Showsight Presents The Portuguese Podengo Pequeno

led the discussion, covering many of the more tricky parts in the standard and turning this into a most informative Podengo seminar. The daywas 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

S how S ight M agazine , F ebruary 2019 • 307

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