Portuguese Podengos are vivacious, nimble, playful, attentive, very clever, but not always simple to teach, autonomous, yet devoted to their family, and occasionally wary of strangers. The larger size of the breed hunts deer and boar, while the medium-sized size hunts rabbit. They are successful in the United States in the conformation ring, barn hunt, rally, agility, nose work, and coursing.
A hardy coursing hound, the Podengo is available in two sizes: medium (16 to 22 inches at the shoulder) and big (22 to 28 inches). They also come in smooth and wire-haired coat varieties. The breed’s admirers refer to it as “primitive,” which describes it as a simple, unadorned hound that has remained unaffected by trends and fashion since arriving on the Iberian Peninsula centuries ago.
Large, erect, triangular ears, a pyramid-shaped head that tapers to the nose, and softly expressive almond-shaped eyes are just a few of their distinguishing features. In general, Podengos are playful, humorous dogs. They can easily amuse themselves with toys, chase each other around the home and yard, and stalk each other. They are extremely clever and quick to pick up new information. However, because they are vigilant dogs, they are less amiable and playful with strangers and could regard smaller animals, like dogs and cats, as prey. At first, they could come out as fairly reticent and prefer to greet others according to their own terms. They are very accommodating, eager to satisfy their family members, and tolerant of the majority of our needs.