Portuguese Podengo

Breed History / Description

The breed bears some common ancestry with the Pharaoh hounds, brought into the Mediterranean by Phoenician sailors. Podengo means 'rabbit hunter' or 'warren hound' and this hunting ability, along with his skill in controlling vermin around the house made him very popular in Portugal from the 16th century. Nowadays he retains that popularity but mostly as a family companion where his friendly temperament, character and intelligence make him a great personality. 

The breed has three sizes – small, medium and large and two coats – the smooth haired variety – developed in the wetter climate of northern Portugal and the wire coated in drier areas where the wire coat could often protect against the sun. Only the smallest variety is seen in the UK.


A primitive dog used primarily for hunting rabbits. A keen, alert and agile dog who hunts by scent, sight and hearing. 


Sociable, intelligent and lively.

Club, K., 2018. The Kennel Club's Breed Standards. 5th ed. London SW1V 2SA: Ebury Press.

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