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Galgo Español aka Spanish greyhound in a field at sunset

Spain, a country rich in culture and history, is also home to an array of remarkable dog breeds. From agile sighthounds to loyal guardians, these Spanish breeds showcase their unique characteristics and leave a lasting impression on dog lovers worldwide. Keep reading to explore our diverse list of exceptional dog breeds originating from the beautiful lands of theIberian peninsula.

1. Spanish water dog

The Spanish water dog, or “Perro de Agua Español,” is a versatile and intelligent dog breed. With a distinctive curly or wavy coat that ranges from tightly curled to loosely waved, they excel in water-related activities and herding tasks. Today, this medium-sized, agile dog is known for its loyalty, energy, and adaptability. Spanish water dogs make excellent companions for active families and thrive in environments where they can utilize their skills.

Brown Spanish water dog

Facts about the Spanish water dog

  • Breed groupHerding group (American Kennel Club)
  • Intelligence — High
  • Barking — Moderately vocal
  • Lifespan — 12-14 years

2. Galgo Español

The Galgo Español, or Spanish greyhound, embodies grace and elegance. The origins of the Spanish greyhound date back thousands of years. Bred for their incredible speed and agility, these sighthounds have a long history in Spain. Galgos are renowned for their remarkable athleticism and have traditionally been used for hunting and coursing as they have a strong prey drive. Despite their impressive skills with small game, they possess a gentle and affectionate nature, making them loving and loyal companions. Interestingly enough, greyhound breeds can also be trained to get along with small animals and other pets.

Galgo Español aka Spanish greyhound

Facts about the Galgo Español

  • Breed groupHound group (United Kennel Club)
  • Intelligence — Average
  • Barking — When necessary
  • Lifespan — 12-15 years

3. Spanish mastiff

With its massive size and dignified presence, the Spanish mastiff, or “Mastín Español,” is a breed that commands attention. Originating from Spain’s rural areas, these gentle giants have served as livestock guardians for centuries. Known for their protective instincts and unwavering loyalty, Spanish mastiffs are incredibly devoted to their families. Their calm and composed temperament, combined with their imposing appearance, make them exceptional guardians and cherished companions.

Spanish mastiff stood on grass

Facts about the Spanish mastiff

  • Breed groupMiscellaneous breed
  • Intelligence — High
  • Barking — When necessary
  • Lifespan — 10-12 years

4. Basque shepherd dog

The Basque shepherd dog, known as “Euskal Artzain Txakurra” in Basque, is an intelligent and hardworking herding breed. Originating from the Basque region of Spain, these dogs are valued for their exceptional herding abilities and versatility. Basque shepherd dogs are highly skilled at guiding and protecting livestock, showcasing their intelligence and adaptability. Their strong work ethic, trainability, and strong bonds with their human companions make them exceptional working partners and loyal family pets.

Basque shepherd dog lying in the grass

Facts about the Basque shepherd dog

  • Breed groupMiscellaneous breed
  • Intelligence — High
  • Barking — Occasionally
  • Lifespan — 12-15 years

5. Bichón frisé

Although the bichón frisé is one of the most recognized dog breeds worldwide, it has origins in Spain. This small and charming breed with cute, short legs is characterized by its fluffy white coat and playful personality. Bichón frisés are known for their affectionate temperaments and cheerful nature, making them great companions and family pets. Their affectionate temperaments and small size have earned them a special place in the hearts of dog lovers everywhere. Additionally, their hypoallergenic coat makes them suitable for individuals with allergies. They are also adaptable in both hot and cold climates.

Bichón frisé walking in a grass field

Facts about the bichón frisé

6. Spanish pointer

The Spanish pointer, or “Perdiguero de Burgos,” is a versatile hunting breed from Spain. This athletic and noble dog has a strong sense of smell and exceptional tracking abilities. Spanish pointers are highly regarded for their intelligence, trainability, and endurance. Whether used for hunting or participating in dog sports, these dogs are known for their determination and natural hunting instincts. They are also cherished as devoted family companions due to their gentle and loyal nature.

Spanish Pointer aka Perdiguero de Burgos

Facts about the Spanish pointer

  • Breed groupGun dog group (United Kennel Club)
  • Intelligence — High
  • Barking — When necessary
  • Lifespan — 12-15 years

7. Catalan sheepdog

The Catalan sheepdog, or “Gos d’Atura Català,” is a medium-sized herding breed known for its agility and versatility. Its origins date from Catalonia, Spain, and these dogs have a long history of herding and protecting livestock. With their distinctive shaggy coat and attentive expression, Catalonian sheepdogs are intelligent, adaptable, and highly trainable. Their natural herding instincts, coupled with their loving and affectionate demeanor, mean they’ll work hard for your family.

Catalan sheepdog standing outside

Facts about the Catalan sheepdog

  • Breed groupHerding group (United Kennel Club)
  • Intelligence — High
  • Barking — When necessary
  • Lifespan — 12-14 years

Other dog breeds from Spain

Though the Spanish dog breeds featured above are loved by people all around the world, this list is not all-inclusive. You can find other breeds of Spanish dogs by doing a bit more research. You can compare breed standards from organizations like the Spanish Kennel Club or the Spanish Royal Canine Society to find a good match.

You should also make considerations about size, lifestyle needs, and potential health conditions. For example, you might like a large breed like a Spanish mastiff because you have a huge backyard, but you’ll want to be aware of conditions like hip dysplasia .

Smaller breeds tend for collapsing trachea or airway problems and luxating patella or dislocating kneecaps. Smaller breeds also tend for more dental problems from middle age to older. Larger breeds tend for more hip dysplasia and bloat problems than smaller breeds. The larger breeds also tend for more arthritis and lower back problems with aging. Ear infection may present in all size dogs, especially those with floppy ears that can partially close off the ear canals.

Dr. Bruce Armstrong

There are so many factors and ways to find the breed of dog that will be a good fit for you. Here are a few others popular dog breeds hailing from the Canary Islands, Pyrenees Mountains, Balearic Islands, and other lands of Spain to consider:

Just remember that no matter what breed you choose, it is important to be a responsible dog parent. Prepare yourself for puppy-proofing, training, and most importantly, a brand new family member.