What Are Split Nosed Dogs?

The Catalburun (Turkey), Pachon Navarro (Spain), and Andean Tiger-hound (South America) perpetuate the split nose characteristic in their native areas, originating from 12th century Spanish hunting cultures. Solidifying the split nose for future generations probably was originally stimulated by the belief that two noses held superior scenting ability. Even though Catalburun enthusiasts claim they breed has one of the strongest sense of scent of the hunter/pointer breeds, no scientific data has yet to show keener scenting abilities over dogs with single noses.

Also contrary to popular belief, split nosed dogs do not have higher rates of being cleft palated or bearing cleft palated puppies. We see dogs with cleft palates in the U.S. news, but not usually split or doubled nosed dogs. This may be because of the breeds' lack of infiltration in the U.S. Unlike cleft palates, split noses do not generally present any health challenges for the pup.

In 1978 the Central Canine Society of Madrid created a preservation campaign for these three rare breeds after a virus called myxomatosis in the 1950s almost wiped them out.