Podengo Portugueso – General Description
The Podengo Portugueso (Portuguese Podengo) is an ancient multi-sensory hound (sight and scent) breed of dog from Portugal. The Podengo comes in three sizes that are not interbred – small (Pequeno), medium (Médio) and large (Grande), each size with two hair coats (smooth and wire coat) and its own unique temperament. All three sizes love to hunt, its tradition in their native country. Typically, the Podengo Portugueso hunt in a pack with their human companion following them on large tracts of land with lots of game. Their hunting style is of an independent nature, with the dog(s) forging ahead with the hunter within their site range (which can be many acres). When game is found, they will kill it and bring it back to the hunter or wait for the hunter to catch up and shoot it. Each is capable of hunting game that is appropriate to their size and temperament. (Pequeno-rabbits, Medio-rabbits and wild boar, Grande-deer and wild boar).
Classification and Standards
- FCI Group 5, Section 7, #94
- AKC Hound (FSS) The AKC Foundation Stock Service (FSS) is an optional recording service for purebred dogs that are not yet eligible for AKC registration.
- KC (UK) Hound
- UKC Sighthound and Pariah
The Portuguese Podengo in the UK is represented by The Portuguese Podengo Club of Great Britain, and the Podengo Pequeno was recognized by the Kennel Club in 2003. The Breed Standard was approved on January 1, 2006. The Podengo Pequeno was transferred from the Import Register into the Breed Register on January 1, 2008 at the Kennel Club. The Podengo Pequeno now has its own breed classes at Championship Shows and Open Shows (the other sizes are in the process of being included). The Podengo Pequeno was shown at Crufts for the first time in 2009. There are approximately 500 Podengos (primarily Pequeno) now resident in the UK.
The Portuguese Podengo Pequeno became eligible to compete in the AKC Miscellaneous class on January 1, 2011 and can be recorded (but not registered) by the American Kennel Club. Incorporated in 2009, Portuguese Podengo Pequenos of America. is the recognized AKC parent club for the breed in the US. The first club of Podengo Pequeno owners in the USA is the Portuguese Podengo Pequeno Club of America (PPPCA). PPPCA was incorporated in January, 2003 in Newport, Rhode Island and 85% of its members own Portuguese Podengo Pequenos. Other organizations that recognize the Podengo (all sizes) in the US are the [http://www.ukcdogs.com/ United Kennel Club, American Rare Breed Association and North American Kennel Club. It is also recognized by The American Sighthound Field Association. The Portuguese Podengo Medio and Grande are represented in the United States by The American Portuguese Podengo Medio/Grande Club (APPMGC or ‘MGC’).
In Europe, the Podengo is classified by the Fédération Cynologique Internationale (FCI) as Group 5: Spitz and primitive type, Section 7: Primitive type hunting dogs. The FCI breed standard, which originates in Portugal, governs all types and varieties of the Portuguese Podengo.
The United Kingdom registers the most Podengos, followed by Finland, the United States, and Portugal.
In both the United States and the UK the Portuguese Podengo is classified in the Hound Group.
All Podengo types are hardy, intelligent and lively dogs, excelling at agility and making fine companions. Loyal and fearless, Podengos are also good house guards and are amenable to training by dog experienced people and those that enjoy primitive (unrefined, “less domesticated”) dog behavior.
Types and Varieties
There are three sizes of Podengos: Podengo Grande, Podengo Medio and Podengo Pequeno.
Within each size type are two varieties: smooth (also referred to as smooth coat) and wire (also referred to as wire coat, wirehaired, longhaired or rough coat). All of these types are called ‘Portuguese Podengo’ as a ‘breed,’ although none of these six types are interbred.
- Portuguese Podengo Pequeno (Smooth Coat)
- Portuguese Podengo Pequeno (Wire Coat)
- Portuguese Podengo Medio (Smooth Coat)
- Portuguese Podengo Medio (Wire Coat)
- Portuguese Podengo Grande (Smooth Coat)
- Portuguese Podengo Grande (Wire Coat)
In its home country, the Podengo Portugueso is referred to as Small, Medium or Large Podengo. It is acceptable for the hair description to come before or after the ‘type’ name.
In the United States, the American Kennel Club split the Podengo Pequeno from the other two sizes as a separate breed. This was done primarily to prevent the (register-able) interbreeding of the Pequeno with the Medio.
