Galgos are different…

Galgos are different.
Galgos are wonderful.
Galgos are differently wonderful from what we are used to in other dogs.
Galgos are wonderfully different.

It took many hundreds of years and many generations for the galgo to become what he is today.
Free. Selfsufficient. Independent.

Would you like to share your life with galgos? Why would you like to do that?

Once you start sharing your life with galgos, the changes will be profound. The changes will be different from the ones that would occur had you decided upon any other breed. Wonderfully different. There is a good reason why almost every galgo owner sooner or later decides to have more than just one galgo.
Galgos are addictive.

Are you prepared to have a life with galgos?

Going on a walk…

... no longer will be like the relaxed strolling of yore, talking to other people while the galgo is nicely trotting along his human.  Galgos are sighthounds… On the road without a leash? A hare zooming by? You will find yourself wandering all alone for a while . Your galgo doesn’t want to leave you, he is not splitting. He only wants to hunt down that hare. It’s in his nature and no ‚anti hunt training‘ in the world will succeed eliminating this instinct, bred to perfection over hundreds of years, in just a single galgo life.
Your galgo will return, when he no longer sees the hare; he will return, because he wants to be with his human. If this is too dangerous due to the presence of railroads or busy roads, then the galgo has to be kept on the leash. Going on a walk becomes ever more interesting. You try and spot game before your galgo does. You distract him and make yourself look more interesting and attractive than a passing hare, you talk to him. You keep an eye on him. No more trotting along with a distracted mind. Why would you go for a walk with any dog if all you really want is saunter and have a talk with friends?

From now on the walk is a joint venture of your galgo and you.

Going off leash ...

... doesn’t mean that your galgo will stick near you and won’t stray. Galgos love a good run and thanks to their speed their running radius is quite big. Relax and simply hope that dot barely visible on the horizon is your galgo To ensure your galgo can have a good run on a regular basis and preferably with other galgos, you no longer spend your weekends drinking coffee with mothers but rather spend it dressed in a good westminster with other galgo  owners in one of the many fenced sighthound runs.
You aren’t feeling miserable because your galgo doesn’t like to play fetch with a tennis ball as you are delighted having the privilegesss to watch your galgo run happy and free, running for the heck of it, and coming right at you after finishing his rounds, satisfied.

The dog run is now a thing you take part in, which is a place you find happiness, the happiness you are giving your galgo by taking him there.

Your home…

… will have to be seen from a galgo point of view from now on. There are hardly any galgo owners who didn’t stash away the trash can after seeing it raided more than once, and who cannot leave anything remotely edible on tables and kitchen counters.  Galgos steal like ravens, but who can blame them, knowing that back in Spain they might have spent months, even years without ever having a full tummy? As for your couch, you will have to say goodbye to that Galgos love to lie somewhere fluffy and high up from the ground. Even the most timid specimen within days discover the joy of lying on a soft sofa.  Your galgo wants to be near you, all the time, anytime. „Go in your dog basket“ is not a command suitable for a galgo!

Your house is no longer yours, but it has become your and your galgos home.

Say goodbye to notions like…

…your commands will be followed blindly. Galgos aren’t stupid. Therefore they don’t understand commands that don’t make sense to them. There is no need to display the power you hold over your galgo by drilling him. Your galgo loves you by his own free will and with heart and soul. Of course you can teach a galgo to fetch a ball.  But when he feels like taking it across the field and chucking it into some bush today, he will do just that. That is his own decision. Admire your galgo for this independence!

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Don’t hang on to the idea…

…that your galgo will protect you when you are threatened. He is clever enough to feel fear and if he has the opportunity he will make a runner. Being as fast as he is, that’s the smartest thing to do in case of a threat. He will be puzzled that you are not running with him.

Leave any expectations at the door…

… about being admired by other dog owners when you pass by with your dog, the epithome of obedience. You will never turn a galgo into a robot following commands, responding the same at all times.  Don’t feel like making excuses to other dog owners feeling sorry for you when your galgo is going after a hare again, as they don’t understand how wonderful it is to have a galgo that will voluntarily and independently choose to come back to you.

Say goodbye to ideas of …

...taking part in activities like doggy dancing, push ball, trailing or fetching with your dog. Your galgo needs to be able to run on a regular basis! If you cannot offer him this – don’t adopt a galgo! Of course galgos do exist that love to play fetch and even galgos who don’t mind running alongside your bicycle every now and then, but nothing can replace a good old sprint!

If you want to have a dog…

….that obeys you without questioning,
…that will make you stand out at the doggy school,
…who will read every wish from your eyes,
…who will protect you,
…who will play silly games just to please you,
…who will fetch balls and sticks,
…who will walk next to you when you go jogging,
…who will sit his bony behind on a hard surface at your command,
…who ‚fully functions‘,

then you are not a galgo person!

Galgos are free spirited and independent on a level we will never reach. We should not disturb this freedom and independence in our galgos just to make them ‚compatible‘. We have to find ways to deal with it and accept their independence.

As for myself, I value – very personally- and love my galgos especially because of these characteristics. I admire them and am mesmerized by them. How incredibly wonderful is it, to have this independent, free doggy spirit – my galgo – wanting to be with me of his own free will, always and very close. Knowing, that he doesn’t even need me to survive, enjoying, that I can spoil him giving him his fluffy pillow, scrumptious food, warm coats and many many cuddling sessions, and he decides to enjoy my company.

Those who do not share their lives with galgos cannot even imagine, but every galgo owner knows:

Galgos are different.
Galgos are wonderful.
Galgos are differently wonderful as from what we are used to in other dogs.
Galgos are wonderfully different.

Eva Brück, Düsseldorf, January 2010