15 Most Popular Spanish Dog Breeds – The Ultimate Guide to Dogs of Spain

Popular Spanish Dog Breeds: It was once the home of the terrifying Spanish Armada and the equally horrifying Inquisition. Spain is now more well-known as a top tourist destination within Western Europe. With popular destinations like Barcelona and Ibiza tourist destinations, travelers are drawn to Spain all year round to enjoy the incredible life and culture.

But Spain isn’t all about drinking on rooftops or eating delicious tapas. Actually, there are several breeds of dogs specific in the area. Many of them can trace their roots back more than 5500 years back to breeds that originated in Ancient Egypt. Many of them are breeds that you’ve never heard of!

Spanish breeds have been bred to be used for all sorts of things, from herding to the companionship of dogs and dogfighting (thankfully, that has been banned and is Currently illegal. Some breeds are familiar as they share the same heritage as other breeds globally, but some breeds are truly unique.

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All Dogs From Spain

While Spanish breeds are like other breeds in the world, they are often under the radar compared with breeds in high demand. Nevertheless, as you’ll discover in the following article, Spanish breeds are well worthy of being studied!

The most well-known Spanish breed of dog can be described as the Papillon. But there are also many other breeds like the Great Pyrenees, Spanish Waterdog, Presa Canario, Pyrenean Mastiff Ibizan Hound, Galgos Espanol, Catalan Sheepdog, Andalusian Hound, Spanish Mastiff, Ratonero Bodeguero, Pachon Navarro, Spanish Pointer, Basque Shepherd, and Spanish Alano are also very popular Spanish breeds.

1. Spanish Alano

Spanish Alano

Highlights: Sociable, Sturdy, Loyal

This Spanish breed dog has a long and rich story. Their name is derived directly from their origins in the Iranian clan of Alani, who came to Spain in the fifth century of AD. Their ancestors may have worked alongside the Alani as guard dogs for livestock and pursuit dogs.

But, after more than a millennium and several more years accompanied by a few more centuries, the Alano breed began to create an impact in bullfighting and the occasional boar hunt. A glance at the Spanish Alano will reveal the reasons.

They’re big, proud dogs with a head that appears to have a serious look. Although their bullfighting days are gone, and the Alano isn’t as loved as in the past, it’s an impressive breed.

INTERESTING Facts

Scientists have concluded that it is possible that Spanish Alano could have had the same ancestors as Great Dane and Dogue de Bordeaux. Researcher Carlos Contera feared that the Alano was extinct and spent years searching for any still alive dogs to bring them back and map their genetics. These dogs were employed in a variety of roles, including Herding cattle, fighting dogs protecting property, guarding the fence, hunting big game, and even fighting in military dog fights during wars.

Spanish Alano Temperament

Unlike many Spanish breeds, Alano Espanol is much more friendly, especially with other canines. This could be due to their past being hunter dogs with others in a group, and they have the mentality of a pack dog.

However, this background in hunting can also be a reason to make them comfortable with smaller animals at a young age. If you have smaller animals, it will be a crucial issue. Although they’re kind toward their owner, their prey-driven nature remains a part of their minds.

Despite their huge size, they’re extremely friendly and not intimidating (unless you’re designed to resemble something they may want to pursue). But, as with quite a number of other hunting dogs, they are a bit cautious of strangers and stay with the people they trust.

             2. Basque Shepherd Dog

Popular Spanish Dog Breeds  Basque Shepherd Dog

Highlights: Outgoing, Calm, Affectionate

Basque Shepherd is a Spanish landrace dog from the Basque Country of Spain. Over the course of several generations, these dogs were used by the area’s shepherds as protectors and herders of both sheep and cattle.

Although they have been around since the beginning of time, they were not recognized until the Basque Shepherd dog was originally placed in the same category as its closest cousins that is the Catalan Sheepdog and the Pyrenean Shepherd. It wasn’t until 1996 that they were recognized as a breed by the Royal Canine Society in Spain.

