The Portuguese Podengo is a small and primitive sighthound/scenthound. Slightly longer than tall, this breed is an expert hunter who hunts by sight, scent and hearing. It has a wedge-shaped head with prominent occipital bone, and short, pointed muzzle with a slightly overhanging nose. The eyes are set obliquely ranging from light to dark brown colour which depends on the colour of the coat. The large, triangular ears are broad at the base, tapering to a point and are carried erect. The teeth form a complete scissor bite. A straight and well muscled neck provides ample support to the wedge-shaped head. The Portuguese Podengo has a fairly deep chest and a level topline, with straight and parallel forelegs and equally muscular hindquarters. The legs are supported by strong, round feet with firm pads that helps cushion the breed when in motion. The Podengo comes in smooth- or wire-coat and never trimmed. The coat of the smooth variety is very dense and short while the coat of the wire variety is rough and harsh though is not as thick as the smooth variety and it comes without an undercoat. The wire-coated also sports a distinct beard. Coat colour comes in yellow, fawn (light to dark shades), black (diluted or faded) with or without white markings and white with markings of yellow, fawn, or black.
All dog breeds have different levels of intellect. Some dog breeds; working dogs in particular, are very independent thinkers and have been evolved to be very intelligent. Typically, a highly intelligent dog does well in obedience training and other activities. A highly intelligent dog can be very demanding and do require lots of physical and mental stimulation. If you’re looking for a relatively laid-back dog, that doesn’t require lots of mental and physical stimulation, then you must fully understand the level of intelligence of your dog breed of choice.
Before committing to a certain dog breed, you must fully understand their intellect levels and their specific levels of energy. To keep your dog well-balanced and happy, their needs must be met and maintained.
All dog breeds have different needs when it comes to the level of exercise they require. For the high energy dogs; which are your typical working dogs, they have a lot of energy and require lots of daily exercise along with plenty of mental stimulation. A highly energetic dog breed would suit an individual or family that is equally as active and loves the outdoors. There are also breeds that have relatively low exercise needs, such as toy dog breeds. Although they require daily exercise and mental stimulation, they’re just as happy chilling at home with their loved ones. This type of dog breed would suit an individual or family that prefers the peace and quiet and relaxation.
Before deciding on your chosen dog breed, Mypetzilla recommends that you research the exercise needs and whether you’re well equipped before committing to buying or adopting a particular dog breed.
There are several dog breeds that are known and potentially predisposed to developing health related conditions. Sensible breeding can help prevent the onset of health related conditions and this should always be taken into condition when researching your dog breed of choice. Before committing to a dog, you should speak to the breeder about any health related conditions that may affect the dog you’re looking to buy or adopt. You can also request to see any test results from genetic testing.
There are many dog breeds that tolerate children really well and are not affected by the constant noise and need for play-time. However, there are some dog breeds that don’t do very well with children and can become frustrated and snappy. That being said, all children should be shown how to handle and care for a dog in their home and should always be supervised when playing. As much as a dog can become annoyed and snappy with a younger child, the child can also become less tolerant and misbehaved towards the dog.
Mypetzilla recommends that you always supervise play-time between your children and dog. Children need to respect the boundaries and feeding time for the dog and likewise for the child. We also strongly advise that play-time doesn’t get out of control and too rough which can cause injury to both child and dog.
There are lots of dog breeds that are well suited to living in an apartment. It’s worthwhile noting that you need to check that you’re allowed dogs in your building before committing to bringing one home. If you do decide to own a dog and are living in an apartment, then you must make sure that they have plenty of room to roam around and frequent walks outside to prevent them from becoming bored and depressed.
Mypetzilla recommends that you check as to whether you’re allowed dogs in your apartment building and to fully ensure your apartment is dog proof before committing fully to bringing a dog home.
All dog breeds shed to some extent, some more than others. With this, all potential dog owners should be aware of this, as it will be a matter of putting up with some hair or lots of hair being left around the house. Depending on the dog breed, there are certain times during the year where some dog breeds shed the most and this is typically around spring and autumn. However, there are some dog breeds that shed all year round.
If you’re very house-proud, they you may want to choose a dog breed that sheds very little. Mypetzilla strongly recommends that you fully research your dog breed of choice and their shedding levels before committing.
All dog breeds require different levels of grooming. Some dog breeds are easier to maintain than others and only require a weekly brush to help keep their coat in good condition. There are some dog breeds that require regular trips to the grooming parlour and this can come at a huge cost. Either way, all dog breeds require their coat and nails to be maintained and cared for.
Mypetzilla strongly advices that potential owners research the grooming needs and associated costs with their desired dog breed before fully committing.
Barking is a necessity for your dog to communicate. However, it can also be a nuisance to yourself and fellow neighbours if it’s not kept under control. If you live in an apartment, then you’re better off choosing a dog breed that doesn’t bark as much. If you live further out and far from civilisation, then it’s worthwhile looking into a dog breed that does bark and will bark to alert you of any other company on your property.
Mypetzilla advices that you research the behaviours of your dog breed of choice and whether this would work for you and your family. It’s worth noting that dogs can be trained to bark less and this will take a lot of effort and training from the owner.
