Showsight Presents The Portuguese Podengo Pequeno


Let’s Talk Breed Education!


STACY FAW I live in Milton, Indiana. There is nothing outside of dogs… but to pay the bills I am employed as a Medical Coder/Auditor. I bred my first litter of dogs in 1978, but I have had dogs in my life since birth. I started showing as a child in 4-H and never looked back. I have been judging for about 3 years in AKC and 6 years in UKC. Stacy Faw is currently the only breeder-judge for the Portuguese Podengo Pequeno. She is a Board Member of the Portuguese Podengo Pequenos of America, a member of the Judges Education Committee and the Chairman of the Media Committee. Stacy, along with her wife Susan, owns the Broken Road prefix in AKC. They have finished/bred 20 PPP Champions to date, 8 which are Bred-By Champions, and dogs from their kennel hold the distinction of being the breed’s first CM title, CH, GCH, Owner-Handled Group Placement, Bred-By Exhibitor CH, Bronze GCH as well as the first breed winner at the Westminster Kennel Club. GABRIELA VEIGA I live in Estoril, Portu-


I live in Estoril, Por- tugal and I am a lawyer. I started having dogs 36 years ago, showing since 35 and became a judge in 1995. Breeder of Portu- guese Podengos (and Estrela Mountain Dog) since 1980 with the Kennel name “Vale do Poço” and President of The Portuguese Poden- go Club since 1990. FCI judge since 1995, judges all Portuguese breeds

and FCI Groups 4, 5, 6, 7 and 8. Has already judged in Por- tugal, Spain, Ireland, France, UK, Germany, Holland, Bel- gium, Sweden, Finland, Estonia, Lithuania, Latvia, Slova- kia, Hungary, Russia, Denmark, US and Canada. He is the Author of the books “The Portuguese Podengo” (translated in English and German) and “The S. Michael Cattle Dog” (Portuguese Fila of Azores). Currently, he is a member of the Standard Committee of the Portuguese Kennel Club and he is also Vice President of the Portuguese Podengo Club of Great Britain, and is an Honorary Member of the Portuguese Podengo Club of America and the Portuguese Podengo Pequenos of America. 1. What five traits do you look for when judging the PPP? SF: Nice wedge-shaped head, good arch of neck that flows smoothly from head to body (we don’t want the head sitting right on the shoulders), straight front, level topline and proper proportions. GV: When judging the PPP I immediately look for type, pro- portions, head/expression, overall balance/construction and pigment. VV: Type, triangular head, body proportions and balance.

gal. I’ve been into dogs practically since I was born. My parents were both dog lovers and my mother had bred Grey- hounds in her youth. I showed my first dog, a Smooth Fox Terrier belonging to a friend of my mothers’, at the ten- der age of 3! It must have been a disaster—I hate showing to this day and I’m awful at it! I became a judge in 1999.

Photo by Jose Rodrigues

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are differences. The wires (rough coated) have less breed type all in all, and are also usually worse in proportions. VV: I see more or less the same number of dogs in both vari- eties. There are differences, especially in the wires—they lack features close to the true type. 5. Any grooming practices that you see that bother you or that you think other judges should be aware of? SF: The PPP breed standard specifically states, “A very rustic breed shown naturally. Groomed but not trimmed or sculpted. Dogs whose coat has been altered by excessive sculpting, clipping or artificial means shall be penalized as to be effectively eliminated from competition.” I am seeing an alarming trend from professional handlers to wash and blow out the PPP coat before each show. This softens the coat, which then requires them to add groom- ing products to harshen it back up. Coats that have been worked in this fashion are easily spotted and should be severely penalized. This is a rustic breed and should be shown with a minimal amount of grooming and never with product in the coat. GV: Yes, because of the show factor that seems to be so important in the United States. Podengos must not be over groomed, only tidied up—without losing their rus- ticity and only to help keep a cleaner outline. VV: I have seen dogs groomed in an incorrect fashion. PPPs should not be over groomed. 6. What is proper PPP movement? SF: PPP have an agile, easy gait that is clean coming and going with moderate reach and drive. As they move they should have a level topline that is not bouncy. There is nothing exaggerated about their movement. As their speed increases they will converge toward the centerline. PPP movement should reflect a dog that could work a field all day without fatigue or injury. GV: Thank you for asking this question—the PPP is not a sighthound; it is a primitive hound with moderate angula- tions and overall construction, and therefore cannot have an overextended movement front and rear. Also, the PPP “Podengos musT noT be oveR gRoomed, only Tidied uP—wiThouT losing TheiR RusTiciTy and only To helP keeP a cleaneR ouTline.”

