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The Sabueso Español (FCI No. 204) (translated
into English as the Spanish Hound;
sabueso means bloodhound) is a medium-large breed of dog of the scenthound type, originally bred for tracking wounded
game and small game such as rabbits. Originating in Spain, the modern breed was
developed from an ancestral type that was used for hunting as early
as the fourteenth century.
The Sabueso Español has a very large head and very long drop
ears, similar to the Bloodhound or Basset Hound in appearance. The broad,
powerful body is much longer than it is tall, but the breed is not
dwarfed. Size is noticeably different for males (52 to 57 cm at the
withers) and females (48 to
53 cm). While working, the dog holds its long tail up, sabre
fashion. The colour is white and orange, from a pale lemon colour
to an intense russet-brown. Faults (which indicate that the dog should
not be bred) include frail appearance, cow-hocked, aggression or
shyness, too short in the back, split nose, overshot or undershot
mouth, long or wolly fur, or off colours.
The ancestors of the Sabueso Español were known in the Middle
Ages, and are described in the Libro de la Montería de Alfonso XI
by Alfonso XI (fourteenth century) as well
as by Argote de Molina (1582).
The breed was used to hunt wild boar, deer, roe deer, fox, wolf, and bear as well as small game, and to track and find
wounded or dead game. A unique feature of the breed is its call
while on the trail of game, which is used by the dog to communicate
the type of track it is following as well as its position to the
hunt testing is done by the Club del Sabueso Español y Razas Afines
The Sabueso Español is most frequently used in hunting rabbits, and so is
sometimes called in English the Spanish Beagle. The breed
is recognised in its home country as an indigenous breed, and
internationally by the Fédération
Cynologique Internationale as breed number 204 as a
medium-sized scenthound. The breed is recognised in North America
by the United Kennel Club as of 1996. The
breed is also recognized byminor registries, hunting clubs, and
internet-based dog registry businesses, and promoted as a rare breed
for those seeking a unique pet.
The breed standard describes the
ideal temperament as "calm" and courageous on the hunt.
In general, dogs bred as hunting hounds do not make good pets. Temperament of individual dogs