Majority dog breeds form very close relationships with their owners and as a result can become very stressed when left alone for a period of time. If a dog is suffering with separation anxiety then they’re very likely to become destructive around the home as a way of dealing with their anxieties. Dog breeds that do form strong bonds with their owners are better accustomed to a household where one member of the family remains home, whilst the others are out, this is to help avoid further anxieties and destructive behaviours.
Mypetzilla recommends that all potential owners research their dog breed of choice on their bonding abilities and how well-adjusted they are to being left alone at home. It’s also worth noting that you should never leave your dog for longer than 4 hours alone at home.
There are certain dogs breeds that have very high intellect and therefore easier to train than other dog breeds. There is also a downside to this; as fast as they learn the new trick or command, they can easily pick up bad habits just as quick. Other dog breeds that don’t rank as high on the intellect scale require patience and plenty of reward treats from their owners during training.
Before committing to a certain dog breed, Mypetzilla advices you to fully research your dog breed of choice and their level of training needs.
All dog breeds have different energy levels. The working dog breed has one of the highest energy levels in comparison to the low-energy dog’s breeds such as the Toy dog breed group. To keep a dog truly happy, healthy and well-balanced, their energy levels must be met.
High-energy dog breeds need lots of exercise and mental stimulation. High energy dog breeds would suit an active family or person. Dog breeds that are considered as low-energy, love to spend the majority of their time relaxing and sleeping in their favourite, comfy spot. A low-energy dog breed would suit an individual that equally loves the quiet life and relaxing lifestyle. Of course, low-energy dogs still need their daily walks and mental stimulation, just not as much as a high-energy dog breed.
Mypetzilla recommends that potential owner research fully on the type of dog breed that would suit their existing lifestyle and to also take into consideration the dog breeds energy levels and exercise requirements.
Before you decide on what dog breed would be suitable for you and your family, you must consider whether they’re a friendly dog breed and if you already have other pets within the household. For homes that already have dogs and other domestic pets, then it’s wise to choose a dog breed that has a friendly personality and temperament.
There are some dog breeds that mix well with other dog breeds and there are others that don’t suit one another and this could potentially cause issues later on down the line.
Another important point to consider is whether the dog breed of choice is friendly towards people and children.
Mypetzilla recommends to research fully on the right dog breed for your family and to also consider their temperament and characteristics.
There are several theories as to the origin of the Portuguese Podengo but the most probable is that it shares common ancestral origin with some of the breeds of the Mediterranean. It is believed that the Podengo descended from the Pharaoh hound of ancient Egypt and may have existed as far back as 5,000 years ago. It was brought by the Phoenicians from Asia Minor around 700 B.C. to northern Africa and the Mediterranean region including Portugal. The abundance of the rabbit population on the Iberian Peninsula along with the need for a more versatile hunting technique encouraged the use of this agile breed given its adaptable qualities and skills in hunting. Later, the Greeks and the Romans introduced other breeds with the same characteristics as evident in the mosaics within the ancient Roman ruins at Conimbriga, Portugal and by the first written record that referred to the Podengo in 1199 A.D. during the time of King Sancho I of Portugal. It remained a popular household pet, vermin controller and rabbit hunter for many centuries and it is more likely that it was deliberately bred down in size to enable it to enter burrows and flush out rabbits. Later, it was brought by Portuguese sailors to central Africa, Brazil, and India in the 15th and 16th centuries. To this date, there are many canines similar to the Podengo that exists in northern Africa and the border countries of the Mediterranean, though some don’t represent sound breeds but the healthy population establishes the origin of the Podengo. In 2002, the breed was introduced to the United Kingdom and was officially recognized by the Kennel Club in 2003. Today, the Podengo is the national dog of Portugal and still holds on to the features of its early ancestors. Although still a rarity, it is slowly gaining popularity as an appealing companion and show dog.
The Portuguese Podengo is a friendly, happy, agile and intelligent breed. Very active and attached, generally good with children and other household animals if socialized from an early age. It is quite easy to maintain; only barks occasionally when it senses something out of the ordinary. It likes to be the centre of attention and is a very fast learner. The Podengo is an expert digger and it likes to dig a lot. It is also a loyal and fearless breed which makes it an excellent candidate for a watchdog.
Grooming is quite straightforward; the smooth-coated Podengo needs less grooming, usually a once a week brushing will do; the wire-coated Podengo needs more frequent grooming, usually several times a week will suffice. Bathe only when necessary.
Due to the fact that the Podengo breed has not yet been subjected to human manipulation, it is extensively free of any genetic defects. It has an average lifespan between 13 to 16 years and is a fairly long-lived breed.
The Podengo is an active breed and requires a lot of daily exercise. It should be taken on daily long walks and should not be confined in a kennel. It will do fine in an apartment living provided that it is taken out daily for a stroll or a session of play in a secured open space so that boredom will not set in. It will do best in a house with a medium-sized, fenced in yard. The Podengo is an expert digger and can often dig its way out of the fence if it is not properly secured. If you love your flowers, don’t leave a Podengo alone in the yard. It is suggested that this breed be kept on-leash when it is in public places.
This breed is very sympathetic of other pets in the house but some lines may not do well with other dogs and will often fight with them. However, like all canines, early socialization is the key to producing a well-balanced breed, free from unsocial and destructive behaviours.