Pachón Navarro

Pippa Elliott
Dr Pippa Elliott (BVMS MRCVS, University of Glasgow)
Photo of adult Pachón Navarro
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Do you know there is a breed of dog that has a double nose? The breed is called the Pachón Navarro: This hound has a nose that is fully divided down the centre so that it looks as if he has two noses. The double nose came about by selective breeding for dogs with a superior sense of smell. As it happened, having the appearance of two noses makes no difference when following a scent. But it’s easy to see why previous owners in centuries gone by might think this.

Indeed, the Pachón Navarro is an old breed. They hale from a region close to the Pyrenees Mountains in Spain, called Navarre. A working dog that excels at tracking birds, he makes a friendly and active companion for the right person.

About & History

The Pachón Navarro is a venerable breed originating from Spain. They reached peak popularity amongst Spanish nobility in the 18th and 19th century. However, after the Spanish Civil War their numbers declined dramatically to the point of dying out altogether.

It took the work of dedicated Pachón Navarro enthusiasts to save the breed from extinction. They toured rural Spanish villages to find the last remaining dogs and then undertook controlled breeding to resurrect this distinctive dog’s numbers.

The Pachón Navarro is sometimes also referred to as the Old Spanish Pointer. This is a little confusing because the breed is a close descendent of a breed with the same exact name (Old Spanish Pointer) but is not identical. Sadly, the original Old Spanish Pointer now no longer exists, but their legacy includes several other closely related breeds including the Majorcan Pointer, Galician Pointer, and the Burgos Pointer.

Intriguingly, the Pachón Navarro’s ancestor, the Old Spanish Pointer, is thought to have shared blood with the ancient (and now extinct) Talbot Hound with roots dating back to the 12th century.


The Pachón Navarros is a medium to large sized dog, and every inch a pointer-type. He has a stout, workmanlike body; strong, heavy legs; a straight tail; and delightful drop ears. To look at him is to see echoes of other pointer type dogs, such as the German Shorthaired Pointer. However, he is slightly heavier boned and may have pronounced skin folds, especially around the jowls and chin.

The Pachón Navarros has a unique feature in the distinctive anatomy of his nose. Instead of having a discrete crease marking the centre of his nose, the Pachón Navarros’ nose is completely divided into a distinct left and right. This gives the appearance of having two separate noses. In fact, this is an optical illusion, but it’s an understandable mistake to make, that the Pachón Navarros might be blessed with a superior ability to track odours.

Nose aside, the Pachón Navarros usually has a short coat. However, occasional pups are born with a longer coat, which is soft and silky to the touch. Typically the coat colour is a white background with tan, liver, or orange patches or flecks. The latter is officially known as ticking, and refers to localised flecks of hair that are a different colour to the main white coat.

Character & Temperament

The Pachón Navarros is an active character that loves to track and hunt, especially birds. He is an active dog that thrives on plenty of outdoor exercise, preferably off-leash. This makes him a great companion for active owners, but a poor match for sedentary apartment life.

One of the great things about Pachón Navarros is how they love the company of people. They love it so much to the point that this breed will be miserable if kept in an outdoor kennel away from his owner. The Pachón Navarro also has a laudable reputation for being friendly and even tempered. He’s prepared to live and let live, be that with people, children, or other dogs. But he does draw the line at birds. That instinct to hunt and retrieve birds is too deeply ingrained to make for an easy relationship with our feathered friends.

However, whilst the Pachón Navarro doesn’t look for trouble, he’s no push-over. When challenged, he will protect and defend, and this courage makes him a good watchdog. Lastly, one of the sweetest traits of the Pachón Navarro's character is for retrieving. From a young age, these pups love to pick up objects and carry them around. But beware if they don’t get enough exercise and mental stimulation, because the love of having things in their mouth is easily diverted into chewing.


A sociable dog that likes human company, the Pachón Navarro can be a quick learner. Their natural intelligence and eagerness to please makes them ideal candidates for reward-based training methods. This doesn’t mean an owner should accept anything less than exemplary behaviour though.

As a pack dog, the Pachón Navarro can be inclined to do their own thing rather than listen to their handler. This trait needs correction by getting the dog’s attention focused on their owner. Clear rules and consistency are key to good behaviour in this breed.


Rescued from the brink of extinction, modern day Pachón Navarros are off-spring of a narrow gene pool. Sadly, this can mean they are at greater risk of certain inheritable diseases than other breeds. These include:

Cleft Palate

That distinctive double nose is a hereditary trait. However, the gene coding for a fissure in the dog’s nose are closely related to those for a cleft palate. Puppies born with a cleft palate have difficulty nursing. Milk can pass from their mouth up into the nose and down into their lungs. These poor pups are likely to develop aspiration pneumonia, which is usually life-threating at such a young age.

Surgical correction of a cleft palate is technically possible, but anaesthesia in very young pups carries a high risk. Once successfully correct, that individual should not be used for breeding as their offspring are at high risk of having the same problem.


Epilepsy refers to a seizure condition where no underlying reason for the fits can be found. Symptoms can develop in young dogs and range in severity from mild to life-threatening.

Epilepsy can be controlled, but not cured. Fortunately, modern anti-convulsant drugs allow most dogs to lead normal lives, provided they continue to take their medications.


The Pachón Navarro is prone to having underactive thyroid glands. A lack of thyroid hormone leads to a sluggish metabolism. This is evident as a lack of energy and tendency to weight gain. This is another condition that can’t be permanently ‘cured’ but is easy to control with a simple thyroid supplement taken daily for life.

Hip Dysplasia

Poor hip anatomy leads to inflammation of the hip joint. For mildly affected dogs, simple pain relief may be sufficient. However, those most severely afflicted live in constant pain and can have difficulty moving around. For these dogs, the best solution is total hip replacement surgery, which is expensive.

Allergic Skin Disease

The signs of atopy or allergic skin disease are severe itchiness. The dog may scratch and lick to the point of developing sores and infection. There are many different treatment options for controlling the itch, which range from inexpensive steroids through to state-of-the-art immunotherapy injections that cancel out the immune response to allergens.

Exercise and Activity Levels

Like the lettering in a stick of Blackpool rock, the Pachón Navarro has a hunting instinct that runs through their very core. They are an active dog for whom tracking a scent and being energetic are as basic to them as breathing. In short, it’s essential to their health and well-being that the Pachón Navarro gets plenty of exercise. This means hours of strenuous activity each and every day. Ideally, this should also be off leash so that they get a chance to put their awesome ability to track to use and explore where that distinctive nose leads them.

On the flip side, the Pachón Navarro is ill-suited to the life of a couch potato or the confines of an apartment. They have an inbuilt energy budget for the day and if they don’t get to spend it in constructive exercise, they will divest themselves in inappropriate ways, such as chewing or destructive behaviours.


The short coat of the Pachón Navarro is easy to care for. Weekly brushing helps to spread natural conditioning oils and keep the coat in good order. Take care not to bathe your Pachón Navarro too frequently though, for fear of stripping out those oils and causing dry skin.

Famous Pachón Navarros

For beautiful photos of this unusual breed visit this page on Pinterest.


As a breed that narrowly avoided becoming extinct, breeders have focussed their efforts on maintaining numbers of purebred dogs rather than diversifying into hybrids.

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