47 Spanish Dog Breeds [The Complete List With Photos]

El Perro” – That’s how you say “dog” in Spanish.

Spanish dog breeds are unique and have been bred for everything from companionship, to herding, to dogfighting (though thankfully this is no longer legal in most areas of the world).

They range in size from large to small, and each has their unique personalities. Like in America, dogs are a welcomed part of the family in Spain.

In fact, in the last five years, pet ownership in Spain has risen by over 40 percent!

By way of statistics, there are now more pets in Spain than there are children under the age of 15 – and the vast majority of these pets are dogs.

But what kinds of dogs do people in Spain own?

Today we will discuss physical description, temperament and personality, grooming needs, common diseases and illnesses, history, and interesting facts and figures of these dogs.

With that being said, because there are so many different breeds that originate in Spain, we are going to break them down into different categories:

  • Most popular dogs in Spain
  • Catalonia Dog Breeds
  • Galicia Dog Breeds
  • Navarre Dog Breeds
  • Basque Country Dog Breeds
  • Murcia Dog Breeds
  • Valencian Community Dog Breeds

Let’s get started!

6 Popular Dog Breeds In Spain

Alano Espanol

alana espanol

Description:

The Alano Espanol or Spanish Bulldog is a large breed of dog that stands between 22-25 inches tall, and weighs between 55-88 pounds, with females being on the smaller end of this spectrum. (image source)

The breed well proportioned, muscular, and extremely athletic in stature. They have a deep chest, with an arched ribcage, and long, muscular legs.

The breed has a long, thick tail that is carried low, with ears that are usually cropped. When cropped, the ears are short and slightly rounded at the tip, but when not cropped they are somewhat larger and tend to fold forward.

The breed has a shorter, flatter face (making them a brachycephalic breed), with mighty jaws. They have a large, broad nose with lips upper lips that tend to hang slightly down.

The Alano Espanol has a short coat of fur that comes in shades of grey, fawn, red, and yellow. Brindle is also acceptable for breed standards.

Personality and Temperament:

The Alano Espanol is a very dominant breed of dog that requires an even more dominant owner. When appropriately trained, they will submit to its master, but when improperly trained, it will run the household.

The breed is an extremely dedicated worker and will follow any orders given, even if that means fighting to the death. This trait often made them a popular choice for wild boar hunting, as well as for bullfighting.

It also makes them excellent guard dogs. With that being said, the Alano Espanol requires a great deal of socialization and training from birth, or they can become overly aggressive with people they do not know.

While the breed can be affectionate and docile with proper training, without it, they can attack without warning. Regardless of training, all Alanos should be monitored when around strangers.

Because the Alano is such a large breed of dog, they do not do well in apartments. They are best suited for a home with a large yard to roam.

Also, they can be very stubborn, difficult to housebreak, and can become destructive when bored. In return, the breed requires a lot of outdoor time.

If you are thinking about buying an Alano puppy, you must have the ability to become a pack leader. This breed’s temperament is highly dependant on the character of the owner, as well as their training abilities.

When properly trained, the breed can be loving and affectionate. But when not properly trained, they can become aggressive and destructive.

Grooming:

The Alano Espanol has a short coat of fur that does not require extensive grooming. Once a month, brushing is enough to maintain the coat.

With that being said, the breed does shed seasonally and may require more brushing during times when shedding is heavier.

Common Diseases and Conditions:

The Alano Espanol is a very resistant and healthy breed of dog that has no significant health concerns. With that being said, the breed can be subject to hip and elbow dysplasia:

  • Hip and Elbow Dysplasia

Hip and Elbow Dysplasia are types of skeletal disease that cause the joints to deteriorate over time.

Pain levels can range from mild to severe, depending on the progression of the disease and can result in decreased activity for your dog.

Likewise, treatments also vary depending on severity. In more mild cases, simple lifestyle modifications like weight reduction, exercise restriction, and physical therapy may be enough to ease the pain.

In moderate cases, anti-inflammatory medications may be prescribed, and in more severe cases, surgery may be necessary.

History:

While we do know that the Alano Espanol is an ancient breed of dog, not much has been documented about their history. As such, several theories have arisen.

One theory is that the dogs were brought over by the Alans when they invaded the Iberian Peninsula in 406 A.D.

Other researchers suggest that the breed may have stemmed from different Molosser type breeds such as the Great Dane, the Mastiff, and the Dogue de Bordeaux.

The breed was bred for many different purposes including cattle herding, guarding, bullfighting, and sadly, dogfighting.

Thankfully, both dogfighting and bullfighting have been outlawed today, and the breed is now mostly used for herding and guarding.

Alano Espanol Facts & Figures:

Did you know?

  • This breed of dog has never been featured in a dog show
  • The Alano Espanol has been used in several wars over the years
  • The Alano Espanol has an extremely powerful bite, and will only release prey when they are told to do so.

Carea Castellano Manchego

Carea Castellano Manchego standing on the ground

Description:

The Carea Castellano Manchego is a mid-sized breed of dog that stands between 42-49 cm tall and weighs between 22-40 pounds. (image source)

They have a mid-length tail that hangs down and curls slightly. The ears are triangular, and high set and the breed has tight skin without any folds.

The hair of the Carea is smooth, slightly wavy, thick, and rough to the touch. The most common color combination for this breed is black with clear-creams, but they may also come in varieties of grey and white.

Personality and Temperament:

The Carea Castellano Manchego is a very intelligent breed of dog that makes an excellent companion.

They are very obedient to their owners and are adaptable to live in any environment. This breed does well in both the country, as well as in the city.

With that being said, they are happiest when they are doing a job, or more specifically, when they are conducting flocks.

Grooming:

The Carea Castellano Manchego has mid-length fur and requires regular brushing and intermediate bathing. Shedding may be heavier at specific points throughout the year, but year-round shedding is to be expected.

Common Diseases and Conditions

Unfortunately, not much has been documented about the health of the Carea Castellano Manchego. With that being said, they are subject to regular vet checkups, as are all other breeds.

History:

The Carea Castellano Machego is more commonly referred to by shepherds as the “Carea”, which stands for “shepherding”.

It is a breed that originated in Castilla-La-Macha, Spain. Today it is found in the province of Toledo, as well as in the more Southern areas of Avila and Madrid.

