The basis of this breed are old hound-like dogs from North Africa. They were crossed with different types of Parya dogs, hounds, etc. The objective was to enhance the performance characteristics of the breed. These dogs were used mainly for hunting big game.
The Podengo was a faithful companion of the Portuguese naval explorers after they succeeded to reconquer their homeland from the Moors.
The breed is little known outside its homeland, Portugal. The first listings of puppies for sale in the USA appeared in 2008.
Unlike other breeds, this one is accepted and recognized by almost all major Canine Organizations like: FCI, AKC, UKC, PPCA, NKC, CKC, DRA, ACR, APRI, FSS and NAPR.
The Podengo Portugues looks like a hound, with flat head and skull, and sufficiently pronounced stop. The muzzle is straight, the eyes are small, colored from yellowish to dark brown. The ears are triangular and straight. The back and legs are straightalso. Dogs of this breed can be found in three sizes - small Podengo (with a height of 20 to 31 cm and weight - between 4 and 6 kg), the average Podengo (with a height of 39 to 56 cm and weight - from 16 to 20 kg) and the big Podengo (with a height of 57 to 70 cm and weight - between 20 and 30 kg). There are also some differences when it comes to the hair – short-haired and wire-haired. The main color of the coat is yellow, brownish or black with white spots.
Character and behavior
The Podengo Portuguese is a great companion. It is suitable even for people without experience in breeding dogs. This pet is extremely good-natured and friendly, even to strangers. Of course, this makes it incapable to guard you and your property. It adores its owner and the whole family.
Training and education
The education and dressage of your Podengo Portuguese depends of the early socialization. You'll never need to use harsh methods, as this breed is very intelligent and perceptive. Keep in mind that the bones of your puppy are very fragile and the first six months is not good to have too many physical exercises.
Overall, with patience and persistence, you can train your Podengo very well.
This is an exceptionally healthy animal. There aren't any inherited diseases or problems, which is due to the fact that there was almost no human intervention in the development of the breed.
The average life span of the Podengo Portuguese is between 12 and 15 years, but there are cases of dogs who lived more than 17 years.
Grooming and care
This dog doesn't require particularly rigorous care. It is necessary to clean its teeth more regularly. It is enough to comb the hair with a brush once a week. Do not bathe it too often. When it is absolutely necessary, wash it with a dry shampoo for dogs. Check the ears of your puppy regularly to avoid the risk of infections. This breed would feel comfortable both in an apartment and in a big house.
Children and other pets
The Podengo Portuguese is a really good-natured and calm dog, that gets along perfectly with children, other dogs and all pets in your home. It is kind and patient, even with small kids who literally torture small animals like the Podengo. Just don't forget that the early socialization is a must.
In their homeland Portugal these beautiful dogs are mainly used for ratting, hunting and companionship. The most famous nickname of the breed is “Portuguese Rabbit Dog”.