You should consider yourself fortunate if you have ever been to top tourist spots like Ibiza, Madrid, Barcelona, Seville or Granada. These locations are an absolute delight to go to, and anyone who wants to take a vacation is looking forward for them.
Apart from world-class cities and tourist attractions, Spain is also home to excellent food, rich culture and, of course, incredible football fans. Try to speak to a stranger, ask them about the first thing they think when you say the word “Spain.” I bet they’re going to say soccer or something closely related to it.
What many people do not know, even though they have been to the Kingdom of Spain, is that the rich location is also home to unique and special dog breeds that can only be seen in their native territories (although some have already been exported outside the country). Some of these Spanish breeds are so rich in history that they date back to ancient Egypt’s rise time.
Spaniards tend to breed their dogs for different purposes like herding, companionship, and now illegal dog fights. Some of the breeds I’m going to feature today may already seem familiar to you, while others may be new to you.
Without further ado, here are the most popular dog breeds that you can see in Spain!
Top 8 Most Popular Spanish Dog Breeds
1. Papillon & Phalene
Papillon & Phalene is the first to make it on the list. This breed is not entirely peculiar to Spain, but for its enormous popularity from the past and even in the present, it still makes it on the list. While some of the other breeds you’re going to read later on the list have over 5000 years of history, the Papillon & Phalene has only 500.
A lot of different countries like Belgium, France, China, and Spain like to take a claim on the origin of the breed.
If you’re confused as to why it’s called the Papillon & Phalene, try not to be. The Papillon & Phalene only actually refers to one breed, the Papillon & Phalene are just two different variants of it.
The word “Papillon” is French for “butterfly,” while “Phalene” is French for “moth”. From its long erect ears and fur around its facial region, the Papillon earned its name, making it look like a butterfly. On the other hand, the Phalene shares the same attributes, both physically and characteristically, with its droopy eyes being the only distinction.
Papillon & Phalene Temperament:
- Highly Energetic – this breed is up for any game with you, your friends, everyone, anytime, and anywhere.
- Extremely Intelligent – this breed is actually on the top 10 list of the most intelligent dogs on the planet. This is the reason why you’ll see a lot of this breed join agility and intelligence competitions.
- Reserved – this breed generally prefers to be around friends, family, or familiar faces. They can be quite reserved around unknown faces.
2. Spanish Water Dog
Also known as the Perro de Agua Español, this furry breed has been documented to have been around since 1100 CE.
This breed is either the worst nightmare of a groomer or a dream come true the Spanish Water Dog is covered with thick and curly hair from the top of the ears to the tip of the toes. Never cut, brush, or trim their hair, however tempting it may be! The only way their fur can be groomed is through shearing. Odd, okay?
Spanish Water Dogs have a rich but short history, with only 200 years ago heritage. They are very versatile dogs that can work as sheepdogs, guard dogs, and even gundogs (hunters assistants)
Spanish Water Dog Temperament:
- Diligent – dogs with a history as a guard dog or sheepdog are always diligent, capable of following instructions efficiently and effectively.
- Intelligent – these dogs will generally crave for your training and teachings. If they see you doing a task, they’ll ask you to teach them how to do it or how to help.
- Loyal – this breed is incredibly loyal to their master, especially the one that trains them at an early age.
3. Presa Canario
The Presa Canario is a combination of Mastiff breeds and native cattle breeds in the Canary Islands, also known as the Canary Mastiff. The Presa Canario is a huge and intimidating dog because of its Mastiff descendant, which will undoubtedly keep evildoers away from your home if you have one.
The Presa Canario was bred specifically to safeguard the Canary Islands ‘ houses and herd the sheep. In Spain, however, because of its tick skin, strength, size, and physique, the Presa Canario is the go-to champion for illegal dog fighting.
Presa Canario Temperament:
- Dominant – they don’t tend to get along with breeds who are also dominant and imposing.
- Careful – this breed is incredibly wise, you can expect them to really think about what they are doing, you won’t be able to easily outsmart them, too.
- Loving – The Presa Canario has a frightening exterior and a warm and loving heart; if you develop a loving and caring connection with this breed, they’ll behave like a small puppy around you, and you’ve got yourself a really big and lazy dog.
4. Ibizan Hound
The Ibizan Hound is a sleek breed. It has exceptionally long legs for a dog, a long, narrow snout, and long triangular ears, making it look almost like a hornless cat or deer. This breed was usually bred for people to hunt rabbits and other animals for consumption. And as you can imagine, they’re incredibly fast chasing hares.
Ibizan Hound Temperament:
- Alert – this breed is used to easily detect anything that is moving around the area as that is what they were trained to do back when all they did was chase around rabbits.
- Intelligent – if they are capable of chasing small animals that can run as fast as 40 mph, they can surely understand your basic and complex commands with enough training.
