Showsight Presents The Portuguese Podengo

PODENGO PORTUGUESE

Let’s Talk Breed Education!

THE PODENGO BY DIANA MCCARTY

T he Portuguese Podengo Pequeno and Podengo are primitive-type dogs. Their ancestors were most likely prick-eared dogs brought by the Phoeni- cians and Romans to the Iberian Peninsula dur- ing classic antiquity. The Portuguese Podengo Pequeno and Podengo number among the “warren hounds,” which is the name for that group of Mediterranean rabbit-hunting hounds that also includes the Ibizan Hound, Pharaoh Hound, Cirneco dell’Etna, and others. PORTUGUESE PODENGO PEQUENO. The smallest- sized dog is the Portuguese Podengo Pequeno. Many people are familiar with the Portuguese Podengo Pequeno. It is short- legged and low to the ground. The low center of gravity allows it to push through brush. It is not an open field runner. Many people are less familiar with the medium (Medio) and large (Grande) sizes. These are long-legged, open field running hounds. Grouped together, the Medio and Grande are called, simply, PODENGO. The MEDIO, or middle size, was developed for rabbit chas- ing, flushing, hunting, and retrieval. Its hunting style includes cat-like stalking and, similar to the Ibizan Hound, it often jumps above the prey before landing on or near it to flush it out of dense brush, rock crevices, or burrows. It will dig, if neces- sary, to flush prey. The GRANDE is the largest of the Podengos. It was devel- oped for deer and wild boar hunting. It will exhaust and hold down the prey and await the hunter’s gun. The Grande is now very rare in its home country.

This photo provides the general size differences and is from a hunting seminar in Portugal that the author attended in April. Nuno Ferro (far right) was the seminar leader. Included in the photo are all three sizes (Pequeno, Medio, Grande) and both coat types (smooth and wire). Photo used with permission of Nuno Ferro.

LURE COURSING Podengos love to lure course. It is a wonderful opportunity for the dogs. However, those of us who have slipped Medios or Grandes are pretty sure that the plastic bunny would be aban- doned by our hounds if a rabbit, fox, or deer were to appear during the course. We are always looking for hound homes so that we can pre- serve the breed. For more information, please visit: www.podengo- mediogrande.com .

ABOUT THE AUTHOR Diana McCarty has been a Podengo breeder since 2009. She established the American Portuguese Podengo Medio Grande Club (APPMGC) in 2008 and was instrumental in the separation of the Podengo from the Podengo Pequeno, which

was approved by AKC in 2009. Ms. McCarty is involved in showing, importing animals from the country of origin, expanding the gene pool, and expanding the number of registered Podengos in this country. She is an AKC conformation judge (Basenji, Whippet, Bloodhound, Basset Hound) and is a sought-after seminar presenter on the Podengo. She also chairs the Wright County Kennel Club’s annual all-breed dog shows. Ms. McCarty is President of the APPMGC, and is Secretary of the Podengo Club of America, the UKC club. She recently returned from participating as a presenter at the Portuguese Podengo International Breeder Seminar in Verios, Portugal.

Note: The Pequeno was not bred down from bigger sizes, and the Medio and Grande were not bred up from Pequenos. You can, however, get Medios and Grandes in the same litter. Medios and Grandes have been bred together to expand the gene pool. However, Medios and Grandes are NEVER bred to Pequenos. HUNTING STYLE When the differing-sized Podengos hunt rabbit together, typically the Pequeno and Medio will hunt together. While the hunting styles of the Pequeno and Medio are different, their styles are complementary. Grandes will also hunt rabbit, but primarily they hunt in packs for larger game.

