Galgo Español and Silken Windhounds
The Galgo Español (Spanish galgo) or Spanish greyhound is an ancient breed of dog, specifically a member of the sighthound family. The English greyhound is possibly a descendant of the Spanish greyhound and, for several years in the 20th century, some breeders did cross-breed Galgos and Greyhounds in order to produce faster and more powerful Galgos, specifically for track racing purposes.
Galgos are similar in appearance to Greyhounds, but are distinctly different in their conformation. Galgos are higher in the rear than in the front, and have flatter muscling than a Greyhound, which is characteristic of endurance runners. They also tend to be smaller, lighter in build, have longer tails and have a very long, streamlined head that gives the impression of larger ears. Their chests are not as deep as a Greyhound's and should not reach the point of the elbow
Unlike Greyhounds, Galgos come in two coat types: smooth and rough. The rough coat can provide extra protection from skin injuries while running in the field. They come in a variety of colors and coat patterns. Main colors are "barcino" or "atigrado" (brindle), "negro" (black), "barquillo"(golden), "tostado"(toasted), "canela" (cinnamon), "amarillo"(yellow), "rojo"(red), "blanco" (white), "berrendo" (white with patches) or "pío" (any colour with white muzzle and forehead).
Galgos have a very similar nature to Greyhounds. They are calm, quiet, gentle and laid back; happy to sleep their day away on their backs on a sofa. More than 90% of Galgos can be considered cat-friendly and are therefore an ideal choice for the hound lover who also owns cats. Almost all Galgos are also friendly towards other dogs and small dogs. Galgos are also very good with children, being calm in the house so there is less risk of a child being knocked over or jumped on than with a more excitable breed. They are very gentle and tolerate the often over-enthusiastic attentions of children with little risk of retaliation from the dog. Galgos have a very reserved personality and they have a tendency towards shyness, so it is very important that they be socialized early in life so that they grow up to be comfortable around strange people, dogs and locations.
Like many other sighthounds, Galgos are a fairly healthy breed although they are sensitive to anaesthesia. As such, proper care should be taken by the owner to ensure that the attending veterinarian is aware of this issue. Although Galgos are big dogs, their history of selection as a working sighthound, their light weight, and their anatomy keep them safe from hip dysplasia. These dogs must run regularly to keep in perfect health, combined with their characteristic tendency to sleep all the rest of the day.
The Galgo was used for hunting, as well as for coursing the hare in the open field where dogs hunt prey without the intervention of man during the chase. This type of hunting, which now has a true sporting character, was in the past an act of social prestige in which hunting was a pretext to prove who had the best specimens of the breed.
Because of its specific conditions, Spain is probably the country where sighthounds are used in greater numbers for hunting and sports than any other,, and Galgos are commonly found in any of the towns and cities of the vast area of the Spanish plains. Galgo coursing competitions in Spain generate annually in the order of sixty million euros, a calculation which refers only to those aficionados which are members of the galgueras societies. This lesser group of galgueros train annually between three thousand and four thousand Galgos for participation in the various Open Field Coursing Championships. This type of testing event, where each year the most characteristic athletic winner is rewarded, seems to show that the galgueros are retrieving the more authentic type of breed that was lost years ago.
- Galgo Information from Little Lobito Website
- Scirocco Hounds Facebook Page
- United Kennel Club
- More info at ASFA
Silken Windhounds are a new American breed now accepted by the UKC. They are a fascinating new breed of long haired sighthounds developed by Francie Stull of Kristull Kennel. Silken Windhounds are lovely and loving, a wonderful mix of all that's best in the sighthound psyche; playful, intelligent, companionable, inquisitive, amusing, AND beautiful.
Temperamentally Silken Windhounds are friendly and love to be with their favorite people. They seldom display the aloof attitudes common in other sighthounds and adore socializing with humans and other dogs, particularly their own breed.
Athletes all, Silken Windhounds love to run, leap and play but can also be happy to just hanging out with their humans. They've been adapted to all sorts of activities including racing, agility, therapy, and obedience and of course the show ring. Ours seem happiest on the coursing field but they're quite capable of turning even the smallest back yard into a race track or agility course.
Silken Windhounds develop their coats slowly as they grow into adulthood. Young Windhounds are often mistaken for whippets, adults more closely resemble borzoi but in fact they are neither in size or attitude. They combine the lovely tresses of the borzoi with the more portable whippet size. Their coats can be either long and flowing or thick and curly; both types are acceptable and attractive but often aren't fully developed until the Silken Windhound reaches two or three years of age.
Our goal at Scirocco is to breed for quality with the best interests of breed development in mind. We hope to breed Silken Windhounds that excel in coursing while still maintaining their easy-going family friendly temperament.