Portuguese Podengo Pequeno

AKC Miscellaneous Class





History

Portuguese Podengo M©dio (Smooth). Benfica II da Castelhana, LW12, BOB12, LW13, YCH(PT), BOB13, CH(PT), GrCH(PT). Photo copyright (c) Ana Catarina Alves. All rights reserved.

Portuguese Podengo M©dio (Smooth). Benfica II da Castelhana, LW12, BOB12, LW13, YCH(PT), BOB13, CH(PT), GrCH(PT). Photo copyright (c) Ana Catarina Alves. All rights reserved.

The Podengo is a primitive Portuguese hunting breed. It is most likely the descendant of multi-purpose hunting dogs used by Phoenician traders who reached Portugal in the 700s BC. Today, the Podengo is the most popular type of dog in Portugal and comes in three sizes: Pequeno (small), Médio (medium), and Grande (large). Each size comes in two varieties: smooth and wire-coated, making six types altogether. (The six types are not inter-bred.)

Called “triple threat hunters” because they use scent, sight, and hearing to find their game, all Podengos hunt in packs. The Médio, bred to hunt rabbit and wild boar, stalks its game and then flushes and/or kills it. The Grande, bred to hunt deer and wild boar, either kills the game or runs it down to exhaust it and then waits for the handler to shoot it.

Podengo Médios are not new to the United States—Portuguese-American families have had them (though not in great numbers) since the early 1800s. Yet they arrived on the show circuit much later. Registered purebred Smooth Podengo Médios were first shown in the United States in 2004; registered purebred Wire Podengo Médios were first shown in the US in 2005.

Podengo Grandes are newer to the US. The first Podengo Grande was imported to the US in 2008. The first litter was born in 2009. That same year, four wire-coated Grandes were also imported.

The AKC split the types into the Portuguese Podengo Pequeno and the Portuguese Podengo (comprised of the Médio and Grande) in July 2009 at the request of the American Portuguese Podengo Médio & Grande Club, the parent club for the larger varieties. This was done largely to eliminate interbreeding of the Pequeno and Médio and to recognize their completely different structure. The Pequeno entered the AKC Miscellaneous Class in January 2011 and the AKC Hound Group in January 2013. The Portuguese Podengo (which includes the Médio and Grande), entered the AKC Miscellaneous Class on Jan. 1, 2014.

Hardy, intelligent, and fun-loving, these agile, playful dogs are still very rare in the United States, with fewer than 175 dogs registered as of 2014. This means that breeders are still collecting data on some characteristics of the breed, such as longevity and health issues.

Description

Lean and muscular, both the Grande and Médio varieties of the Portuguese Podengo are almost square in shape. The head is lean and shaped like a four-sided pyramid. The stop is moderately defined and the cheeks are oblique (not parallel). The lips are thin and close fitting, with teeth that meet in a scissors bite. The nose is always darker than the coat. The eyes are almond shaped and expressive. The ears are triangular, pricked, and carried highly erect.

The neck is straight and strong and the top line is straight or slightly arched. The chest reaches down to the elbow and the belly has a slight tuck up. The croup is straight or slopes slightly. The forelegs are straight and strong with very elastic wrists. Dewclaws are allowed.

The hindquarters are well muscled. The rear pasterns are strong, short, and straight; there are no dewclaws. The feet are oval, with long slightly arched toes and dark nails. The tail is thick at the base and tapers to a fine point. When the dog is at rest it falls into a slight curve; when the dog is in motion, it is carried slightly curved or even in a sickle shape.

The smooth coat is short, dense, and has an undercoat. The wire coat is rough and has no undercoat. Wire-coated Podengos also have distinct beards. They are shown in a natural state; only trimming of the face and feet is allowed. The coat color is yellow and white or fawn and white of any shade, or primarily white with patches of any shade of yellow or fawn. Tones of black or brown, with white patches, or white with patches of black or brown are acceptable but not preferred.





Key Facts

  • Height:  16 to 22 in. (Médio); 22 to 28 in. (Grande).
  • Size:  Large.
  • Weight:  35-44 lbs. (Médio); 44-66 lbs. (Grande).
  • Availability:  Difficult to find.
  • Talents:  Jogging, hunting, sighting, lure coursing, tracking, watchdog, agility, obedience, tricks.

Notes

 The Portuguese Podengo is generally not good with small dogs or cats due to its strong prey drive. The breed needs secure fences, at least six feet high, with hardware cloth dug into the ground at the base, as they are excellent jumpers, climbers, and diggers. Wire-coat varieties need occasional brushing to remove old hair.

Personality


These smart, active, and agile dogs make fine companions. They were bred to be hunters, so they are alert enough to be good watch dogs. But they are friendly, playful, and loyal enough to be excellent family dogs. Podengos are highly trainable. As a general rule, Grandes tend to be a bit more mellow than Médios. Still, the fact that they are a primitive breed means that a more experienced dog owner is best suited to handle them (although novice owners may do well with an adult dog that is already trained). Socializing Podengos is especially important, as is maintaining a firm (but fair) style of discipline and giving them plenty of exercise and mental stimulation. Highly motivated by food and fun, they tend to be easy to train. Both Médios and Grandes can be wary with strangers, but they love to play and interact with their people.

Behavior

  • Children:  Best with older, considerate children.
  • Friendliness:  Reserved with strangers.
  • Trainability:  Easy to train.
  • Independence:  Not particularly dependent or independent.
  • Dominance:  Moderate.
  • Other Pets:  Generally good with other dogs in the household (but not small dogs); do not trust with non-canine pets.
  • Combativeness:  Can be a bit dog aggressive.
  • Noise:  Likes to bark (Médio); average barker (Grande).

