The Podengo is a term used in the United States to mean the Medio and/or the Grande size of the Portuguese Hunting Hound. It is a smart and active dog. In their native Portugal they are used to hunt and run down game. Rabbits, Stag and Boar. In many of the native kennels they typically NOT raised in the home like we do in the US but in outbuildings with human contact limited to basic care and the hunt.
We in the United States are still learning about the breed ourselves. We closely evaluate the puppies throughout their development to adults to see what kinds of home situations work the best. The hunt drive is strong so we do NOT recommend that you get a Medio/Grande if you already have a small breed dog or indoor cats. While there are many dogs that are successful in obedience, rally and other events, it is important to remember that it is because of extensive training – not by accident.
Each animal and situation however needs to be evaluated on it's own merits and most of us would be happy to help you figure out if this dog is for you.
Most common questions we get about the Podengo
If you had not split off from the Podengo Pequeno you would be going into regular status too. Why did you do that?
The original club submitted the Podengo as one breed. It became obvious to us that this original submission had a couple of problems. The first in the AKC definition of a breed is that the different variations can be bred together. Breeding a 8-12 inch dog to the larger sizes would then lose the 4” gap that should exist between the top of the little and the bottom of the big. This would result in producing dogs that would not fit their purpose of the integrity of the breed.
The second is the Podengo Pequeno is longer than tall – the Podengo is more square. The Pequeno is not a bred down big and the big is not a bred up pequeno. They have different functions and share little common ancestry and no connection in morphology.
So while it might have been faster – it was not the best for either breed when we are trying to stay true to the intent of the breed in Portugal in 2009 the Podengo Pequeno and the Podengo were split into 2 breeds for AKC purposes.
How can I find a Medio or Grande breeder near me?
Unless you live in a few specific states you will not find a breeder near you. This is a rare breed in the US and most of us are working on a breed recovery project. Breeding is limited with careful attention to the diversity (or lack of) in the gene pool. We welcome new people who are looking to own or participate in activities and seldom breed without a waiting list.
Are the puppies registered anywhere?
Puppies should be 'recorded' with AKC Foundation Stock Services - which is the part of AKC registration that is available to us. They may be individually registered, or just registered as a litter but they are not eligible to participate in activities without an AKC number. Puppies may also be registered with UKC. It is your job to discuss with the breeder you have selected what the status is. Since the future of the breed depends on AKC recording - we support the registration of all puppies as soon as possible.
How often are puppies born?
Litters are carefully planned and the number of litters is many times based on the availability of suitable homes - if you are interested in this breed it would be helpful to get on a breeders waiting list. Or look at puppies currently on the ground and available young adults.
Can I get one from Portugal myself?
We would be happy to provide some contact information however it is a complex process and may take a while to establish a relationship. The easiest way is to fly over and bring your puppy back - that way you can get your puppy at 8-10 weeks so you will still be able to socialize it. Anything older (unless from some particular breeders) will have lived in a kennel building with little human contact. Shipping will be based on the size/weight of the dog and can vary from 500 - 2600 Euros and of course varies with the exchange rate. Purchase price is typically around 500-700 Euros.
I think I have a Podengo - can I register it?
There are so few REGISTERED Podengos in the US and we do know where almost all of them are. Many years ago Portuguese hunters imported some dogs for hunting and have likely had litters over the years. We would be happy to look at pictures of your dog - but as the Podengo is a primitive breed - most mixed breeds - when mixed together enough also look like primitive breeds. If you have what you think is a Podengo and would like it certified for a PAL number with AKC. Please contact us and we will be happy to help.
What health issue are there?
We have little information and no testing from the country of origin. The gene pool in the United States is so small that it is critical to focus on creating a population of greater diversity rather than test for more common issues. To date we know that the structure of the ear – lends itself to frequent ear infections, we know there have been some environmental and food allergies – we know there have been some issues with Thyroid. We encourage people to share information openly with their Podengo.