Portuguese Podengo Breed Magazine - Showsight


John Fernandes hunting in Nantucket and training the next generation of hunting Medios. John Fernandes is Proprietor, Whelden Mill Kennels, Aschusnet, Massachusetts. John.fernandes92@gmail.com

The Portuguese Podengo is the most popular hunting dog

Tony knows because Tony used to have an active bullring on his dairy farm. We went on four hunts while I was there, some with mixed packs of Medios and Pequenos. Shown above is the string of rabbits we got on our hunts. We could have taken more, but we follow the rabbit hunter’s axiom: “Take some, leave some, and always have some.” The Pequenos are terrific at finding and flushing the rabbits. The Medios are faster, so they can give chase to the rabbits that range further away. Both are triple threat hunters... hunting by scent, sight, and sound. Tony lent me his Winchester 101, which is reputed to be such a fine gun that it corrects for bad aim, but in my case, it didn’t. I missed quite a few rabbits. Tony is a phenomenal shot, as is my friend, Row- land, who was with me on the trip. Thanks to Kellie Theis, editor of the Maticar , and John Fernandes for sharing this information.

hunting function (or boar hunting, in the case of the Grande), and it is essential that it continue to be used to hunt if it is to stay healthy and true to type. The Portuguese Podengo is a natural hunter, requiring no special training oth- er than a gradual exposure to the sound of the gun. It hunts with a great deal of autonomy, often finding, flushing, catch- ing, killing, and retrieving the game with- out any involvement with the hunter. The Portuguese Poden-

in Portugal, and the rabbit is the predomi- nant game species in Portugal. So, it is understandable that the Portuguese believe that nature and history have produced in the Portuguese Podengo the finest rabbit hunter in the world, or at the very least, the finest rabbit hunter for dense woods and a mix of wet and arid climates. Virtually every element of the conformation of the Portuguese Podengo comes from its rabbit

go’s hunting style relies as much on cleverness as on pure speed, and in a pack situation, there will be a lead dog or bitch (the “quitador”) that directs the teamwork of the others and reserves for itself the honor of retrieving the kill. The Portuguese Podengo’s hunting style engages its sharp vision, keen hearing, and acute sense of smell. When hunting in dense woods, the senses of smell

Nuno Fero in Portugal, keeping the hunt alive.

and hearing will dominate over the sense of sight. The typical hunt is not made up of short bursts of speed across open ground, but rather a long, zigzagging hunt through the brush that requires a combination of speed, endurance, agility, persistence, and great tracking ability. Speed, endurance, agility, persistence; these traits that are important in a hunter are beginning to be seen in performance events in the US, like lure coursing, agil- ity, and fly ball. Because they have been bred for many years to fill this function as a hunter of small and large game, they are formidable in strength and character in performance venues.

Powered by