Carea Castellano Machego Facts & Figures:

Did you know?

  • The Carea often have light spots that culminate on the eyes, leading them to the nickname “four eyes.”
  • In some cases, these “four-eyed” spots merge with other markings on the face to create a complete mask

Old Spanish Pointer

Description:

The Old Spanish Pointer is a large breed of dog that stands between 23-26 inches tall and weighs between 55-66 pounds.

The breed has lots of extra skin, along with muscular shoulders and a broad chest. The head is large and square-shaped, and the muzzle is long and broad.

The Old Spanish Pointer has long, broad ears that hang down, and a tail that is often cropped.

They have a short, dense coat of fur that is almost always liver and white-colored and is often very patchy or ticked.

Personality and Temperament:

The Spanish Pointer is a gentle, quiet breed of dog that makes an excellent family pet.

While they do well as indoor dogs, they do require a great deal of exercise and thrive in environments where there is lots of room to roam.

The breed has long been used for retrieving small and fast game like quail, partridge, and hair. Though it is not technically referred to as a scent hound, the breed does have an excellent sense of smell that allows them to track down prey easily.

Though it doesn’t always look as so, the Spanish Pointer is swift and athletic, and can easily master hills and slopes.

The breed does well with children and other dogs and is always eager to please its owner. As such, they are easy to train but do require a significant amount of physical and mental exercise to prevent boredom.

Grooming:

The Spanish Pointer has a smooth coat of fur that doesn’t require a great deal of maintenance. A regular brushing, along with intermittent bathing is enough to maintain their coat.

Common Diseases and Conditions:

The Spanish Pointer is overall a very healthy breed of dog with a  life expectancy of over 15 years. With that being said, they are more prone to some conditions and illnesses than others, including both cherry eye and hip dysplasia:

  • Cherry Eye:

Cherry Eye is a condition that affects a dog’s third eyelid. In this condition, the connective tissue that holds the gland in place is weak or damaged, and the gland prolapses out of the corner of your dog’s eye.

When caught early enough, the condition can be treated at home by gently massaging the gland back into place.

With that being said, the safest way to treat cherry eye is to visit a veterinarian who can help to ensure long-term eye health for your dog. If the condition is reoccurring, surgical options may be suggested.

  • Hip Dysplasia

Hip Dysplasia is a type of skeletal disease that causes the joints to deteriorate over time. Pain levels can range from mild to severe, depending on the progression of the disease and can result in decreased activity for your dog.

Likewise, treatments also vary depending on severity. In more mild cases, simple lifestyle modifications like weight reduction, exercise restriction, and physical therapy may be enough to ease the pain.

In moderate cases, anti-inflammatory medications may be prescribed, and in more severe cases, surgery may be necessary.

History:

The Old Spanish Pointer originated in the province of Burgos in Castile, Spain. Though not a lot is known about the past, it is thought to have originated in the 1500s as a large hunting breed.

Throughout the years, the breed has long been used as pointers for hunting, and have also been used for breeding further pointing dogs.

Towards the early 20th century, the Spanish Pointer faced near extinction, but efforts were made to bring the breed back, and its popularity is continuing to grow in Spain today.

Old Spanish Pointer Facts & Figures:

Did you know?

  • When hunting, the Spanish Pointer does not bark to signal prey. Instead, it “points.”
  • The Spanish Pointer has a long lifespan of 12-15 years.

Spanish Dogo

Spanish Dogo standing on the snow

Description:

The Spanish Dogo is a large breed of dog that is closely related to the Alano Espanol, with the Spanish Dogo being slightly larger. (image source)

The breed has a compact and sturdy structure with large jaws and a powerful bite. They have mid-sized ears that flop down, and a long tail with a slight curl.

The Spanish Dogo has short, thin fur that comes in a variety of color combinations including brindle, black and tan, and sable/fawn.

Personality and Temperament:

The Spanish Dogo is a very self-confident breed of dog that is an excellent worker.

They thrive in environments where they are in control of guarding and defending cattle and do best in country environments where they have room to roam.

The breed is very attentive and will perform their duties with pride. As a family companion, the breed is known to be sweet, loving, and gentle.

Grooming:

The Spanish Dogo has very short fur that does not require a great deal of maintenance. Monthly brushing should be sufficient to remove any loose hair and keep the coat clean.

Common Diseases and Conditions:

Due to the rarity of the Spanish Dogo breed, not much is known about their overall health concerns. With that being said, like any other breed of dog, they are subject to regular vet checkups to ensure overall health and wellness.

History:

The Spanish Dogo breed was introduced to areas of Southern Europe by the Alanos, who bred their dogs together to create the Dogos.

While these dogs were often used for working and herding cattle, they later played a prominent role in the arena of bullfighting.

Fortunately, bullfighting was eventually outlawed, and this breed went back to their daily duties of cattle herding.

In addition to herding, the Spanish Dogo was often used by the military for its strong defensive and guarding qualities.

Today the Spanish Dogo is nearing extinction, and attempts are being made to recover the breed.

Spanish Dogo Facts & Figures:

Did you know?

  • The largest populations of the Spanish Dogo are found in Andalusia and Norway

Spanish Mastiff

Spanish Mastiff photographed against a white background

Description:

The Spanish Mastiff is a large breed of dog that stands between 28-35 inches tall and weighs between 140-200 pounds.

The breed is extremely powerful and muscular and has a large head with loose skin.

The Spanish Mastiff has a long tail that curls slightly at the end, and mid-sized ears that flop down.

They have medium-length fur that comes in a range of colors, including black, red, gray, yellow, fawn, or brindle.

Personality and Temperament:

Due to its massive size and protective nature, the Spanish Mastiff is often used as a guard dog around the home. This breed develops intense bonds and is extremely loyal to members of their family.

They have an instinct to protect their loved ones, and are always on guard, even when it appears that they are not.

The Spanish Mastiff is a very noble and dignified breed, which tends to be very independent. They are wary of strangers but will greet them politely when adequately socialized.

While the Spanish Mastiff makes an excellent family companion, they don’t always do well with other dogs or pets. Regular socialization with other dogs at a young age can help to reduce these aggressive tendencies.

