What Does a Portuguese Podengo Look Like?
The three sizes of the breed all look quite different from one another. The Portuguese Podengo Pequeno (Small) weighs about 9-13 pounds, stands 8-12 inches tall at the shoulder, and has a short, smooth or wiry coat that can be virtually any color, including black, chestnut, gray, fawn and orange,
The Portuguese Podengo Medio (Medium) is taller, standing 16-22 inches at the shoulder and weighing in at around 35-44 pounds. They also come in all kinds of colors, but unlike the Small variety, they cannot be black. The same goes for the Portuguese Podengo Grande (Large), which weighs 44-66 pounds and reaches up to 28 inches in height.
All three varieties have triangular, erect ears and a long tail that bends upward. The two bigger sizes also come with a medium-length coat that can be smooth or wiry, just like the Pequeno’s.
What Do Portuguese Podengos Do?
The Portuguese Podengo is a versatile breed that can be used for a variety of purposes. The Small variety is the most common in the United States and is used for hunting rabbits. They are highly agile and thrive in an active environment.
The Medium and Large varieties are both used for hunting deer and boar. The Grande is especially good at this, as its size and strength make it a formidable opponent for prey. All three varieties are also known for their intelligence, which makes them excellent candidates for agility, rally or obedience competitions.
What Kind of Temperament Do Portuguese Podengos Have?
Regardless of their size, the Portuguese Podengo is a lively, playful dog that is always alert and ready for action. They can be quite independent and are not always easy to train. However, they are loving with their family and can be quite suspicious of strangers.
Are Portuguese Podengos Good With Children?
These dogs are generally good with children, but as with any breed, it is always important to supervise interactions between kids and dogs. The Small variety is the best choice for families with young children, as they are small enough not to be a danger and are usually very good-natured.
Will They Get Along with Other Pets?
The Portuguese Podengo is usually good with other pets, but as with any dog, you should always supervise the first interactions between them. Some dogs may be dominant or aggressive towards other animals, so it’s important to make sure your Podengo gets along well with the other pets in your home.
Are They Vocal?
This isn’t a particularly vocal breed, but they will bark when they see or hear something that interests them. This can be a great way to warn you of danger or let you know when someone is at the door, but it may also get on your nerves if your dog barks at every person passing by your gate.
The Health Concerns and Lifespan of a Portuguese Podengo
Portuguese Podengos are unlikely to suffer from serious diseases, and they’re a generally healthy breed. Still, they have their share of health concerns, like any other breed. Some problems that may occur are:
- hip dysplasia,
- patellar luxation,
- eye disorders,
Responsible breeders will screen their dogs for these conditions, so it’s important to get a Podengo from a reputable source. Even if your dog seems healthy, take them to the vet for regular checkups to detect any problems early. Portuguese Podengos typically live 12-15 years with proper care.
Grooming and Caring for Your Portuguese Podengo
How much grooming your Podengo will need depends on their coat type. If they’re smooth-coated, they’ll look great with just an occasional brush. Wire-haired Podengos will shed in sections and need to be brushed weekly or more often to remove the dead hair.
You should only bathe your dog when they get dirty, and clip their nails monthly to avoid splitting and cracking. Check their ears a few times a week for wax buildup and debris, and clean them as needed. To maintain their oral health, brush their teeth every day or at least several times a week.
Where Can You Get a Portuguese Podengo?
If you’re interested in getting a Portuguese Podengo, your best bet is to find a reputable breeder. You can contact the Portuguese Podengo Club of America (for the Medium and Large varieties) or the Portuguese Podengo Pequenos of America, Inc. Another way is to check the American Kennel Club (AKC)’s puppy marketplace.
When you find a breeder, be sure to ask lots of questions and visit the breeder’s facility to see the dogs firsthand. Puppy mills and other kinds of unethical breeders often don’t take good care of their dogs, so it’s important to do your research before you buy. You can expect to pay $1,000 to $2,500 for a puppy from a good source.
Rescuing a Portuguese Podengo
If you’re not interested in buying a Portuguese Podengo, you may be able to find one at a shelter or rescue organization. Some of these dogs are abandoned by their previous owners or were rescued from puppy mills. However, this breed is quite rare, so you may need to drive to another state.
A Short History of the Portuguese Podengo Dog Breed
The Portuguese Podengo is a hound that’s been around for centuries. They may have descended from multipurpose hunting dogs brought to Portugal by Phoenician traders in the 700s BC.
The Podengo’s large variety was originally developed to help hunt deer and wild boar, while the Medium and Small varieties excel at flushing rabbits from cover. Their keen sense of smell and agile body make them perfect for the job.
The breed was first imported to the United States in the early 1990s and has been gaining in popularity ever since. They were recognized by the American Kennel Club as two different breeds:
- the Portuguese Podengo – including the traditional Large and Medium sizes,
- the Portuguese Podengo Pequeno – the small variety.
They’re now used in a variety of dog sports, including coursing, agility, nose work, barn hunt, rally and conformation. Podengos are also becoming more popular as family pets due to their lively temperament and good health.
Is This Dog Breed a Good Choice for You?
The Portuguese Podengo is a great choice for an active family that enjoys the outdoors. They’re highly intelligent but can be challenging to train, so you’ll need to be patient and consistent. They’re also very independent and may not always listen to you, but they’re always loving and loyal with their family.
These dogs make good watchdogs and may be suspicious of strangers, so if you want to feel safer in your home, they’re a solid choice. However, if you have other pets at home, you may need to get a puppy that has been socialized with other animals from the beginning.
Interesting Facts about Portuguese Podengos
If the above information hasn’t satisfied your curiosity, here are a few more facts about these sporty hounds.
- The Portuguese term podengo refers to hounds with stiff ears that were historically used to hunt rabbits.
- While they can have a wire or smooth coat today, they were traditionally smooth-coated. The wire coat type was probably introduced by mixing the Portuguese Podengo with other breeds.
- They rely on both sight and scent for hunting, so it’s difficult to classify them under one type of hound.
- Small Podengos were also widely used to hunt rats and mice on Portuguese ships, protecting the crew’s limited food supplies.
Ready to Bring a Dog of This Breed Home?
If you think the Portuguese Podengo is the right dog breed for you, congratulations! You’re in for years of fun and companionship. But before you bring your new pup home, be sure to ask the breeder lots of questions about the dog’s temperament, health history and what kind of training they have done.
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