails and a lean, athletic, elegant silhouette. In addition, they share other characteristics that contribute to their high speed, such as a broad chest that improves lung and heart capacity, and an elongated head with a flattened skull. Therefore, to determine the physical differences between the English and Spanish Greyhounds, you need to pay attention to the details.

  • Musculature: Spanish Greyhounds have musculature similar to a Sloughi, giving them the endurance to stay in the race. English greyhounds have musculature that gives them their amazing ability to sprint.

  • Head: The heads of both dogs are similar, but the head of the English Greyhound has a broader skull, a more pronounced stop, and a more pointed muzzle.

  • Ears: Both breeds have small ears that are erect at the base and curved slightly back. Although the Spanish Greyhound's ears are thicker, the English Greyhound can set them upright when alert.

  • Body: The chest of the English Greyhound is barrel-shaped and reaches to the elbows. The Spanish Greyhound's rib cage is deeper and longer, but does not reach to the elbows. The lower back of the Spanish Greyhound is longer.

  • Coat: Spanish and English Greyhounds have short, fine hair. The colors of English Greyhounds are white, red, black, fawn and brindle. The colors of Spanish Greyhounds are distinguished by cream, brindle, black, gold and chestnut with white. There are some rare cases where Galgos can be wire haired.

Character of the English Greyhound and the Spanish Greyhound

As we have seen thus far, the physical differences between an English Greyhound and a Spanish Greyhound are subtle, and the same is true of their characters. The difference between these two breeds of dogs may depend more on the handling and experience of the individual than on the breed. Anyway, we highlight the following points:

  • Living with children : Both breeds are not considered particularly child-friendly, but both can live with children. Greyhounds do not like rough play, so children who are too young or do not know how to handle them should not play with them. The dog will not react aggressively, but it will indicate its discomfort by walking away.

  • Socialization : Spanish Greyhounds are more shy and independent than English Greyhounds, and it is not surprising that they are more aloof. Good socialization is important for both breeds, but especially for Galgos.

  • Training: Both dogs are relatively easy to train. Spanish Greyhounds can be a bit more complicated due to their more timid personalities. Either way, both are very sensitive dogs that need positive training methods to thrive.

If you wish to know why is your Galgo shaking, keep reading this article on why does your Greyhound shake.

Caring for the English Greyhound and Spanish Greyhound

As far as grooming is concerned, there are no significant differences between the English Greyhound and the Spanish Greyhound. Both breeds need to be physically active, as they are very energetic dogs. Therefore, they cannot live well in an apartment. It is recommended that they have large spaces where they can run freely.

We also need to spend time training them so that they do not chase everything that moves. So if we leave them in an outdoor area, we need to make sure it is fully fenced. Both breeds have a hunting instinct that, if left unchecked, can cause a scare. These dogs might see smaller animals as prey and chase them. In this regard, the Spanish Greyhound is less problematic.

To know more about how to take proper care of your Spanish Greyhound, read this article on caring for a Galgo.

Health of the English Greyhound and the Spanish Greyhound

As far as health is concerned, there are not many differences either. Both breeds require thorough veterinary care with regular examinations, deworming and vaccinations. Both can suffer from diseases related to their size, such as gastritis.

As far as health goes, they are quite healthy, although the English Greyhound is considered to be a bit more fragile. Perhaps this is why the lifespan of an English Greyhound is shorter than that of a Galgo, 10 years as opposed to 12 years. However, this is a very variable figure depending on the circumstances of each individual specimen.

If you want to read similar articles to English Greyhound vs Spanish Galgo, we recommend you visit our Comparisons category.

  • Fogle, Bruce. 1995. Encyclopedia of the Dog . London. Dorling Kindersley.
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English Greyhound vs Spanish Galgo