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.”
228 • S how S ight M agazine , O ctober 2013
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