Outside of the US where most Podengos are carefully bred by registered breeders and therefore conform to a regulated norm, Podengos are much more varied. In their homeland of Portugal, most Podengos live out in the open air on farms and so breed freely with whoever comes along at the right time. This inevitably leads to a bewildering variety of cross-breeds which probably would not be accepted by the American Kennel Club.
Nevertheless, in Portugal, many are accepted as Podengos and used in field sports. The primary test for a Podengo is in the case of a Medio; Is the dog good at finding the scent of a rabbit or other small mammal and then giving chase as though its life depended upon it? For a Pequeno the test is will it dive down a rabbit hole and flush out the inhabitants so that the faster Medios can give chase?
Here is a photo of two Podengos as they have developed on the former Portuguese colony of Cape Verde. Robbie on the left was a Medio and Vlekkie on the right a Pequeno. Each was adopted by French and South African families after being found abandoned. Each was brutally murdered in Vlekkie`s front yard by local savages who used meat laced with strycchnine to give them a slow and very painful death. The US ambassador`s pet was murdered in a similar fashion.
Long and short haired Podengos do interbreed and so occasionally do Medios and Pequenos. They certainly recognise each other as being from the same generic race. So it would be quite possible to find in the Cape Verdes or in Portugal dogs intermediate in size between the two classes.
Maria, who is definitely recognised as a Medio in Portugal and has he strongest hunting instinct that I have ever encountered weighs 13kg or approximately 29 pounds. We have seen smaller Medios in Portugal both short and long haired.
In Portugal, the limiting factors for a Pequeno`s size would be ability to enter rabbit burrows and for a Medio, speed of at least 25mph over rough ground and through hedgerows.