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The Spanish Hound Temperament: Independent but Devoted

The Spanish Hound temperament is not for everyone. He is an exceptional scenthound from Spain who is also called the Sabueso Español.

He can be independent and willful, but he is also devoted and affectionate. In the right hands, he can make a wonderful family companion.

Spanish Hound Temperament

1. Intelligent

Like most hunting dogs, the Spanish Hound is smart and learns easily.

2. Independent

He has a history of hunting alone or with only one or two other dogs. Because of this, the Spanish Hound temperament is quite independent.

3. Affectionate

He is a loving dog, though, and does enjoy spending time with his human family.

4. Even-tempered

The Spanish Hound temperament is calm and gentle when he’s not working. He’s a good family companion once he accepts that he’s not in charge.

5. Loyal

The Spanish Hound tends to be devoted to his family members.

6. Lively

The Spanish Hound temperament is enthusiastic and lively. He can be playful with kids, but he does not do well with rough play or teasing. He needs to be supervised around small children.

7. Sociable

The Spanish Hound enjoys human interaction. In the right hands, he is a good companion dog.

8. Courageous

He is a very brave hunter. He has traditionally worked hunting bear and wild boar, and he doesn't back down.

9. Temperamental

The Spanish Hound temperament can be cheerful and lively, but he can also be moody. When not working, he may or may not wish to follow commands. He needs a firm and consistent leader.

10. Stubborn

The Spanish Hound can be willful. It’s not always easy to deal with this part of the Spanish Hound temperament.

11. High Prey Drive

He is a scenthound, after all. He may leave house pets alone if you train him to. But he is always going to chase an interesting scent when he can.

Spanish Hound History

The Sabueso Español is an ancient breed of hunting dog. Historians believe his history goes back as far as the Middle Ages on the Iberian Peninsula.

The breed is mentioned in literature going back to the 1300s. For most of its existence, this dog has been used to hunt deer and wild boar.

Interestingly, the breed appears to have originated in France, though no one knows for sure. It was known there as the Chien Courant Espagnol. It likely descended from St. Hubert Hounds (Bloodhounds).

Once there were two size variants of this dog: the Sabueso Español de Monte (or Large Spanish Hound) and the Español Lebrero (Small Spanish Hound). The Lebrero is now extinct.

As with most European breeds, war took its toll on the Sabueso Español. The breed also became less popular as hunters switched to German and English hunting breeds.

By the end of the Spanish Civil War, this breed was near extinction.

In more recent years, the Spaniard Antonio Lopez Milan began selectively breeding the Spanish Hound back to its original form. In 1982, the breed standard was written.

The Spanish Hound was accepted by the Federation Cynologique Internationale (FCI) in 1996. The United Kennel Club (UKC) accepted the breed in 1957.

This breed is still used for hunting in Spain, but it is not as popular as it once was. These days, it hunts mainly smaller game such as rabbit and fox.

Spanish Hound Training

The Spanish Hound is a training challenge for most people. He can be moody and stubborn. He does become attached to his owner, but he’s not likely to be blindly obedient.

This dog needs a firm, no-nonsense leader. But firmness needs to be balanced with positive reinforcement training methods. This isn’t always an easy balance to find.

Because of the Spanish Hound traits of