Portuguese Podengo Pequeno Breed Magazine - Showsight

Portuguese Podengo Pequeno features information, expert articles, and stunning photos from AKC judges, breeders, and owners.


Let’s Talk Breed Education!

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Official Standard of the Portuguese Podengo Pequeno General Appearance: A wedge shaped head (a four sided pyramid) with erect ears, a sickle shaped tail, a sound skeleton, well muscled: very lively and intelligent, sober and rustic. This is a breed of moderation. Size and Proportion: Size - The height is 8 to 12 inches and the weight is 9 to 13 pounds. Proportions - The distance from the withers to the bottom of the chest is one half the total height. The length from the point of shoulder to the point of buttocks is 20 percent longer than the height. Head: Lean broad based wedge shaped as a four-sided pyramid when viewed from the top or in profile. A large base and a definite pointed muzzle. Skull - Flat, almost straight in profile. Prominent brow bone. Barely perceptible frontal furrow. Relatively flat between the ears. Prominent occiput. Planes: The plane of the muzzle very slightly diverges downward from the plane of the skull. Stop - Barely defined. Eyes - Very lively expression with small almond shape set slightly oblique. Not rounded or prominent. Eye color ranges from honey to dark brown in accordance with the coat. Muzzle - Curved, when seen from the top. A straight profile which is shorter than the skull, broader at the base, and narrowing to the tip. Cheeks - Lean and obliquely set. Nose - Tapered, obliquely truncated, and prominent at the tip; black or darker colored than the coat. Lips - Close fitting, thin, firm and well pigmented. Jaw/Teeth - Scissor bite . Normal occlusion of both jaws. Ears - Set obliquely at the level of the eyes, straight, with high mobility, upright or tilted forward when attentive. Pointed, triangular and wider at the base, thin, longer than the width at the base. Neck, Topline, Body: Neck - A harmonious transition from head to body. Straight with a slight arch at the nape. Medium in length, well proportioned, strong and muscled. Very dry without dewlaps. Topline - Level. Withers - Only slightly visible. Back - Straight and long. Loin - Level, broad and well muscled. Croup - Straight or very slightly sloping and medium size. Well muscled. Chest - The chest reaches to the elbow. It is long and of medium width. The ribcage is slightly sprung. Moderate fore chest. Underline - The belly is lean and slightly tucked up. Tail - Medium high set and of medium length. Strong, thick, and tapered with a lightly feathered underside. At rest it falls curved and reaches to the hock joint. In action it rises to the horizontal slightly curved or vertical in the shape of a sickle. A curled tail is a serious fault. Forequarters: Shoulder - Blade moderately laid back. Shoulder and upper arm angle is moderate. Elbow -Well tucked in. Forearm - Straight, long, muscled. Pastern - Short, lean, strong and slightly sloping. Feet - Oval, strong, tight, slightly arched. Strong nails and tough firm pads. Hindquarters: Upright when seen from the back and side. Well muscled and lean. Upper thigh - Long and of medium width, muscled. Stifle joint - Moderate angulation. Second thigh - Long, lean, strong, and well muscled. Hock joint - Medium height, lean, strong, moderately angled. Rear pastern - Strong, short, straight. Without dewclaws. Hind feet - As in front. Coat: There are two varieties; Smooth coat which is short and very dense. Wire coat (rough) is long and harsh. The hair on the muzzle is longer (bearded) on the wire coat variety. The wire coat is not as dense as the smooth variety. Both varieties are without undercoat. Skin on both varieties is thin and close fitting. 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. A silky coat is a fault.

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Color : Yellow or Fawn. Light, medium or dark shades are acceptable. The color can be solid or with white markings or white with markings of the above colors. The following colors are accepted but not preferred. Black or brown, as solid colors or with white markings. White with markings of the accepted colors. Skin: Mucus membranes are preferably dark pigmented or always darker than the coat. Skin is thin and tight. Gait: Light trot, easy and agile movements. Temperament: Very lively and intelligent. A natural rabbit hunter either alone or in a small pack. They seek rabbits among rocks and thick shrub. A companion who willingly serves as a watchdog. Faults : Behavior - Signs of shyness. Back skull/muzzle - Parallel planes. Jaws - Level bite. Nose - Partial lack of pigment. Neck - Ewe necked or severely arched. Body - Arched topline. Croup - Excessive slope. Coat - Silky and/or with undercoat. Serious Faults : Skull/Muzzle - Convergent planes. Nose - Total lack of pigment. Ears – Rounded. Belly - Excessive tuckup. Tail – Curled. Disqualifications: Behavior - Aggressive or overly shy. Eyes - Of different color. Jaws - Undershot or overshot. Ears - Folded or hanging. Color - Brindle, Black and Tan, Tricolor, Solid White.

