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

    Are Podengo hunting skills inbred over centuries?

    james ensor
    james ensor

    Posts : 166
    Join date : 2012-02-01
    Location : London, England

    Are Podengo hunting skills inbred over centuries? Empty Are Podengo hunting skills inbred over centuries?

    Post  james ensor on Tue Oct 24, 2017 9:40 am

    There are no hedges in the Cape Verde islands. Nor is there any long grass - in fact there is very little grass at all. And there are few trees other than slender palms, which have been planted near homes. Come to that there is nothing to hunt larger than a lizard or at some times of year a turtle hatchling.

    Yet Maria who was born in the Cape Verdes but now lives most of the year in London, has all the hunting skills.  She will chase rabbits or urban foxes, even occasionally a cat. But the most common lure is the American grey squirrel which has displaced the native red squirrel in mainland England, since a pair crossed the Atlantic in the 19th century.

    Recently Maria reversed into a thick hedge, so that only her snout poked out to monitor squirrels gathering acorns. Unfortunately a passing dog - not a hunting breed - came past ruining her trap and revealing her lair. Maria ran out furiously chasing the dog away and scaring the owner.

    She is endlessly patient when stalking and will use trees to conceal her approach.  In Portugal where the grass is left uncut in summer, she  hid for an hour in case a cat which fled chose to return by the same track.

    If she chases a squirrel, she will run flat out and jump 7ft (2 metres) up a tree trunk, skillfully avoiding impact. When she chases a cat that jumps onto a roof, Maria will follow only feet behind the cat`s tail. Her chases are accompanied by the most ear-splitting yelps. She makes this noise even when restrained on a leash. She did catch a rabbit in Hampshire, England, which had rashly strayed onto a dog-walking path through the woods. It was dispatched with amazing speed and efficiency.  

    Another Podengo Medio, who lives in Hertfordshire, England is let out of the house, every day to run loose across the fields.  The owner had no idea of the dog`s breed until we introduced her to Maria. But she did explain that every day, after four or five hours hunting, her dog would return home with either one or two rabbits as trophy.

    Few of the very rare Podengos in England get to hunt. But in Portugal, their homeland, Podengos frequently hunt rabbits and wild boar in small packs. Podengo Pequenos are sent down the burrows. When the rabbits emerge, Podengo Medios give chase.....

    I have a theory that the Podengo emerged from generations of Darwinian selection of the fittest. Mostly kept outdoors, on farms or small-holdings the females would breed with whatever handsome male dog happened by. That would explain why there are so many variants of coat, color and size. If the puppies turned out to be effective hunters, they would be adopted and fed. If not ... they did not survive to breed.

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