Care

  • Grooming:  Very little grooming needed.
  • Trimming & Stripping:  No trimming or stripping needed.
  • Coat:  Short or wiry.
  • Shedding:   Average shedder.
  • Exercise:  Moderate exercise needed.
  • Jogging:  An excellent jogging companion.
  • Indoors:   Moderately active indoors.
  • Apartments:   Not recommended for apartments (Médio); Will be OK in an apartment if sufficiently exercised (Grande).
  • Outdoor Space:  Best with at least an average-sized yard.
  • Climate:   Does well in most climates.
  • Novice Owner:   Not recommended for novice owners.
  • Longevity:  Moderately long-lived (about 12-15 years).






Useful Links

AKC Hound Group





History

Portuguese CH Forcado de Viamonte. Bred and owned by Miguel Sabino, Portugal. Photo copyright © Darlene Devancy. All rights reserved.

Portuguese CH Forcado de Viamonte. Bred and owned by Miguel Sabino, Portugal. Photo copyright © Darlene Devancy. All rights reserved.

The Portuguese Podengo Pequeno arrived on the Iberian Peninsula with the Phoenicians more than 2,000 years ago. The breed can still be seen on eleventh-century churches in Portugal and in some literature dating back to the fourteenth century. Farmers in Portugal used the dog for hunting rabbits and small game, and they were bred to have tremendous endurance, be able to penetrate thickets, and hunt alone or in small packs.

The first Portuguese Podengo Pequeno came to the United States in the 1990s; as of 2011, there were several hundred of these dogs in this country, valued as both pets and athletes. The breed, which can have either a smooth or wire (rough) coat, excels in agility, obedience, and rally, as well as lure coursing. It is also still a popular hunting dog due to its ability to locate prey via sight, sound, and smell.

In Europe, the dog comes in three sizes—small, medium, and large—but in the United States the breed has been split into the Portuguese Podengo Pequeno (small) and the Portuguese Podengo Medio/Grande (medium/large). The Pequeno was accepted into the AKC Hound Group as of January 1, 2013.

Description

Small in stature and rectangular in shape, the Portuguese Podengo Pequeno has a wedge-shaped head and erect ears. The muzzle is pointed and the stop is barely defined. The eyes should be almond shaped, honey to dark brown in color, with a lively expression. The triangular ears should be set at the level of the eyes, and are carried upright or tilted forward when attentive. The entire body is well muscled. The back is straight and long; the belly is lean and slightly tucked up. The tail should be strong and tapered with light feathering along the underside. When raised, it should have a sickle shape. The feet are oval with toes slightly arched.

The coat can be either smooth (short and dense) or wire (rough, long, and harsh). The wire-haired variety has a beard. Coat color ranges from yellow to dark brown or black, although yellow and fawn are preferable. White markings are acceptable.

The Portuguese Podengo Pequeno’s trot is light and agile, well suited to hunting for hours at a time over rough terrain.





Key Facts

  • Height:  8 to 12 in. (male); 8 to 12 in. (female)
  • Size:  Very small
  • Weight:  9 to 13 lbs.
  • Availability:  Difficult to find
  • Talents:  Agility, obedience, lure coursing, watchdog, companionship

Notes

 The Pequeno is a very hardy, healthy breed with few health issues. Legg Calves Perth, a degenerative condition of the hip joint, and luxating patella, a looseness in the stifle joint (knee), have occasionally been reported in the breed. Life expectancy is 15-plus years. They are excellent climbers and jumpers, so a high fence is needed in the yard.

Personality

The Portuguese Podengo Pequeno is a keen, active, enthusiastic little dog that is easy to train and easy to live with. They are loyal and brave and make good watchdogs. They are very good with children and with other dogs and pets when raised with them. This is a primitive breed, and the dogs tend to have acute senses of sight, scent, and hearing. They are somewhat wary of strangers and will alert their owners to unfamiliar people and noises. This breed does well with most owners, including novices.

Behavior

  • Children:  Good with children
  • Friendliness:  Reserved with strangers
  • Trainability:  Easy to train
  • Independence:  Fairly independent
  • Dominance:  Moderate (not particularly dominant or submissive)
  • Other Pets:  Generally good with other pets
  • Combativeness:  Can be a bit dog-aggressive
  • Noise:  Likes to bark

Care

  • Grooming:  Regular grooming needed
  • Trimming and Stripping:  Neither
  • Coat:  Short or wire (rough)
  • Shedding:  Average shedder
  • Exercise:  Needs moderate exercise
  • Jogging:  A fairly good jogging companion, though small
  • Indoors:  Fairly active indoors
  • Apartments:  Good in an apartment if sufficiently exercised
  • Outdoor Space:  Best with at least an average-size yard
  • Climate:  Does well in most climates
  • Owner:  Suitable for novice
  • Longevity:  15 or more years






Useful Links

AKC® Portuguese Podengo Pequeno Breed Standard

akc.org/breeds/portuguese_podengo_pequeno

Portuguese Podengo Pequeno Breed Profile

iams.com/pet-health/dog-breed-guide/portuguese-podengo-pequeno

Portuguese Podengo Pequeno Breed Club

portuguesepodengopequeno.org

Search for a Breeder

akc.org/classified/search/landing_breed.cfm

Rescue Organizations

akc.org/breeds/rescue.cfm

Books about the Portuguese Podengo Pequeno

Amazon.com

Portuguese Podengo Pequeno Gifts

CafePress.com