Spanish Hound – General Description
The Sabueso español (Spanish Scenthound) is an scenthound breed with its origin in the far north of Iberian Peninsula, included in Group VI of F.C.I. classification. This breed has being used in this mountainous region since hundreds of years ago in all kind of game: wild boar, hare, brown bear, wolf, red deer, fox, roe deer and chamois. It is an exclusive working breed, employed in hunting with firearms.
Classification and Standards
- FCI Group 6, Section 1, #204
- UKC Scenthound Group
Character & Temperament
The Spanish Hound is an affectionate and calm dog which, when out hunting big game, shows extraordinary courage and bravery.
First description of Iberian scenthounds appears in “Libro de la Montería de Alfonso XI”, king of Castilla, written in the Middle Age, where chapter 39 talks about: “which forms scenthounds males and females must be”.
After that diverse descriptions of iberian scenthounds appeared in various hunting Spanish books from 15th, 16th, and 17th centuries: “Tratado de la Montería”, “Discurso de la Montería”  or “Origen y Dignidad de la Caça”.
During these centuries Spanish scenthounds (we are talking about Spanish scenthounds because they were born in Spain, not because those hounds were an exact reflecting of actual Spanish scenthound standard) were used mainly in brown bear and wild boar hunting. Also they were very used to track wounded game by hunters called Ballesteros (because they used crossbows). Of course these hounds have been used since very ancient times in “caza a traílla” (leashed hound-hunting) to know previously of the hunt the resting location of bears, boars and wolves.
When firearms were getting common in northern Spain and big game populations decreased, uses of Spanish scenthound derived in small game, mainly in a type of hare hunting called “caza de la liebre a la vuelta”, although the breed was keeping on used in wild boar and roe deer hunting.
Today big game populations in northern Spain has increased again a lot and then Spanish scenthound is now very used, with a fixed standard since 1982, mainly in wild boar hunting, in the traditional type of boar hunting called “caza a traílla”.
Size & Appearance
The Spanish Hound is a medium-sized dog, longer than taller. Beautiful head with long ears. Box perimeter is longer than height. Very well-boned with strong legs and feet. Smooth and simple coat. Sweet, noble and sad eyes. These dogs are kind and loyal, but good individuals are gritty hounds in wild boar hunting.
General appearance is of a strong dog, not very tall but very rough. Two colors are allowed: red and white. Red and black noses are allowed. Red color can be very clear (lemon) until reddish brown.
The Spanish Hound presents a high sexual diversity. Males height: 20-1/2 to 22-1/2 inches (52 to 57 cm), Females height: 19 to 23 inches (48 to53 cm).
There re two subtypes in the Spanish Hound: Mountain Hound and Hare Hound, but they were completely unified since 1982.
Health & Maintenance
No unusual health problems or claims of extraordinary health have been documented for this breed.
Work & Activities
Spanish hound is a scenthound with a great sense of smell, with a good percentage in the breed of really cold-nosed hounds. It is a chop-mouthed hound, with a very loud voice. Hunters can know the different fases of the hunt listen to the hound because of the variations in its voice: cold track, hot track and baying. In far northern Spain the scenthound barking while it is running a track is called “latido” or “llatido”.
This hound is very used in hare hunting, a traditional hunter behaviour allows the hare get gone away and allow the hound to work the track until it is able to make the hare come back to the hunter with nose and intelligence. This kind of hunting is called “caza de la liebre a la vuelta” (coming back hare hunting).
Also, Spanish Scenthound is very used in wild boar hunting in northern “montería” (big game collective hunting), mostly in the type of hunting called “caza a traílla” (leashed-dog hunting), the most genuine and traditional, which origin is lost in ancient times. This kind of hunting consists in looking for the resting location of the wild boar during the daylight with the help of a leashed scenthound. The hunter (called “montero”) and the scenthound will track the boar night journeys until they know the resting location of the wild boar. When this location is sure (because hunter and scenthound have rounded the wood and there are not a boar track getting out the wood) some hunters with firearms wait rounding the wood and some scenthounds are unleashed on the track. They jump the boar and run it at least until hunters can shoot it. Spanish scenthound is an excellent hound for this type of hunting.
This hunting dog possess a marked independent character because it have been bred to hunt alone or with one or two more hounds, because of that this breed is not properly a packing breed. These hounds need a powerful management to get the dog only works the track of the hunting specie its owner wants to hunt.
Spanish hound must be generous with its voice in all phases of hunting, it has stamina and it has true heart. It is a good scenthound who run its prey during long distances, 4–5 hours running’s worked by one hound alone are not strange.
This hound is not a good pet. It needs lots of exercise and space, and it is unjustified not to allow what it loves to do: Hunting.
Fictional Spanish Hounds
- Cash in The Fox and the Hound 2
- See F.C.I. web – http://www.fci.be/nomenclature.aspx
- See “Libro de la Montería de Alfonso XI” Ch. 39: Cuales hechuras deben ser los sabuesos y las sabuesas.
