The Portuguese Podengo Pequeno may not be a household name, but it is a surprisingly well-established breed in Portugal. It is the smallest of the Podengos, and looks something like a smooth or wirehaired Basenji. These dogs are alert and loving, making them ideal family companions. Read on to learn more about the Portuguese Podengo Pequeno.
Description of the Portuguese Podengo Pequeno
These dogs are said to have a “wedge-shaped” head, although it looks more like a pointy cone. With dramatic ears and big brown eyes, they are full of personality. When they’re happy, their tail swings jauntily over their back.
The Podengo was originally a rabbit hunter in Portugal. However, their history extends far before that. This breed’s ancestors were brought from all over the world to Europe.
There are two types of coat associated with this breed. One is short and smooth, and the other wiry. Both dogs can be many different colors, but are perhaps most famous for a pretty orange. Other options include black, chestnut, fawn, and gold.
Life Expectancy and Size
The Podengo generally lives into its early to mid teens, with an average lifespan of 12 to 16 years. Well-bred dogs that avoid spinal issues may live even longer. This is the smallest type of Podengo, at just 8 to 12 inches tall. They general weigh between 9 and 13 pounds. They’re sturdy, yet portable!
This breed doesn’t have any special protective abilities. They’re quite small and unlike terriers they don’t bark that much. It’s not advisable to get a Portuguese Podengo Pequeno as a guard dog!
The Podengo is clever, and can be a quick learner when paired with a good teacher. Remember that these are hunting dogs. A strong foundation in reward- and relationship-based training will help ensure that your Podengo pays attention to you in distracting situations.
They do best with reward-based training and may choose to avoid you if you resort to correction-based training. This breed loves to have a job, so treat training sessions as such. However, make sure to keep them short and sweet so as to avoid the inevitable boredom that will arise from dragged-out training.
These dogs have a good amount of energy, but aren’t nearly as hyper as many other small dogs. Instead, they’re constantly alert, waiting for the next opportunity to play. Games are a great way to bond you’re your Podengo and keep them nice and fit. Once you tucker them out, they’ll happily curl up on the couch for the evening.
What Living with a Portuguese Podengo Pequeno is Like
This breed is a great choice for families. They are loving and active, yet not overly energetic. They will chase anything that moves, though. This means that the Podengo will have great fun playing fetch with the kids. It also means that it is essential to have a safely enclosed yard.
When well-bred and well-exercised, these dogs have fewer health problems than some other small breeds. This breed isn’t a good choice for homes that want an athletic companion to join on hikes or jogs. In those cases, it might be best to go with a larger Podengo. Otherwise, these happy little dogs can fit into a variety of homes.
Care of the Portuguese Podengo Pequeno
Multiple coat types, both smooth and wiry, give you the option to choose a Podengo that fits your needs.
This breed was not meant for particularly harsh conditions. The wire-haired version will fair much better in the cold. However, the smooth-coated version may need a bit of extra protection. These are tough little dogs that were meant to be outdoors. Make sure to monitor their behavior in the winter to make sure that they don’t get too chilly.
As a hunting dog, the Podengo does require some exercise. Daily walks or playtime will suffice for most. They love being with people, and will happily chase a ball for as long as you’ll let them.
If you don’t have access to a safe green space, Podengo’s will also happily go on walks. Some can be difficult and pull when they see something fun to chase. Address this instinct early in obedience classes so that your Podengo can happily accompany you for walks.
Shedding and Grooming
The shorthaired Podengo is quite low maintenance, requiring only the occasional brush or bath. Unfortunately, both versions of this dog do shed some.
The wire-haired variety may need a bit more brushing, but is still quite low-maintenance. It’s recommended to run a comb through their hair at least once a week. During heavy periods of shedding, it may help to become more diligent.
Ideal Home Environment
This breed is a great addition to families that want an active companion without all the craziness of many energetic small breeds. The Podengo is easy-care, and can fit into a variety of environments. Ideally, he should have a place to run around and play. Most individuals can adapt to life on a leash if need be.
The Portuguese Podengo Pequeno is friendly and social. Although small, he has the personality of a big dog. Most Podengos get along well with strangers, including other dogs. Of course, socialization is always important to help develop a well-adjusted adult.
This breed is generally quite healthy. They may have some issues with their bones and joints, especially the hip and knee. Podengos may begin to develop problems with their sight as they age.
The most common behavioral issues with Podengos stem from boredom. If they do not have enough time to vent their energy, they may become destructive. This can usually be easily fixed by making sure that they receive appropriate amounts of energy and attention.