Frequently Asked Questions

Q: How do I adopt an animal through the Sanctuary at Bluebird Lane?

A: Checkout our Adopt page.

Q: What is the adoption fee for a Galgo or Podenco from Spain?

A: $900. This includes a $100 “Walking Kit” fee so that your Galgo or Podenco arrives with a martingale, Bluebird tag collar, leash, and fleece coat.

Q: Can you give me a detailed history on my Galgo or Podenco?

A: Unfortunately no. Your dog was likely brought into rescue in Spain from a kill shelter or from the streets. They may have been handed over by a hunter, but the hunters do not typically provide information on their favorite stuffie, preferred food, whether they like to sleep in, etc. because they have never been cared for like that. It is lucky if a hunter takes the dog to a shelter or relinquishes them to a rescue group.

Q: I’m interested in a specific dog, can you provide me with more videos and photos than you have already shared?

A: If we have additional photos or videos of the dog you are interested in we will happily share them with you. However keep in mind, especially if the dog you are interested in is still with a rescue in Spain, that our rescue colleagues in Spain have their feet on the ground and are dealing with the basic survival needs of many dogs each day. They are usually stretched to the limit, maxed out on stress, and dedicate many sleepless night to caring for you future dog. This means they do not typically have time to take a quiet moment and capture additional photos and videos of the dog you are interested in.

Q: What kind of food has my Galgo or Podenco been eating in Spain?

A: If possible, we will let you know what food your dog has been eating in advance of their arrival, so you can purchase that food for an easy transition to whatever you plan to feed. If we can, we will provide you with enough of the food they’re currently eating so that you can slowly introduce them to their new food (this is not always possible, especially for dogs traveling from a foreign country). We recommend adding a little at a time (quarter cup to start) and increasing at quarter cup intervals until you are fully feeding your new food. This should only take a few days. If your dog experiences tummy upset and loose stools from the stress of the transition, you can add a tbsp. or so of canned pumpkin to their morning feeding. If loose stools or tummy upset persists, please contact your vet, as this may be a sign of something more serious.

Q: Did my Galgo or Podenco live in a house while they were in Spain and will they like living with me?

A: Your Galgo or Podenco has either been in a foster home or in a kennel setting and is used to being with their foster family and/or other pack members. Please remember, especially if you do not have other dogs, that your dog will likely miss the comfort of familiar pack members and it may take them some time to feel safe without them. They may have traveled many miles or experienced hardships in their previous life. It is your job to comfort your dog and understand their initial need to acclimate. However, dogs are resilient, and they will soon understand how wonderful it is to be loved by you!

Q: I want to change my Galgo or Podencos name when they get here; is that a good idea?

A: If your Galgo or Podenco has been in rescue or residency for longer than a few months, they will know their name. If this is the case, we ask that you think long and hard before immediately changing it. The rescue may have been the first place your Galgo or Podenco ever felt safe. The first time anyone cared for them, gave them regular meals, a soft place to sleep, a collar and name of their very own. They leave all this behind when they head to the US. The leave their friends and perhaps the only humans that have ever shown them kindness. They travel on a long and stressful flight, go many hours without eating, change time zones, and sleep very little. They likely had a few days of domestic ground travel to get “home”. They will arrive exhausted, to a life they know nothing about, and their name will be the only thing that is familiar to them. Please understand the gravity of taking their name from them, the one thing they know and associate with safety, even if you may not like their name. Make it about them, not you. And if you do decide to change their name, do it naturally in time, with their input.

Q: What kind of collar is best for my Galgo or Podenco?

A: NOT a buckle collar. The safest collar for your confident Galgo or Podenco is a martingale, because their head is slightly smaller than their neck and its easy for regular, buckle collars to slip off. If your Galgo or Podenco is skittish or nervous the safest, and only, harness we recommend is the Houndstown Safety Banner Harness (store on Etsy). Please never use a buckle collar or retractable leash on your Podenco or Gaglo.

Q: Will my Galgo or Podenco arrived house trained?