Basque Shepherd dogs come in two kinds: rough coats and smooth coats. Although the smooth-haired version is thought to be more “pure” with a more open-minded personality. However, rough coats tend to be smaller when it has an unruly coat. INTERESTING Science has discovered bones of The Basque Shepherd in Neolithic caves, which date back more than 12,000 years ago.

Old paintings and art from the 16th century depict images of the earlier Basque Shepherd dogs. The Basque Shepherd is among the few breeds that are landrace (naturally breed) of Spain that are still in existence today.

Basque Shepherd Temperament

Though adept at herding, the Basque Shepherd dog can be a fantastic modern-day family dog. With a constant flow of enthusiasm and a lively spirit, they love to play and need lots of attention and love from their pet owners.

Due to their instincts as guard dogs, the Basque Shepherd makes an excellent watchdog and a good guardian. They can be quite cautious and are somewhat territorial; therefore, it is important to have plenty of interaction for these breeds.

Basque Shepherds are friendly with the rest of the family. They were bred to guard the group. In many instances, they’ll keep their eyes on you. If you have cats, pets, or children, they’ll look after them.

       3. Spanish Pointer

Burgos Pointer or Burgalese Pointer

Highlights: Stout, Composed, Adaptable

Spanish Pointer is often referred to as the Burgos Pointer or Burgalese Pointer. The breed’s roots are from Castile, Spain, specifically the Castilian Plateau, where it was designed to hunt small game-like rabbits and foxes.

Their robust physique distinguishes them; however, it is also characterized by their loose ears. Nonetheless, the Spanish dog breed is not focused solely on its unique design but more on its ability to run, track and hunt.

Spanish Pointers, in the end, are excellent hunting dogs. They were not just bred with excellent stamina but were also able to adapt in the field. This means they’re the ideal hunting dog for almost any terrain within the region.

INTERESTING Pointers are believed to originate from their ancestors, the Spanish Pointer, after British soldiers returned to their homes following the Spanish War of Succession. The Spanish Pointer is very tranquil, and it is hardly scared or startled. According to the research conducted by researchers, this dog may be a descendant of one of the Pachon Navarra and Sabueso Espanol.

Burgos Pointer Temperament

As with other breeds with hunting backgrounds, this Burgos Pointer is intelligent and adept at quickly learning tasks. Breeding to hunt, the Pointer will require a lot of training while being at home.

However, even though they have an ancestral hunter pedigree, it is a mild breed with a peaceful and calm manner of speaking. While they’re not easily scared and can be quite frightened, they may prefer the tranquil, wide areas that nature provides in contrast to the hustle and bustle of urban environments.

Spanish Pointer will need plenty of interaction to be a calm pet. As with any hunter, they are also a bit solitary. Despite this, the breed is very adaptable if provided with the appropriate treatment and exercise.

    4. Pachon Navarro

Highlights: Loyal, Brave, Docile

One of the most impressive characteristics of this breed is its split nose or double nose. Initially, it was thought to have an extra capability to smell, making the breed popular for hunter’s excursions. But now, it’s strictly a cosmetic feature.

But, in the late 18th and 19th centuries, the Pachon Navarro was a prized dog in the bustling hunting community. However, following the Spanish Civil War, the Navarro experienced a dramatic and sudden drop in popularity.

The floppy ears and distinctive nose are returning, and enthusiasts from Spain are working to restore this breed to the forefront. Though there are still a limited number of them around the country, this rarity can make them appealing.

INTERESTING Facts. These dogs were believed to have originated from Spain’s two most common hunting dogs in the 13th century. The Pachon Navarro was believed to be one of the most popular breeds among Spanish aristocrats during the 18th and 19th centuries. These dogs nearly went extinct during the Spanish Civil War in the 1930s. However, they were resurrected by enthusiastic owners.

Pachon Navarro Temperament

The Pachon Navarro is peaceful, relaxed, and laid-back if they aren’t hunting. They tend to relax in their homes with their owners. However, while they’re not the most active breed, they still enjoy things that help them burn off their energy.