- Gentle – it might take some time to develop a trusting relationship with this breed but if you persevere, you’ll have a very gentle Ibizan Hound.
5. Spanish Mastiff
The Spanish Mastiff also has droopy or loose skin, ears, eyes, cheeks, and face, not to be confused with the Presa Canario. You’ve seen a Mastiff dog before, I’m sure because they’re common all over the globe. Because of their loose skin that stacks like a stack of towels when they lay down, they are often referred to online as the “towel dog.”
This breed is massive, and they were used to protect the herd from any predators. Nowadays, they are still used as a guard dog most of the time.
Spanish Mastiff Temperament:
- Friendly and loving -they used to be extremely active and intimidating, but they are more like a furry slimeball of love and affection nowadays. They can be very attached to their masters, and if introduced well, they can quickly be friends with strangers.
- Lazy -they’re big fans of sleeping and relaxing if their eyes don’t give it away enough. This breed isn’t the type you take twice a day on walks. Most of the time, you can’t even walk this dog.
- Loud – this breed rarely barks, but when they do, it is incredibly loud – so brace yourself for that.
6. Galgos Español
This breed, also known as the Spanish Greyhound, was intended to be the elite dogs. Local thieves, however, stole this dog breed and it flooded the market.
The first thing that you’ll notice with the breed for the kinds is that they look very graceful. They have a strong posture and a slender body.
The Spanish Greyhound became the favorite hunting companion of many Spanish Kings in the past.
Galgos Español Temperament:
- Laid-back – contrary to their abilities and physique, this breed is actually pretty laid-back. They prefer just to sit around and have their masters pet them while relaxing.
- Protective – this breed can easily recognize the family and it will be very protective of it, even kids.
- Friendly – this breed can get along with seasily other cats or dogs.
7. Catalan Sheepdog
The Catalan Sheepdog is also covered with fur, much like the Spanish Water Dog. If you look carefully, you can see that the Catalan Sheepdog’s fur is made up of several colored hairs.
This breed, as the name states, is an expert in the field of herding and helping the shepherd.
During the Spanish Civil War, the Catalan Sheepdog also served as a messenger dog for the Spanish forces.
Catalan Sheepdog Temperament:
- Courageous – this breed is used to protecting their owners and their properties.
- Skeptical-they’s innately suspicious of strangers because of their sheepdog nature, they’ll always think a stranger can do something they shouldn’t do and behave accordingly.
- Intelligent – this breed can effectively tell if a person has ill-intent on the master or the property that the dog is defending.
8. Andalusian Hound
This next breed is a local dog from the place of Andalusia, located South of the Iberian Peninsula in the Kingdom of Spain.
Historical writings in the local caves indicate that this dog has been around for a long time, but the Andalusian Hound’s latest genetic study informs us that the breed is not as ancient as historical writings suggest. Maybe the drawings on the walls of the cave were a bear image.
Despite the historical confusion about this dog’s origin, it still has many distinct characteristics. The Andalusian Hound has three different attributes, mostly in sizes: the small, medium, and big ones. This breed of dogs is renowned for its keen senses.
Andalusian Hound Temperament:
- Energetic -if you’re planning to have an Andalusian hound around the house, make sure you’re able to meet the physical activity requirements of this dog. This breed of dogs likes to run around like hunting things or food.
- Playful -this complements to the energy of this breed. If you have a child with you, make sure you remain near and watch if your child wishes to play with the dog. It can get carried away because of the playfulness of the dog and forget that the child is fragile.
Fitting Spanish Names For a Dog
If you’re planning to get a Spanish dog breed, or maybe you already have one, but you don’t have a name for it yet, then you’re lucky because I’ve collected the most famous dog names in Spain to give you an idea and inspiration about what to call your very unique dog. Without further ado, here are some of the finest Spanish dog male names and Spanish dog female names:
Spanish Dog Male Names:
- Alegro – means joy
- Chico – means boy
- Amigo – means friend
- Chiquito – means tiny
- Guey – means dude
- Cruz – means cross
- Jugo – means juice
- Leon – means lion
- Lobo – means wolf
- Poco – means little
- Rio – means river
- Sol – means sun
Spanish Dog Female Names:
- Alba – means sunrise
- Alma – means soul
- Bella – means beautiful
- Bonita – means cute
- Chica – means young girl
- Flor – means flower
- Luna – means moon
- Mariposa – means butterfly
- Luz – means light
- Reina – means queen
- Rosa – means rose
- Vida – means life
Many dogs at locally and internationally are often shadowed by the world’s most famous dogs. You will see a world full of exciting, interesting, unique and lovable dog breeds if you take the time and effort to get to know the dogs in your place or elsewhere.
The popular dogs in Spain deserve the spotlight because their dog breeds really capture the country’s history, heritage, and culture.