The Portuguese Podengo is a Portuguese breed that has spread to other countries. As a result, it is recognized by numerous kennel clubs in numerous countries, though the exact nature of such recognition can see some variation from place to place. Here are 10 things that you may or may not have known about the Portuguese Podengo:
1. Old Breed
The Portuguese Podengo has ancient roots, so much so that no one can be sure of the exact manner in which it came into existence. In fact, there are even people who believe that the breed might have some heritage from the breeds brought by the Phoenicians, whose exceptional seamanship enabled them to visit the Iberian Peninsula and beyond.
2. Uses More than One Sense for Hunting
Some breeds are classified as sight hounds while other breeds are classified as scent hounds. The Portuguese Podengo is sometimes classified as one of the two, but neither one is 100 percent accurate because the breed relies on both its sense of sight and its sense of smell when it is out on the hunt.
3. Either Smooth-Coated or Wire-Coated
It is possible for the Portuguese Podengo to possess one of two kinds of coats. First, a member of the breed can have a smooth coat with short hairs. Second, a member of the breed can have a wired coat with long hairs.
4. Smooth-Coated Is the Traditional Look
For those who are curious, a smooth coat with short hairs is the traditional look for the Portuguese Podengo. In contrast, the wired coat with long hairs is believed to have been incorporated into the breed when it was crossbred with other breeds in the 20th century.
5. Comes in Three Sizes
In most cases, the Portuguese Podengo is considered to be a single breed. However, the members of the breed can be divided into three categories that are called Pequeno, Medio, and Grande. Based on the names, it should come as no surprise to learn that these categories are based on the size of the dog.
6. Size Determines Prey
Each of the three breeds has seen extensive use for hunting. However, the size of the dog determines the kind of prey that it is meant to hunt. For example, both the Pequeno and the Medio see use for hunting rabbits, while both the Medio and the Grande see use for hunting boars. This makes sense because rabbits, boars, and deer are very different animals, meaning that the best results come from very different hounds.
7. Has Been Used as Ratters
The smaller members of the breed have been used to hunt rats, which have posed a serious threat to human food supplies since prehistoric times. In particular, it is worth mentioning that such dogs have seen extensive service on Portuguese ships, meaning that they played a role in the establishment of Portugal’s overseas empire.
Generally speaking, the Portuguese Podengo is a very watchful animal. Moreover, it won’t hesitate to bark whenever it sees something that manages to catch its interest, which is why the breed sees a fair amount of use as guard dogs. Something that is particularly true because of the breed’s fearlessness, which is why enables it to take on its prey.
9. Needs Secure Fences
Portuguese Podengos are very active animals, meaning that they do well when they have sufficient space to run around in. However, their owners need to make sure that their fences have been secured because the breed is quite good at getting out of such enclosures. For example, the right fences need to be tall because Portuguese Podengos are excellent jumpers. Likewise, the right fences need to have a portion that sits well below the ground because Portuguese Podengos are quite good at digging as well.
10. Considered a Primitive Dog
It is important to note that the Portuguese Podengo is considered to be a primitive dog, meaning that it has some instincts that can seem less domesticated. As a result, interested individuals need to make sure that they are actually capable of handling primitive dogs because otherwise, they could very well end up with a disobedient dog that doesn’t do what they want it to do.