So, you’ve decided to get a dog. You don’t want a tiny dog, but you also don’t want to choose a large pet. Why not consider a Portuguese Podengo?
These dogs have a pleasant temperament and make great companions and family pets.
Portuguese Podengos are divided into three groups
The Portuguese Podengo is available in three categories: small (Pequeno), medium (media), and large (grande). The dog’s coats can be wired and long or smooth and short.
All categories of Podengo dogs are very agile and make good hunting dogs; the animals hunt by smell and sight.
This breed is generally healthy and doesn’t have major health issues. Pequeno Podengo live for up to 17 years, and the lifespans of large and medium Podengo dogs vary.
Portugues Podengos are one of the oldest dog breeds
Podengos are one of the oldest dog breeds in the world. The dog hasn’t changed much over the years. The dogs were originally transported to the Iberian Peninsula by the Phoenicians and Romans more than 2,000 years ago.
Pequeno Podengos went on voyages with Portuguese explorers because the dogs hunted and killed rats which prevented vermin infestation on ships. These dogs were on Portuguese ships as early as the 13th century.
Podengos are a fairly new breed in the US. The dogs arrived in the United States in the 2000s when a dog named Chicharro de Viamonte was exhibited in 2001 at an ARBA show. In 2004, the Portuguese Podengo was recognized by the American Kennel Club.
The dogs are also recognized by the Federation Cynologique Internationale in Europe. Some dog experts assert that Podengos came to the US in the 1990s.
The Podengo is related to the Pharoah Hound, Ibizan, and Cirneco dell Etna. All of these dogs have similar characteristics.
They all enjoy hunting, which is why the Podengo is often used as a rabbit hunter in Portugal.
The Portuguese Podengo has a pleasant personality
These dogs are bred to hunt and their owners often enter them in agility competitions. Podengos are playful and energetic and require daily walks for about half an hour.
Podengos will walk on a leash but also enjoy running free in parks and other safe areas. The pets often thrive well in fenced yards and exercise throughout the day.
Owners should purchase tall fences for these dogs since Podengos like to jump fences and hurdles. These dogs can also be trained as sighthounds for individuals who enjoy hunting for sport.
It’s important to keep in mind that short-haired Podengos are more independent and strong-willed and long-haired Podengos are especially friendly and calm.
Podengos are loyal and friendly and don’t usually fear strangers. The dogs like movement and if they see squirrels or other small animals in the yard, they will chase them.
Since the dogs are very observant, you’ll always be alerted about activity happening around your home. If the dog is raised with children, the pet can be very loving and protective. However, the Podengo must be trained not to attack smaller pets like hamsters or cats since the dogs are natural hunters.
Portuguese Podengos respond to positive reinforcement when they are being trained. Techniques like play, food rewards, and verbal praise work well for the Podengo.
It’s also important to keep training sessions short and interactive since the dog doesn’t have a long attention span.
Podengos can become destructive and noisy if they’re not properly trained or don’t have activities or other dogs to engage their attention.
These pets also require significant attention from their owners. Podengos like to dig and bark so they’re ideal pets for active families who like to spend time outdoors.
The Portuguese Podengo is not interbred
The three main sizes of Podengos are not interbred.
Small Podengos are between 8-12 inches at the withers and weigh up to 13 pounds. Medium Podengos are around 20 inches at the withers and weigh between 35-44 pounds. Large Podengos are between 22-28 inches at the withers and can weigh up to 66 pounds.
No matter the size, Podengos can have fur that is short and smooth or long fur that has a wire-like feel.
The Podengo Grande is the oldest of the three Podengo varieties. Now the Podengo Grande is nearly extinct and is only found in the Alentejo area of southeastern Portugal.
Unlike the small and medium Podengo who are bred for rabbit hunting, the grande Podengo is bred for hunting larger animals like wild boar and deer. Small and medium Podengo are known for their flushing, retrieving, and digging abilities.
Grande Podengos are more aggressive than the smaller breeds and are willing to fight and risk serious injury to capture their prey.
Portuguese Podengos don’t require much grooming
Both short- and long-haired Podengos don’t require much grooming. Owners should brush the dog’s coat once or twice a week. Long-haired Podengos also have beards that should be cleaned periodically.
All Podengo dogs are accustomed to warm climates since they don’t have undercoats. However, Podengos with longer hair are better able to withstand cold weather.
Smooth-haired Podengos are much older than their long-haired counterparts.
The short-haired dogs date back as far as the 5th century but wire-haired Podengos were developed in the 1900s after being exposed to other dog breeds.
Portuguese Podengos are healthy dogs
Even though Podengos are generally healthy, it’s important for dog owners to know that all dogs can develop genetic health issues. Potential owners should get a health guarantee on all Podengo puppies and steer clear from breeders who claim that the dogs have zero health problems.
It’s also best to avoid purchasing puppies who are isolated from other puppies or the household because for health reasons.
It’s also best to consult with a veterinarian before getting a Podengo. Since these dogs are not common, there isn’t much information about Podengo’s genetic conditions and health problems.
The dog may develop toe or muscle injuries since they run often.
The dog should also maintain a healthy weight since obesity can lead to other ailments. Walking the dog often and allow the pet to run and chase toys and animals daily can extend the Podengo’s lifespan.