Spanish Dog Breeds – 13 Amazing Perros You’ll Love!

spanish dog breeds, spanish water dogs

Spain is well known for its amazing cuisine (paella anyone?), beautiful beaches, and rich history. But did you know that there are many wonderful Spanish dog breeds too? In fact, some of the most beloved dogs in America originated in Spain.

So, how many Spanish dogs can you think of? Here are 13 for you to consider if you’re looking to adopt a perro into your family.

13 Amazing Spanish Dog Breeds

The Spanish Royal Canine Society recognizes 13 different breeds that originated in Spain and are accepted by other international Kennel Clubs (such as the American Kennel Club).

Like many native breeds, Spanish dogs originated as working pups and companions. They were guardians, herders, hunters, and loyal furry friends to their owners. Nowadays, some of the original Spanish breeds are very rare and others are more well-known.

They come in all different shapes and sizes and have different care demands. As with any pup, it’s important to research dog breeds carefully before you think about bringing one into your home. You need to ensure you can provide them with all the love, space, and exercise they require.

#1 Podenco

podenco spanish dog

The Podenco is a stunning breed and one very close to our hearts at BarkingTalk. We used to have an adorable Podenco pup called Tom who, not only was an amazing hunter, but a great family companion too.

Podenco, which means ‘hound’ in Spanish, is actually a term used to refer to several different types of Spanish hound. Only one is accepted by the American Kennel Club (more on that breed later in the list).

Podencos were built for speed and were commonly used to hunt rabbits and other small prey. They’re very loyal and love to spend time with family and exploring the world around them. As you can imagine from a hunting Spanish dog breed, these pups need regular exercise to keep them engaged and healthy.

#2 Pyrenean Mastiff

pyrenean mastiff

The Pyrenean Mastiff is an enormous dog, bred to protect livestock, property, and their people. These dogs can grow to a whopping 190 pounds – so adopting one is an important decision. That’s a lot of dog. But if you do decide to adopt this Spanish dog breed, you’ll be getting a patient, incredibly loyal, and very beautiful dog.

These Mastiff dogs are usually calm-natured and don’t have a very high prey drive, meaning they can happily live with other pups and smaller animals too. They’re likely to be very protective of them and their human family members too.

They come in several different colors (all on a white base coat) and a pup this fluffy does require regular brushing, especially on the areas of their coat that are feathered.

#3 Spanish Mastiff

spanish mastiff

The Spanish Mastiff is a very impressive dog and quite a sight to behold. These enormous dogs (they can be 10 pounds heavier than the Pyrenean Mastiff!) are imposing, brave, a little aloof, and very loyal. Although wary around strangers, thanks to their protective nature, they’re very affectionate with those they know and love.

Spanish Mastiffs were originally bred to accompany livestock on their seasonal migrations. They could even protect them against wolves and other large predators! The Spanish Mastiff is an ancient breed and a proud protector and worker.

As is the case with some other larger breeds, these pups don’t need vigorous daily exercise. They do still need some, though. They’ll enjoy walks, playtime in the backyard, or chasing after a herding ball.

#4 Spanish Greyhound (Galgo Español)

spanish greyhound, spanish dog breed

The Spanish Greyhound is a stunning, athletic, and very fast sighthound from Spain. They look similar to the English Greyhound – probably because they’re an ancient ancestor. These Spanish dogs are descendants of the Ancient Asian Greyhounds and were first bred to hunt hares and rabbits.

They’re not a recognized breed by the American Kennel Club but they were accepted by the United Kennel Club in 2006.

When it comes to temperament, the Spanish Greyhound is reserved, a bit shy, and very energetic. They love to be out hunting and have a role to play. It’s quite easy for their pent-up energy to turn into undesirable behavior if they don’t get enough external stimulation.

This stunning dog breed can be in several colors including, black, burned chestnut, cinnamon, red, and yellow.

#5 Catalan Sheepdog

catalan sheepdog

The Catalan Sheepdog is a robust, medium-sized pup originating in the Catalunya area of Spain. These herding dogs are very intelligent, kind, adventurous, and hard-working canines that also make great family pets.

They’re used to spending their days out in the fields and have a coat to match this lifestyle. It’s medium and thick and helps keep them warm and dry. As you might imagine, it requires some brushing to stop mats from forming.

These pups are smart and adapt well to training. They can, however, be a bit impulsive, meaning they need an owner who is willing to put in the time to train them correctly. Puzzle toys can be an excellent way for Catalan Sheepdogs to channel their energy and keep them entertained outside of training sessions or when they’re working.

As well as being a brilliant herder, these dogs are also very good at guarding. They’ll happily let their owners know if there’s an intruder or something they should be aware of.

#6 Ibizan Hound

Ibizan hound puppy

This is the famous Podenco that I was talking about earlier and the only one of the Spanish hounds that is accepted by the American Kennel Club. This stunning red dog originated in the beautiful Balearic Island of Ibiza but it’s thought that their ancestors go as far back as the Egyptians.

Their thin yet muscular bodies, large and erect ears, and long tails can be seen in many Egyptian murals and paintings.

Like other Podencos, the Ibizan Hound was bred to hunt hares and other small prey. They have a very strong prey drive, which might make introducing them to other smaller pets a problem.

They’re very energetic dogs and are full of stamina. These hounds need lots of regular exercise and will love long hikes, playing fetch, and running after kids. They enjoy training sessions and it’s very important to work hard on getting a good recall with them.

#7 Perro de Presa Canario

perro de presa canario

The Perro de Presa Canario is the third of the mastiff-type Spanish dog breeds. These impressive pups are imposing, large, and totally beautiful. However, because they are considered scary-looking dogs, they have had a difficult history and are often used in underground dog fighting.