Character & Temperament
Podengo Portugueso Pequeno
Both kinds of Podengo Portugueso Pequeno are small, friendly, hardy, lively and intelligent companions. They are very active and usually good with children and other animals when socialized from an early age. They enjoy time with their human family.
Like their Medio relatives, they are very watchful and observant and will bark when something gets their attention. They enjoy digging and sunshine and must have a secure enclosed fence. The Podengo Portugueso Pequeno is trained well with positive techniques and should be kept on leash all of the time during training as they can be quite autonomous and have their own ideas about what constitutes proper behavior. They can be remarkably silly in the home, running around and jumping off furniture with abandon, therefore care must be taken to not allow them free roam of the house or hurting themselves by jumping from too high a perch. A walk with many Pequenos can be a delight and they will continually come back to the owner to make sure they are coming along.
Podengo Portugueso Medio
Both kinds of Podengo Portugueso Medio are friendly, hardy and intelligent companions. They are very active and usually good with children and other animals, including livestock, especially when socialized from an early age.
They are watchful and observant and will bark when something gets their attention. Most enjoy digging and need a secure fence, optimally enclosing their own yard. As they are very agile, regular fencing might not be enough, as they are excellent jumpers and climbers. The best way to address this is with a high enough fence to prevent jumping and a “fence” below the ground, preferably of hardware cloth.
When trained, Podengo Portugueso Medios can have good recall when not on leash. While hiking with them, they generally stay in visual distance and “check” on their owners frequently, always being aware of their position (although that can mean a few acres away). Of course, they must be trained with a reliable recall first.
They are an enthusiastic, trainable dog. This train-ability led them to star in a number of movies in the 1990s and 2000s, including Three Wishes, Homeward Bound II: Lost in San Francisco, Zeus and Roxanne, Secondhand Lions, Can of Worms and Soccer Dog: The Movie.
Podengo Portugueso Grande
Both kinds of Podengo Portugueso Grande are known to be tough, hardy and intelligently observant animals. They must be socialized very well and carefully by a primitive breed-experienced handler. They are used primarily for hunting wild boar in large packs, where they are released from kennel trucks and sent to chase the boar to its den. They then continue to harass it until it emerges in its attack mode. The dogs then jump in and attach to the boar from all angles and dispatch it swiftly. The waiting hunter can then retrieve the prey.
They will be good guardians and require a securely fenced yard (at least 6 ft tall). They enjoy digging dens, also, like their other Podengo relations. It is most closely related to the Podengo Portugueso Medio, in fact, Podengo Portugueso Medios which grow too tall for the Medio standard may be classified as Podengo Portugueso Grandes. This arrangement does not exist in any other way within the Podengo group.
Training will be firm but fair with the Podengo Portugueso Grande as it must have respect for its handler and be amenable to training.
Diverse recent genetics studies have concluded podenco is a type of dog very related to the rest of European hunting dogs and they are not more primitive than most of them.
The Podengo Portugueso Grande (large) was developed for deer and wild boar hunting. It will exhaust and hold down the prey and await the hunter’s gun. The Grande is now very rare in its home country.
The Podengo Portugueso Medio (medium) was developed for rabbit chasing, flushing, hunting and retrieval. Its hunting style includes catlike stalking and, similar to the Ibizan Hound, it often jumps above the prey before landing on or near it to flush it out of dense brush, rock crevices or burrows. It will dig if necessary to flush prey.
The Podengo Portugueso Pequeno (small) was also developed for flushing rabbits from cover. It is also a good vermin exterminator and was probably kept on board explorer ships when the Portuguese initiated the European worldwide explorations in the 15th and 16th centuries.
In the United States the American Kennel Club (AKC) has divided the breed into the Podengo Portugueso Pequeno and the Podengo Portugueso (that includes the medio and grande size). Both breeds are hunting hounds. The Podengo Portugueso Pequeno will be entering the AKC Misc class in January 2011. The Podengo currently at 124 needs to be at 150 to move to Misc.
Podengo Portugueso Pequeno
The Portuguese Podengo Pequeno accompanied Portuguese explorers on their ships for ratting purposes after the Portuguese completed the reconquest of their country from the Moors in the 13th century.
Wire Coat Pequenos were first shown in the United States in 2001. Smooth Pequenos were first shown in the United States in 2003.
Wire Coat Pequenos were first imported to the UK in 2002. The smooth coated Pequeno followed in 2004.
