They say man’s best friend is his dog and this is a fairly universal law that is observed virtually worldwide unless of course you happen to be in certain territories in the Far East where basically they eat man’s best friend.
There also appear to be almost an ever increasing number of varieties of breeds of dog that can be found. As would be expected a lot of these native breeds reflect the conditions and environments from which they came.
Here in Galicia they have four fairly rare breeds. These are the Galician Barn Dog (Palleiros) also known as the Pastor Celta – The Celtic Shepherd, the Galician Pointer (the Perdiqueiro Galego), the Galician Hound (Podengo Galego) and the Galician Quisquelo also known as the Guicho.
The interests of man’s best friend in Galicia are looked after by the Sociedade Canina Galega or the Galician Kennel Club and they take in the whole business of looking after their rare breeds quite seriously.
However: let’s take a brief look at the indeed individual breeds themselves.
Firstly, let’s take a look at the Galician Barn Dog. Palleiros are strongly built dogs and have been a likened by many to wolves which they most definitely are not. They come basically in four colours: wheaten, cinnamon, chestnut and black. Basically Celtic Shepherd’s would have been bred by the Galicians as an all-purpose farm dog. They were used for herding watching livestock and hunting. As far as temperament goes they are intelligent dogs, calm but they are reserved to strangers. They can be gentle and loyal and they can get along well with children and sometimes other animals.
The Galician Pointer shares a common lineage with Portuguese, Spanish and English pointers. In fact the modern breed of Galician Pointer to as we know it was bred and developed in the late 1970s through cross breeding with German and English pointers. They have a short rough coat that can be white, brindle, orange or black or quite frankly any combination of the above. Temperament wise they are friendly playful and intelligent, quick to learn. This is as they say is an active breed that requires lots of exercise.
The Galician Hound was saved from extinction 1999 following a government plan to promote Galicia’s native dog breeds. The usual coat colour ranges from reddish to Sandy with white patches on the chest, forehead tail and paws.
Finally we get to the Galician Quisquelo. This is probably the oldest of all coffee deletion greets and actually believe to share a common lineage with the Welsh coffee in the Swedish Vallhund. These talks were originally bred for hunting smallish animals such as rabbits, foxes and some boars. They are active and extremely athletic dogs despite their short paws. The usual coat colour ranges from brown to cinnamon.
So there you have it a rough guide to some of the rare dog breeds from Galicia, so the next time you’re over there and you see a dog on the street you might have more than the passing notion of what it actually is.