Because the Spanish Mastiff can be stubborn, consistent, and, firm training is required. This breed is strongly motivated by food, which should be taken into consideration during training sessions.

Once you have earned the respect of your Mastiff, they will be a loyal companion for life.

Grooming:

The Spanish Mastiff requires weekly grooming, along with the occasional bath. Regular brushing can help to keep shedding under control.

Common Diseases and Conditions:

Overall, the Spanish Mastiff is a very healthy breed of dog. With that being said, because they are so large, they may be subject to a variety of musculoskeletal concerns including hip and elbow dysplasia. The breed may also be subject to breathing issues and entropion:

  • Hip and Elbow Dysplasia

Hip and Elbow Dysplasia are types of skeletal disease that cause the joints to deteriorate over time. Pain levels can range from mild to severe, depending on the progression of the disease and can result in decreased activity for your dog.

Likewise, treatments also vary depending on severity. In more mild cases, simple lifestyle modifications like weight reduction, exercise restriction, and physical therapy may be enough to ease the pain.

In moderate cases, anti-inflammatory medications may be prescribed, and in more severe cases, surgery may be necessary.

  • Entropion:

Entropion is a genetic condition in dogs that occurs when a portion of the eyelid is inverted. If not handled properly, this can lead to a decrease or loss of vision over time.

When treated by a veterinarian, secondary concerns will be handled, and suturing may be suggested to invert the eyelid temporarily. In more severe cases, surgery or facial reconstruction may be necessary.

With that being said, even after surgery, entropion requires regular follow up care that may include medications prescribed by the veterinarian. These may include but are not limited to, antibiotics that can help both treats and prevent future infections.

History:

The Spanish Mastiff is an ancient breed of dog that dates back to over 2000 years ago. The breed has been mentioned in several literary writings, including a poem written by Virgil in 30 A.D.

The Spanish Mastiff has long been used for organizing and guiding sheep, where one Mastiff was used to guard every 100 sheep.

While the exact ancestry of the Spanish Mastiff is unknown, many historians believe that they descended from dogs that were brought to the Peninsula by Phoenician traders.

Likely, this breed has also played a role in the development of more modern dogs like the Dogo Argentino and Saint Bernard.

Spanish Mastiff Facts & Figures:

Did you know?

  • The word Mastiff comes from the Latin word, “mansuetus”, which stands for tame, gentle, and mild.
  • The Spanish Mastiff was entered into the AKC Foundation Stock Service in 2008

Villano de las Encartaciones

Villano de las Encartaciones dog lying on the ground

Description:

The Villano de las Encartaciones is a medium-sized breed of dog that stands between 55-60 cm tall and can weigh between 55-66 pounds. They have a deep, well-muscled chest. (image source)

The tail of the Villano de las Encartaciones is thin and long, and the ears are often cropped to give them a more intimidating appearance.

The breed has tight skin, so muscles and bones are often visible. The hair of the Villano de las Encartaciones is short and smooth, with a harder texture.

The most common coloring for the breed is brindle, though they vary in shades of lightness and darkness. Some dogs may also have white spots on their legs or chest.

Personality and Temperament:

The Villano de las Encartaciones is a very happy and cheerful breed of dog that lives a very active lifestyle.

Because they do require so much exercise, this breed is not well suited for an apartment lifestyle. Instead, they thrive in country environments where they can do lots of swimming, running, walking, and jumping.

The Villano de las Encartaciones make excellent family dogs, who are meek and docile with their owners. They are also very obedient dogs that are easy to train.

When trained and socialized from a young age, the Villano de las Encartaciones does well with both children and other dogs. Their tolerance towards other household pets, like cats, is also high.

Despite their intimidating appearance, these dogs have never been used for blood sports and therefore show little aggression towards other animals or people.

They are an extremely friendly breed that loves to be around people and thrives when they are around their family.

Grooming:

The Villano de las Encartaciones has a short coat of fur that is easily maintained. A weekly brushing, combined with the occasional shampooing is sufficient to keep fur healthy and clean.

The breed is considered to be a moderate shedder and may need to be brushed more often during seasons when shedding is heavier.

Common Diseases and Conditions:

Unfortunately, there is currently no statistical data related to the health problems of the Villano de las Encartaciones. Regular vet checkups are recommended to ensure the health and wellness of your dog.

History:

The Villano de las Encartaciones is a more modern breed of dog that was developed in the 1950s and 1960s by crossing native dogs with the Spanish Alano.

At the time they were mainly used for protecting and herding cattle. Today, the breed no longer herds cows, but are used primarily as guard dogs and companions.

Around the time of WWII, the Villano de las Encartacione was headed towards the brink of extinction. However, extensive efforts to repopulate the breed were taken in the 1960s.

To bring back the breed, outbreeding was done with the Spanish Alano. The result was a breed that was similar to the original Villano de las Encartaciones, but lighter and faster.

Villano de las Encartaciones Facts & Figures:

Did you know?

  • Though efforts have been made to save the breed, there are still very few  Villano de las Encartacione left in the world. Exact numbers are unknown, but it is estimated that there are less than 100 dogs of this breed left worldwide.
  • The name “Villano” is Spanish for “Villain”, which is the nickname this breed was given due to its fierceness and hunting abilities.

1 Dog Breed Originating In Catalonia:

Catalan Sheepdog

Catalan Sheepdog sitting against a white background

Description:

The Catalan Sheepdog is a mid-sized breed that stands between 18-22 inches tall and weighs between 35-44 pounds.

The breed is slightly longer than it is tall, and has a strong head with a tapered muzzle.

The Catalan Sheepdog has high set ears that hang down, and that is covered in long fringes of hair.

The tail of the Sheepdog is low set but varies significantly among the breed. Some Catalan sheepdog has long curled tails, while others have no tail at all.

The breed has a long, rough coat of fur that is often slightly curled, with a thick undercoat. The coating can come in mixtures of fawn, red, black, grey, and white.

Personality and Temperament: 

The Catalan Sheepdog is a very lively and energetic breed of dog that excels in canine sports like agility training.

Though they are an overall calm breed, they do require a great deal of exercise and do best when they are in environments with lots of room to roam and run. They are not well suited to apartments.

With that being said, the Catalan Sheepdog makes an excellent family dog and is a good choice for first-time owners.