Approved May 11, 2010 Effective January 01, 2011

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 from point 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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T he Portuguese Podengo Pequeno (PPP) is becoming ever more popular with exhibitors, and judges will see more variety of color and style in the ring. The Board of Directors and Judges Ed of the Portuguese Podengo Pequenos of America, PPPA, are asking that you remember a few important points when judging and/or evaluating the breed. First, proportion is extremely important. They are 20 percent longer than they are tall, measured from point of shoulder to point of buttocks. This allows the dogs to get into the tight groundcover of the commonly hunted areas of Portugal. They are able to flush out the rabbits into more open areas. A dog that is too short in length of body will not be able to maneuver as easily in these situations. Be aware, this measurement is not from the prosternum. Measured there, you will have a dog that is too short. The other proportion to consider is the leg-to-body ratio for height. When you look at a Pequeno, the body of the dog, from point of withers, to the ground, the body makes up 50 percent of the height and the legs are the other 50 percent of the height. The size range of the Pequeno is quite varied. They can be from 8 inches to 12 inches tall. The smaller ones are just as important in a hunting pack as the larger dogs. Smaller dogs are better able to get into tight spaces where the rabbits can hide, and the larger dogs may be able to run down a rabbit for the kill. Be aware of dogs being over-sized. While there is no DQ for over- or under-sized, the norm should be the middle of the standard, at 10 inches. A dog that is too heavy in bone may not be as efficient in the field and may tire too easily and possibly break down. Likewise, a dog that is light in bone may



One of the most important things when judging the PPP is that it is a RUSTIC breed and ANY DOG WHOSE COAT HAS BEEN ALTERED BY EXCESSIVELY SCULPTING, CLIPPING or ARTIFICIAL MEANS shall be PENALIZED as to be effectively ELIMINATED from competition. Please do not reward an over- groomed dog. They should look neat and be clean. Their wire or smooth coat is very easy to care for and takes very little work. Enjoy judging our funny little breed. They are smart and fun- ny and full of themselves. Feel free to attend a seminar near you, join us at our National, or contact PPPA Judges Education for any further questions.

not be able to do the job needed either. They might not be sturdy enough to take the stress of a day(s)-long hunt. Moderation is the key, and there is no difference for wire or smooth. There are two preferred colors, fawn and yellow. Those pre- ferred colors can be with white or the dog can be white with the preferred colors. There are two acceptable colors, brown and black. Those colors can also be with white or white with the acceptable colors. The fawn or yellow dogs are easier to see dur- ing a hunt and are less likely to be confused with the rabbit. Darker dogs may be harder to see and could be accidentally shot by the hunter. This is why there are preferred colors for the breed.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR Jean Evanoff was introduced to the Portuguese Podengo Pequeno about 15 years ago at Meet the Breeds, at the Javits Center in NYC. They were cute and charming. Her search for a Pequeno started shortly afterwards and, soon, “Sienna” came into her life. She fit what Jean was looking for and certainly seemed to fit the Standard quite nicely. Their first year in Florida for the National Championship, Sienna took Breed in a large entry. Jean is currently head of Judges Education and Secretary for PPPA. The club is now an AKC member club and tries to be open and welcoming to all members. Jean worked hard at her breeding program and has imported two dogs from Portugal and two from England. The results include being the owner of a National Specialty winner, the breeder and co-owner of another—and the progeny of the second winner has won TWO National Specialties. Jean can often look around at the winners at a National and/or the associated shows and see the family dogs in the line- up. Most recently, the Hound Specialty after the National had a majority of the line-up being the grand- or great-grand pups of Sienna, her foundation bitch. Jean has to thank her friends and dog family for all their support over the years. So many people have puppies from her, and she delights in watching them have great success; Suzanne Faria, Susan Coomer- Souza, Carol Sowders, Delores Streng, Karen Oglesby, and so many others. They all inspire Jean and have given her so much through their knowledge and friendship.




T he Portuguese Podengo Pequeno (PPP) is a versatile and funny little breed. They are a joy to live with and easy to care for, whether wire or smooth. They have a great sense of humor and they know and love their

friends. Pequenos are often described as cats in dog suits; some- thing to remember in training. One of the biggest secrets to the breed is not how stinking cute they are, but how extremely versatile they are.