2. What do you consider the ultimate hallmark of the breed? SF: The PPP is a primitive breed and as such has remained relatively unchanged for centuries. This longevity is credited in part to the fact that it is without exaggera- tion of any kind. You should look at the PPP silhouette, whether it is smooth or wire, and see a small rustic appearing moderate hound capable of working all day in rugged terrain. GV: The ultimate hallmark of the breed is TYPE, TYPE, TYPE! VV: The ultimate hallmark of the breed is type—a group of factors that give the overall image of the PPP. “The PPP is a PRIMITIVE BREED and as such has Remained RelaTively unchanged foR cenTuRies.”

3. What about this breed seems confusing to new judges?

SF: The PPP comes in a vast array of coloration and coat length. While some coats lay flat and tight against the skin, others may be as long as 2 to 3 inches. When faced with a class of three to four varying colorations and coat lengths, judges often ask which is “correct”. The answer is simply that they all are equally correct as long as they are of nice rough texture and not silky, wooly, full of grooming product or of a disqualifying color. GV: Usually the most confusing for new judges is choosing the correct type, expression and proportions. VV: The new judges sometimes have some difficulty in rec- ognizing the correct breed type and proportions. 4. Do you see more of the smooth or wire (rough) coated Podengo? What are the notable differences between the two (aside from the obvious)? SF: Currently there are more wires being shown in the United States, but there are more and more smooths being shown every day. The wire (rough) and smooth should have no differences in structure and should be judged equally. GV: I see more or less the same number in both varieties— in Portugal, perhaps a little more of the Smooth variety; abroad, definitely more Wires. Unfortunately, yes there

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wiTh sTacy faw, gabRiela veiga & víToR veiga

“The exPRession musT neveR be TeRRieR-like; skull and muzzle musT foRm a TRiangle and NEVER BE PARALLEL.”

movement is based on endurance. It is a light trot, and not speedy. VV: The correct movement of a PPP is the trot.

VV: One of the problems new judges may have is not finding the correct type, especially in the expression and proportions. 11. Is there anything else you’d like to share about the breed? SF: As a primitive breed, the PPP is one of the few breeds to have remained relatively unchanged for centuries. It continues to be an agile, athletic, intelligent pack hunter in Portugal and the PPP community here in the United States strives to maintain those qualities both today and into the future. As a breeder/judge, I hope that all AKC judges will continue to learn from those that put such dedication into this breed. GV: I would like to advise the readers that if they are look- ing for a showy dog, the PPP is not it! It is a moderate breed in all aspects, and that is how it should remain— true to type. The Podengo is an ancient breed and the true type has been preserved for centuries, especially the smooth variety. Let us hope it remains so, with no exaggerations or embellishments just to make them more showy. VV: The wire coated Podengos must have the same breed type characteristics of the smooth variety—these usually have the correct type. The expression must never be Terrier-like; skull and muzzle must form a triangle and never be parallel. 12. And, for a bit of humor: What’s the funniest thing you’ve ever experienced at a dog show? SF: Dogs do keep us humble. You just never know what they are going to do. Some of them can be showing like a dream, you do your down and back and they decide to just stop, roll over and scratch their back and bark non- stop, then refuse to get up. So much for any placement at Eukanuba, but the crowd got a good laugh. Some days you just shake your head and laugh with them. GV: The funniest experience I had in a dog show was at the Nordic Winner Show where I was judging Podengos. When choosing the Best female, having the winners of the several classes in the ring, I do my choice and hand out the rosette to the owner of a very young Junior female. The owner was so excited and overwhelmed that she said, “Oh my God!” Then she rolled her eyes and fainted on the spot, right in front if me!

7. Describe the breed in three words. SF: Primitive, intelligent and independent. GV: Smart, tough and fun. VV: Smart, clean lines and active.

8. What are your “must have” traits in this breed? SF: I look for a straight front (as that is an area that the breed needs improvement in overall), a level topline and the 20% length to height ratio. I also want a dog with suf- ficient length of neck. GV: Correct head and expression with correct ear placement and pigment. Correct conformation and tail set. Correct proportions and density of coat in wires. VV: Correct silhouette, triangular head with ears and tail of sickle shape. 9. Are there any traits in this breed you fear are becoming exaggerated? SF: I am afraid that some of them are getting too long or too short. They are to be 20% longer than tall, with a 50/50 body to leg ratio. I have seen some that are too long in body and too short on leg as well as some that are too square; each fault either too long or too short is equally as detrimental to the breed and should be treated as equally undesirable. GV: At the moment, the only issue to be careful about is the size, but presently nothing really worries me. VV: Excessive size is to be watched. 10. What do you think new judges misunderstand about the breed? SF: They are not Terriers. They are a primitive breed and can be wary with strangers as well as being noise sensitive. Many judges are put off when an exhibit will not respond and may actually shy away when they use a squeaker or lean over a PPP. Although the PPP is small in stature, it is still considered a sighthound and should be approached and handled in a calm and gentle manner. GV: New judges many times look for a “cute Terrier look” or expression, which is completely wrong and should be heavily penalized.

