Portuguese Podengo

Portuguese Podengo

30 June 2023

Let’s talk about… Portuguese Podengos: what are they?

  • The Portuguese Podengo, also known as Pods, are a breed of dog that originated in Portugal.
  • It is an ancient breed that has been used for hunting small game, such as rabbits, for centuries, and is part of the hound breeds of dog.
  • These dogs have a strong hunting instinct and are known for their agility and endurance.
  • The Portuguese Podengo is considered a national treasure in Portugal and has been depicted in Portuguese art and literature for centuries.
  • The Portuguese Podengo comes in three size varieties: Pequeno (small), Medio (medium), and Grande (large).
  • They are a versatile breed and can adapt to different environments, making them excellent companions for active individuals and families.
  • The average height of the Portuguese Podengo Pequeno is around 20-30 cm, the Medio stands between 40-54 cm, and the Grande can reach 55-70 cm.
  • In terms of weight, the Pequeno typically weighs between 4-6 kg, the Medio between 16-20 kg, and the Grande between 25-40 kg.
  • The life expectancy of Portuguese Podengos is usually around 12-15 years.
Portuguese Podengo  Exercise Needs: 4/5 Grooming Ease: 4/5 Trainability: 3/5

What is the temperament of Portuguese Podengos like?

  • Portuguese Podengos are known for their lively, intelligent, and independent nature.
  • They are active dogs that require mental and physical stimulation to be happy and well-adjusted.
  • They have a strong prey drive and may chase small animals, so caution should be exercised when they are off-lead in unfenced areas.
  • While they can be reserved with strangers, they are generally affectionate and loyal to their families.
  • Portuguese Podengos are good with children, although they may prefer older children who can understand and respect their boundaries.
  • Early socialisation is important to ensure they are comfortable around other dogs and pets.
Fleur, the Portuguese Podengo

How much exercise do Portuguese Podengos need?

  • Portuguese Podengos are an energetic breed that requires a good amount of exercise to keep them physically and mentally stimulated.
  • On average, they need around 1-2 hours of exercise per day. This can include walks, runs, playtime in a securely fenced area, or engaging in dog sports such as agility or obedience training.
  • Mental stimulation through puzzle toys, interactive games, and training sessions is also essential for this intelligent breed.
  • When it comes to Portuguese Podengo puppies, it's important to provide age-appropriate exercise. Puppies have developing bones and joints, so their exercise should be limited to short play sessions and controlled walks. Until they are around 4 months old, a very basic idea would be to limit exercise to 5 minutes per month of age, twice a day.
  • Gradually increase the exercise duration as the puppy grows. Full adult exercise levels can typically be reached around 12 to 18 months of age.
  • However as every pup is different ask your vet to advise on the exercise needs of your dog.
Ori, the Portuguese Podengo

Do Portuguese Podengos require grooming?

  • The coat of the Portuguese Podengo varies depending on the variety.
  • The Pequeno has a smooth, short coat that is easy to maintain. Occasional brushing to remove loose hair and keep the coat shiny is usually sufficient.
  • The Medio and Grande varieties have a wire or long coat that requires more grooming. Regular brushing, at least once a week, is necessary to prevent matting and keep the coat in good condition. Additionally, occasional hand-stripping or trimming may be required to maintain the coat's texture and shape.
  • Like any dog, regular tooth brushing with a dog-specific toothpaste twice daily is ideal. If you can’t manage that often, just do it as often as you can.
Banksy, the Portuguese Podengo

Are Portuguese Podengos easy to train?

  • Portuguese Podengos are intelligent and independent dogs, which can sometimes make training a bit challenging.
  • They have a strong instinct for hunting and may be easily distracted by scents or small animals.
  • However, with patience, consistency, and positive reinforcement techniques, they can be trained successfully.
  • Early socialisation is important to expose them to different people, animals, and environments.
  • Obedience training classes or working with a professional dog trainer can be beneficial in teaching them basic commands and good manners.
  • Remember, every Portuguese Podengo is unique, and individual dogs may have different needs and temperaments.
Cian, the Portuguese Podengo

What do Portuguese Podengos eat?

  • To keep your Portuguese Podengo healthy, provide a balanced and nutritious diet. High-quality commercial dog food that is appropriate for their age, size, and activity level is recommended, fed twice daily.
  • For Portuguese Podengo puppies, feed them a specially formulated puppy food that meets their nutritional needs for growth and development. Puppies have specific dietary requirements, so consult with your veterinarian for guidance on feeding schedules, portion sizes, and transitioning to adult dog food.
  • Most pups should be fed 3-4 times a day until they are 6 months old when it is reduced to twice a day.
  • Typically, puppies can transition to adult food around 12 months of age.

Are Portuguese Podengos healthy?

Portuguese Podengos are generally a healthy breed, but like any dog, they can be prone to certain health conditions. Although they are not that widespread a breed, it has been suggested that some of the health concerns that may affect Portuguese Podengos include:

Bones and Joints

  • Elbow Dysplasia - this condition is where there is an issue with how the bones fit together at the elbow joint
  • Hip Dysplasia - a condition where the thigh bone and pelvis do not sit together properly at the hip joint, which can lead to discomfort and arthritis
  • Luxating patella - this is when a dog’s kneecap moves out of where it should normally be


  • Atopy - when the immune system overreacts to an allergen and results in skin irritation.

This list is by no means comprehensive, if you have any concerns about the health of your dog, or if you want to discuss further if a Portuguese Podengo is right for you, consult with your vet.

BorrowMyDoggy loves Portuguese Podengos

BorrowMyDoggy has 169 Portuguese Podengo members.

Information on this page should never replace advice given by your veterinarian.  Potential health issues presented are given as a guide only and are not meant to be comprehensive.  If you ever have any concerns about your dog’s health contact your local vet.

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