The breed is extremely intelligent and is very quick and eager to learn new things.

To their family, they are very loyal, devoted, and kind, and are an excellent choice for families with small children. This breed also does well with other household pets.

Because the breed was used in history for guarding flocks, they tend to be protective over their family members.

Though they would rarely become aggressive towards strangers, they may be somewhat wary and aloof. If anything suspicious were going on, they would be sure to let their owners know.

Grooming:

Even though the Catalan Sheepdog has a long coat of fur, they require a minimal amount of maintenance.

Shedding for this breed is minimal, though regular weekly brushings are necessary to prevent mats and tangles.

Regular grooming sessions can help to keep their fur tidy, and to check for any injuries or lumps that may be hiding beneath the long fur.

Common Diseases and Conditions:

The most common health conditions for the Catalan Sheepdog include Hip Dysplasia, Patella Luxation, and Progressive Retinal Atrophy:

  • Hip and Elbow Dysplasia

Hip and Elbow Dysplasia are types of skeletal disease that cause the joints to deteriorate over time.

Pain levels can range from mild to severe, depending on the progression of the disease and can result in decreased activity for your dog.

Likewise, treatments also vary depending on severity. In more mild cases, simple lifestyle modifications like weight reduction, exercise restriction, and physical therapy may be enough to ease the pain.

In moderate cases, anti-inflammatory medications may be prescribed, and in more severe cases, surgery may be necessary.

Patella Luxation:

Patella Luxation is a condition that occurs when a dog’s kneecap becomes dislocated from its original position. The severity of the disease can vary depending on the amount of degenerative arthritis that is involved.

Though your dog may experience pain when the kneecap dislocates, pain is rare after the dislocation has taken place.

Unfortunately, few treatments have been found useful for this condition. In some severe cases, surgery may be suggested.

Progressive Retinal Atrophy:

Progressive Retinal Atrophy is an inherited disease that is progressive, and that will eventually lead to blindness in dogs. Unfortunately, there is no current treatment for the disease.

With that being said, you can reduce your dog’s risk by ensuring you choose from a reputable, knowledgeable breeder.

History:

The Catalan Sheepdog is an ancient breed of dog that dates back to a time before written records were kept.

In return, their complete history is not well documented, and much of their history remains unknown.

With that being said, it is believed that the Sheepdog may have relations to older types of herding dogs that were used by the Romans.

While the exact origins of the Sheepdog are unknown, it is known that this breed has long been used as a workmate for sheep farmers in Medieval times.

In more recent times the breed was used as a messenger during the Civil and World Wars.

Sadly, by the 1970s, there was a drastic decline in the number of Catalan Sheepdog, and they soon neared the brink of extinction.

Thankfully, enthusiasts grouped to create a breeding program and re-establish the breed. Though the breed continues to grow gradually in numbers, they are still scarce today.

Catalan Sheepdog Facts & Figures:

Did you know?

  • When a Catalan Sheepdog sheds its coat, it’s likely to change its colors
  • The Kennel Club gave the breed full recognition in 2009
  • The Catalan Sheepdog has been in several movies including Back to the Future (Einstien and Copernicus) and 101 Dalmatians (Colonel)

2 Dog Breeds Originating In Galicia:

Can De Palleiro

Can De Palleiro dog resting on the ground

Description:

The Can De Palleiro is a mid-sized breed of dog that stands between 22-26 inches in height, and that weight between 55-84 pounds. (image source)

The breed has high set ears that stand erect, and a long tail that curls slightly at the end.

They have a muscular body and rustic appearance, and closely resemble their cousin, the German Shepherd.

Like most Shepherds, the Can de Palleiro has a thick, double coat of fur that is designed to protect them from the elements. The fur is coarse to the touch and is most commonly off-white or tan in color.

Personality and Temperament:

The Can de Palleiro has long been bred to guard livestock and is well known for its protective instincts. This breed makes an excellent guard dog and is exceptionally loyal and devoted to members of their family.

With family, the Can de Palleiro is calm and gentle, though they can be slightly reserved around strangers. The breed does well with children; however, does require early socialization and training.

The Can De Palleiro is an independent breed that doesn’t require a lot of attention but does require a lot of exercises and mental stimulation.

They thrive in country-like environments where they have lots of room to run and roam. The breed is both smart and easy to train.

Grooming:

The Can De Palleiro tends to be a heavy shedder and does require daily brushing to keep down of fur loss. Occasional bathing is necessary to keep the coat clean.

Common Diseases and Conditions:

The Can De Palleiro is a very rare breed of dog, and little is known about its health status. With that being said, similar breeds of dogs tend to have issues with conditions like hip dysplasia and bloat:

  • Hip and Elbow Dysplasia

Hip and Elbow Dysplasia are types of skeletal disease that cause the joints to deteriorate over time. Pain levels can range from mild to severe, depending on the progression of the disease and can result in decreased activity for your dog.

Likewise, treatments also vary depending on severity. In more mild cases, simple lifestyle modifications like weight reduction, exercise restriction, and physical therapy may be enough to ease the pain.

In moderate cases, anti-inflammatory medications may be prescribed, and in more severe cases, surgery may be necessary.

  • Bloat

Bloat, also referred to as Gastric Dilation and Volvulus (GDV), is a condition where the stomach turns and fills with gas. In humans, bloat is not a huge concern, but in dogs, it can quickly turn deadly.

Dogs with bloat may show signs of a swollen stomach, along with symptoms of panting, drooling, or pacing.

Other dogs may attempt to vomit, without bringing anything up. If you notice any of these signs, you must take your dog to the veterinarian immediately, as the condition can take a turn for the worse very quickly.

The only way to treat bloat is through surgery, by which the stomach is untwisted and sutured to prevent further occurrences.

With that being said, the longer that treatment is delayed, the worse the prognosis, so treatment should not be postponed if bloat is suspected.

History:

The Can de Palleiro was historically known as the Galician Shepherd and can be traced back to the Northwestern Corner of Spain known as Galicia.

The breed is descendants from old Eastern-European and Indian working dogs and was introduced by Nomadic tribes who originally bred them for their working qualities.

Some of the origins of the breed can be traced back to the German Shepherd, the Belgian Shepherd, and the Dutch Shepherd.

