Podengo Central

Podengo Central

A place for Podengo owners and fanciers to share information and research the breed in a topical manner. Supported by the APPMGC & APPPC

    Podengo Pequeno Habit


    Posts : 94
    Join date : 2009-08-08

    Podengo Pequeno Habit

    Post  Admin on Sun Jan 02, 2011 11:09 am

    Recently printed in Sight and Scent magazine:

    WARNING !! The Pequeno is known to become addictive and habit forming....
    Think potato chips.... (it's hard to stop at 1....)
    Is the Podengo Pequeno the right breed for your family?
    By Ginger Bowles – Falcao
    The Podengo Pequeno is a small primitive hound that was developed and is still used to hunt rabbits in packs or individually in it's native Portugal. Although they resemble terriers, they are NOTHING like a terrier. They are Hounds and they will come back, unlike most hounds. They are designed to run over rock piles and under thick brush where the larger sized Podengo Medio/Grandes cannot.
    The Pequeno is a completely separate breed from the Medio/Grande. Pequenos are close cover, short distance rabbit hunters while Medio/Grandes are bred for open field Hare, Boar and Deer hunting. Medio/Grande instincts are much stronger for prey and they have been bred to be much more vocal than Pequeno's due to the distance they hunt from their owners.
    Due to the manner in which Pequeno's hunt, their feet are flexible and soft like a cat so they do not wear their nails down. Bi-Monthly clipping is necessary. Many of my Pequeno videos include normal sound under the music while the dogs are out in my back yard hunting for Squirrels or Lizards. You will become immediately aware that the dogs are quiet. Unless disturbed, they do not bark throughout the day and do not bark unless they are calling the Pack to their treed prey. Everyone who visits us here at Falcao comment about how quiet the dogs are. I highly recommend visiting us here at Falcao if you are seriously interested in Pequeno's. This way you can get your hands on all ages and both sexes of Pequeno. You can see how the pack interacts with each other and visitors both inside and outside the house.
     Size: 20-30 cm or a range of about 4 inches (8-12 inches)
     Weight: 4-7 kgs or 9-14 lbs
     Color: All shades of Fawn or Yellow with white are acceptable. Disqualified colors include: Solid white, black-tan, tri-color & Brindle
     Classification: Primitive - Group 5 (FCI) or Hounds (Scent hounds)
     Character: Watchdog, Rabbit Hunter, Pack dog, loyal companion. Fun outgoing with family or pack. Watchful and suspicious of strangers.
     Activity: Medium energy, require daily exercise and regular dog interaction if raised alone.
     Grooming: Regular combing when coat dies off and changes to remove dead hair. Regular nail clipping, at least twice a month or more to keep nails short.
    They are NOT suitable for all homes and family types! No single breed is right for all families regardless of claims to the contrary.
    Here are some things you need to know about the breed.
    • They HUNT since this is a Hunting breed. They will kill birds, rodents, squirrels or Rabbits.
    • Did I mention they HUNT? They are NOT TOY dogs...they are hardy working dogs.
    • They like to dig holes in the yard & run through your flower beds playing hide and seek.
    • As you can see above...they LOVE to bath on hot days.
    • Males & some females tend to be more wary of strangers approaching or reaching for them.
    • Puppies require lots of early socializing especially if they are intended to be show dogs. Lots of feeding from strangers in show type settings so they become comfortable being examined.
    • They will bark when someone comes to the house or if they manage to tree a cat or other animal.
    • More males are produced than females, litters are small so quality females are extremely valuable to breeders. Rarely will a female become available to companion homes because the breed is still being developed.
    • Lifespan is reported to be 17 to 20 years.
    • Puppy teeth may become retained and will need to be pulled between 5-6 months of age. If retained teeth are not removed, the adult teeth may be forced into incorrect positions or infection can occur.
    • Legg-Calve-Perthes (LCP): This condition is most commonly found in small breeds. Some Pequeno's have developed the condition (5 in Finland out of 300+, 5 in UK out of 450+) which can also be brought on by injury to the hip area. The incidence is .01 for the breed or less than 1 tenth of a percent chance. There is no known pattern of inheritance. Surgery can be performed and the dog will continue to live a long, normal life.
    • Having clear breeding stock does not guarantee the resulting offspring will be clear. This is also the case for most of OFA's tests such as hip, elbow, knee etc. Clear individuals do not always produce clear offspring. More than 50 years of Hip Xray certification screening in German Shepherds has done nothing to reduce the incidence of Canine Hip Dysplasia (CHD) in the breed. It remains roughly 20%. Breeders who rely on overly aggressive OFA testing for conditions not found in the breed may indicate they are experiencing problems or they are using OFA testing as a sales pitch to push puppies bred from inferior stock. (OFA used for sales pitch is very common in GSD's)
    • Dogs bred in Portugal are NOT tested for any health conditions. The only selection is: are they "FIT FOR PURPOSE" = Are they effective Hunters? LCP is Unknown in Portugal. Dogs that are Unfit for Hunting are eliminated from the packs and never used for breeding. The Portuguese do not bother themselves about why the dogs are not fit for purpose, the animals are just removed from the pack. This reliance on "Fit for Purpose" has created a breed that is sound in body and mind because it relies on Nature and Natural Selection principles to maintain the health of the breed.
    Regardless of how much heavy Socialization you do, when a Pequeno encounters something that upsets them, no amount of encouragement will change their mind. They have to learn to deal with it and move on. This breed was/is bred to Hunt, not spend weekends at dog shows or be on display in large venues with hundreds of people touching them. Keep that in mind when you raise a Pequeno to be a show dog.
    The wires are often mistaken for terriers because they resemble a small terrier but that is as far as the comparison goes. The wire or Longhair is not as coarse as a terrier and when they change coats the loose hair combs out very easily
    They are hounds, not terriers, so they spend a great deal of their day sleeping unless disturbed. Since they are hounds, they do have brief flurries of activity at various points throughout the day or if they are disturbed in some way. These flurries are short-lived bursts of energy unlike other breeds that go non-stop all day long. Pequeno’s are content to find a nice soft place to curl up and take a nap. Often times they choose a nice couch, your lap or your bed. Of course the current state of the bedding they intend to use is never good enough so they must rearrange it to meet their needs. Pequeno puppies however are bundles of energy and enjoy playing all out in-between naps.