Most (80%)of the purebred Portuguese Podengos in the United States consist of the Pequeno size, and most of these (75%) are of the wire coat variety.
Podengo Portugueso Medio
The Podengo Portugueso Medio, both smooth coat and wire-haired, has existed, unregistered, in the United States for decades in small numbers with Portuguese-Americans in private home settings, where they have been used for traditional rabbit hunting. They were never really popularized outside of their immigrant homesteads. They are attractive, nice family dogs, with a touch of mischief. The first group of Podengo Medio fanciers met in the US in the early 90’s via the early internet Gopher (protocol) system and rec.pets.dogs.breeds.
Smooth Podengo Portugueso Medios began being shown in America in 2004 and Wire-haired Podengo Medios began being shown in America in 2005.
They are still rare. Breeders in Portugal primarily breed for rabbit hunting, not pets. They are hunting dogs, often kept in kennels, not in homes. The idea of Wire-haired Podengo Medios being kept more as house pets began with breeders in Europe. Similarly, American-born Medios are socialized and tempered to household life.
Podengo Portugueso Grande
The Podengo Portugueso Grande may have existed, unregistered, in North America with Portuguese-Americans in private home settings, where they have been used for deer and wild pig hunting.
The first Podengo Portugueso Grande was imported to the US in 2008 and the first litter born in 2009 as well as the import of 4 Grande of the wire coat. 2010 brought the second litter of Grande
Breeders in Portugal continue to breed primarily for hunting and the PG is kept and raised in kennels.
There is a unique system currently in place in Portugal where unregistered dogs (denoted by the kennel club of Portugal as R.I. or ‘Registration Incomplete’) may be evaluated by breed experts and used in a breeding program. Succeeding generations, also evaluated by said experts, may eventually result in a 3 generation pedigree of known, evaluated, ‘R.I.’ dogs which would thus create a full pedigree for certain formerly “RI” Podengos. This process is carried forth under rules established by the CPC and is not exportable to other countries as it relies on the presence of indigenous wild specimens of the breed.
In the United States the American Kennel Club (AKC) has determined that the Medio and Grande size together are to be called ‘Podengo’ as one breed.
Size & Appearance
Podengo Portugueso Pequeno
- WIRE COAT
The WPP is a small-sized type with a rough coat. The single coat (without undercoat) does shed but not very much.
- SMOOTH COAT
The SPP is a small-sized type with a dense smooth single layer coat that is extremely low maintenance. It naturally sheds dust and dirt and dries very quickly. The single coat (without undercoat) does shed but not very much.
Podengo Portugueso Medio
- WIRE COAT
The WPM is a medium-sized type with a rough coat that functions as an air conditioner in the hot weather. This coat was preferred in the South of their native Portugal, which is very warm. The single coat (without undercoat) does shed but not very much.
- SMOOTH COAT
The SPM is a medium-sized type with a dense smooth single layer coat that is extremely low maintenance. It naturally sheds dust and dirt and dries very quickly. For that reason the Smooth Coat variety is preferred in the North of their native Portugal, which has rainy winters. The single coat (without undercoat) does shed but not very much.
Podengo Portugueso Grande
- WIRE COAT
The WPG is a large-sized type with a tough but even temperament and a rough coat that primarily functions as a briar-protectant when hunting wild boar. The single coat (without undercoat) does shed but not very much. Registered WPGs are very rare, even in its home country and is not yet available to export.
- SMOOTH COAT
The SPG is a large-sized type with a dense smooth single layer coat that also functions as a briar-protectant when hunting wild boar. The registered SPG is still rare in its home country, with very few individuals available for export.
Health & Maintenance
It is a healthy breed and the Pequenos have been known to live twenty years, with the average lifespan of the breed approximately 15–17 years. The Médios can live to be approximately 12–15 years.