But they’re welcoming to people as well as any other animal (with the exception of socializing). Outdoor spaces will give them hours of enjoyment and exercise. Apartments, however, can cause them to feel cramped and could cause stress.

Similar to other hunter dogs and hounds, the Navarro is a pack dog. If they want to be happy and satisfied, the Navarro will require an unambiguous leader in the pack. This is a good reason to take the dog on strolls and heeling them along and behind.

When they know where they stand in the crowd and are aware of their position, they are more relaxed and willing to interact with others around them. This is evident in a calm, docile and calm manner, but with a sense of curiosity towards those surrounding them.

      5. Ratonero Bodeguero

Ratonero Bodeguero

Highlights: Athletic, Lively, Agile

This Spanish breed’s name gives a clue to its personality. It was initially developed as a breed and used to hunt mice and rats in wineries located in Andalusia, Spain. This breed of dog is now sought-after by its athleticism and vivacious temperament.

Your dog’s look could bring back memories to your Jack Russell Terrier, with some even going as far as to name the dog Spanish Jack Russell. This is not a coincidence because both breeds have Fox Terrier genetics in their bloodlines. The difference is in where they were crossed.

It is believed that the Andalusian Rat Terrier was most likely brought to the regions in Jerez via Jerez, located in the British Isles. As such, they became popular for their lithe body and ability to catch rats from between barrels of wine, protecting the quality of this ever-popular commodity.

 INTERESTING FACTS. The Ratonero Bodeguero Andaluz is referred to as the Spanish Jack Russell because of their similar physical appearance and temperament. These dogs were developed in southern Spain to hunt down vermin that plagued the many wineries in the area. Despite their long history, it wasn’t until the year 2000 that the Royal Canine Society of Spain finally declared them an official native Spanish dog breed.

Andalusian Rat Terrier Temperament

With their extensive history of hunts (or, in other words, the act of ratting), the Andalusian Rat Terrier enjoys the thrill of a chase. They can be extremely active and lively when they are out on the field. Additionally, they enjoy playing with other dogs.

The Andalusian Terriers also are alert and bright. Their breeding background guarantees that they’re always on alert, keeping a watchful eye for any threats to their owner. They’re excellent watchdogs.

As a result of their genes and being productive, they don’t want to sit around for too long in the sun. They prefer to be active and engaged in something exciting. It doesn’t matter if it’s playing with their owners or simply playing in the yard, dreaming about chasing rats; they need to play.

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         6. Andalusian Hound

Andalusian Hound

Highlights: Playful, Loyal, Energetic

As the name suggests, this breed originates from Andalusia, located south of Spain’s Iberian Peninsula. Since their discovery in the past, they’ve traveled across the nation.

There are caves where you will find artifacts that have a striking resemblance to the breed in the area. But, despite the mythical appeal of this breed, genetic tests suggest the breed not to be as ancient as originally believed.

There are several variations of this breed. They also come in medium, small, and large sizes. However, one thing that is universally shared is their incredible senses. The sight, hearing, and smell are all phenomenal. INTERESTING FACTS. 

The Andalusian Hound is truly an ancient breed, as there are many cave paintings of them on the Iberian Peninsula. It’s widely believed that these dogs were brought into Spain over 3,000 years ago by the ancient Phoenicians. However, there isn’t much evidence. Although these dogs were around for several decades, it was never a breed standard that was used to describe the Andalusian Hound before the 1990s.

Andalusian Podenco Temperament

They are extremely energetic and require an active dog owner to match their energy. They were designed for hunting and chasing things around. To keep them entertained, you’ll need to find a way to channel their energy. Catch or Frisbee could be a good choice.

They also play a lot, whatever size. The smaller version of an Andalusian Hound may be better if you have smaller youngsters because they often become entangled in their unending energy.

A part of their hunter’s tradition also gave them a desire to please a confident owner. I wouldn’t suggest it to owners who aren’t experienced, however. They’ll do better with strict, consistent training, that is, if you desire a loyal dog.

