Spanish hound dogs

As its name already indicates, the Spanish hound is one of the breeds native to Spain. Although it was developed for hunting, it is also an excellent companion dog and can even be a good guard dog. Intelligent, resistant and stubborn, he is a dog that requires an experienced home where he is offered all the physical and mental activity he needs for his well-being.

In this AnimalWised article we are going to talk about the origins of the Spanish hound and its main physical and temperament characteristics . We will also know what basic care must be provided if we want to share life with one of these dogs, what their education is like and what veterinary care is essential to ensure quality and life expectancy. Finally, we will see where to adopt a Spanish bloodhound.

Origin of the Spanish Hound

The origins of the Spanish hound date back to the late Middle Ages . It was a blood trail dog for small game, especially hares, although it can chase large prey such as wild boars, deer or foxes. It seems to develop from the same branch as the well-known bloodhound. Specifically, it is believed to be descended from an extinct white hound called talbot.

They were dogs that usually hunted alone, with no other company than the hunter. They worked tirelessly, especially in tracking, which is their specialty, thanks to their exceptional sense of smell. They were able to inform the hunter about the characteristics of the trail, whether it was recent or old, double, etc. It is a breed that was preserved quite pure, isolated in the interior of the Iberian Peninsula.

It was developed in two sizes , but, today, the smallest specimens are considered extinct. The International Cynological Federation (FCI) includes the Spanish hound in group VI, which groups together hound, trail and similar type dogs. Specifically, it is in section 1.2 for medium-sized hound-type dogs.

Characteristics of the Spanish Hound

Spanish hounds are medium-sized dogs , although there are considerable differences between males and females, with these being much smaller. Thus, males measure between 52 and 57 cm at the withers, while females measure between 48-53 cm. In general, the weight is around 25 kg. These are his most notable physical features:

  • Head : It is elongated and, without a doubt, its long hanging ears stand out . Extended, they reach at least the tip of the nose. They are soft, rectangular and have rounded tips. They are inserted below the eye line. The skull is domed and the stop is not very marked. The eyes are almond-shaped and brown. Her look conveys nobility. The muzzle is straight and tapers towards the nose, without being pointed. The bite is done in scissors. The truffle is large, with large windows. It can be brown or black, depending on the color of the mucous membranes. The neck is strong and muscular. His skin forms a not very exaggerated double chin.
  • Body : it is compact, rectangular, strong, robust, longer than it is tall and has a considerable chest circumference. Thus, the chest is deep and highly developed. The back is wide and long, as is the rump. The belly is little tucked in.
  • Tail : it is medium set and thicker at the base. Its length exceeds the hock.
  • Legs : they are straight, muscular and strong. The feet, with hair in the interdigital spaces, are “cat-like”, oval, with tight toes and strong, hard nails. The pads are very resistant. This conformation helps the dog navigate difficult terrain. There may be single or, less frequently, double dewclaws.
  • Coat : short, fine, smooth, dense and close to the skin. This is thick and pink and may form some wrinkles.

Spanish Hound Colors

The coloring of the Spanish hound combines white with orange . Either of the two colors may predominate, which are distributed forming well-defined irregular spots. There is no mottling. Orange can come in different shades ranging from a yellowish tone to a reddish, almost brownish tone.

Character of the Spanish Hound

Like other hounds, they are very active, tenacious, brave and hard-working dogs . They have personality, so they are more recommended for people who already have some experience caring for dogs and do not lead a sedentary life. They can have coexistence problems with their peers, especially if they do not know them, and they are not particularly good with children or animals of other species, so they must be monitored during their encounters and follow presentation and coexistence guidelines. They are also distrustful of strangers and even aggressive. This aspect is what can make them good guard dogs.

Despite these data, they are affectionate and docile with their family and trusted people. Due to their characteristics, Spanish hounds are not very suitable for living in an apartment, they are better off in a house with a garden, but if we meet their exercise and stimulation needs, they will remain calm inside the home. Otherwise, it is not strange that they develop destructive behaviors and other behavioral alterations that will affect coexistence. Since they used their voice for hunting, they can be barkers , especially when left alone.