In Movies, TV, & Print
- Three Wishes
- Homeward Bound II: Lost in San Francisco
- Zeus and Roxanne
- Secondhand Lions
- Can of Worms and Soccer Dog: The Movie
- American Kennel Club http://www.akc.org/pdfs/about/board_minutes/1110.pdf November, 2010 Board Meeting Minutes
- Portuguese Podengo Club Yearbook 2010, Great Britain, pp45-51
- APPMGC (Own work) [CC-BY-SA-3.0 (www.creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons
- Myrriad (Own work) [CC-BY-SA-3.0 (www.creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons
- Vwpolonia75 (Jens K. Müller) (Own work) [CC-BY-3.0 (www.creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons
- Pleple2000 (Own work) [GFDL (www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html), CC-BY-SA-3.0 (www.creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/) or CC-BY-SA-2.5-2.0-1.0 (www.creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.5-2.0-1.0)], via Wikimedia Commons
- Rooge (Own work) [GFDL (www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html) or CC-BY-SA-3.0-2.5-2.0-1.0 (www.creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons
- Podengo (Own work) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons
- Podencoclub (Own work) [CC-BY-SA-3.0 (www.creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons
FCI-Standard Nº 94 / 30.03.2009 / GB
TRANSLATION : Portuguese Kennel Club. Revised by Jennifer Mulholland and Renée Sporre-Willes
ORIGIN : Portugal.
DATE OF PUBLICATION OF THE ORIGINAL VALID STANDARD : 04.11.2008.
Hunting dog, watch dog and companion dog
F.C.I. CLASSIFICATION :
- Group 5 Spitz and Primitive types.
- Section 7 Primitive type – Hunting Dogs.
Without working trial.
BRIEF HISTORICAL SUMMARY :
Primitive type dog, it probably originates from the ancient dogs brought by the Phoenicians and Romans to the Iberian Peninsula in the Classic Antiquity. It was subsequently influenced by the introduction of dogs accompanying the Moors in their invasions in the 8th century. It adapted to the Portuguese terrain and climate, to become what is nowadays known as the Portuguese Warren Hound. It evolved morphologically throughout the centuries due to its functionality, with the small variety being selected, from the 15th century on, as a ratter on the Caravels of the Portuguese navigators.
GENERAL APPEARANCE :
Quadrangular pyramidal head, with erect ears, sickle shaped tail, well proportioned, with sound construction and well muscled; very lively and intelligent; sober and rustic. It exists in three sizes, with two varieties of coat: smooth and wire.
IMPORTANT PROPORTIONS :
Large and Medium-sized Podengo : Almost square (Sub-mediolinear) of large or medium substance respectively. Ratio of length of body to height at the withers: 11/10 and depth of chest to height at withers: 1/2.
Small Podengo : Body slightly longer than high (Sub-longilinear), of small stature. The length of the body is slightly more than the height at withers with a ratio – length of body/height at the withers: 6/5 and depth of chest /height at withers: 1/2.
In all varieties, the muzzle length is less than the skull length.
BEHAVIOR / TEMPERAMENT :
Large Podengo : used for hunting big game.
Medium Podengo : also known as Warren Hound, its natural aptitude as a rabbit hunter is well used, hunting either in a pack or alone.
Small Podengo : used for searching rabbits in holes and rocks.
All varieties are also used as watch dogs and as companion dogs.
Lean and of a quadrangular pyramid shape, with large base and definite pointed muzzle. The longitudinal superior cranium-facial axes are divergent.
CRANIAL REGION :
Skull : Flat; almost straight in profile; prominent superciliary arches; scarcely perceptible frontal furrow; the area between the ears is horizontal with prominent occipital protuberance.
Stop : Barely defined.
FACIAL REGION :
Nose : Tapered and obliquely truncated, prominent at the tip; of darker colour than the coat.
Muzzle : Pointed; curved seen from the front, with a straight profile; shorter than the skull; broader at the base than at the tip.
Lips : Close fitting, thin; firm, horizontally cut and well pigmented.
Jaws/Teeth : Normal with scissors bite, with solid, white teeth; normal occlusion of both jaws. Full dentition in the large variety.
Cheeks : Lean and obliquely set, seen from the front.
Eyes: Very lively expression; not prominent; they are small and slanted with the colour ranging from honey to brown, in accordance with the coat; lids darker than the coat colour.
Ears : Set on obliquely at the level of the eyes; straight, erect, with high mobility; vertical or tilting slightly forward, when attentive; pointed, wider at the base, triangular; thin, of considerable length, more than the width at the base.
In a harmonious transition from head to body; straight; long; well proportioned, strong and well muscled; without dewlap.
Top line: Straight, level.
Withers : Only slightly visible in relation to the neck and back.
Back : Straight and long.
Loin : Straight; broad and well muscled.
Croup : Straight or slightly sloping; medium sized; broad and well muscled.
