Breed: Portuguese Podengo
Country of Origin: Portugal
Color: Black, Fawn, Gold, Chestnut, Grey, Orange
Life Expectancy: 11-14 years
Height: 8-12 inches (20-31 cm)
Weight: 9-13 pounds (4-6 kg)
Litter Size: 3-7 puppies
The Podengo Portugueso comes in three sizes: The Grande (large), Medio (medium) and Pequeno (small). There are two possible origins of all Podengo Portugueso.
The Grande, from which the Medio and Pequeno evolved, is similar to the tan-colored sighthounds, such as the Pharaoh Hound, which spread out of North Africa to the Iberian Peninsula. However, the Podengo could be a descendant of small Iberian wolves. Although the Medio's closest relative, the Podengo Grande, is now very rare, this lively and alert medium-sized hound remains a popular dog, particularly in rural parts of northern Portugal.
It is sometimes still used as a small-game hunter there. Hunting in packs or alone, the Portuguese Hounds became very skilled at hunting rabbits. Human intervention in breeding has reduced the Medio's size, while leaving other characteristics intact. In Portugal these dogs are used for hunting, ratting, guard work and companionship. It is nicknamed the Portuguese Rabbit Dog.
There are three sizes of Podengo Portugueso: Grande (large), Medio (medium) and Pequeno (small). The Medio Podengo Portugueso is a moderately-sized sighthound type with a well-proportioned head, flat skull and pronounced stop.
The nose is usually brown, but may be black. The ears are large, naturally upright, triangular and highly mobile, turning forward to catch sound. The muzzle is straight. The chest is muscular and prominent.
The small, oblique eyes are brown to honey in color. The cat-like feet have well-arched toes with hard, strong pads. The back line only has a slight arch. The neck is strong and muscular without dewlap.
When the dog is calm the tail hangs down; when the dog is excited or in motion the tail is horizontal. The coat comes in two varieties: smooth and wirehaired. The smooth coat is hard and longer than that of most sighthounds. The wirehaired coat is medium-long, shaggy and coarse. Colors may include yellow, fawn or black with white markings.
Temperament: Lively, Intelligent, Companionable, Friendly, Hardy, Active
Health Problems: A very healthy breed. Because this breed has had relatively limited intervention by humans, it has a low incidence of known inherited defects or diseases.
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