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Judging the Portuguese Podengo Pequeno

By John S. Fitzpatrick, DVM

T he standard for any breed is the written description of the ideal specimen of that breed. The standard of the Portuguese Poden- go Pequeno depicts a dog of moderation that has the requisite bone, muscle, body proportions and angles to complete the job it was developed to do – hunt its prey, the European rabbit or com- mon rabbit (Oryctolagus cuniculus) over uneven terrain, through thick cover and underbrush to provide meat for the Portu- guese farmers and hunters. It is important to keep that function in mind when judg- ing this breed. It is not a toy breed, lapdog or terrier but a very effective hunter devel- oped over the years to efficiently get the job done. The Podengo Pequeno is considered a primitive breed meaning it uses sight, scent and hearing while hunting. Ranging in height from 8 to 12 inches at the shoulder, the shorter ones are used to get into tight crevices to drag the prey out of hiding or bolt the rabbit so that the larger sized dogs can run them down and complete the hunt. Being the shortest of the “sighthounds” it obviously uses its acute sense of hearing and highly developed sense of smell to locate the quarry and then once sighted, course

It is not a toy breed, lapdog or terrier but a very effective hunter developed over the years to efficiently get the job done. the Podengo Pequeno is Considered a Primitive breed meaning it uses sight, sCent and hearing while hunting.

Notes on the Standard: Size and Proportions

the game and dispatch it. Demonstrating agility and impressive maneuverability to stay right with the rabbit, able to turn on a dime and using their speed to run down the quarry. The Podengo Pequenos were bred to hunt for hours each day starting in the early morning, breaking during the heat of the day and resuming the hunt in late afternoon. They often hunt for several consecutive days. TYPE is the most important aspect in judging this breed. It is the only primi- tive breed that has a RECTANGULAR body outline.

The standard calls for the proper PRO- PORTIONS. A one to one ratio [1:1] of body depth, measured from the top of the withers to the bottom of the chest, to leg length, measured from elbow to the ground. Too leggy or too short on leg are the result of improper 1:1 ratio of body depth to leg length. The LENGTH of body is 20% or 1/5th LONGER [5:6 ratio -height to length] than the TOTAL HEIGHT of the dog (distance from the top of the withers to the ground).

“TYPE is the most important aspect in judging this breed. it is the only Primitive breed that has a reCtangular body outline.”

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“When confronted with two specimens, one approaching square and the other longer than the required 20% with all other parameters equal, you should Choose the longer if the additional length isn’t so extreme as to hamPer the ProPer funCtioning of the dog.”

no dewlap. It blends smoothly into a level topline, withers only slightly visible. The back is straight and long, the loin is level, broad and well muscled. The croup is level to slightly sloping and of medium width. Slightly sprung ribcage, moderate fore chest. Underline- the belly is lean with slight tuck up. Tail- medium high set, medium length, strong, thick and tapered with a feathered underside. At rest it falls curved and reach- es the hock, on the move it is carried either horizontal with slight curve or vertical in the shape of a sickle. Forequarters Moderate shoulder angulation. Mod- erate layback of shoulder blade (scapu- la) and moderate return of upper arm (humerus). Elbows tucked in. Forearm is straight, long and muscular. Pastern is short, strong and slightly sloping. Feet are oval shaped (think Teaspoon), strong, with slightly arched toes, tough pads, and strong nails. Hindquarters Moderate angulation. Well muscled and lean. Upper thigh is long, of medium width, muscular. Second thigh is long,

Body length is measured frompoint of shoul- der to the pin bone. Therefore a 10-inch high dog should be 12 inches long. It is essential to have the required proportions in order for the Podengo Pequeno to function properly while hunting over the irregular and rocky terrain. Without that added length the dog cannot carry the speed and make the rapid changes in direction necessary to bring down the elusive rabbit. The Podengo Pequeno body proportions were developed over time through result-based breeding to create the efficient hunter that we know today. Correct proportions are necessary for correct Podengo Pequeno type! When confronted with two specimens, one approaching square and the other lon- ger than the required 20% with all other parameters equal, you should choose the longer if the additional length isn’t so extreme as to hamper the proper function- ing of the dog. Body height is 8 to 12inches. Look for the most balanced dog with correct Podengo Pequeno type within this range. Occasionally you will find a dog of larger size. The judge must then weigh the need for correct type within the size range. It is better to have a dog slightly over sized that is balanced than one that is within