             7. Catalan Sheepdog

Catalan Sheepdog 1

Highlights: Courageous, Intelligent, Reserved

The famous Catalan Sheepdog (or Gos datura Catala) is another identified breed with a shaggy coat from head to tail. The Spanish dog is from Catalonia, a region located in northeast Spain. Think Barcelona.

They’re a breed of Catalan Pyrenean breed; however, they’re primarily shepherds or sheepdogs. From a distance, they may appear to be one big mess of uniform colored fur; however, when you look closer, you’ll see that they’re made of various colored hairs.

One of the unique characteristics of this breed is that they molt in two phases starting with the front portion of their body before the rear part. It’s the result that, at the end of the initial phase, you’ll be left with the appearance of a dog who looks like it didn’t shed half its fur, and it is believed that the dog came out of Catalonia, Spain. Many believe that they were born within the Pyrenean valley instead.

During the Spanish Civil War in the 1930s, Catalan sheepdogs were used as guard dogs, messenger dogs, and for other tasks. Nearing their extinction during the 70s, a small group of interested people in the breed revived it. They are now increasing in popularity slowly.

Catalan Sheepdog Temperament

A sheepdog is a must, the ultimate Sheepdog; this Spanish breed is naturally strong. They’re prepared to defend and protect their owners if a necessity arises. They were designed to perform this task by flocks of sheep.

As you’ll notice, Catalans can be suspicious of strangers in many breeds, with a history of working with animals. For instance, how do they ensure that the person they’ve met isn’t out to steal the sheep of their owners?

A notable aspect of this dog is its aptitude and ability to compete in agility races and other dog-related sports. In general, they possess abundant energy and are content to use it for their owners.

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            8. Galgos Espanol

Galgos Espanol

Highlights: Sensitive, Athletic, Calm

The first thing you’ll be able to notice is the classic Greyhound body. It’s slender and elegant. This is not surprising, considering they’re known as the “Spanish Greyhound.” However, its roots are a bit more complicated than it appears.

They trace their roots back to Asian breeds brought into Spain through the Moors. The first cross-breeding was initiated with the local hunting dogs. This led to the end product being the most hare-hunting dogs Spain could have ever seen.

In the end, the breed was further refined to perfection through careful breeding using Greyhound genetics until it became a dog suitable for the kings of the world literally. This breed of Spanish Greyhound was a favorite pet for Spanish Kings for their hunting skills.

INTERESTING facts

 Initially, the breed was designed for the elite. However, petty thieves started stealing and breeding them, making them a plight on the market. There are many theories about the dog’s history. One popular theory is that they evolved through the cross-breeding of the Irish Greyhound with the Sloughi. These dogs were named for the Celtic tribe, known as Gauls. The Gauls lived in their home on the Iberian Peninsula during the 6th century.

Spanish Greyhound Temperament

Spanish Greyhounds are very laid-back dogs despite their small size and athletic capabilities. Although they’re always ready to test their athletic abilities, they’re equally content to lounge around with their cherished pet owners.

They can be extremely tender and loving. However, when it comes to strangers, they tend to be more cautious, preferring to stay away until they have become acquainted with someone. The sensitivity and affection they show extend to children, too, and they are extremely protective of them.

Positively, it appears that the Spanish Greyhound does get along well with other dogs. But with cats or smaller animals, let’s be honest and say they are fans of the thrill of a good chase. Due to their prey drive, they thrive in homes with no pets.

              9. Spanish Mastiff

Spanish Mastiff

Highlights: Devoted, Solitary, Laid-Back

With their droopy ears, skin, and eyes that are gentle yet curious, Spanish Mastiffs will always be easily identifiable. They don’t just possess the classic mastiff looks but also the confidence and courage of their temperaments.

They’re massive, and rightfully so since they were bred to guard livestock against predators of greater size, such as the wolf. However, they became more well-known in times like the Middle Ages when such dangers were more than a threat to Shepherd’s life.

Today, Spanish Mastiffs are as likely to protect the couch as they are to protect the sheep flock. They’re not as aggressive and intimidating as other mastiffs, making them the ideal large pets in the home.

