Helping Other Sighthounds
The Galgo Rescue International Network is dedicated not only to the welfare of the Spanish galgo, but also to sighthounds worldwide. We work to rescue non-galgo dogs in need, like Merlin an American-bred lurcher who had been hit by a car and suffered multiple pelvic fractures and a pnemothorax. Merlin required surgery to be able to walk so G.R.I.N. gladly stepped in to help. He is now almost fully rcovered and is living happily in a loving home!
G.R.I.N. is also trying to organize a transport of Ibizan hounds from Spain to the United States. Recently, a horrifying discovery was made on the island of Ibiza. An indiscriminant breeder had bred countless numbers of Ibizans and turned them loose to fend for themselves. Many of the dogs are fearful of humans and have severe injuries. Scooby Protectora De Animales is helping with rescue efforts, and we hope to be able to provide homes for at least a few of these forgotten dogs of Ibiza.
The Lurcher was originally bred in Ireland and England and used for hunting. It is a mix of breeds, typically a greyhound or other sightound mixed with a terrier or a herding dog, giving it greater stamina. The original lurchers in the UK were bred out of necessity. For centuries it was illegal for a commoner to own a purebred sighthound. Hunters who wanted the skill of the sighthound bred them to other breeds to obtain the fast, agile, and strong dogs – while diminishing the sighthound appearance just enough to legally own them.
The lurcher is a very smart, obedient and loving dog, still used for hunting and sometimes bred in the US for coyote hunting. They are more energetic than greyhounds, but yet have many of the endearing characteristics greyhound lovers adore.
The American Staghound
The American Staghound is similar to the lurcher but has its roots in American history. Bred as a cross of greyhound, deerhound, and other sighthounds, the staghound is bred for its ability to hunt. Unlike the European dogs, the staghound’s past is not as dark. General Custer and Theodore Roosevelt both owned and loved staghounds, using them for hunting and companionship. The staghound is not an AKC recognized breed, but enthusiasts care little about pedigree as the ability to hunt is their primary concern.
The staghound, like the lurcher and galgo, can come in a variety of coats and colors. They are much like the greyhound in energy level, though they are not quite as fast but have greater endurance. Like most sighthounds, the staghound is a lovely dog, both in appearance and personality.
What, you might ask, is the difference between a galgo, lurcher, staghound, and a greyhound mix? To a certain degree it boils down to symantics. All three breeds are, in fact, sighthound mixes. But their origin and purpose, as well as the type of mix, dictate how they are categorized.
Sadly, the true mixes – greyhounds and other sighthounds mixed with labs, pit bulls, hounds, etc. are often left behind. Just as with any breed rescue there are indiscriminant litters born, and because they are not “purebred” they are left by the wayside, often euthanized before they ever have a chance at life.These dogs are just as deserving as their purebred cousins and they desperately need our help. Please don’t turn a blind eye to them just because they aren’t given a name.These wonderful “mutts” deserve a chance at a loving home. Dog lovers all over the world fall in love with a certain “type” of dog, and the mixes greatly resemble in personality the type that sighthound enthusiasts love.
It is fortunate that greyhound mixes are not seen in the great abundance that other mixes are. Due to the segregation of greyhounds in racing and the vigilance of greyhound rescue groups, there is a much smaller population of unaltered greyhounds at large. But there are unscrupulous individuals who refuse to alter their animals and, as with any breed, the indiscriminant breeding of greyhounds does occur.