A: No. They have most likely been living in a kennel situation. It may take your new Galgo or Podenco sometime to adjust to your daily routines, feeding schedules, potty times, and bedtimes. This is especially true if they have been in a kennel setting where they can go to the bathroom whenever they want. Expect accidents in the beginning and please be patient with them, they will get it eventually! They will likely drink more water and go to the bathroom much more frequently the first couple of weeks due to stress, new foods, and the process of adjusting to a new schedule. We recommend belly bands for boys, setting an alarm for letting them out every hour or so until you know their bathroom schedule, which includes outside immediately after they eat, first thing in the morning, last thing before bed, and every couple of hours when they first get home, so they understand where to go and chances for accidents are decreased as their bodies and minds adjust to their new lives.

Q: Why does my Galgo or Podenco want to chase cats and counter surf?

A: Your Galgo or Podenco likely comes from hunting stock. They may have had to survive on the streets or in the wild. They are likely to have had a hard life with little positive human experience prior to being in rescue. They may not have received the best nutrition or care in the first part of their lives. Please keep this in mind if the very qualities that have kept them alive mean they counter surf, want to eat small furry creatures, have an intense prey drive, think nothing of jumping your fence or exhibit intense “flight” behaviors. What we may see as undesirable qualities are the very reasons your dog is even here today. Give them time and love to understand a new way of being in the world. This does not apply to every Galgo or Podenco, but in case it applies to your Galgo or Podenco, be aware and support them.

Q: Why isn’t my Galgo or Podenco just like a Greyhound/Doodle/Lab/Etc.?

A: Your Gaglo or Podenco was bred to be an independent thinker with great endurance, prey drive and focus. These are fantastic qualities, but if not channeled into positive outlets can be challenging, so please make sure to provide your dog with the patience, time, love, and mental/physical stimulation they need to thrive. This will be DIFFERENT for every dog. If your dog is nervous at first, they may be more included to chew or experience separation anxiety, so give them plenty of appropriate things to satisfy these needs, like bully sticks from grass fed animals and Himalayan chews, otherwise they may make do with your couch or slippers.

Q: Will my Galgo or Podenco like children?

A: It depends on the animal and how you allow your child to interact with them. We can’t tell you that a specific dog who has never been around children will like them. What we can tell you, is that if you do have children, it is important to make sure they are supervised as they learn to play with and handle your dog, as dogs quickly learn children are dangerous if they are handled roughly or hurt by unknowing children and this can have lasting negative effects for both hounds and children.

Q: Why isn’t my new dog relaxing with relief and jumping up and down with glee now that they have a home?

A: It can take time for a rescue dog to feel safe and relaxed in their new home. Please don’t forget the rescue, “Rule of 3’s” as your new Galgo or Podenco settles in. It can take a rescue dog 3 days to even begin to feel safe, 3 weeks for them to start to feel comfortable and safe, and 3 months before they really start to settle in and trust that they are “home” and part of a family. Some dogs need no time, some need a little time, and some need a long time to finally feel safe and really come into their own.

Q: Should I treat my new Galgo or Podenco as a flight risk?

A. PLEASE TREAT YOUR NEWLY ARRIVED POD OR GALGO AS AN EXTREME FLIGHT RISK. They are like wraiths, capable of being asleep on your couch one second and then turning into liquid smoke and flowing out a one-inch crack in your door before you even know they’ve moved. They are very capable of surviving on their own, in the rough, on the streets, or in the wild and may not have had the best experience with humans they will often see “out there” as much safer than their new home when they first arrive. They do not necessarily know they’ve won the dog lottery and that life will be grand from here on out. They have not bonded with you, they have not bonded with the other animals in your home, they do not know where they are, and they do not know how to get back home if they get out.

Q: What precautions can I take to minimize the flight risk of my new Galgo or Podenco?

A. Take extra precautions until they know they are home, safe, and bonded to you and other animals in the family. Keep them on leash when you are opening and closing doors, put gates around entrances to add an extra boundary of safety (they can jump these boundaries, but it may slow them down if they do try to get out), lock doors so they do not open and close when you don’t expect them to, use a leash at first even in your fenced yard, when it is time to graduate to no leash in the yard supervise your new dog and DO NOT leave them unattended. It is much better to be on the conservative side the first few weeks, than wish with regret that you had. When a new dog gets out it is EXTREMELY hard to get them back safely.