the size range that doesn’t possess the cor- rect proportions and is therefore lacking in correct Podengo Pequeno type. Common sense needs to be employed in not award- ing an excessively oversized dog. Head Wedge shaped when viewed from the side and from above, a four-sided pyramid, broader through the back-skull narrowing towards the nose. The muzzle is wide at its attachment to the skull narrowing to the nostrils, shorter than the back-skull and slightly down-faced. Curved appearance when viewed from above. Prominent brow bones. Small almond shaped eyes set obliquely, honey to dark brown in color, and broad based triangular shaped ears, thin, taller than their width, set obliquely at level of the eye. The skull is relatively flat between the ears. Strong under-jaw with clean musculature, not cheeky. Nose, black or darker colored than the coat, prominent at the tip. Lips are close fitting, thin and pigmented. Scissor bite with normal occlusion of both jaws. Neck, Topline, Body The neck is moderately long, strong and muscular neck with a slight arch and

“the baCk is straight and long, the loin is level, broad and well musCled. the CrouP is level to slightly sloPing and of medium width.”

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“this breed is aCutely aware of its environment and will PiCk uP on the smallest Changes in its environment. As a primitive breed it can be aloof and diffident with strangers.”

lean, strong and well muscled. Hock joint is medium height, lean, strong and mod- erately angulated. Rear pastern is short, straight. No dewclaws. Feet oval shaped, strong, with slightly arched toes, tough pads, strong nails. Coat Smooth and wire varieties. Smooth coat is short and very dense. Wire coat (rough) is long and harsh, less dense than smooth coat. Hair on muzzle is longer on the wires, a beard. Groomed but not trimmed. Dogs whose coats have been altered by excessive sculpting, clipping or artificial means shall be penalized as to be effectively eliminated from competition. This is a rustic breed that requires a good combing and removal of dead coat to tidy them up. One of the reasons people are attracted to the Podengo Pequeno is because of the minimal grooming required. Skin The skin is thin and tight. Mucus mem- branes are preferably dark pigmented or always darker than the coat. Gait Light trot, easy and agile movement. As a sturdy hunting breed the Poden- go Pequeno should move with efficien- cy, covering ample ground with little apparent effort. Temperament Lively and intelligent. A companion who willing serves as a watchdog. This breed is acutely aware of its envi- ronment and will pick up on the smallest changes in its environment. As a primi- tive breed it can be aloof and diffident

with strangers. This should be taken into consideration when approaching the dog. Faults • Jaws: level bite • Nose: partial lack of pigment • Neck: ewe necked or severely arched

cisco Bay Area. I am currently a small animal practitioner in Sonoma County. I am a member of and AKC delegate for the Mensona KC of Santa Rosa California and a member of the AKC delegates Herd- ing, Earthdog and Coursing committee. I am a founding member of the Portuguese Podengo Pequenos of America, the cur- rent Vice President, Health committee chairman and member of the Judges Edu- cation committee. In 1979 an Irish Wolfhound entered my life and in 1981, a Pharaoh Hound thus forming PhaerErin Kennel. In 1999 Norwich Terriers became a part of PhaerErin. Several champions and an award for top brood bitch hon- ors followed. I have had the privilege of judging the PHCA National and Western Specialty sweepstakes classes, sweepstakes for the Northern California Irish Wolfhound Club and the Pulik Club of Northern Cal- ifornia. I’ve also judged Best Puppy in show and Best Bred-by in show for the Mensona Kennel Club on several occasions. I’m a firm believer in form and function and strive to produce dogs that exemplify their breed type with sound movement and great temperaments.

• Body: arched topline • Croup: excessive slope • Coat: silky and/or undercoat • Behavior: signs of shyness

Serious Faults • Skull/Muzzle: convergent planes (nos- trils higher than top of muzzle where it attaches to back skull) • Nose: total lack of pigment • Ears: rounded • Belly: excessive tuck up • Tail: curled Disqualifications • Eyes: different colored • Jaws: undershot or overshot • Ears: folded or hanging • Color: brindle, black and tan, tricolor, solid white • Behavior: aggressive or overly shy In summation, the Portuguese Podengo Pequeno is a primitive breed of rectangular outline. It is a breed of moderation. Noth- ing extreme. Correct balance equals cor- rect proportions. Podengo Pequeno TYPE super-cedes everything. It is THE most important cri- teria on which to judge this breed. BIO I was born and raised in Minnesota and upon graduation from the University of Minnesota’s College of Veterinary Med- icine in 1978 I moved to the San Fran-

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