History and Origin of the Portuguese Podengo
Hailing from the country of Portugal, this ancient sighthound dates back to as early as the 5th century. As there is a resemblance to several other breeds (such as the Pharaoh Hound, Ibizan Hound, and Cirneco dell Etna), the Portuguese Podengo likely developed from these ancestral breeds. They use their very keen senses of sight and smell to aid them in hunting their prey. Fun fact: Portuguese Podengos have starred in movies such as “Dante’s Peak,” “Homeward Bound II: Lost in San Francisco,” and “Soccer Dog: The Movie.”
Appearance and Size of the Portuguese Podengo
The Portuguese Podengo comes in 3 sizes: small (Pequeno, 10 to 13 pounds), medium (Medio, 35 to 45 pounds), and large (Grande, 44 to 66 pounds). Each size can come with a short, smooth coat or a longer, wirehaired coat. Most Portuguese Podengos are yellow or fawn-colored.
Personality of the Portuguese Podengo
Most hunting breeds enjoy regular exercise and stimulation, and the Portuguese Podengo is no exception. Their natural athleticism enables them to excel at dog sports such as agility, lure coursing, obedience, rally, or tracking. At least 30 minutes of activity daily (including free play) is beneficial.
Home and Family Relations with the Portuguese Podengo
The Podengos are friendly family members, and are good with children and small pets (such as cats or small dogs) if raised with them from a young age. They do have a high prey drive, so this should be taken into consideration when introducing new pets to the family, or even when taking the Podengo for a neighborhood stroll. They are naturally alert to their surroundings, which makes them excellent watchdogs.
Training of the Portuguese Podengo
Portuguese Podengos are naturally intelligent and benefit from short but frequent training sessions to lessen boredom. Positive rewards such as play, praise, or food are most likely to reinforce good behavior. Once trained, they have excellent recall when unleashed.
Grooming of the Portuguese Podengo
The Podengo is a low-maintenance breed, and bathing is rarely needed. Weekly brushing (of either the short or longer coat), regular nail trimming, teeth brushing, and ear cleaning are recommended.
Special Care of the Portuguese Podengo
Portuguese Podengos enjoy digging, and they can also jump extremely high. For these reasons, caution should be exercised when they are spending time outdoors. Secure fencing should be considered so the Podengo cannot escape by digging under a fence, or by hopping over it.
Common Diseases and Disorders of the Portuguese Podengo
The Portuguese Podengo is a generally healthy breed, and rarely demonstrates genetic diseases. That said, it is possible for them to develop Legg Calves Perthes disease (a blood supply deficiency to the femur, causing lameness) or luxating patella.
Life Span of the Portuguese Podengo
The Portuguese Podengo can live up to 10-12 years or more.