Portuguese Podengo

Type: Pariah dog

Height: Grande: 22 - 28 inches. Medio: 15 - 22 inches. Pequeño: 8 - 12 inches.

Weight: Grande: 66 lbs. Medio: 35 - 44 lbs. Pequeño: 9 - 13 lbs.

Life Span: These are long-lived dogs. They can live well into their mid-teens as well as late teens.

Litter Size: 4 - 6 puppies.

Country of Origin: Portugal

Activity: Medium

Watch-dog: High. The Podengo is very alert and active.

Guard-dog: High. The Grande and Medio variations are better suited for guarding, as they will protect the home and have been used previously as home guards.

Description: The Portuguese Podengo is an attractive, sturdy and efficient breed that comes in three distinct sizes: Grande, Medio, and Pequeño. The large has the appearance similar to the Ibizan Hound and is very rare, the medium size is smaller but identical and popular, and the smallest size is very similar to the Chihuahua in size and appearance, as well as popularity. All three are hunting dogs, used to hunt hare, rabbit and other small game. They all are the same colors, each appearing predominantly fawn or yellow with or without white markings. All three also come in either short-haired glossy versions or wire-haired thicker coated variations. Portuguese Podengos are lively, affectionate and make excellent companions. They are alert, eager to hunt and may be distantly related to a small species of Iberian wolf. Attractive, good-natured and a fine guardian and hunter, the Portuguese Podengo can be modified to fit any size an owner is searching for.

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Other Names: Podengo Portuguesos, Portuguese Hound, Portuguese Warren Hound

Colors: Fawn to yellow, with or without patches of white.

Coat: Wiry, long and harsh. Or short, glossy, silky, and longer than most sight hound fur.

Temperament: Portuguese Podengos are lively, active and affectionate. They are attractive, good-natured and a fine guard. They make good watchdogs as well. They can be single pets or get along with other animals. They are loyal, fearless and the larger versions make good guard dogs as well. Podengos are hardy, intelligent and game. They are friendly to most, and are enthusiastic. When off leash, they are quite obedient if trained and will even look to make sure of the whereabouts of their owner. Trainability, trustworthiness and intelligence are outstanding aspects of this breed.

With Children: Yes, good with children, although they should not be rough-housed with.

With Pets: Yes, good with other dogs, as some have been used to hunt in packs. Although they may not be suitable for smaller animals that could be mistaken as prey.

Care and Training: The Podengos need plenty of exercise. They should be given daily walks or play sessions. They are a lively breed and their energy should be channeled for good use, such as training. Their coat, especially the wire-haired versions, need daily brushing to keep the coat shiny and clean. Although these dogs are very trainable, they should begin learning at a young age. Using gentle, firm, and positive methods of training, these dogs can become extremely loyal and obedient pets. If trained well, this breed is excellent at obedience even off the leash. They will usually adhere to their owner when called. If you are on a hike or trip with the dog off leash, they will often look back to "check on" your whereabouts.

Learning Rate: High. The Podengos are very intelligent. Obedience - High, if trained well. Problem Solving - Medium.

Special Needs: Training, socialization, and a fenced yard. This breed likes to dig and can also jump rather high.

Living Environment: As these dogs have been raised over the centuries to be hunting dogs that live outside, they would probably do better in a rural or suburban environment.

Health Issues: Portuguese Podengos are a rare breed that has hardly any major health problems. They are known to live well into their mid and late teen years. They have no genetic defects or inherited diseases in their genes.

History: Originating from Portugal, the Portuguese Podengo is a breed that has excelled in its job. Bred as a hunter for rabbits/hares, the Medium and Small types have become known as one of the best rabbit hunters in the world. Their job was to hunt independently for the quarry, and to kill it when they found it. After they'd caught it, they will either wait for the hunter or bring the quarry to them. The Pequeño is able to go to ground after such animals, and the Grande, much rarer, was used to run after larger prey such as wild boars and deer. They are thought to have come from Asia Minor with the Phoenicians to the Iberian Peninsula around 1000 B.C. Around the 15th century, the breed was used aboard ships to get rid of vermin, and they traveled everywhere with the Portuguese. They are even thought to have sailed with Christopher Columbus aboard the ships he sailed. Because of their travels, the Podengo is thought to have been a progenitor to several other breeds, often getting off ships or stopping for a time in different places, all which continued their lineage down through dog history. These other breeds have taken a similar appearance to the Podengo, leaving fanciers to believe the Podengo has been a major contributor to other such breeds. The Portuguese Warren Hound's ability to be obedient and agile has led to this breed performing in shows and in films. The breed has been used in such films as Three Wishes, Soccer Dog, and Zeus and Roxanne. In 1990 the first documented purebred Podengos made their way to the United States, and now spans across several states. In the past this breed was rarely kept simply as a housepet in Portugal, but more of a hunting dog. Due to Europe and the U.S., however, these dogs have become common pets as well. In 2004 the breed was added to the Foundation Stock Service, a list of possible future candidates for the AKC.

First Registered by the AKC: 2004

AKC Group: Miscellaneous Group

Class: Hound

Registries: FCI (Group 5), KC (UK) (Hound), UKC (Sighthound and Pariah)