As the population of Pequenos grows, in the US, more people are find- ing out how much fun they are to train and compete with in a variety of sports. There are currently many running Agility, Scentwork, FCAT, Lure Coursing, Barn Hunt, and even Obedience. Training the breed can be a challenge. Like all good Hounds or even those more “feral” breeds, Pequenos will work for you, once you have built a relationship with them. They tend to figure out their job quickly and don’t want a lot of repetition in training. Once they learn their skill, they don’t like to be over-schooled. If possible, starting a training regime early will shape their brains and keep them ready to learn throughout their lives. If your breeder can work them a little each day, your job, later in their lives, will be much easier. Clicker training works well with them, but they also need to be given limits. They will take complete advantage of an owner who allows them to live without boundaries or expectations. Be prepared to be tested by this breed, sometimes multiple times a day. The girls tend to be the “thinkers” and like to work things to their advantage. They are also more of a train- ing challenge. They work for you because it’s beneficial to them. The boys work for you because they want to and they enjoy your company. They are more forgiving of your mistakes and will work hard to make sure you understand what they need. We all think our breed(s) to be the best. The Portuguese Podengo Pequeno is a wonderful little breed. The scruffy wire dogs are cute and draw you in with their fluffy cuteness. The smooths are sweet and the easy coat care is a plus. We believe this breed can do anything we ask. So far, this is a good estimation. It is fun seeing our breed do so well in so many venues. The PPPA believes in the importance of a versatile dog. We have versatility certificates and a versatility award, for the dog with the most and balanced titles. We have even incorporated the sport/working titles into our ROM/ROMX awards. If you want a fun little dog that likes to play at games, contact the club for breeder references.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR Jean Evanoff was introduced to the Portuguese Podengo Pequeno about 15 years ago at Meet the Breeds, at the Javits Center in NYC. They were cute and charming. Her search for a Pequeno started shortly afterwards and, soon, “Sienna” came into her life. She fit what Jean was looking for and certainly seemed to fit the Standard quite nicely. Their first year in Florida for the National Championship, Sienna took Breed in a large entry. Jean is currently head of Judges

Education and Secretary for PPPA. The club is now an AKC

member club and tries to be open and welcoming to all members. Jean worked hard at her breeding program and has imported two dogs from Portugal and two from England. The results include being the owner of a National Specialty winner, the breeder and co-owner of another—and the progeny of the second winner has won TWO National Specialties. Jean can often look around at the winners at a National and/or the associated shows and see the family dogs in the line-up. Most recently, the Hound Specialty after the National had a majority of the line-up being the grand- or great-grand pups of Sienna, her foundation bitch. Jean has to thank her friends and dog family for all their support over the years. So many people have puppies from her, and she delights in watching them have great success; Suzanne Faria, Susan Coomer-Souza, Carol Sowders, Delores Streng, Karen Oglesby, and so many others. They all inspire Jean and have given her so much through their knowledge and friendship.


PORTUGUESE PODENGO PEQUENO by PORTUGUESE PODENGO PEQUENOS OF AMERICA J udging the Portuguese Podengo Pequeno, a lively, intelligent, sober, little dog with a rich hunting his- tory in Portugal, should be a fun and rewarding experience.

characteristic of the Pequeno is the silhouette. It should show the proper proportions of twenty percent longer than tall, the height being half and half, leg to body. Buoyant and smart, over-shyness or aggressive behavior are disqualify faults. These cheerful sight hounds should be enjoyable in the ring. A light trot with easy, agile movements are what you should see when they are moved.

A natural born rabbit hunter, Peque- nos should have sound skeletons and be well muscled. The belly is lean and slightly tucked up. The tail is slightly curved when carried horizontally or vertically in the shape of a sickle. When relaxed, the tail falls curved to the hock joint. A curled tail is a serious fault. The length of the body is twenty per- cent longer than tall, as measured from the point of the shoulder to the point of the buttocks. Pequenos, unlike the Medio/Grande, should never be square. The breed standard height is eight to twelve inches, with the bottom of the chest and elbow at the mid point of the height. The weight is nine to thirteen pounds. With this variation it is com- mon to see a wide range of sizes in a ring at one time, and all of the dogs be within the standard. The mostly frequently asked judg- ing questions revolve around the coat. Light, medium, and dark shades of yel- low and fawn coloring are acceptable. Coat colors for the Pequeno can be solid or with white markings. Acceptable col- ors, while not preferred, but allowed are black or brown, solid or with white markings, also white with markings of acceptable colors. Colors that would disqualify a Pequeno from the show ring are brindle, tri-color, black and tan or solid white. There are two varieties of coat: smooth and wire. The smooth is short and dense and the wire is long and harsh. There is no undercoat in either variety. The breed should be shown naturally. Excessive grooming and sculpting should be penalized. The Portuguese Podengo Pequeno is a beloved little breed, whose numbers are growing every year. A true Portu- guese treasure, it is our responsibility to preserve the breed for generations to come.

