As the name suggests, this breed hails from Portuguese and is bestowed with keen sense of sight, smell and hearing. The dog looks breathtaking beautiful and comes in three variants of sizes, Pequeno– small, Médio– medium and Grande– large.
It has either of the two varieties of coat, smooth coat or rough coat. They are hardy, intelligent and lively dogs. Even today, they are the favorite hunters of farmers and countryside dwellers.
They are loyal to their family members and protective towards them. The dog has a healthy lifespan and is less likely to suffer from any major health issues. They make delightful companion to active owners.
They are also easy to train because they are willful learners. You can easily master this breed high obedience commands. They also excel in agility and lure coursing of dogs. As the dogs used to hunt in pack, so they are friendly towards other dogs.
Podengo is a multi-sensory dog of Portuguese. Its primary job was to hunt rabbits. Later when people noticed their tremendous skills in hunting, they started using it for other hunt games too. Studies have proved that the dog shares the same bloodline as Cirneco dell Etna, Ibizan, and Pharaoh Hounds. Earlier there was only large variant of this breed.
But human intervention reduced its size. The large Podengo is believed to be descendant from either Pharaoh hound or Iberian wolves. In its native country, it is also referred to by name “Portuguese Rabbit Dog”. Irrespective of the sizes, the breed is a tenacious hunter. In Portuguese it is domesticated for hunting, companionship and rat-killing.
- The breed belongs to Portuguese and is a hunting dog.
- It is lively, friendly, active and robust dog.
- The lifespan of this breed is 12-14 years.
- The height of the dog is 20-31 cm.
- It weighs around 4-6 kg.
- The dog comes in red, chestnut, grey, fawn, white, black and orange colors.
- The average price of this breed is $800 – $1000 USD.
- The breed is not meant for apartment as it tends to be energetic breed.
- The dog is suitable to live and sleep outdoor if it has adequate shelter.
- It is not so barky.
- It is a suitable breed for kids as it tends to be playful and cheerful around them.
- It needs daily exercise to thrive happily.
- It is not a hypoallergenic breed.
- The dog sheds moderately and is easy to groom.
- It is moderately easy to train.
It is a primitive breed that has hardy and robust body. The dog is longer than tall and has a strong chest. It has wedged shaped head with pointed muzzle. The dos has long, erect and triangular shaped pointed muzzle. The specialty about its ears is that it can turn its ears to any direction to hear the minor sounds.
Its eyes are almond shaped and expressive. The dog’s teeth should meet in scissor bite. It has well arched neck that helps to see things from far behind. Overall expression on dog’s face is that of intelligence and alertness.
Size and Weight
This breed comes in three different sizes, small, medium and large. The typical size of the breed is 20-31 cm. it weighs around 4-6 kg.
Coat and Color
The dog comes in two varieties of coat, the wire-haired and the smooth haired. It is a single coated breed, though it has thin layer of skin underneath the coat. The smooth-coated dogs tend to have short, dense, lustrous and close fitting coat.
It thrives better in wet and cool climate. The wire-haired dog has medium length, harsh and less dense hair. It also sports eyebrows, beard and moustache. The dog having wire-haired coat thrives better in hot and dry climate. Irrespective of the coat types, the dog comes in many colors like red, chestnut, grey, fawn, white, black and orange.
- Personality – It is a good natured breed that has strong desire to please its owner. This dog tends to be rambunctious in nature so yard is recommended for them. They are high spirited and always ready to play with children doesn’t matter they have come right after spending time in the field. Do not mistake them as lap dogs as they are active breeds who are always brimming with energy. The dog tends to be independent minded so treat them as you treat other members of the family.
- Behavior – This breed may resort to jumping on furniture and other amusing tactics just to attract people. They are alert and wary of strangers which makes them reliable and protective watchdog. They are fearless, confident and tenacious hunter. They also have a habit of chasing, so small animals like rats and rabbits are always under threat. Never leave them off-leash in a crowded place because they have uncontrollable habit of following smell. It has also been seen that the dog makes strong bond with only one member of the family.
- Activities Requirement – Irrespective of their size, the exercise needs of all the three variants of dogs are same. They need high intensity physical workout to stay happy and healthy. Running in an open and secured field, hurdle jumping and occasional hunting are some of the exercise which you can conduct to these dogs. They get bored easily, so make sure they have been given toys and balls to play with.
- Trainability – They have independent mindset but the right owner will bring the best out of them. You need to be firm yet gentle in your commands, in order to train them wisely. Early socialization lesson and basic canine mannerism are necessary for the dog to learn.
As it is a primitive breed, food habit of the dog is raw. Give them uncooked meat and bones to eat. Always keep fresh water around their place of eating.
The lifespan of this breed is 12-14 years.
The dog is not hypoallergenic. It is a robust and healthy breed with no major health issues. In fact, some dogs have lived up to past 20 years. Buy puppy from a credible breeder who shows health clearance certificate of both parent and baby. A puppy should get all dose of vaccination so that he can lead a healthy life.
Irrespective of the type of coat, the dogs are easy to groom. Wirehaired coat requires stripping once or twice a year. The process of grooming is similar to both types of coat which includes brushing, cleaning ears, occasional bathing, trimming nails and regular brushing of teeth.
The dog is suitable for any kind of climate with proper care and precaution. It is meant to live in house with yard.
Things To Consider Before Buying
- The dog makes ideal companion to active family who wants a sturdy breed that can make their running or jogging partner.
- The dog has pack mentality which means it is tolerable towards other dogs.
- The dog tends to be less likely to suffer from any serious health issues.
- The dog is not meant for apartments where its movement is restricted.
- It has stubborn streak.
- It is not hypoallergenic.