Dogs come in all kinds of shapes and sizes, and they originate from places all over the world. There are German dogs, Asian dogs, American dogs, and more. Spanish dog breeds are popular among farmers and ranchers, hunters, homesteaders, and families alike. Maybe it’s because there are dozens of Spanish dog breeds, small and large, to choose from! We’ve put together a list of 28 interesting Spanish dog breeds to learn about. Enjoy!
1. Spanish Mastiff
The Spanish Mastiff is a highly intelligent, beautiful dog that has historically been relied upon to protect livestock on the farm. They have huge blocky heads and strong muscular bodies that dwarf many other Spanish dog breeds. Their courageous attitude keeps them from backing down when predators show their faces.
2. Andalusian Hound
The Andalusian Hound is efficient at hunting and is loyal to the pack leader. Their vision is excellent, their hearing is amazing, and their sense of smell is astounding. Although this scruffy looking dog breed isn’t recognized by many kennel clubs around the world, it is recognized by the Spanish Royal Canine Society.
3. Podenco Canario
This large Spanish dog breed has intense eyes and an independent spirit, making them seem intimidating at first. But soon enough, people find that these dogs that come from the Canary Islands are friendly and fun-loving. Traditionally used to hunt rabbits, the Podenco Canario is now also revered as a protective household pet.
4. Basque Shepherd Dog
As the name suggests, the Basque Shepherd comes from the Basque region of Spain. They’re a fairly rare working breed that can effectively tend to animal flocks on the farm or live a happy life with a family. They especially enjoy the company of children, and their intelligence makes them easy to train.
5. Spanish Greyhound
Spanish Greyhounds has such impressive hunting skills that they were once was favored by Spanish Kings. While they are agile and active dogs, they have no problem snuggling up in the house while their family members live life around them. They are bright and attentive, making them good watchdogs for the household.
6. Ibizan Hound
Like most Spanish dog breeds, the Ibizan Hound is an avid hunter that was brought by traders to islands off the coast of Spain about 3,000 years ago. Their long, erect ears make them look a little silly, but their elegant bodies tell a story of confidence, independence, and intelligence. They are protective and loyal, yet they are willing to welcome strangers if they aren’t perceived as a threat.
7. Valencian Podenco
Also known as the Xarnego, the Valencian Podenco is another Spanish dog breed that was typically used for rabbit hunting. These active dogs aren’t happy spending their time indoors. They want to be outside working during the daylight hours. They typically have semi-wavy brown coats with white markings on the chest, legs, and/or head.
8. Burgos Pointer
This is one of the larger Spanish dog breeds in existence, which makes their shy and quiet nature a bit surprising to most people. The Burgos Pointer comes from the luxuriously named Castilla y Leon, which is the largest region in Spain. This robust dog is a trustworthy hunting companion that likes to please yet sometimes shows a stubborn side, especially when they’ve been overworked.
9. Spanish Hound
Unlike many of the hunting Spanish dog breeds around today, the Spanish Hound was used to hunt both small and large animals, which is surprising seeing their medium-sized body. They have ferocious barks and strong jaws, both of which help them communicate with their hunting team while overtaking their prey.
This large hunting breed hails from Northern Spain and was thought to be an extinct breed by the mid-1960s. Luckily, recovery efforts began about a decade later, and the breed has since received recognition as a standardized breed by the Spanish Government. These dogs typically display short, smooth hair that is white and either brown or orange.
11. Alano Español
These dogs look a lot like the Boxer in body and head structure, but their coats are typically dark, with small light markings throughout. They are excellent guard dogs and typically work to protect the properties of their owners, day and night. Although large and fearless, the Alano Español is usually friendly to strange humans and dogs unless they are given a reason not to be.
12. Ratonero Bodeguero Andaluz
Some people liken the Ratonero Bodeguero Andaluz to the Jack Russell Terrier in terms of looks and temperament. Coming from the south of Spain and a long line of ratters, this Spanish dog breed has a high energy attitude and a goofy personality that makes them the star of the show in social settings.
13. Majorca Ratter
This Spanish dog breed is on the smaller side and has short, slick hair that is black with brown markings. They are from the Spanish island named Majorca and are the result of inbreeding dogs that were brought to the island sometime in the 1900s. These are true working dogs with Terrier temperaments, and they need a great deal of exercise and attention.
14. Majorca Shepherd Dog
With an all-black coat and a friendly face, the Majorca Shepherd is thought of as a good all-around farm dog. They were domesticated to live in a family setting while working to guard and herd livestock. They make great family pets and get along well with kids. Their high energy levels require daily exercise in the form of walking, hiking, and playing fetch.
15. Pyrenean Mastiff
These gentle giants are kind to just about every human and dog they come across. They’re patient and understanding and love to please their family members. The Pyrenean Mastiff doesn’t bark much but will still let their owners know when strangers are entering the property. Their prey drive is low, so they can easily integrate into multi-pet households that include smaller animals like cats and ferrets.
16. Gos Rater Valencia
Bred to hunt rats, this small Spanish dog breed is smart, energetic, and generally friendly toward humans and other animals. Their coat is less than an inch in length and is typically tricolor in nature. They can be rambunctious if they get bored, but spending time in a busy family environment seems to satisfy them.