The Pequeno should appear well muscled, energetic, but rustic. Judges should look for the hallmarks of our breed: a wedge shaped head, erect ears, and a sickle tail. An important

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W e have all heard the term used before, “form follows function” and when planning our next generation of dogs’, it is what we all keep in mind, right? Have you asked yourself “Is the dog I am showing in the conformation ring capable of per- forming the function of the breed as it was intended?” It is no different for the breeders of the Portuguese Podengo Pequenos.

The Pequeno (smallest of three sizes) is primarily used as a rabbit hunting dog in its native Portugal. It searches for rab- bits in holes, dense shrubs and on/over rocks going into crevices to flush out the rabbits. They need to have stamina and endurance to be out in the field and the trainability to return to the hunter with their quarry. They are a fearless lit- tle dog with a high-pitched bark called the maticar that sounds off when they are excited. Because they are used small

packs it was important in the develop- ment of the Pequeno to have a range in size from 8-12 inches without los- ing the type and function of the breed. The Portuguese breeders/hunters have done fabulous job in maintaining breed function from the smallest to the tallest of the Pequeno and in many cases, have shared their wealth of knowledge with the next generation of breeders in many different countries.


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This is a dog bred to chase and the specific proportions are worth noting. Height is 50/50, but we cannot forget why it is important for the Pequeno to be 20% longer then tall. It is not until you have seen them in action do your really appreciate what

and the only way to know, is to feel it. Just a few hairs in your fingertips should do the trick. It should feel as though nothing can stick to it. This is critical to the appearance of the hunting dogs as well. The Portuguese breeders/hunters need not worrying about the

this hunting dog would look like. Being shorter to the ground than their cous- ins the Medio and Grande, the Peque- nos reply on a little extra body length to maneuver through the field and brush, able to make the twisting turns as fast as the rabbit. Their little hind legs, with just enough muscling are propelling themselves forward like they are flying. This structure makes them a formidable competitor in Agility. When seen in the conformation ring, remember moderation is good. Nothing should be extreme in any way. The stan-

dard calls for a rustic appearance with- out excessive sculpting and clipping however, it is as important not to con- fuse rustic with a dirty, untidy appear- ance. Then on the other hand, a clean and brushed out animal should not be penalized for over grooming. This is a single coated breed and easy to main- tain without hair spray and mousse. The smooth coat should be short and very dense while the wire is long and harsh. The texture of the coat is a very important part of the equation. The texture should feel course on the wire

dog picking up burrs while out in the field or having to be bathe a wet, muddy dog after the hunt. Once dry, the dirt will literally fall off the coat. Many of us will never have a chance to see the Portuguese Podengo Peque- no at work hunting rabbits but we are none the less dedicated to preserving this wonderful little breed for all of its unique features. The Portuguese Podengo Pequeno is a great companion dog excelling in many dog sports, from Agility to Therapy work and everything in between.

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T he Portuguese Podengo Pequeno is a rustic breed that is to be shown in it's natu- ral state. However, they are also a hunting breed that runs through thick brush and cover, so a wire coated dog may have quite a bit of hair pulled out by the branches, thorns and thick- ets. Smooth coated Pequenos do not lose much hair while hunting, but may show honor scars, from scratches and minor injuries. When preparing your smooth Pequeno for show, make sure the nails are trimmed and the teeth and ears are clean. A quick wipe, with a soft cloth, will remove any dust and debris from the short dense coat. The white legs may be chalked, to accentuate the depth of color on the rest of the dog. Make sure to brush out excess chalk. A wire Pequeno takes a bit more work, to get show ready. First, it is important to remember the wire coat is supposed to be harsh. Bathing a wire coat will soften that coat. Ideally, if you must bathe the wire dog, do it a week in advance. This gives the coat a chance to “regain” the natural texture. A good coat does not need product, to make it feel harsh. There is no trimming in this breed. Remember, the Standard states that if a dog has been scissored or clipped, it is not to be considered for a ribbon. This is a part of the Standard the judges should take very seriously. Shaved ears, a sculpted dog and tightly trimmed feet, for example, do not deserve a ribbon. Combing and pulling, to neaten up the dog, is perfectly acceptable. Common places to pull hair on your Pequeno may be the elbows, general body area and under the tail. The feet can grow enough hair to look sloppy, but the coat is easy to pull. Be patient

