Portuguese Podengo

An excellent small-game hunter, similar to the greyhound in body shape, this breed is also a devoted guard dog for its master.


The Portuguese Podengo is believed to descend from Egyptian Hounds along with the Cirneco dell’Etna, Pharaoh, Ibiza and Canario Hounds. Incidentally, this also applies to the Andalusian Hound, which is very similar but not yet recognized by the Federation Cynologique Internationale. All these breeds are used for hunting rabbit — either as single dogs or in a pack. They have a specialized technique of using both scent and sight. They track the scent and when close to the prey they jump straight up in the grass, which is usually very high. Once they have spotted the rabbit, they chase, catch, kill and retrieve it to the hunter.


The Podengo comes in three sizes — Grande, Medio and Pequeno. The height at the withers varies accordingly: Grande is about 22-28 inches/55-70 cm, the Medio is about 16-22 inches/40-55 cm and the Pequeno is about 8-12 inches/20-30 cm. The body should be rectangular, slender but well muscled and quite upright in the shoulder and neck. The head should be triangular with a long muzzle and tight lips. The ears are set high, rather large and erect. The coat should be smooth and glossy without being soft or semi-wire. The color may be any shade of red, with or without white markings. Black pigmentation is a fault.

Large Portuguese Podengo

Known locally as the Podengo Portuguesa Grande, this breed has also been described as the Portuguese Hound, the Large Portuguese Hound, the Large Portuguese Rabbit Dog, the Portuguese Rabbit Dog, or the Portuguese Warren Hound. It has been used for many years to bunt deer, hare, rabbit and other game, but is less common today than it has been in the past.

This large, prick-eared Portuguese sighthound is the result of ancient importations of greyhound-like dogs being crossed with local breeds. It is a strong animal capable of covering a great deal of ground in pursuit of its prey. Hunting is carried out either singly, in pairs, or in packs, usually over open ground. There are two coat types. One is short and hard and the other is wiry, shaggy and coarse.

Medium Portuguese Podengo

Sometimes called the Medium Portuguese Hound, or the Medium Portugese Rabbit Dog, and known locally as the Podengo Portuguesa Medio, this breed has been used for many years to hunt rabbits and other small game.

This reduced Podengo has been developed for speed and manoeuvrability when hunting over difficult, less open terrain. It is the fastest of the three Podengo types and has become the most popular in recent years. It is approximately 6 in (15 cm) shorter than its larger relative but in other respects is very similar. There are two coat types. One is short and hard and the other is wiry, shaggy and coarse.

A miniaturized version of this breed, called the Small Portuguese Podengo, was developed many years ago to go to ground and carry out the duties of a terrier.

Gallery of Portuguese Podengo