Similar to the Golden Retriever, these Spanish dogs have medium length wavy hair that is typically blonde or black. They’re regarded as excellent guardian dogs for both livestock and human family members that they share their lives with. Not to be confused with the cheese of the same name, these dogs are active, curious, and always looking for a place to dig, roll around, or play.
18. Presa Canario
The Presa Canario is an ancient Spanish dog breed that is revered for its loving yet protective nature. Sadly, there aren’t many of them in existence today, which has led breeders and kennel clubs to speculate that they are in danger of extinction. Called Presa for short, these dogs were bred to work with livestock, as many Spanish dog breeds were.
19. Catalan Sheepdog
While originally from Asia, the Catalan Sheepdog is considered a native of Catalonia. They are popularly bred in Spain but are also bred in Sweden, Germany, and Finland. They’re loving and enjoy snuggling with their family members. When in active mode, they want to use their herding instincts and digging mentality.
20. Ca De Bou
These social little dogs feature a powerful build and storytelling eyes that make them fast friends of strangers. This is a Spanish dog breed that shows significant differences in the head based on gender, as males sport much bigger heads than females. These are quiet yet courageous creatures that will help keep their family’s home protected from strangers.
21. Can De Palleiro
Originating from Galicia in the northwestern region of Spain, the Can De Palleiro is named after the haystack that it is known to sleep near. They have hunting, herding, and guarding abilities, which makes them an awesome all-around companion for the rancher or farmer. They can be happy in a family environment if they have access to plenty of exercise and adventure.
22. Villano De Las Encartaciones
The Villano De Las Encartaciones is thought to have originated in the Spanish province of Biscay. They were eventually used to hunt and catch feral cattle and boar throughout Spain, but today, they aren’t a popularly bred dog. This is likely because they aren’t great with kids and other animals due to their intense hunting instincts.
23. Carea Leones
This is a Shepherd type of Spanish dog breed that is alert, active, and full of energy. They love to run and play, but they like to work on the farm or in the wild even more so. Their compact bodies are strong and agile, making them great competitors on the agility course. They also get along well with children, and they’ll be friends with other dogs if they are socialized from a young age.
24. Garafian Shepherd
This Spanish dog breed is well known for its protective and loyal nature. They tend to work more around the house and family than on the farm and in the wild. They need to start training from the time that they’re puppies to get along well in a family household, but once the bond is created, it won’t be easily broken.
25. Spanish Alano
These dogs are said to have reached Spain around the 5th century A.D. They are sometimes used to help hunt boar, and they’re popular bullfighters today. They have a strong, bulky build yet a joyful and loyal temperament. They don’t have much patience, so training is a necessity that should be consistently worked on throughout their lives.
26. Spanish Pointer
Coming from Castile in Spain, this Spanish dog breed was raised to hunt foxes and the occasional rabbit. They have big, floppy ears that make them look loveable, which they are. But when they are on the hunt, they are all business. They’re energetic and have high stamina levels, so a couple of hours of vigorous activity each day is necessary to keep the Spanish Pointer satisfied.
27. Spanish Water Dog
Medium in size yet large in heart, the Spanish Water Dog is a lively breed with a sturdy build and a talent for water sports. Their hair grows into long tight cords that are water-resistant and if left without trimming, will cover their lovable eyes. Most people describe them as rustic-looking dogs with big personalities.
28. Great Pyrenees
These dogs originated on the border of France and Spain, in a place called the Pyrenees Mountains. The Great Pyrenees are true mountain dogs with large bodies and massive strength. They can easily weigh 100 pounds, but their loving nature makes them seem like big teddy bears. While they can be lazy, they will spring into action at a perceived threat.
Every Spanish dog breed is special and unique in their own way. While many are born hunters, some are simply loving house dogs. There are many sizes, structures, types, colors, and temperaments to consider when it comes to the world of Spanish dog breeds. Not all these dogs are suitable as family pets. On the other hand, some are surprisingly good with kids and other animals. Which Spanish dog breeds are your favorite? We love them all! Tell us what you think by posting in our comments section below.
Featured Image Credit: Lucia Romero, Shutterstock
- 1. Spanish Mastiff
- 2. Andalusian Hound
- 3. Podenco Canario
- 4. Basque Shepherd Dog
- 5. Spanish Greyhound
- 6. Ibizan Hound
- 7. Valencian Podenco
- 8. Burgos Pointer
- 9. Spanish Hound
- 10. Pachon Navarro
- 11. Alano Español
- 12. Ratonero Bodeguero Andaluz
- 13. Majorca Ratter
- 14. Majorca Shepherd Dog
- 15. Pyrenean Mastiff
- 16. Gos Rater Valencia
- 17. Majorero
- 18. Presa Canario
- 19. Catalan Sheepdog
- 20. Ca De Bou
- 21. Can De Palleiro
- 22. Villano De Las Encartaciones
- 23. Carea Leones
- 24. Garafian Shepherd
- 25. Spanish Alano
- 26. Spanish Pointer
- 27. Spanish Water Dog
- 28. Great Pyrenees
- In Conclusion