A question from a reader about their “Andaluc Mastiff” prompted us to investigate the breed, but we never found such a critter. We did, however, come across the Andalusian Hound of Spain. We never stop learning!
The Andalusian Hound is a warren hound, and for anyone wondering, a “warren hound” is a Mediterranean hare-hunting dog. In Spanish, these breeds are called podencos, and in Portuguese, they are called podengos, but the Andalusian is not a Portuguese Pondengo, nor is it one of the other warren hound breeds that include the Galician Podengo, Podenco Canario, Podenco Maneto, Podenco Malagueño, Podenco Campanero, Podenco Orito, Podenco Patenero, and the Ibizan Hound for which it is often mistaken. While related to the others, the Andalusian Hound (aka Podenco Andaluz) is its own breed, but despite its antiquity, it wasn’t recognized by the Royal Spanish Dog Society until 1992, and only after Phillipe Bloque-Rentón and faculty members from the University of Córdoba’s School of Veterinary Medicine researched the breed and presented their findings at the second Spanish dog breeds symposium.
As mentioned, it is thought by some to be one of the oldest Spanish breeds in the world, but in general, Pondecos are also the most abused dog in Spain, and shamefully, unprotected by Spanish law. For that reason, they are often referred to as ‘Invisible Dogs’ or ‘The Great Forgotten.” Bred to hunt, these dogs are victims of horrid conditions, primitive and cruel superstitions, and regarded as expendable. We’ll leave it at that, but there are various rescue groups working to save these dogs.
The Andalusian comes in three main sizes: Small (talla chica), medium (talla mediana), and large (talla grande). There is a dwarf variant of the “medium” size, but we’ll cover that in a different post. The breed also has three coat varieties: Long haired, Wire Haired, or Short Haired, and its color may be cinnamon, shades of cinnamon, white, or shades of white.
As hunters, they are known for their heightened senses, methodical work style, and impressive stamina and endurance under hot and dry conditions. Traditionally, when the Andalusian hunts, it’s often paired with a Spanish Greyhound, its job to flush out hares.
Andalusians have enormous personalities. They are quick to learn, wicked smart, very affectionate, and extremely loyal to their people. They are keen to please their person, but if treated unkindly, an Andalusian Hound will lose respect for its owner, and will not happily perform the tasks asked of it. Smart dog!
Image found uncredited on-line and happily attributed upon receipt of information