INTERESTING facts. 

The Spanish Mastiff is believed to have been introduced into the Iberian Peninsula by the Greeks and Phoenicians more than two thousand years ago. The off-white coat makes the herding dogs blend alongside the flock of sheep. It also helps the sheep to be able to distinguish their dog’s appearance in the face of predators. In 1526, during the mass movement that included 3.5 million Merino sheep, a huge number of Spanish Mastiffs joined the group.

Spanish Mastiff Temperament

Despite their past as guard dogs, this Spanish Mastiff is a large, adoring pet, at the very least, to their owner. They are extremely loyal to their owners and can be a good companion for strangers when they are properly adjusted.

However, they are likely to have difficulty getting along well with the other dog breeds. However, this may be addressed by a careful approach to training and socialization. They are among the most relaxed dogs that you can imagine. They are more enthralled by nothing than relaxing and lying down.

They’re fine to go for runs, but don’t get amazed if a jog that is light quickly transforms into a brisk stride before turning into the slow pace of a stroll. In addition, they may be best suited to the countryside, not urban communities.

           10. Ibizan Hound

 Ibizan Hound

Highlights: Playful, Gentle, Intelligent

There’s something almost feline, maybe like a deer, in this elegant breed. The long legs, the straight triangular ears, and short snout create an impression of alertness. However, that’s not to say that they don’t make excellent family dogs.

The Ibizan Hound is an authentic dog with lightning-fast speeds and endurance. They were created to hunt rabbits and other smaller creatures, and they are barreling towards where they can run at a staggering speed of 40mph!

This Spanish breed has its roots further back than the majority of people. About 5000 years back to Ancient Egypt, that is. It’s more likely that they didn’t travel across to Spain until in the eighth century AD and reached the Ibizan Island. INTERESTING Artifacts from the past suggest evidence that Ibizan Hounds have been around for a long time. Ibizan Hound has existed for more than five thousand years.

The first pair of Ibizan Hounds arrived in America in the USA, in 1956, when Colonel and Mrs. Consuelo Seoane imported these dogs to Rhode Island. On Ibiza, the Ibiza island, they were hunted to track rabbits and Hare.

Ibizan Hound Temperament

They are alert and active dogs who enjoy playing with their owners. They’re friendly with the family, whether they are adults or children. They get very well with other canines. However, they may be slightly skeptical about accepting strangers.

This is manifested as the avoidance of aggression, not necessarily a threat. Actually, they’re quite gentle and smart. They’re fantastic watchdogs, but don’t count on them to protect you. They’ll instead notify you.

The most important thing to consider is that they tend to love the pursuit of small animals or even catching them. This is a fact that runs through their blood. But, if they’re familiar with small pets from an early time, they might be influenced to view them as a family and not as food.

           11. Presa Canario

 Presa Canario

Highlights: Dominant, Careful, Confident

Despite the title, the dog has no resemblance to the petite and adorable canary bird. The name, however, comes from its origin, which is it is the Canary Islands. Particularly, they are from Grand Canaria and Tenerife as well as the Grand Canaria Islands.

The Presa Canario or Canary Mastiff was bred to be used to guard and herd cattle in the earlier days. The breed was born out of breeders who cross-bred different Mastiff breeds and local cattle dogs in the Canary Islands.

It resulted from a huge big dog, which helped the locals protect the livestock they had. Apart from their impressive size, one of their distinctive characteristics is that they sport lots of skin! In reality, their loose skin is often covered with wrinkles, giving them a floppy, lazy look. INTERESTING Facts

 The mastiffs were initially developed to guard farms in their islands in the Canary Islands. They were often used to fight and take out wild dogs who tried to steal food from farms. In Spain and neighboring countries, these Canary Mastiffs were the dogs that were used in illicit dog fights. In 1996 they were recognized by the American Kennel Club recognized the Presa in the Foundation Stock Service.

Presa Canario Temperament

The breed was bred for herding, so they are quite dominant. It is also important to anticipate an active and energetic dog. Due to this, they typically get along with dogs that aren’t too intimidating.

