Picture from the book
Picture from the book

Brief history of the breed

The Portuguese Podengo is undoubtedly a very old breed witch evolved by adapting itself to the terrain and climate. It is a primative dog enterly devoted to hunting and exists in three different sizes. The Large one is used in pack for big game hunting and the Medium and the Small sized are used primarily in hunting rabbits. Among the Portuguese breeds it is perhaps the most widely distributed throughout the country being more commonly known as "warren hound".
It presents such evident characteristics, as a pyramid shaped head, erect ears, an elegant bearing, a sickle shaped tails, and it has two coat varieties: smooth and wire. The first is short and dense, and the latter is long and wire; both without undercoat.
Gifted with vivacity intelligence, combined with great rusticity, this breed while hunting emits a continuous and acute barking called "maticar". The Small and the Medium hunt in small packs, searching for rabbits amidst bramble-bushes and rocks.
The Hounds brought by Phoenician traders to the Iberian Peninsula in pre-Roman times possibly contributed to the adaptation and fixation of this breed distinguishing features, but the first reference to the existence of these warren dogs in Portugal was made during the reign of the King D. Sancho I, in 1190. In the Middle-Ages, all hunting dogs in Portugal where called "Podengos de Mostra".
Through time and according to the selection aimed at particular functions, hunting big and small game, as previously mentioned, the Podengo has progressively acquired homogeneity and in the early twentieth century this was quite evident.
Something more must be added about the history of the evolution of the Small Podengo. These dogs where used as ratters in the vessel ships of the Discoveries, in the 14th century. In the New World the breed must have been influenced by mating with local dogs in as much we can find similar breeds of this primative type, not only in other Mediterranean countries, from Egypt to the neighboring Spain but also in South and Central American countries, such as Mexico and Peru.
In the Small Podengo, the smooth-haired variety was first to reach a more significant homogeneity, while the wire-haired variety was the one witch presented the most diverse characteristics and was developed only from the seventies onward. Nowadays this variety is greatly appreciated and has become quite popular worldwide.
The official standard of the Portuguese Podengo was developed in 1953 by Dr. António Cabral and Dr. Luís Navarro Brazão.
Being a very popular breed among Portuguese hunters, the Podengo also has great acceptance among many families, especially the small size variety, as a companion dog.
Undoubtly a great constribution has been given by the breed club the Clube Português do Podengo - CPP to its development, particularly abroad. It is now rated as one of the Portuguese breeds with wide diffusion throughout the world, as we can find specimens beyond Europe. Australia, New Zealand, Canada, USA and Brazil are clear examples of its popularity. However it is in Europe that it has gained more reputation and can be found in several countries where it is much appreciated.

(Text from the book CÃES PORTUGUESES by the Portuguese Kennel Club - CPC)

Picture from the book
Picture from the book

Standard FCI N°94
Hunting dog, watch dog and companion dog.
Group 5 - Spitz and Primitive types.
Section 7 - Primitive type - Huntion Dogs.
Without working trial.
Primative type dog, it probably originates from the ancient dogs brought by the Phoenicians and Romans to the Iberian Peninsula in the Classic Antiquity. It ws subsequently the Moors in their invasions in the 8th century. It adapted to the Portuguese terrain and climate, to become what is nowadays known as the Portuguese Warren Hound. It evolved morphologically throughout the centuries due to its functionality, with the small variety being selected, from the 15th century on, as a ratter on the Caravels of the Portuguese navigators.
Quadrangular pyramidal head, with erect ears, sickle shaped tail, well proportioned, with sound construction and well muscled; very lively and intellegent; sober and rustic. It exists in three sizes, with two varieties of coat: smooth and wire.
Large and Medium-sized Podengo: Almost square (Sub-mediolinear) of large or medium substance respectively. Ratio of lenght of body to height at the withers: 11/10 and dept of chest to height at withers: 1/2.
Small Podengo: body slightly longer than high (Sub-longilinear), of small stature. The lenght of the body is slightly more than the height at withers with a ratio - length of body/height at the withers: 6/5 and depth of chest/height at withers: 1/2.
In all varieties, the muzzle lenght is less than the scull lenght.
Large Podengo: Used for hunting big game.
Medium Podengo: Also known as Warren Hound, its natural aptitude as a rabbit hunter is well used, hunting either in a pack or alone.
Small Podengo: Used for searching rabbits in holes and rocks.
All varieties are also used as watch dogs and as companion dogs.
Lean and of a quadrangular pyramid shape, with large base and definite pointed muzzle. The longitudinal superior cranium-facial axes are divergent.
Skull: Flat; almost straight in profile; prominent superciliary arches; scarcely perceptible frontal furrow; the area between the ears is horizontal with prominent occipital protuberance.
Stop: Barely defined.
Nose: Tapered and obliquely truncated, prominent at the tip; of darker colour than the coat.
Muzzle: Pointed; curved seen from the front, with a straight profile; shorter than the scull; broader at the base than the tip.
Lips: Close fitting, thin; firm, horizontally cut and well pigmented.
Jaws/Teeth: Normal with scissors bite, with solid, white teeth; normal occlusion of both jaws.
Full dentition in the large variety.
Cheeks: Lean and obliquely, set seen from the front.
Eyes: Very lively expression; not prominent, they are small and slanted with the colour ranging from honey to brown, in accordance with the coat, lids darker than the coat colour.
Ears: Set on obliquely at the level of the eyes; straight, erect, with high mobility; vertical or titing slightly forward, when attentive; pointed, wider at the base, triangular; thin, of considerable length, more than the width at the base.
In a harmonious transiton from head to body; straight;, long; well proportioned, strong and well muscled; without dewlap.