Care of the Spanish Hound

The basic care of the Spanish hound does not differ from that needed by other breeds of hounds. We summarize them in the following points:

  • Food : it must be of quality and based on proteins from animal tissue, that is, meat or fish. Depending on the activity you do, you may need an energy-rich food. Edible rewards can be offered, but should be subtracted from daily calories to avoid overweight problems.
  • Exercise : as we have highlighted, these are very active dogs, so it will be essential to provide them with all the physical activity they need. We can point them to different sports disciplines for dogs. It is essential for your physical and mental well-being. Not only should we offer them physical exercise, we should also stimulate them with intelligence or tracking games , with which they can put their great abilities into practice. It is a good idea that they have spaces where they can exercise alone, since coexistence with other dogs can be problematic. In this article we share Smell games for dogs .
  • Hygiene : the maintenance of the Spanish Hound is very simple thanks to its short hair, which only requires occasional brushing to stay perfect. Monitoring the nails in case it is necessary to cut them (especially those on the dewclaws), the eyes or brushing the teeth , ideally daily, are basic hygienic care common to all dogs. In this breed the key point of attention is the ears. As they are hanging, their ventilation is not sufficient, and otitis can develop more easily. That is why it is advisable to check them and clean them when necessary.

Education of the Spanish Hound

We are dealing with an intelligent dog that, therefore, has a significant capacity for learning, even complex commands. But, as we have said, he shows a great personality, which implies that he will need a firm and patient education . Otherwise, he will win out over his stubbornness. That is why he is a breed more suitable for people with experience in handling dogs. If he is not well educated, it is not strange for him to disappear behind a trail, ignoring the calls of his caretaker. Education always has to be based on positive reinforcement . We can reward him with dog treats.

Furthermore, socialization , preferably early, is essential to prevent the distrust shown towards strangers from turning into aggression and, in general, to accept, without problems, different scenarios and people. Socializing a dog involves exposing it to stimuli of all kinds and it is advisable to start from the puppy stage, since the first months of life are the most sensitive period for learning.

To help you, we put the following articles at your disposal:

  • How to train a puppy?
  • How to socialize a puppy?
  • How to socialize an adult dog?

Spanish Hound Health

In general, Spanish hound dogs are resistant and healthy, which does not mean that they should not receive preventive medicine care, such as internal and external deworming, vaccinations, check-ups or castration, which can be done before the first zeal. As we have seen, their main weak point is located in the ears , as they are prone to infections .

In addition to checking them frequently , you should go to the veterinarian at the slightest sign of illness, such as bad smell, head shaking, discharge, heat, etc. It may be necessary to clean them with specific products, following the professional’s recommendations. Check-ups are recommended after each walk in the countryside, as foreign bodies, such as spikes and any other plant fragments, can lodge in the ears. These can also become embedded in the legs and, likewise, parasites such as ticks can be found. In this article we explain How to clean a dog’s ears step by step .

Due to their activity and characteristics, it is possible that Spanish hounds suffer injuries, stomach torsion-dilation and hip dysplasia . We insist, preventive medicine can help avoid or detect any of these problems in time.

Offering all the care it needs, the life expectancy of the Spanish hound is 10-12 years.

Where to adopt a Spanish hound?

The most important thing before adopting a dog is to check that our lifestyle matches the needs of the animal. If after knowing the characteristics of the Spanish hound and its care you can offer it everything it requires for its well-being, you can seek its adoption through animal shelters . In fact, there are some specialized in bloodhounds. In any case, it should be taken into account that in these entities it is more likely to find adult specimens and not puppies, as well as crossbreeds. In any case, both purebred and crossbred hounds, regardless of their sex or age, are excellent companions and they all deserve to enjoy a home.

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