and give your dog some breaks. You can eventually make those feet look much better. The final place I might recom- mend pulling hair is off the ears. Some- times, the dog is very clean pointed and the ears never grow much hair. There are those dogs that may need quite a bit of hair pulled off the ears. Over time, this hair may not grow back so vigor- ously. Again, you may chalk your dog, so the color is more distinct, but this is your option. Again, brushing out the excess. When you enter the ring, you can hard stack or free stack your dog. There is no rule for this. Do what is best for your dog. The tail can be held up, but this is not necessary. As the dog moves, the tail should come up, in a sickle or saber shape. When the Pequeno is relaxed, the tail will hang down, between or behind the rear legs, without being tucked. A tucked tail is the sign of a nervous or scared dog.

Ideally, the ears are up and forward toward the handler. An alert dog may turn its ears toward a noise it hears, a pinned ear is not ideal, because it shows the dog may be spooked or nervous. Finally, moving your dog. Remem- ber they are to have “a light trot, easy and agile movements”. Fast and rac- ing around the ring is not called for. There is no need for a lot of reach and drive. This breed covers ground easily, efficiently, and lightly. They do not go through wide open fields, rather dense brush, so do not need big, open movement. This breed is lovely and funny. Allow those bright personalities to show through. They are very willing to do as they are asked, even if it's in exchange for some cheese, liver, or steak. Go enjoy your little dog and remember, they may enjoy embarrass- ing you, as the leap around the ring, in joy.

Photo courtesy of the American Kennel Club

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M y husband and I were lucky enough to attend two great events in Por- tugal relating to the Podengo breed. The first was a hunting demonstration in Evora. The event invi- tation was as follows: “Hunting Demonstration with Portu- guese Podengo Packs! Meeting with the Portuguese Breed- ers of the group Rota do Podengo Português on a real hunting field to

observe the best Portuguese Podengo packs, from different sizes and variet- ies, hunting during the morning, fol- lowed by a traditional barbecue on the countryside. After lunch we will have discussions about the breed in several items and the possibility of interaction and exchange of experience with all the Portuguese breeders present. A great opportunity to learn more about the breed, to get to know many

of the Portuguese Podengos in Por- tugal and the top hunting/breed- ers, and to spend a great day in a beautiful landscape, with great peo- ple, great food and great wine!” A quick blurb about the “Podengo”: The Portuguese Podengo in Portugal is three sizes, the Pequeno (fully AKC recognized), the Medio and the Grande. The Portuguese Podengo also comes in two coats, smooth and wire. In the FCI, the Portguese Podengo is shown as six


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separate breeds. Here in the States, we have two breeds, Portuguese Podengo Pequeno and Portuguese Podengo, cur- rently in the AKC Miscellaneous group. I was excited to be able to attend but I pictured just following some hunters around the fields with their Podengos. Maybe a bit of discussion but most of it would go over my head since I am not a hunter. This was NOT the case! The members of Rota do Podengo Português put on a most informative day. Podengo enthusiasts from eight countries attend- ed. After we assembled the crowd, had introductions and insights on why they felt this was an important event to host, we gathered around large tables for breakfast in their rustic hunting lodge.

We instantly felt at home. I think we all felt a strong connection to each other despite any language barriers. We all had one thing in common, the love of dogs but even more specifically the love for our wonderful breed, the Poden- go Portuguese. I instantly knew this would be an even more interesting and enjoyable day than I had expected. We headed back outside, talked more about what they expected from the dogs and why. Then they gathered the dogs and off we went. We broke up into small groups while heading out. Walking alongside the members of the Rota do Podengo Portu- guês, we watched them work with their dogs. We were able to ask questions.