Top line: Straight, level.
Withers: Only slightly visibie in relation to the neck and back.
Back: Straight and long.
Loin: Straight; broad and well muscled.
Croup: Straight or slightly sloping; medium sized; broad and well muscled.
Chest: Down to the elbows; of moderate width; long, with the sternum rising back and up; ribs slightly sprung and inclined; forechest neither too apparent nor too muscled and of moderate width.
Underline and belly: Slightly tucked up; lean bely and flanks.
Natural, set on rather higher than low; strong, thick and thinning to the tip, of medium length; at rest falls slightly curved between the buttocks down to the hocks, in action it rises horizontally either slightly curved or vertically in sickle shape, but never curled; fringed on the under side.

Picture from the book
Picture from the book


FOREQUARTERS: Upright when seen from front
and sides; well muscled and lean.
Shoulder: Long; inclined; strong and well muscled: scapula-humerus angle, approximately 110°.
Elbow: Parallel to the main line of the body.
Forearm: Vertical; long and well muscled.
Carpus (Pastern jointl: Lean and not prominent.
Metacarpus (Pasternl): Short; strong; stlightly inclined.
Forefeet: Rounded; long toes, strong, tight and arched; with strong and preferably dark nails, tough and firm pads.
Upright when seen from back and sides; well musced
and lean; parallel to the main body line.
Thigh: Long; of medium width; well muscled.
Stifle joint: Femur-tibia angle approximately 135°.
Second thigh: lnclined; long; lean, strong, well muscled.
Hock: Of medium height: lean; strong; open hock angle, approximately 135°
Metatarsus (Rear Pastern): Strong; short, inclined; without dewclaws.
Hind feet: Rounded; long toes, strong, tight and arched; short and strong nails, preferably dark; tough and firm pads.

Light trot, easy and agile movement.
Thin and tight. Mucous membranes preferably dark pigmented or always darker than the coat.
HAIR: Two varieties: Either shot and smooth or long and wire - both of medium thickness; without undercoat. The short coat is more dense than the wire coat. In the
wire variety the hair on the muzzle is longer (bearded).
COLOUR: Yellow and fawn in all shades from light to dark, with or without white markings, or white with patches of these colours.
In the Small Podengo, the following colours are accepted but not preferred: black, brown, with or without white markings or white with patches of these colours.
Small: 20-30 cm.
Medium: 40-54 cm.
Large: 55-70 cm.
Small: 4-6 Kg.
Madium: 16-20 Kg.
Large: 20-30 Kg.

Any departure from the foregoing points should be considered a fault and the seriousness with which the fault should be regarded should be in exact proportion to its degree and its effect upon the health and wellare of the dog.
Behaviour: Signs of shyness.
Cranium/Muzzle: Parallel longitudinal superior cranium-facial axes.
Jaws: Incorrect occlusion or badly implanted teeth pincer bite; incomplete dentition in the large variety.
Nose: Partial lack of pigmentation.
Neck: Arched.
Body: Arched top line.
Croup: Too sloping.
Dewclaws: Their existence ls not appreciated.
Coat: Silky and/or with undercoat.

Cranium/Muzzle: Convergent superior cranium-facial axes
Nose: Total lack of pigmentation.
Ears: Rounded.
Belly: Too tucked up.
Tail: Curled.

Behaviour: Aggressive or overly shy.
General Appearance: Signs of crossbreeding to sighthounds, pointing breeds or any other crossbreeding.
Jaws: Undershot or overshot.
Eyes: Of different colours.
Ears: Folded or hanging.
Colour: Brindle; black and tan; tricolour and totally
Any dog clearly showing physical or behavioural abnormalities shall be disqualified.
N.B.: Male animals should have two apparently normal testicles fully descended into the scrotum.

Picture from the book
Picture from the book