    james ensor
    james ensor

    Posts : 163
    Join date : 2012-02-01
    Location : London, England

    Podengo Medio is much the same

    Post  james ensor on Mon Nov 11, 2013 12:47 pm

    Maria, a Podengo Medio from the Cape Verde Islands

    Much of what you have to say about the Podengo Pequeno applies equally well to the Podengo Medio.  The Medio is far more common in Portugal. As you suggest they were never bred for any characteristic other than hunting ability. Any dog which was less than outstanding at catching rabbits would have soon been discarded and left to fend for itself.

    My understanding is that the Medios with their remarkable scenting and hearing ability and great speed are mostly used to catch rabbits and perhaps even the occasional hare, in a chase. If the frightened rabbit disappears into a burrow, the Pequenos, would be unleashed to drive it out again.

    Today, few Medios or Pequenos are kept in kennels as packs. However owners of one or two dogs will often meet with their friends to assemble a pack for a weekend of hunting for the pot. They can catch 50 or 60 rabbits in a day, in the right place.

    The Grande, which is now very rare, is sometimes kept in kennels in the Alentejo to hunt wild boar in packs, followed by huntsmen on foot.  Medios would be less potent for this hunt, but their burst of speeds of up to 25 mph over rough ground and startling agility probably enables them to overhaul a wild boar and avoid its tusks.

    I have seen Medios jumping up the trunk of a tree to a height of 7 foot (2.1m)in pursuit of vanishing squirrels and up to 5 foot (1.5m) to balance on a narrow window sill. Their performance is more catlike than doglike.

    As you suggest, they are hunters, first and last. Once they pick up the scent of anything from a squirrel to a fox or an unknown cat, they will not listen to any inducements. They give chase with harsh shrieks to alert others to join the chase. Once in territory replete with squirrel or fox scents, they may disappear for an hour or more and all you will hear will be yelps from different places as they find a new trail. They will chase seagulls along a beach, tirelessly reversing direction, every time the birds head for a new landing spot, with their snouts raised up at the flying birds.

    They have a lot of endurance. They seem able to run flat out in bursts for up to a couple of hours.  They are not happy if they cannot run; but can be trained to run alongside a bicycle on a lead or behind a SUV  (or 4x4) for almost any distance over rough tracks.

    They are dogs with a mind of their own, and although they easily learn what their owner wants - especially if rewarded with food, may choose either to obey or not. They are outstanding guard dogs but very gentle and loving with owners, showing great affection from the start.

    Medios seem to know that they are related to Podengo Pequenos, since these are almost the only small dogs that they will naturally warm to and befriend. Otherwise there is something like disdain for dogs that are slower or smaller than they are. Their only real dislikes seem to be the Macho types, often crosses between American pitbulls and Mastiffs, which produce a powerful dog, with a strong bite.  Medios are, however, quite ready to take then on: though they would surely come off worst.

    In short, the Medio is a brave and fearless dog, with amazing energy, agility and speed. Definitely a hunter and unsuited to those who like poodles. But they also like to slumber on a bed or sofa, always with one ear pricked up, ready to respond.  In Portugal, due to the catholic breeding habits in the open, they come in many different styles of coat and colours from white through to black.  But the fawn smooth-haired variety seems to predominate. The short hair enables them to shake off rain and does not need more than an occasional comb and wash. Claws can get split if they run in soft ground with uncut nails. Weights are typically between 10-15 kg  (22 to 33 lbs) but they are long and narrow, so they often seem bigger, especially when they choose to occupy a bed.

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