While the breed is well known throughout Northern Spain, they are sadly on the brink of extinction. Currently, there are less than 1300 registered Can de Palleiros around the world.

Since the late 1990s, the government has been working on re-establishing the breed, and a short project was aimed at increasing numbers.

To this date, attempts are still being made to recuperate the breed, though it remains rare,

Can de Palleiro Facts & Figures:

Did you know?

  • When the Can de Palleiro was used for herding cows, they traditionally slept in the “Palleiro”, or hayloft.

Perdigueiro Galego

Perdigueiro Galego dog in the park

Description:

The  Perdigueiro Galego is a mid-sized breed of dog that stands between 50-60 cm tall. (image source)

They have a large head with thick, fallen lips and a scissor bite. Their neck is wide and muscular, and their chest is broad and deep.

The tail of the Perdigueiro Galego is moderately long, thick, strong, and gradually thins to the tip.

The breed has thin skin that is tight to the body, and a short, thick, dense coat of fur that is smooth to the touch.

They come in a variety of different colors including brown, yellow, and black, and may come in combinations of white/brown/black, brown, orange, and cinnamon. Tan markings on the eyebrows and cheeks are also not uncommon.

Personality and Temperament:

The Perdigueiro Galego is a fierce and courageous breed of dog that was designed for the hunt. They have an excellent sense of smell and can adapt to any hunting environment.

The breed is extremely loyal to their owners and makes a great family pet. They are each affectionate, docile, and obedient with the ones they love.

Grooming:

This breed has a short, smooth coat of fur that requires little in the way of grooming. Regular brushing can help to keep down on fur loss, and intermittent bathing can help to ensure their coat stays clean.

Common Diseases and Illnesses

Unfortunately, there is not much documented about the health of this breed. With that being said, they are, like any other breed, subject to regular veterinarian checkups to ensure overall health and wellness.

History:

The history of the  Perdigueiro Galego can be traced back to an ancient breed of dog known as the Bracco Italianos that came to Spain with the Romans centuries go.

Over time, the breed adapted to a variety of different environments, which resulted in a variety of evolutionary changes and created a variety of different related breeds, one of which was the  Perdigueiro Galego.

In the 1970s, the breed was mixed with German Shorthairs and other breeds of Pointer, which eventually led to the disappearance of the purity of the breed.

To this day, the breed is virtually extinct, though some impure versions do exist throughout Europe.

Perdigueiro Galego Facts & Figures:

Did you know?

  • The  Perdigueiro Galego is trained to hunt and can adapt to chase prey through a variety of different terrains
  • The breed specializes in hunting feathered game like partridge, quail, and woodcock.

2 Dog Breeds Originating In Navarre:

Great Pyrenees

Great Pyrenees photographed against a white background

Description:

The Great Pyrenees dog is a large breed of dog that stands between 28-31 inches tall and weighs anywhere between 85-160 pounds.

The breed is very muscular, and has a long plumed tail, with triangular-shaped ears that flop downwards.

The breed has a long, coarse outer coat of fur that can be either straight or wavy. They typically have a white, or mainly white coat, that may contain additional markings of gray, badger, or shades of tan.

Personality and Temperament:

The Great Pyrenees is a calm and well-mannered breed of dog that is extremely devoted to its family.

The breed was originally bred to guard flocks, and therefore makes an excellent guard dog that will not hesitate to protect it’s family if the need arises.

In general, however, this breed is very unaggressive and is extremely gentle and affectionate. They make excellent family pets and are an excellent choice for families with children.

Because the Pyrenees have long worked in the fields on their own, they have grown to be very independent. While they love the company of their family, they also have no problem spending time on their own.

Unfortunately, this independence can also make them somewhat stubborn and challenging to train, and they, therefore, require an owner that can establish themselves as leader of the pack.

It’s also important to note that the Pyrenees has a strong instinct to bark. Because it has long been their job to alert and ward off intruders, that is exactly what they do.

The Pyrenees senses may become more sensitive at night, so you’ll always be warned if there is an intruder in the area.

Grooming:

Despite the fact that the Pyrenees has an abundant amount of fur, it actually doesn’t require that much in the way of grooming. The fur of this breed is long but is dirt and tangle resistant.

It’s important to note, however, that this breed does shed a lot. They have a thick double coat of fur that sheds “a snowstorm” in the spring. Regular brushing can help to reduce fur loss, but ultimately, it will be inevitable.

Common Diseases and Conditions:

Two of the most common diseases and conditions in the Pyrenees breed include Hip Dysplasia and Tricuspid Valve Dysplasia.

  • Hip and Elbow Dysplasia

Hip and Elbow Dysplasia are types of skeletal disease that cause the joints to deteriorate over time. Pain levels can range from mild to severe, depending on the progression of the disease and can result in decreased activity for your dog.

Likewise, treatments also vary depending on severity. In more mild cases, simple lifestyle modifications like weight reduction, exercise restriction, and physical therapy may be enough to ease the pain.

In moderate cases, anti-inflammatory medications may be prescribed, and in more severe cases, surgery may be necessary.

  • Tricuspid Valve Dysplasia

Tricuspid Valve Dysplasia is a form of a congenital heart defect. Though it only accounts for 7% of all heart defects in dogs, it can be a concern for the Pyrenees breed.

Tricuspid Valve Dysplasia occurs when there is a malformation of the Tricuspid valve and its associated structures.

When the condition occurs, it can lead to a backflow of blood, and if the buildup becomes severe enough, the heart can become enlarged. As the size of the heart continues to increase, heart failure can be the result.

To date, there is no cure for TVD, but medical therapy can help to improve the quality of life and can help to control fluid accumulation.

Dogs with mild cases of TVD can go on to live healthy lives without intervention, and even those with more severe cases can live months or years beyond diagnosis with proper medications and treatments.

History:

It’s no surprise that the Pyrenees breed originated within the Pyrenees Mountains.

The ancestry of this breed is said to date back 10,000 to 11,000 years ago to breeds that lived in Asia Minor.

When they first arrived in the mountains, the Pyrenees were a dog of the peasants.

In 1675, however, the Dauphin in the court of King Louis XIV declared the breed as a Royal dog of France, and it quickly became a breed of French nobility wherein they were used to guard estates.

