Reub's journey

19 August 2011

Dogs of Spain and Germany

I have a huge soft spot for German Shepherds.  The two GSDs that we have owned were the gentlest, mellowest dogs we've ever had. This boy was in Solsona, Spain, and he had learned how to open closed doors (although he had yet to close one behind him.)
I can't help but notice dogs when I travel.

A worshipful dog gracing Gaudi's Sagrada Familia, Barcelona, along with his family. I think that he is very likely a Portuguese Water Dog, like Eddy.  PWDs graced the coasts of both Spain and Portugal for centuries.

In Spain, we noticed them everywhere, usually well-kept and going out for evening walks with their owners.

In Germany it was the same thing, and because we were with outdoors-men we saw a lot of lucky dogs accompanying their masters in the workplace: the forests.

 I took zillions of pictures of animal gargoyles in the cities of Spain and Germany.

But my favorite gargoyle of all was this watchful little terrier in Barcelona...

...although this hound dog looks alive enough to jump out of the stone wall, and I liked him too. Definitely a "him."

We spent a good bit of time in the Pyrenees, but this fellow was the closest thing I could find to the breed we know as the Great Pyrenees.

Look at this scary guy, guarding a building in Frankfurt, Germany. He must have been effective because the building made it through WWII unscathed.

Luckily all of the real live German dogs we met were much less scary. Since most of the time spent there was in the vicinity of foresters, it wasn't surprising that almost every dog we encountered was their breed of choice, a hunting dog, the German Spaniel.

Germans don't consider this dog a spaniel. He's called the Deutscher Wachtelhund, which is how the UKC registers him, but this breed is uncommon in the US and not registered yet by the AKC.  He needs a ton of exercise, loves the water, will hunt anything, wants to be indoors with you, and needs a strong leader.

The Germans say that "a wachtelhund will abuse any weakness you provide". Look at this boy, laying patiently on the cold floor of Frederick I's castle, through a boring presentation about German land tenure. He is waiting for the instant that his leader tells him it's over. Just like the rest of us! Good, good dog.


  1. love those shots of pups around the world.

  2. I'm just like you, I always notice the dogs, wherever I go. I speak to them first and then to their owners.

    A Wachtelhund is a working dog. 'Wachtel' means quail which is, of course, a game bird.

    I envy you your lovely holiday.

  3. You really did find some wonderful dogs to photograph! This was a fun post!

  4. twg: pups=fun

    Friko: Funny that you speak to the dogs first...I just realized that I often do that too.

    I didn't know that wachtel means quail, but that makes perfect sense; these are quintessential hunting dogs.

    egw: Thanks!

  5. land tenure? I don't even know what that means.

    I love the way you're telling us about your travels, writing theme posts. Very cool.

  6. Hi Reya, "Land tenure," as far as I can tell, has to do with the way land ownership is structured; it varies according to a culture's rules and traditions, and is affected by changes and trends in that society. It's not boring at all, and I shouldn't have said that it was. (Just that it had been a long day by the time we listened to that talk.)

    In Germany's Black Forest, land has been divided among the children for so long that parcels are now tiny, so small that many owners have ceased to care about their wee forests; this has been a problem, and that was what the talk was about.

  7. Fabulous photos..

    Great post...

    Good doggies, all!

  8. Thanks Jo! I'm going to see if I can make a goes:

  9. What? It didn't work? How did you DO that?


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