As you would expect, the Presa Canario is a confident and shrewd dog, similar to mastiffs. A portion of their breed has created a character that can know what’s best and expects other dogs to do the same. This is why they’re great for experienced and strong owners.

With their owners, the Spanish dogs can build bonds of trust. Despite their size, they can be extremely compassionate and affectionate. It will take some time for them to become friends with strangers, as you would expect from dogs that guard.

          12. Pyrenean Mastiff

Pyrenean Mastiff

Highlights: Courageous, Humble, Gentle

Another magnificent mastiff dog breed, The Pyrenean Mastiff, has been described as a formidable animal worthy of its mastiff label. Although the origins are unclear, it is widely believed that they descend from the molasses of the Assyrian Empire.

Being in a secluded area of the Pyrenees Mountains meant they developed independently from their closest relatives, The Great Pyrenees and Spanish Mastiff. Although the two breeds share a lot of the same characteristics, however, the Mastiff can weigh up to 250 pounds!

The imposing dogs aren’t just to be displayed. They were developed to guard and protect groups of flocks from dangerous predators. They can still defend themselves and fight in the face of perceived threats or when they are needed.

INTERESTING facts.

 There’s evidence to suggest that the dogs are more than 3000 years old, making them one of the oldest breeds of dogs that originate from Spain. Pyrenean Mastiffs were at the edge of disappearance following the advent of rail (shipping sheep was less expensive) and the two World Wars. Despite being a long-standing breed, they were not recognized as such by Kennel Club until 2001 and then by the AKC in 2014.

Pyrenean Mastiff Temperament

In general, a Pyrenean Mastiff is peaceful and calm most of the time. They keep their power and strength to use when required. With their observant eyes, only a handful of humans or animals will be able to pass this Pyrenean Mastiff.

They’re completely different when they encounter familiar faces and strangers. As guard dogs, they are generally aloof to strangers. They are gentle towards their family pets, including children and other dogs in the group.

Large dogs such as the Pyrenean Mastiff can’t withstand prolonged periods of exercise. They indeed require physical activity. However, their bones take a long time to develop fully. Do not overdo it when running dogs.

           13. Spanish Water Dog

 Spanish Water Dog

Highlights: Diligent, Affectionate, Protective

Another Spanish breed with a unique look is the perro of agua Espanol, also known as the Spanish Water Dog. With thick curly fur since birth, they’re an ideal match for people who possess top grooming skills or as you may think.

However, despite the desire to cut or trim, their coats shouldn’t be completely cut or trimmed! Instead, shearing is the best way to go at least every year. It’s also interesting that brushing is not allowed, making these dogs fairly low-maintenance.

As with other Spanish breeds, the one is known as a herding and sheepdog dog. But, they also performed certain side-jobs as a gun-dog. They were responsible for locating and removing small game for hunters, mainly from water, thus the name.

Spanish Water Dog has a smaller history, only 100 years, and his roots are unclear. But, it is believed to have traveled to Spain through Turkey. However, we are unable to verify this yet. INTERESTING facts about Spain’s Water Dogs have been recorded in The Iberian Peninsula as early as 1100 CE. In Spain and neighboring countries, they were known as the canary Mastiffs were the breed preferred for illicit dog fights. After being nearly extinct in the past, the Spanish Water Dog was revived by two enthusiastic people, Antonio Garcia Perez and Santiago Montesinos.

Spanish Water Dog Temperament

Like most dogs with a background in shepherding or guarding are work dogs. They’ll defend their homes according to their instincts with the greatest attention and care. Also, with their 20-inch-high height, they’re definitely not an animal that burglars can easily wipe off.

Spanish Water Dogs are also very intelligent. When they are at home, they are eager to please temperament, which means that training doesn’t have to be so bad. Even in the event that they don’t help with livestock herds, they’re willing to assist their owners.

Though not socially inclined, they learn to accept and appreciate being with strangers when given early education. But whatever their feelings towards strangers, they’re loved, affectionate, and loyal to their pet owners.

