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Portuguese Podengo Dog Breed… Everything You Need to Know at a Glance!

He is a natural born hunter….

The Portuguese Podengo is a hound dog through and through!  Which is why if you do choose to adopt one of these awesome animals, you should expect him or her to be constantly alert, playful indicative of their ancient lineage.

You see..

The Portuguese Pondego is one of the oldest dog breeds in the world which is why it shouldn’t come as surprise to anyone who has had the pleasure of meeting one that this breed is still going strong today.

In fact…

There are actually considered the national dog of Portugal.  That said however, one should understand that while the Portuguese Pondengo is considered just ONE breed, there are actually three different types that constitute the whole.

Three types…

There are three types of the Portuguese Podengo or three different sizes…

  • The Portuguese Podengo Pequeno, the smallest, 8 to 12 inches at shoulder height
  • The Portuguese Podengo Medio, mid-sized dog, 16 to 22 inches at shoulder height
  • The Portuguese Podengo Grande, the biggest, 22 to 28 inches at shoulder height

All of which…

Are sighthounds through and through.  Which means he hunts by sight, and not scent. He has a keen eyesight and excels at hunting rabbits. Leave him by himself in a park, and he will run around all day long, looking for rabbits and other small animals.

He can be a very good watchdog…

The Portuguese Podengos, whether they’re Pequenos, Medios or Grandes, make for excellent watchdogs. They are alert and sharp, and very serious about their job.

These guys are also…

Not the sort of dogs that jump on strangers or bark unnecessarily. While they have a suspicious nature, they are calm and composed and never shy or aggressive.


The Portuguese Podengos belong to the same Hound Group as the Ibizan Hound, Pharaoh Hound and the Cirneco dell Etna. All of these breeds probably share the same origin and are very good at hunting.

But is the Portuguese Podengo a good pet?

Yes, he certainly is that. The Podengo can be a perfect family dog provided you treat him with love and respect. This means making him a part of every family activity and treating him like a member of the family.

He is…

An intelligent, high-energy dog, and hates being relegated to the sidelines. And yes, he needs lots of exercise – you have to take him out on long walks every day, without fail.

Just make sure…

To bring the Podengo puppy home from a reputable breeder who runs an ethical breeding program. Avoid the puppy mills.


You should have the Podengo on a leash every time you take him out for a walk. There’s no stopping him when he starts chasing cats or other small animals once he comes across them.

Read on for more interesting facts about the Portuguese Podengo.

Portuguese Podengo Fast Facts

Country of Origin: Portugal

Original Purpose:  Hunting

Height: Pequeno: 8 to 12, Medio: 16 to 22, Grande: 22 to 28 inches at the shoulder

Weight: Pequeno: 8 to 14 pounds, Medio: 35 to 45 pounds, Grande: 44 to 66 pounds

Dog Breed Classification:  Hound group

Life Span: 10 to 14 years

History and Origin

The Portuguese Podengo is from Portugal, of course. But where is he really from?

Well, he is an ancient breed and his origins go back to 600 B.C. He was first bred by the ancient Phoenicians and Romans for hunting boars.

Back then…

The Podengo Grande was a fearsome hunting dog that could bring down any beast, while the Medio and the Pequeno were much smaller. They were used to hunt rabbits only.


What made the Podengo Grandes such special hunting dogs was that they hunted in packs, and were absolutely unbeatable. They were used to hunt boars, and sometimes, to hunt runaway slaves. They were deadly, relentless and ruthless, and there was no escape for any creature that came in their way.


The Podengos made their way to the Iberian Peninsula, and became the favorite hunting dogs of the Portuguese Explorers. They took them everywhere they went, including to the New World.

We should also point out that…

The Podengo is one of the ten National Dogs of Portugal and is one of the oldest members of the Portuguese Kennel Club. He was brought to the United States in the 1990’s.

The American Kennel Club registered the Portuguese Podengo dog for the first time in 2013. The AKC recognizes the Portuguese Podengo Pequeno as separate from the Grande and Medio Podengos.

 Physical Characteristics

The Podengo Breed Standard is certainly an impressive physical specimen. All Podengos, the Podengo Pequeno, Medio and Grande are incredibly athletic dogs. They do very well in dog sports such as obedience, tracking and rally.

They also have…

An ability to jump really high – which means no fence is too tall for them.  They have a perfect physique, well-proportioned, lean, mean, muscular and strong.  They have amazing stamina and strength and can run for miles without slowing down.


When you really take a good look at their head, you’ll notice that they have a triangular shaped head, pricked-up erect ears, sickle shaped tail and almond-shaped eyes. They have a real mean look about them, as though they mean business.


The Podengos have two different types of coat, smooth and wirehaired. Some Podengos have smooth, short and dense coats.

Others have wirehaired, less dense and slightly coarse coats.

The coats are of different colors such as fawn or yellow with patches of white, or white with patches of fawn or yellow.


Podengos are no-nonsense pets; they don’t shed much and have minimal grooming requirements. Just brush their coat once every week and give them a bath every now and then. That should be enough.

Temperament and Personality

Podengos have been hunting dogs for more than 2,000 years. They are quiet, reserved, and serious in character and very loyal to their owners. They are good with kids too, provided they have been socialized from an early age.


You should be aware that they are not too friendly with strangers, but at the same time they don’t act aggressively with them. They are always alert and know exactly what’s happening around them. They are intelligent dogs and easy to train. The training and socialization should begin from an early age, right from the time they are puppies.

They’re also…

Probably not suited to the city life as they need a plenty of space to move around and need to be close to the nature. They have a strong prey drive and will view other pets, especially cats, as prey. They love chasing squirrels, rabbits and other small animals.

Health Problems

The Portuguese Podengo is one of the healthiest dogs out there, but even he can suffer from certain health problems such as….

And while…

Many of these conditions may not be life threatening, they can certainly become quite expensive to deal with particularly if they become recurring issues.

This is why…

We here at IndulgeYourPet also recommend that any new pet owner take a moment and see what it might cost for you to purchase a pet insurance policy for your new animal.

Now will a pet insurance policy be right for everyone?

No, probably not.  But until you fully understand what these policies “will” and “won’t” cover and how much these pet insurance policies cost, how will you know if one might be right for you?

For more information on who we feel currently offers the “best” pet insurance policies out there, we would encourage you to check out our Best Pet Insurance Policies article.

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