Since then the breed has long been used to work with shepherds and herding dogs in the mountains to protect the flock from predators such as bears and wolves.

Throughout the 1800s the breed gained popularity in areas of England, Europe, and the US. Today it remains a dog used for guarding flocks but is also popular in therapy and rescue work.

Great Pyrenees Facts & Figures:

Did you know?

  • Remains of the Pyrenees breed have been found in fossils dating back to 1800-1000BC
  • In the Mid 19th century, Queen Victoria of England owned the Great Pyrenees
  • The Great Pyrenees has double dewclaws on each hind leg
  • The Great Pyrenees is nocturnal by nature!

Pachon Navarro

Pachon Navarro standing on the lawn

Description:

The Pacho Navarro is a mid-large breed of dog that stands between 18-23 inches tall and weighs between 44-66 pounds. (image source)

They are a pointer breed that have both droopy ears and a droopy mouth, often making them look like they are permanently solemn.

The breed has short but sturdy limbs and is very strong for their size. They have large, round, chestnut eyes with straight, thick tails that stand erect and move while hunting.

The Pacho Navarro has a unique feature, which is their double nose. The breed has a deep cleft and a band of skin that divides the nose, giving them the appearance of two separate noses.

The Pachon Navarro has a short to a mid-length coat of fur that can come in varieties of red, white, brown, black, or pied. Some dogs may also appear to have “freckles” on their coat.

Personality and Temperament:

The Pacho Navarro is a gentle breed of dog that is very loyal to their family. They are both obedient and devoted and prefer to be around their families as much as possible.

Despite the solemn expression on their face, the Pacho Navarro is a very happy and outgoing breed of dog, and are friendly towards both people and other dogs.

Though they make great pets for families with children, they don’t do well with smaller animals in the house. The Pachon Navarro has a strong hunting instinct, and will not hesitate to attack a bird, hamster, or smaller household pet.

The Pacho Navarro is an active breed of dog that requires plenty of room to run and roam. Because the breed requires so much daily exercise, they are not recommended for apartment living.

The Pacho Navarro is considered highly intelligent and is very easy to train. Early training and socialization is the best method to prevent unwanted behaviors like leash tugging and nipping that can be common in this breed.

Grooming:

The Pachon Navarro is considered to be a low maintenance breed of dog. With that being said, they do require weekly brushing to help keep down on fur loss.

Because they have such droopy ears, they will also require frequent cleaning to avoid inflammation from dirt and debris.

Common Diseases and Conditions:

The Pachon Navarro is considered to be a pretty healthy breed of dog, with a long lifespan of up to 15 years.

With that being said, there are some conditions that these dogs are more prone to including ear infections and cleft palates:

  • Ear infections

Ear infections are a common concern for dogs, and most dogs will experience an ear infection at some point throughout their life.

With that being said, because the Pachon Navarro has such droopy ears, they may be more prone to infections than other breeds.

If your dog has an ear infection, they may be found scratching their ears, or you may notice abnormal odors or redness and swelling coming from the ear.

Treatment of ear infections generally involves a gentle cleansing, followed by medicated ointment or drops as prescribed by the veterinarian.

  • Cleft Palate

The distinctive double nose is a hereditary trait of the Pachon Navarro, but can also leave them prone to cleft palate.

A cleft palate occurs when the tissues forming the palate between the nose and mouth do not fuse properly, leaving an opening between the oral and nasal cavities.

This condition is most often discovered at birth and may prevent a puppy from being able to suckle a mother’s milk properly.

In return, puppies with cleft palates often develop round bellies and may fail to gain weight, often leaving them malnourished.

Treatment for cleft palate will depend on the severity of the condition, along with the age of your pet.

Puppies that are not old enough to undergo surgery must be fed via tube every 3-4 hours for three months. When they are old enough to undergo surgery, they can return to the veterinarian for the repair of the palate.

Pneumonia is also common with cleft palate, and if this is present, it must be treated first.

History:

The Pachon Navarro was first documented in the 12th century in Spain during a time when hunting dogs were common throughout Europe.

Unfortunately, the exact ancestry of the breed is unknown as there is no documentation to suggest exactly how the Pachon Navarro came to be.

With that being said, there are theories that they may be a mix of other breeds of hunting dog like the Greyhound, the Mastiff, and the French Braque type dogs.

The breed has long been used for hunting and pointing, and have been used throughout history to hunt small prey like birds, partridge, quail, and rabbit.

The Pachon Navarro became officially recognized in 1922, and a standard was set for the breed.

Sadly, many of the breeds numbers were lost throughout the Spanish Civil war, and even more, were wiped out in the 1950s by a virus known as Myxomatosis.

For many years the breed was thought to be extinct, until 1970 when a handful of the breed was found in remote villages.

Since this time there have been great efforts to reestablish the breed, and these efforts continue today.

Pachon Navarro Facts & Figures:

Did you know?

  • The double nose of the Pachon Navarro is often compared to “looking down the end of a double-barrel shotgun.”
  • In the 1700 and 1800’s the Pachon Navarro was highly favored by Spanish Nobility
  • The Pachon Navarro is often referred to as the “Old Spanish Pointer”, which can be confusing since the Old Spanish Pointer is its own breed of dog, and though the two are closely related, they are not the same.

3 Dogs Originating In Basque Country

Basque Shepherd Dog

Basque Shepherd Dog in the park

Description:

The Basque Shepherd Dog is a mid-size breed of sheepdog that stands between 46-53 cm tall and weighs anywhere between 37-79 pounds when fully grown. (image source)

The breed has two different varieties including the Gorbeiakoa and the Ilestusa, with the Iletsua growing slightly taller and more slender than the Gorbeiakoa.

The breed has no distinct standard of ears and may have ears that stand erect, or ears that fold forward.

The breed has a long tail, a short neck, and is often described as being “rectangular” in shape.

They have a medium-length coat of fur that is often shorter on the head and longer on the tail than on the body. Their coat comes in a variety of shades including copper, red, blue, black, and fawn.

Personality and Temperament:

The Basque Shepherd is a breed of dog that is sweet and gentle by nature, and that make excellent family pets. They do particularly well with young children and can make great guard dogs.

With that being said, though the Basque Shepherd will let you know when someone is around, they’re actually very friendly and quick to warm up to strangers.