       14. The Great Pyrenees

The Great Pyrenees

Highlights: Intelligent, Patient, Docile

As the name suggests, the name implies that Great Pyrenees is a massive dog that is a part of the region that divides France from Spain and is known as the Pyrenees Mountains. While some might claim that they are French dogs, they cannot be denied their popularity.

The 100-pound dogs were trained to guard sheep in the mountains for a long time. Although they’re surprisingly peaceful and gentle dogs, their primary function is to act as an effective deterrent to predators such as bears and wolves.

The Great Pyrenees are absolutely amazing. Their bravery is what has made them iconic dogs for mountain farmers. They’ve effortlessly transitioned from the ultimate protector into the most loving and affectionate family dog in the present. 

INTERESTING facts.

 Breed to guard flocks of sheep. The Great Pyrenees is naturally a breed that is nocturnal in its breed. Fossils of the Great Pyrenees have been found dating back to the Bronze Age (1900-1000 BC) over three thousand years ago! After that, the Saint Bernard breed was almost removed from the avalanche and distemper. Together with other breeds, the Pyrenees revived their status as Saint Bernard.

Great Pyrenees Temperament

It’s no doubt that the Great Pyrenees is a wonderful pet for all kinds of people. Due to their gentle nature, they’re among the top large dog breeds for kids. They’ve earned them their reputation as exceptional Nanny dogs.

Despite their size, the Great Pyrenees isn’t particularly active. Nonetheless, that doesn’t mean that the Pyrenees does not require exercise, but they’re more active than larger dogs. When they are protecting animals, they will reduce their energy consumption.

The Pyrenees aren’t as responsive when it comes to learning tricks and commands; however, they’re extremely clever dogs. But, they are sometimes obstinate and hard-headed, and a new trainer or owner isn’t the best for them.

15. Papillon (Phalene)

Papillon (Phalene)

Highlights: Energetic, Petite, Curious

Although Spain isn’t the only one that claims the breed of dog, they merit a place on this list due to their long-standing popularity and past within the country. Then again, not only have the French been the first to claim these breeds, but so have the Belgian too.

This Spanish canine breed may be older than other breeds on this list yet is still a part of the same family for more than 500 years. Over the centuries, they’ve been attentive and caring companions for the noble ladies of Europe. That’s why they’re still the most sought-after companions of today.

Don’t get too confused. Both Papillon, and the Phalene, are, in reality, two different variations of a single breed, with the sole distinction being their ears.

The Papillon is named this way due to its ears being erect. It has frilled fur that wraps around its face and creates a butterflies’ appearance (Papillon is the French word used to describe a butterfly). The Phalene (French meaning “moth”) is identical, with smaller ears. 

INTERESTING Facts 

It was the French who brought the Papillon famous. Some people believed that the Papillon originated from China and was derived from the dog, which later became known as the Pekingese. The dogs were brought in the court of Louie XIV and became extremely sought-after by people of the French Royalty. These dogs were painted by some of the world’s most well-known artists, such as Goya, Rubens, and Rembrandt.

Papillon Temperament

The Papillon is an extremely active dog; it tends to be displayed at games, not long and exhausting runs. They’re always up to a game with kids, adults, and even other animals due to their friendly and playful manner of living.

Due to their bursts of energy, they’re extremely popular for agility contests, where dogs’ agility and intelligence truly shine. In reality, they’re extremely curious and highly intelligent (top 10 most intelligent among the 138 breeds).

Although having a smart dog could be appealing, it may sometimes appear as if they’re doing something naughty, frequently doing things that cause a mess. But, they’re keen to learn and show plenty of love for their pet owners.

This shouldn’t be an issue if they are properly trained in obedience. As long as they’re engaged in many mentally stimulating activities, their children’s behavior should remain within control. While they are generally pleasant and confident, they can become withdrawn when they meet strangers.

Let us know in the comments below Which Spanish canine breed is your favorite? Do you have one of these breeds?

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