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Official Standard of the Portuguese Podengo General Appearance: Well-proportioned muscled, sound with moderate bone . Lean 4-sided pyramid shaped head with prick ears. Tail - sickle-shaped. Over emphasis on any one feature should be strongly avoided. The Medio and Grande come in two coat textures, smooth and wire. The Podengo is a hunting dog; scars from honorable wounds shall not be considered a fault. Size, Proportion, Substance: The proportions of the Grande and Medio are almost square. Strong in build, heavier bone present in larger size dogs. Body length from prosternum to point of buttocks is approximately 10 percent longer than the height at the withers. Grande - 22 to 28 inches at the withers, 44 to 66 pounds. Medio - 16 to 22 inches at the withers, 35 to 44 pounds. Disqualification – Over 28 inches, under 16 inches. Head: The head is lean with a flat or slightly arched skull . Shaped like a 4-sided pyramid, tapering towards a slightly protruding nose tip. Occipital bone is moderately defined. The stop is moderately defined. The planes of the skull and muzzle diverge, cheeks lean and oblique (not parallel). Muzzle – The muzzle is straight in profile; slightly shorter than the skull; broader at the base than at the tip. Lips are close fitting, thin, firm, and well pigmented. Teeth – Large strong teeth should meet in a scissors bite . Nose – The nose is tapered and prominent at the tip. It is always darker in color than the color of the coat. Eyes – Almond shaped, very expressive, moderate in size, not prominent, set obliquely, color varies according to coat color from honey to brown. Fault – Eyes of two different colors. Ears – The ears are triangular in shape with their length greater than their width at the base. They are carried erect. Highly mobile, the ear can point forward, sideways, or be folded backward, according to mood. The lowest point of the base is at level of the eye. Fault – Rounded, bent ears. Disqualification – hanging ears. Neck, Topline and Body: Neck – The neck is straight, strong and well-muscled. It transitions smoothly from head to body and is free from throatiness. Topline – The top line is typical of larger sight hound straight or slightly arched. Body – Well-proportioned body slightly longer than height at withers. Ribs moderately well sprung and well carried back. The chest reaches down to the elbow, medium width. The croup is straight or slightly sloping, broad and muscular. There is a slight tuck up. Forequarters: The shoulder is long, inclined, and strong, angulation is moderate. The forelegs are straight, lean and well-muscled, with elbows held parallel to the body. The pastern joint is not prominent and the pasterns are short and strong. Presence or absence of front dew claws immaterial. The wrists are very elastic and flexible. Hindquarters: Well-muscled and clean. Upper thigh long, of medium width, muscular. Moderately angulated. The rear pasterns are strong, short and straight and there are no dewclaws. Feet - Oval, neither cat footed nor hare footed. Toes long, slightly arched, nails strong and preferably dark. Pads firm. Tail - The tail is set moderately high, thick at the base tapering to a fine point, and at rest it falls in a slight curve between the buttocks. When the dog is in motion it rises to the horizontal and is slightly curved or it may go up to vertical in a sickle shape. The hair is fringed on the underside of the wire coat tail. Disqualification - Curled in ring touching the back. Coat: There are two types of coat: Smooth coat which is short and very dense with undercoat present. Wire coat which is rough and harsh, not as dense as the Smooth coat, and without undercoat. The Wire coat produces a distinct beard. The coat is to be shown in a natural state, the face and feet may be trimmed, but no other trimming or shaving is to be condoned. The coat does

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transition as the new coat grows in the old coat dies and comes out in large sections starting at the base of the neck, down the center of the back and then down the sides of the body. The coat is not to be penalized in this state of change. Fault - Silky or soft coat. Color: Yellow & white or fawn & white of any shade or primarily white with patches of any shade of yellow or fawn. The following colors are also acceptable, but they are not preferred: tones of black or brown, with white patches or white with patches of black or brown. Fault - Brindle and solid white. Gait: Side gait is of a typical larger sight hound balanced front and rear. Front action is straight and reaching moderately forward. Going away, the hind legs are parallel and have moderate drive. Convergence of the front and rear legs towards their center of gravity is proportional to the speed of their movement, giv ing the appearance of an active agile hound, capable of a full day’s hunting. Temperament: They are an intelligent, independent, affectionate, alert breed, however they can be wary with strangers and this should not be considered a fault in the judging process. Faults: Eyes of two different colors. Rounded, bent ears. Silky or soft coat. Brindle and solid white. Disqualifications: Size – Over 28 inches. Under 16 inches. Hanging ears. Tail – Curled in a circle touching the back .

Approved January 6, 2010 Effective date January 1, 2014

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