Q: What do I do if my Galgo or Podenco does get loose?

A. Do not panic. Do not chase and yell at them. This just reinforces that you and the house are scary. Instead, we want to draw them in. So run immediately inside for high value treats (recommend a rotisserie chicken), return quickly, crouch down, do not look at the dog, throw some of the treats around you, quietly talk to the dog and see if you can get them to come investigate the treats. If they like the car and it’s there, run to the car open the door, act like it’s exciting/happy/fun and see if they will follow you and jump in and then close the door. If they run off down the street immediately call me and I will help you implement a plan to get them. 

Q: Will my Galgo or Podenco arrive free of tropical diseases?

A: Yes. Your Galgo or Podenco will be current on all worming, vaccinations, and have tested free of Heartworm and tropical diseases. 

Q: When should I schedule my first vet visit with my new hound and what services should I request?

A: We ask that you make an appointment for a wellness exam with your vet 2 – 4 weeks after you new family member is home. 

Q: What should my vet know about Galgos and Podencos?

A: Sighthounds have different ranges of appropriate blood work levels, tend to get diagnosed with heart murmurs when the have perfectly healthy and normal hearts for sighthounds, and are extremely sensitive to certain types of anesthesia protocols. Please make sure you vet is sighthound aware before they treat your Galgo or Podenco. Your adoption packet will come with information you can give to your vet.

Q: Should I have my vet do a heartworm test?

A: Yes, 6 months after your Spanish hound arrives. Your Galgo, Podenco or other type of hound will have tested free of heartworm. However, we STRONGLY recommend that you do a baseline blood panel on your new Galgo or Podenco, and recheck for Heartworm in six months or as recommended by your veterinarian, as dogs that are exposed to Heartworm may not test positive immediately after exposure and it sometimes take up to six months after exposure to show positive for Heartworm.

Q: Should I be worried about my Galgo or Podenco having Leishmania?

A: Your Galgo or Podenco has tested negative for all tropical diseases including Leishmania. However, we recommend that you have your Galgo or Podenco tested for Leishmania the first three years after they arrive, as dogs that are exposed to Leishmania may not test positive immediately after exposure.

Q: Why do you recommend that I test my Podenco or Galgo for Leishmania yearly for the first three years after they arrive?

A: Even though your Galgo or Podenco will have tested negative for Leishmania before they can fly to the US, dogs that are exposed to Leishmania may not test positive immediately after exposure. Additionally, Leishmania can lie dormant in dogs for years, similar to how humans can test positive for antibodies to HSV-1 (the Herpes virus that causes cold sores), but never have a cold sore in their life. If your Galgo or Podenco ever becomes sick and your veterinarian is uncertain what is causing it, we recommend testing for Leishmania as an easy way to rule that out. 

Q: If my dog tests positive for Leishmania can it be transmitted to me or other dogs?

A: Leishmania is easily treatable when detected early and is not transmissible to other dogs or animals except in remote and very specific areas of Texas and Oklahoma where the vector for transmission, female phlebotomine sand flies, exist (


Q: How can I help?

A: Thank you for asking this question and please check out the “Support Our Work” page”!

Q: How can I learn more about Galgos and Podencos?

A: We recommend reading up on Galgos and Podencos so you understand the unique characteristics of these wonderful breeds! They are smart, independent, and athletic. They will do best if you keep their minds and bodies engaged, while understanding their unique emotional needs when they first

Q: Can I come to Spain with you to help with the dogs?

A: While this is such a generous offer, the answer is probably “no”. Spanish transport is incredibly exhausting, stressful, and intense. It’s not a fun filled trip to Spain for good food, wine, culture that also involves helping dogs. It is not for the feint of heart and takes a certain kind of person to do a transport run. So trust me when I say, you are lucky that I tell you “no” when you ask if you can come to Spain with me on a transport trip. 😉