When socialized from an early age, the Basque Shepherd can also do well with other pets.

The Basque Shepherd is an active breed of dog that enjoys being outdoors, and that is very eager to learn.

Their eagerness and high intelligence make them easy to train, but also means that they need plenty of mental and physical stimulation to prevent boredom.

The breed is also known to have a mischievous side, along with a tendency to test the boundaries of their owner.

Grooming:

Despite the fact that there are two different varieties of Basque Shepherd, they both require similar grooming habits.

Basque Shepherds need to be groomed daily to remove dirt and tangles from their thick coats.

They should also be bathed a few times per year, but not too often as overbathing can lead to a loss of oils.

This breed also requires special attention to the cleaning of the ears, especially for the ones that have ears that hang.

Common Diseases and Conditions:

The two most common health concerns for the Basque Shepherd are Hip Dysplasia and Gastric Dilation Volvulus.

  • Hip and Elbow Dysplasia

Hip and Elbow Dysplasia are types of skeletal disease that cause the joints to deteriorate over time. Pain levels can range from mild to severe, depending on the progression of the disease and can result in decreased activity for your dog.

Likewise, treatments also vary depending on severity. In more mild cases, simple lifestyle modifications like weight reduction, exercise restriction, and physical therapy may be enough to ease the pain.

In moderate cases, anti-inflammatory medications may be prescribed, and in more severe cases, surgery may be necessary.

  • Gastric Dilation Volvulus

Gastric Dilation Volvulus, more commonly referred to as bloat, is a serious condition in dogs that needs to be tended to immediately. Though bloat is not a severe condition in humans, it can be deadly for dogs.

The condition occurs when the stomach twists and fills with gas. This puts pressure on the diaphragm, which can then lead to breathing difficulties.

Bloat can also lead to more serious concerns such as an inability for blood to flow to the heart, and stomach rupturing.

Dogs with bloat may outward signs of a swollen stomach, combined with drooling, panting, or pacing. Some dogs may also try to vomit, with nothing coming up.

If you suspect your dog has bloat, they need to visit the veterinarian immediately.

Bloat must be treated, and can only be done so by surgically untwisting the stomach in a process known as gastropexy. If the twisting is severe, part of the stomach may also be removed.

History:

The Basque Shepherd is an ancient breed of dog that has been working alongside humans for thousands of years.

Remains that could be those of the Basque Shepherd have been found that date back to over 12 000 years ago, and many 16th century paintings have been found that represent dogs that look much like the Shepherd as well.

Sadly, the exact history of the breed has been lost in time, but it is believed that this breed is descendent of Shepherds that originated in Central Europe.

For thousands of years, this breed has been used for herding chickens, cows, and horses.

In the late 19th and 20th century, the breed saw a rapid decline in numbers after many were attacked by wolves. As a result, in the 1950s and 1960s, several campaigns took place to eliminate wolves from the area.

Today, these Shepherds are still known to work with livestock, but have also found their way into households of America.

Basque Shepherd Facts & Figures:

Did you know?

  • The Basque Shepherd is thought to have been developed without any human intervention
  • The only Society to formally recognize the breed is the Royal Canine Society of Spain.
  • In the Basque tongue, the Basque Shepherd dog is known as the Euskal Artzain Txakurra

Villano de las Encartaciones

Villanuco de Las Encartaciones

1 Dog Originating In The Region Of Murcia

Ratonero Murciano de Huerta

Ratonero Murciano de Huerta standing on the ground

Description:

The Ratonero Murciano de Huerta is a small breed of dog that stands between 12-13 inches tall and weighs between 12-14 pounds. (image source)

Though they are small, they are also very athletic and muscular. In appearance, they have often been compared with the Miniature Pinscher.

The breed has a tail that is either naturally stumpy or docked, and has a coat that is dense with black and tan markings.

In some cases, the breed may also be tri-colored, with black and white markings, or cinnamon and white markings.

Personality and Temperament:

The Ratonero Murciano de Huerta was first bred for hunting and therefore had a strong prey instinct.

Though the breed is tolerant of children and makes a great family dog, they don’t do as well with other animals.

When socialized from a young age, the Ratonero Murciano de Huerta can do well with other dogs, but due to their strong prey instincts, they will not hesitate to chase after smaller household pets like cats or rabbits.

Despite their strong instinct to hunt, the Ratonero Murciano de Huerta is not considered to be an aggressive breed. Rather, they are very friendly and love to be around people.

They are also very protective and are not afraid to alarm their family if strangers are near. For this reason, they also make excellent guard dogs.

Grooming:

The Ratonero Murciano de Huerta doesn’t require a great deal of maintenance, and regular trips to the groomer are not necessary.

Having said that, regular brushing is suggested to reduce shedding. Though they are not heavy shedders, they do shed lightly year-round.

Common Diseases and Conditions:

There are no common diseases or conditions listed for the Ratonero Murciano de Huerta. With that being said, other small terrier-type hunting dogs may be prone to conditions like Luxating Patellas and Legge Perthes Disease.

In return, it’s safe to assume that these may also be a concern for the Ratonero Murciano de Huerta:

  • Luxating Patellas

Patella Luxation in dogs is a fancy term for “kneecap dislocation”. When dogs have this condition, they often hold their hind leg up for a few seconds before replacing it onto the ground.

Occasional skipping, limping, or sudden lameness can also be a sign that the kneecap has been dislocated.

In cases where a dog has been affected with a luxating patella, surgery is usually the preferred treatment method. Follow up treatments and lifestyle changes may also be necessary to prevent reoccurrence.

  • Legge Perthes Disease

Legge Perthes disease is a condition that occurs when the head on the femur bone (located in the hind leg) begins to deteriorate. As a result of the condition, dogs may experience disintegration of the hip joint, as well as osteoarthritis.

When a dog has Legge Perthes Disease, they may display signs of lameness or pain when moving their hip joints.

Depending on the severity of the condition, treatments can range from pain killers and ice packs to surgery, followed by vigorous exercise regimes.

History:

The exact origins of the Ratonero Murciano de Huerta are unknown because they are thought to originate back to a time before records began.

With that being said, it is believed that ancestors of the breed were most likely dogs that were brought over by ancient Carthaginian, Roman, and Egyptian traders.

