The 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 (Medio) 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 dogs 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.
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.
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. The Medio, particularly the Wirehaired, presents behavioral and intellectual challenges that inexperienced or unprepared dog owners will find unacceptable such as inattentiveness, independence, dog-dog aggression, resource hoarding and guarding, very loud and persistent barking, serious recreational digging, fence jumping, destructiveness and running away.
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