Chest : Down to the elbows; of moderate width; long, with the sternum rising back and up; ribs slightly sprung and inclined; forechest neither too apparent nor too muscled and of moderate width.
Underline and belly : Slightly tucked up; lean belly and flanks.
Natural, set on rather higher than low; strong, thick and thinning to the tip, of medium length; at rest falls slightly curved between the buttocks down to the hocks, in action it rises horizontally either slightly curved or vertically in sickle shape, but never curled; fringed on the under side.
Upright when seen from front and sides; well muscled and lean.
Shoulder : Long; inclined; strong and well muscled; scapula-humerus angle, approximately 110º.
Elbow : Parallel to the main line of the body.
Forearm : Vertical; long and well muscled.
Carpus (Pastern joint) : Lean and not prominent.
Metacarpus (Pastern) : Short; strong; slightly inclined.
Forefeet : Rounded; long toes, strong, tight and arched; with strong and preferably dark nails, tough and firm pads.
Upright when seen from back and sides; well muscled and lean; parallel to the main body line.
Thigh : Long; of medium width; well muscled.
Stifle joint : Femur-tibia angle approximately 135º.
Second thigh : Inclined; long; lean, strong, well muscled.
Hock : Of medium height; lean; strong; open hock angle, approximately 135º.
Metatarsus (Rear Pastern) : Strong; short; inclined; without dewclaws.
Hind feet : Rounded; long toes, strong, tight and arched; short and strong nails, preferably dark; tough and firm pads.
Light trot, easy and agile movement.
Thin and tight. Mucous membranes preferably dark pigmented or always darker than the coat.
Two varieties: Either short and smooth or long and wire – both of medium thickness; without undercoat. The short coat is more dense than the wire coat. In the wire variety the hair on the muzzle is longer (bearded).
Yellow and fawn in all shades from light to dark, with or without white markings, or white with patches of these colors.
In the Small Podengo, the following colors are accepted but not preferred: black, brown, with or without white markings or white with patches of these colors.
HEIGHT AND WEIGHT:
Small: 20 to 30 cm
Medium: 40 to 54 cm
Large: 55 to 70 cm
Small: 4 to 6 Kg
Medium: 16 to 20 Kg
Large: 20 to 30 Kg
Any departure from the foregoing points should be considered a fault and the seriousness with which the fault should be regarded should be in exact proportion to its degree and its effects on the health and welfare of the dog.
- Behavior : Signs of shyness.
- Cranium/Muzzle : Parallel longitudinal superior cranium-facial axes.
- Jaws : Incorrect occlusion or badly implanted teeth; pincer bite; incomplete dentition in the large variety.
- Nose : Partial lack of pigmentation.
- Neck : Arched.
- Body : Arched top line.
- Croup : Too sloping.
- Dewclaws : Their existence is not appreciated.
- Coat : Silky and/or with undercoat.
SEVERE FAULTS :
- Cranium/Muzzle : Convergent superior cranium-facial axes.
- Nose : Total lack of pigmentation.
- Ears : Rounded.
- Belly : Too tucked up.
- Tail : Curled.
ELIMINATING FAULTS :
- Behavior : Aggressive or overly shy.
- General Appearance : Signs of crossbreeding to sighthounds, pointing breeds or any other crossbreeding.
- Jaws : Undershot or overshot.
- Eyes : Of different colors.
- Ears : Folded or hanging.
- Color : Brindle; black and tan; tricolor and totally white.
Any dog clearly showing physical or behavioral abnormalities shall be disqualified.
N.B.: Male animals should have two apparently normal testicles fully descended into the scrotum.
TagsAfghanistan Africa America Ancient Egypt Ancient Greece Assistance Dogs Austria Bark Behavior Belgium Biology Bosnia Breed Type Canary Islands Catahoula Companion Dog Coonhound Croatia Cur Dog Sport Dog Types Egypt England English-French Evolution Finland Foxhound France Germany Greece Guard Dogs Hairless Health History Hounds Hungary Iberia Imperial China Ireland Israel Italy Lap Dog Malta Montenegro North Africa Norway Nutrition Palestine Pariah Persia Peru Poland Portugal Primitive Rabies Ridgeback Roman Russia Scenthound Scotland Serbia Sicily Sighthound Slovakia Spain Spitz Sweden Switzerland Taiwan Thailand The Domestic Dog Training Transylvania Wales Working Dogs