It was interesting to hear the other participants’ questions as well. All the groups met up for a refreshment in the shade, a Fado song under a cork tree, and many more questions and answers. Off again as a large group, we stopped at a pond for the dogs to drink and cool off, then returned to the hunting lodge. After a wonderful and very lively luncheon and a glass (or two!) of wine, we had the privilege of previewing a book of photographs of Podengos on the hunt, since published. Then ensued a long, interesting, informative, and spirited discussion of the Podengo breed standard. Henrique Passadinhas (a respected hunter, breeder, and judge)

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led the discussion, covering many of the more tricky parts in the standard and turning this into a most informative Podengo seminar. The day was getting late. We had gath- ered at 7:30 am and it was now after 5 in the evening. Before saying “Good-byes,” though, we watched a demonstration of the newly approved Natural Skills Test. This is a pass-or-fail test that evaluates five different areas: sociability, search, smell capacity, prey instinct, and bal- ance. The test is reviewed by two judg- es. One of the participants tested her dog at the demonstration and it did very well. It made an interesting ending to a magnificent day. The second event was the very next day. The Monografica Podengo took place in Arruda dos Vinhos. The Mono- grafica is comparable to a specialty here in the States. Only 20 minutes outside of Lisbon, the building was perfect to accommodate this event. Anyone who has been to a dog show with me knows, I take seriously the advice that—“early is on time, on time is late, and late is unacceptable!” So despite having an early start the day before and arriving back from the hunt at almost midnight, I was eager to get to the Pavilion to see the dog show. We arrived early so we were able to greet participants as they arrived. Many of the new friends we had met the day before came either to enter their dogs into the competition or as spectators like us. Approximately 100 Podengos of all three sizes and both coats were repre- sented. They had two rings set up and two judges for the day. Luis Gorjão-Hen- riques was the judge for all the medios and grandes as well as the best-in-show judge. Fernando Madeira Rodrigues was the judge for all the Pequenos as well as for best brace, best breeder group, best veteran, best progeny, best baby, and best puppy. Although interested in

all three sizes, I found myself ringside for the Pequeno judging. We sat and watched for a few hours as each group of dogs was judged. The final group for best in show had a Podengo from each size and coat represented. The winner was a beautiful Medio. Then came lunch festivities. The Portuguese are wonderful hosts and have such a hospitable spirit. We had a delicious lunch served with flowing Portuguese wine, followed by cham- pagne, port, and a local liquor regional to the area of Arruda dos Vinhos. The luncheon perfectly reflected the friend- ly camaraderie that seems to mark the dog shows in Portugal. The competition is serious and intense, the judging rigor- ous, but rancor and rivalries seem to be left at home. It was nice to be part of such comradery. I found myself wishing that we, AKC participants, could learn to follow this example. Our dog clubs seem to be divided and filled with ten- sion and rifts. I believe we don’t take enough time to enjoy our competition and our fellow breed enthusiasts. The Portuguese Podengo owners, one and all, were welcoming hosts at both events, patient with all of our questions, and thoughtful in their dis- cussions of various views on important breed issues. They made our visit into an enjoyable and very educational ses- sion about the Podengos. It was great to learn about the Podengos in their home country, “straight from the horse’s mouth.” Based on this experience, I recommend that anyone interested in learning more about Podengos go to the source: Meet the hunters and breeders in Portugal, see what the Podengo is bred to do, and attend a show. I have been to Portugal over ten times and driven all over the beautiful countryside in search of Podengo edu- cation. I place a lot of value on learn- ing about my breed from the source.

Why does the Standard say blacks are not preferred? What was the thinking behind that? Why should the Pequeno be between 8 and 12 inches tall? Why is 13 inches too much? How does my breed hunt? Why is it a hound and not a terrier? If you need any recommendations or tips for traveling in Portugal, just email me. I’d be happy to help. Coming up in April there will be a two days gathering of Portuguese Podengo Breeders, show judges, and Podengo Enthuiasts from all over the world to LEARN, DISCUSS, and SHARE about the Breed in a deep, serious, and open minded way! Our goal is to have the most EDUCATIONAL and rewarding event ever done about the Portuguese Podengo and to come to some conclusions and useful guide- lines for the improvement of the Breed and breeding practices worldwide! We will do this in the wonderful Alentejo region in Portugal, during spring time with marvelous landscapes, great tra- ditional Portuguese food, and having the opportunity to the culture of Por- tugal. To get all the information you need about this event, please write to Margaret Boisture is the owner of Star Mountain Kennel. She is an AKC Breeder of Merit and a preservation breeder advocating for Portuguese Podengo Pequenos and all Purebred Dogs. You can find Margaret either at home working with her two beauti- ful Portuguese breeds, the Portuguese Podengo Pequeno and the Estrela Mountain Dog, or traveling. It was in her travels that she fell in love with these breeds. Margaret is also the President of the Portuguese Podengo Club of America and the Treasurer of the Portuguese Podengo Pequenos of America, Inc. podengoseminar@gmail.com . ABOUT THE AUTHOR

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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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