It’s therefore especially important that these pups are well-trained and socialized early on. They need lots of love, affection, and reassurance – but with that, you’ll have a loyal, calm, devoted, and very intelligent furry friend.

These Pitbull-like pups were first bred to guard livestock and property in the Canary Islands. They can be several different colors including brown, orange, tiger, fawn, and gold. Their short coat is relatively easy to manage and they only need to be washed occasionally.

Perros de Presa Canario don’t need vigorous exercise but will benefit from walks and having a backyard to roam.

#8 Spanish Water Dog

spanish dog breeds, spanish water dogs

How cute is the Spanish Water Dog? These adorable pups are easily recognized thanks to their thick, curly coats, puppy dog eyes, and happy-go-lucky personalities. Spanish Water Dogs can have a range of coat colors including black, brown, black and white, and beige.

This Spanish dog breed was first bred to both retrieve waterfowl and herd livestock. The multi-tasking Spanish water dog is not only a wonderful working pup, but they’ve also grown to be firm family favorites in their homeland and America.

They’re medium-sized dogs and can be quite energetic and they benefit from at least one big run a day. They’ll love chasing after balls (you could try one of the best ball launchers for even more fun), playing with kids, going for a swim, or accompanying you on a long walk. Spanish Water Dogs are very friendly, devoted, and fun-loving pups.

#9 Bichon Frise

bichon frise

You might not believe it with a name like Bichon Frise but these dogs are actually Spanish. They gained popularity in France later on, which is why many consider these pups to be French rather than Spanish. But, these ancient dogs were first developed in Tenerife, the largest of the Canary Islands.

The Bichon Frise became famous during the Renaissance period when they were loved by European nobles in the Spanish, French, and Italian courts. Not only did these nobles love the bright white, fluffy coat of the Bichon Frise but their adorable personalities also won them over.

This Spanish dog breed is charming, playful, and comedic. They get on really well with kids and other pups too. Bichons are happy little dogs that adapt well to training and make the perfect city companion. They’re so loved that they have been used to create many adorable mixed breeds too, such as the Poochon and the Cavachon.

#10 Basque Shepherd Dog

basque shepherd dog

The Basque Shepherd Dog is an amazing herding breed from the Basque region of the peninsula. There are 2 varieties of this beautiful breed – hairy and shaggy – with one of them having a slightly longer and ‘shaggier’ coat type.

These pups have long been used in the Basque country to herd goats, sheep, and horses as well as guard farmhouses. They’re alert and hard-working pups that form close bonds with their owners and can always be relied upon.

This Spanish herding breed usually has a beautiful golden coat and may have a darker mask too. Being herding dogs, they can be excitable and very energetic, meaning they need lots of outdoor exercise and space to run.

They tend to be a bit hyper if they’re not well-trained or given enough exercise (not that you’d think that from the above picture). Basque Shepherd Dogs need a patient owner who is happy to spend the time training them properly and giving them enough mental stimulation too.

#11 Ca de Bou (Mallorcan Bulldog)

ca de bou, majorcan bulldog

The Mallorcan Bulldog (or Mastiff) is an impressive Spanish dog breed from the largest of the Balearic Islands. These pups have strong and athletic bodies and large, muscular heads. As is the case with many dogs that look like Pitbulls or similar, these pups were originally bred for blood sports such as bull baiting.

Some dogs can tend to become dominant if they’re not correctly socialized and trained from a young age. It’s really important to gently introduce your Ca de Bou puppies to other dogs, humans, and stimuli such as sounds and sights.

A well-socialized and trained Ca de Bou is a loving and loyal furry best friend. Because these pups are a relatively rare breed, they were often mixed with other breeds out of necessity. So, many of the Ca de Bous you see today are not actually purebred but may have some herding dog DNA in them too.

These wonderful, happy, and protective canines need an experienced owner who can nurture their best traits and train them well.

#12 Mallorca Shepherd Dog

majorca shepherd dog

And… these are the herding dogs we were just talking about. The Mallorcan Shepherd Dog, as you might imagine, was bred to herd and guard sheep and for other farm duties. These pups are ancient and have long been a favorite in the Balearic Islands.

But, they’re still considered rare outside of the archipelago and you’ll find it very difficult to adopt one of these beautiful dogs in America.

As well as hard-working, these dogs also make wonderful companions. They’re alert, eager, and very affectionate. The Mallorcan Shepherd Dog is great at guarding and will happily make their owners aware of any problems or intruders.

These pups can have 2 different coat types – smooth and long and can be a couple of different colors (black is particularly beautiful). They need lots of exercise and mental stimulation if they’re to stay happy and healthy. Cute toys, as well as long walks, can be a great way to keep them entertained.

#13 Gos Rater Valencia (Valencian Terrier)

gos rater valencia

The Gos Rater Valencia is a wonderful, spunky, and courageous Spanish breed that could be compared to the Jack Russell Terrier. They’re perhaps a little leggier and not as stocky but they’re just as determined and friendly.

Like many Terrier breeds, The Gos Rater Valencia was originally bred to hunt vermin so they do have a high prey drive. This can be a problem if you have other small pets in the home as they might like to chase them. Getting your Gos Rater Valencia a snuffle mat can be a great way for them to safely hunt and dig without causing too much havoc.

These pups have a short coat that can be many different color combinations including white and black, tri-colored,, white and chocolate, or white and tan.

So, Which of These Spanish Dog Breeds Is for You?

There are so many amazing Spanish dog breeds and we think they should be getting the attention they deserve. There’s a huge range when it comes to appearance, temperament, and history and they’d make the perfect addition to lots of families.

But, many of these breeds are also large and need an experienced owner who can bring out the best in them. Adopting a dog is an important decision but, with a bit of research, it can totally change your life for the better!