- See “Tratado de la Montería” written by a hunter from Sierra de Segura (century XV)
- See “Discurso de la Montería” written by Gonzalo Argote de Molina (1582)
- See “Origen y Dignidad de la Caça” written by Juan Mateos, Ballestero Mayor de S.M. Felipe IV (1634).
- See official web of Spanish Scenthound – http://www.sabuesoespanol.com/
- Club del Sabueso Español y Razas Afines [GFDL (www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html) or CC-BY-SA-3.0-2.5-2.0-1.0 (www.creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons
- Steffen Heinz Caronna (Own work) [GFDL (www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html) or CC-BY-3.0 (www.creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons
- DTabCam (Own work) [CC-BY-SA-3.0 (www.creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0) or GFDL (www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html)], via Wikimedia Commons
Spanish Hound (Sabueso Español)
FCI-Standard N° 204 / 24. 07. 2000 / GB
TRANSLATION : Mrs. Peggy Davis.
ORIGIN : Spain.
DATE OF PUBLICATION OF THE ORIGINAL VALID STANDARD : 26.05.1982.
Hunting hound for small game, although he is not averse to big game hunting, be it boar, stag, deer, fox, wolf or the bear. The hunter, instructed by the dog’s voice and its modulations, will recognize the sequence of events of the hunting and its incidents such as : Cold or fresh line of scent, double scent lines, firmness on line or « halali » (kill). The Sabueso español (hound) is a great specialist in hunting the hare with his doubling habit and he is most efficient in blood tracking (searching of wounded big game).
F.C.I. CLASSIFICATION :
- Group 6 Scenthounds and related breeds.
- Section 1.2 Medium sized Hounds.
With working trial.
BRIEF HISTORICAL SUMMARY :
Already known in the late Middle Ages, he is brilliantly described by the venery book by King Alphonse XI (XIVth century) as well as by Argote de Molina (1582) and by numerous classic authors.
GENERAL APPEARANCE :
Medium sized dog, balanced, with rather long proportions, with a lovely head and long leathers. The development of his thoracic perimeter and the length of his body which exceeds greatly the height at the withers, are remarkable. Compact bone structure and solid legs; fine hair, smooth and flat. The gaze is soft, sad and noble.
IMPORTANT PROPORTIONS :
Long line structure.
- Length of the body is widely superior, from 7 to 10 cm, to the height at the withers.
- Length of skull / length of muzzle = 1/1, i.e. they are of equal length.
BEHAVIOR / TEMPERAMENT :
He is an affectionate and calm dog which, when out hunting big game, shows extraordinary courage and bravery.
Harmonious, long and in proportion with the rest of the body. Cranial-facial lines divergent. Seen from above, the ensemble skull and muzzle must appear elongated and very uniform. No impression of pointed muzzle.
CRANIAL REGION :
Skull : Medium width, broader in the males. Convex profile. The width of the skull should be equal to its length; seen from the front, it must be domed. Occipital crest simply marked.
Stop : In gentle slope, only slightly marked.
FACIAL REGION :
Nose : Large, moist with open and well developed nostrils. Its color varies from light to intense black, always in relation with the color of the mucous membranes.
Muzzle : Straight profile, a very slight sub-convexity only at its end portion admissible. Seen from above, it appears moderately rectangular, decreasing in width as it gets nearer the nose.
Lips : The upper lip must clearly cover the lower lip; it is loose and moderately abundant. The lower lip forms a well marked labial corner. The mucous membranes must be of the same color as the nose. Palate of the same color as the mucous membranes, with marked ridges.
Jaws/Teeth : Scissor bite. Teeth white and sound. Canines well developed, all premolars present.
Eyes : Medium, almond shape, hazel color, dark; with a sad, noble and intelligent expression. Eyelids pigmented like the nose and the mucous membranes, close to the eyeball. Slight relaxing at rest is permitted.
Leathers : Large, long and hanging. Of soft texture, rectangular shape and rounded tip. Set below eye level and hang freely twisted in corkscrew. Without being stretched, they must reach well beyond the nose. The venous system is very visible and just under the skin.
Truncated cone, broad and strong, muscled and supple; skin thick and very loose, which forms, without exaggeration, a marked and loose dewlap.
Clearly rectangular, very strong and robust, with an important thoracic perimeter which must be more, by 1/3, than the height at the withers : height at the withers 3, thoracic perimeter 4.
Topline : Straight, with a slight dip of the back and convexity of the loin, characteristics of the breed, but not a saddle back.
Withers : Set forward and lightly marked.
Back : Powerful, broad, of marked length.
Loin : Very broad and powerful; slightly raised.
Croup : Powerful, broad, rather horizontal. The height at the rump must be the same or below the height at the withers. Taking into account the tendency of the breed to increase in size, it will be permitted that the rump will be slightly higher.
Chest : Very developed, broad, deep and high, well let down to the elbow. Point of sternum marked. Rounded ribs, with very wide intercostal spaces, forming a large thoracic cage.
Belly and flanks : Belly not very tucked up; the flanks are deep, very visible, and full.
