What’s the Difference between the Greyhound vs. the Galgo

Three Greyhounds Outside

When most people hear the term “Greyhound” they picture tall, lean dogs racing neck and neck on a track.

When they see a dog of a similar body type they may assume that dog is a Greyhound, too, but they may not be correct.

While many sighthounds are similar in body shape and some are even similar in personality, no two breeds are alike.

The term sighthound refers to dogs that hunt by sight and speed rather than scent and endurance.

Some popular sighthounds are Borzoi, Afghan Hounds, Irish Wolfhounds, Saluki, Whippets, Italian Greyhounds, Greyhounds, and Galgos.

While I am in love with all of these breeds, today I am going to focus on the similarities and differences between the Greyhound and the Galgo Espanol.

Greyhound on a Rock Outside

The greyhound is one of the oldest breeds in the world.

While its origins remain a mystery, many have linked the Greyhound to ancient Egypt where its likeness can be seen in paintings, carvings, and other art of the period.

Even the Egyptian God, Anubis bears a striking resemblance to our modern day Greyhounds.

No matter where this breed evolved, no one can argue its distinguished and elegant appearance.

To the outsider this breed appears quite stoic, but if you have ever spent time with one you know they are truly the class clown of the dog world.

Greyhound Head Down on Couch

The Galgo Espanol, also known as the Spanish Greyhound is an old breed as well.

Originating in Spain, this breed was and is still used primarily for hare hunting.

The Galgo was once a treasured dog among his people with some nobles even writing their dogs into their wills.

However, over the years their countryman’s love for them has diminished. They are still used heavily for hunting, but the dogs are now viewed as disposable.

Galgueros (Spanish hunters) frequently over-breed their dogs in anticipation of hunting season, then when the season is over they dispose of them.

To find out more about the plight of the Galgo and what you can do to help check out this article on Dia Del Galgo, or World Galgo Day. 

Brindle Galgo with Sunset Behind Him

The Galgo and the Greyhound may look nearly identical to the untrained eye, but they are actually built quite differently.

The Greyhound is built for speed with long legs, a deep chest, and a very sleek coat.

While the Galgo is similar, it is built more for endurance, its hindquarters are higher than its front, it has flatter muscling, a longer tail, and a longer head.

While it still has a deep chest, it isn’t as deep as the Greyhound’s and should not reach its elbow.

Brindle Colored Greyhound

When it comes to their coats, the Greyhound has very thin skin and an equally thin coat, while this is great for racing it makes him prone to accidental injuries in his retired life.

For the average dog brushing up against a thorn can be annoying, but for a Greyhound it can lead to stitches.

In this way, the Galgo is a much hardier breed.

Meant for chasing hares through fields and brush, this breed’s coat comes in two varieties. They can have a rough coat that is somewhat longer and wiry, and a smooth coat.

The smooth coat resembles that of the racing Greyhound, but their skin and hair tends to be a bit thicker.

Galgo on Couch

Temperament-wise, both the Galgo and the Greyhound are well known couch potatoes. Extremely loyal, loving, and sweet, these dogs bond closely with their families and other pets in the household.

Caution should be exercised when introducing either breed to toy sized dogs and cats as some have high prey drives and will chase anything small and moving.

Once you are certain your dog will get along well with the other pets in the household you will find them becoming fast friends. Many Greyhounds and Galgos can frequently be found snuggling with their kitty friends!

Two Greyhounds Cuddling with Eyes Close Together

While the Galgo tends to be a bit more shy, dogs of both breeds can exhibit a myriad of personality traits.

For example the average Greyhound is described as a cuddly goofball that wants to be next to you at all times; however, the Greyhound I adopted is all about having his own personal space.

Greyhound Sleeping on the Couch

Finding out your dog’s personality before bringing him home is an important part of the adoption process.

While some may be fine and able to adjust with a dog whose personality is totally different than desired and expected, many people may not be as happy.

Be sure the adoption agency you are working with knows exactly what you are wanting from your dog so they can match you up with the perfect pal.

Both the Galgo and the Greyhound would be happy with one long or two short walks daily.

This will give them enough time to stretch their legs and burn off enough energy.

It’s also important for their health as obesity is a very dangerous problem for both.

Galgo on Street in Coat

Whether you want to admire them from afar or add one to your family there is always more to be learned about Greyhounds and Galgos.

Both are amazing breeds that are loyal and loving to their families, and both are in need of adoption in rescues near you!!


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