Later down the line, it is believed that these dogs were bred with Fox Terriers, English Toy Terriers, and Manchester Terriers to create the breed that is known today.

In their areas, the Ratonero Murciano de Huerta were frequently used for working on the farm. But as farming made way to industry, the breed began to decline in numbers.

It was not until the 20th century that efforts were made to reestablish the breed and raise their numbers.

Today they are common as a popular household pet.

Ratonero Murciano de Huerta Facts & Figures:

Did you know?

▪ One Ratonero Murciano de Huerta by the name of Estrella was known for her longevity of life, living 23 years!

▪ Most Ratonero Murciano de Huerta’s have an average life expectancy of over 14 years.

2 Dog Breeds Originating in the Valencian Community

Gos Rater Valencia

Gos Rater Valencia standing on the grass

Description:

The Gos Rater Valencia is a mid-sized breed of dog that stands between 30-38 cm tall and weighs between 9-17 pounds. The breed is well proportioned with a fox shaped skull and long legs. (image source)

The breed standard lists the Gos Rater Valencia as having no tail, so it is often docked at birth.

The breed has a short coat of fur and most often come in tricolor varieties. In most cases, the main portion of the coat is white combined with black, cinnamon, chocolate, or tan.

Personality and Temperament:

Like all terriers, the Gos Rater Valencia is a hunter by nature. They have a strong prey drive and will chase any game smaller than they are.

Their hunting-like abilities, make them bold, brave, and courageous, but also means that they do not do well in households with smaller animals like cats or rabbits.

Though the Gos Rater Valencia is an overall sweet-natured breed, they do have the tendency to attack when cornered, and will not back down in a fight. In return, they should be supervised anytime they are with small children.

This breed is friendly and outgoing but may be slow to warm up to strangers. They do have a tendency to bark when strangers are around – a trait which lands them as a good guard dog.

Grooming:

The Gos Rater Valencia has a very short coat of fur that requires little to no maintenance. A quick rub down after they have been playing in the dirt is enough to keep this breed clean.

Common Diseases and Conditions:

To date, there are no documented health concerns regarding the Gos Rater Valencia breed. Having said that, similar breeds are prone to conditions like Legge-Perthe’s disease and Patellar Luxation:

  • Legge-Perthes Disease

Legge Perthes disease is a condition that occurs when the head on the femur bone (located in the hind leg) begins to deteriorate. As a result of the condition, dogs may experience disintegration of the hip joint, as well as osteoarthritis.

When a dog has Legge Perthes Disease, they may display signs of lameness or pain when moving their hip joints.

Depending on the severity of the condition, treatments can range from pain killers and ice packs to surgery, followed by vigorous exercise regimes.

  • Luxating Patellas

Patella Luxation in dogs is a fancy term for “kneecap dislocation”. When dogs have this condition, they often hold their hind leg up for a few seconds before replacing it onto the ground.

Occasional skipping, limping, or sudden lameness can also be a sign that the kneecap has been dislocated.

In cases where a dog has been affected with a luxating patella, surgery is usually the preferred treatment method.

Follow up treatments and lifestyle changes may also be necessary to prevent reoccurrence.

History:

The Gos Rater Valencia is one of five rat-hunting dog breeds that are native to Spain.

These breeds are each similar in appearance and purpose, suggesting that they hold the same common ancestors, though it’s hard to say exactly where the breed originated.

Rumor has it, however, that it was English wine Merchants that brought Fox Terrier type dogs with them during the 16th century on their visit to Spain, which were then bred with local dogs to produce breeds like the Gos Rater Valencia.

The Gos Rater Valencia was not officially recognized until 2011 when it won first place in a National Dog Championship.

Today the breed is an everyday household companion, though it is still used by some for hunting small prey like rabbits.

Gos Rater Valencia Facts & Figures:

Did you know?

  • Many people describe the Gos Rater Valencia as the Spanish equivalent of the Jack Russell Terrier
  • In history, this breed was used to keep the rat and vermin population down

Xarnego Valenciano

Description:

The Xarnego Valenciano is a mid-sized breed of dog that stands between 50-61cm tall and weighs between 18 and 44 pounds. They have a deep chest and are extremely athletic in stature. (image source)

The breed can have straight, hard, or sedentary hair that comes in colors of cinnamon, black, brown, and chocolate. The fur can be monocolored or mixed with white areas around the face, neck, and abdomen.

Personality and Temperament:

Because of the rarity o the Xarnego Valenciano, there is not much information to be found regarding their personality and temperament.

With that being said, due to its exceptional hunting abilities, it is safe to assume that the breed is courageous, brave, hard-working, and adaptable to its environment.

Grooming:

Again, there is not much information available regarding the grooming needs of this breed. Because there are three different coat types, its safe to assume that each type will have it’s own grooming needs.

Common Diseases and Illness

Due to the lack of information available regarding the Xarnego Valenciano, there is no current health information available regarding the breed.

Like all other breeds of dog, the Xarnego Valenciano is subject to regular vet checkups for optimal health.

History:

The Xarnego is one of the oldest of all of the Peninsular Podencos dogs. The first historical references related to the breed can be found in engravings within the Spanish Levante caves.

They can also be found in Roman art, as well as on a 4th-century tombstone found near Tolfa.

For many years, the Xarengo and other Podenco dogs were considered breeds of the underprivileged and were mostly used for hunting at night.

In 2009 a club was born and linked to the Canine Society of Alicante and the Royal Canine Society of Spain to rescue the breed.

Xarnego Valenciano Facts & Figures:

Did you know?

  • The Xarnego Valenciano surpasses almost any other dog breed in its talent for hunting
Dog Breeds Below still from Spain coming soon! 
5 Dog breeds originating in the Balearic Islands‎

6 Dog breeds originating in the Canary Islands‎

5 Dog breeds originating in Andalusia‎

4 Dog breeds originating in Aragon‎

5 Dog breeds originating in Castile and León‎

5 Dog breeds originating in Cantabria‎

Chalene Johnston About The Author: Chalene Johnston graduated with honors from University with a BA in psychology. She is a proud stay-at-home mom to her 2-year-old French Bulldog puppy, Stella! When she is not looking for adventure travel destinations, she loves to write! She writes for a wide variety of topics – with animals being one of her favorites.