Thick at the root and set at medium height. Strong and covered with very short hair forming a small paint brush at the tip. At rest carried slightly curved and hanging down below the point of the hock; at work and in action, it raises sabre fashion, without excess, with a continual lateral movement. Never straight, directed upwards or resting on the rump.
Perfectly vertical, straight, parallel. Give the impression of being short and muscles and tendons are clearly visible. The length of the forearm must be equal to that of the shoulder. Of strong bone structure, with powerful pasterns; elbows really close to the body.
Shoulders : Shoulder-blade oblique, rounded, muscled and of equal length to that of the upper arm. Scapulo-humeral angle : close to 100°.
Upperarm : Strong.
Elbows : Close to the thorax. Humeral-radial angle : close to 120°.
Forearm : Straight, short, vertical. Strong bones.
Pastern : Strong and powerful bone structure. Seen in profile, only slightly oblique.
Forefeet : Catfeet, toes tight, phalanges strong and high. Nails strong and solid, pads large and tough. Interdigital membranes moderate and covered with fine hair.
Powerful, muscled and with excellent angulation. Legs correct, hocks without deviations, metatarsal long and feet solid. They give the dog the necessary strength, agility and impulsion to follow the trail on very bumpy terrains and with significant unevenness.
Upper thigh : Strong and muscular. Coxal-femoral angle : near 100°.
Lower thigh : Of moderate length, muscular. Femoral-tibial angle : nearly 115°.
Hock : Well marked with the tendon clearly visible. Angle of the hock open; getting close to 120°.
Hind feet : Catfeet, slightly oval. More elongated than the front feet. Present, or not, dewclaws are usually single, rarely double; their removal is allowed.
GAIT / MOVEMENT :
The preferred gait is the trot, which is long, sustained and economical without tendency to lateralization or ambling. Particular attention should be paid to the elbows and the hocks whilst moving. There is, in the walk, a natural tendency of the breed to walk with the head low while sniffing.
Very elastic, thick and pink in color, loose all over the body; on some occasions it forms wrinkles on the forehead when the head is lowered.
Dense, short, fine and smooth (flat). Covering the whole of the body down to the interdigital spaces.
White and orange, with dominance of one or the other color and distributed in irregular markings, well defined and without ticking. The orange color may vary from a lighter shade (lemon) to an intense russet-brown.
This breed presents a pronounced sexual dimorphism which reveals itself in the difference in size between the males and the females; these last are noticeably smaller and finer.
Height at the withers :
Males from 52 to 57 cm,
Females from 48 to 53 cm.
In subjects of excellent proportions, 1 cm above the size limits is tolerated.
Any departure from the foregoing points should be considered a fault and the seriousness with which the fault should be regarded should be in exact proportion to its degree and its effect upon the health and welfare of the dog.
- Profile of the muzzle arched, but without excess.
- Pincer bite. Absence of one premolar.
- Loose eyelids to the point of uncovering a bit of conjunctiva.
- Weakness in the dorsal-lumbar line and swaying at the walk.
- Loin too elevated, which, although permitted, must never be exaggerated.
SEVERE FAULTS :
- Frail appearance.
- Muzzle too pointed or blunt.
- Moderately overshot mouth; absence of canines or premolars not due to traumatisms.
- Entropion or ectropion.
- Cropped ears.
- Saddle back.
- Height at the croup much more than the height at the withers.
- Thoracic perimeter insufficient.
- Tail carried too high or resting on the croup; docked tail.
- Incorrect position of the legs; weak or crooked legs.
- Out at the elbows, at the walk or when standing.
- Lateral movements of the legs when walking.
- Wavy coat, hard or semi-long.
- Unbalanced temperament, excessively timid, nervous or aggressive.
ELIMINATING FAULTS :
- Aggresive or overly shy.
- Length of the body equal or below that of the height at withers.
- Split nose.
- Excessively overshot mouth; undershot bite in any degree.
- Hair hard and long; woolly coat which indicates cross-breeding.
- Tri-colored dogs or with tan markings on the muzzle and the legs.
Any dog clearly showing physical or behavioral abnormalities shall be disqualified.
N.B. : Male animals should have two apparently normal testicles fully descended into the scrotum.
TagsAfghanistan Africa America Ancient Egypt Ancient Greece Assistance Dogs Austria Bark Behavior Belgium Biology Bosnia Breed Type Canary Islands Catahoula Companion Dog Coonhound Croatia Cur Dog Sport Dog Types Egypt England English-French Evolution Finland Foxhound France Germany Greece Guard Dogs Hairless Health History Hounds Hungary Iberia Imperial China Ireland Israel Italy Lap Dog Malta Montenegro North Africa Norway Nutrition Palestine Pariah Persia Peru Poland Portugal Primitive Rabies Ridgeback Roman Russia Scenthound Scotland Serbia Sicily Sighthound Slovakia Spain Spitz Sweden Switzerland Taiwan Thailand The Domestic Dog Training Transylvania Wales Working Dogs