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Portuguese Podengo

Hunter and companion from Portugal


The breed bears some common ancestry with the Pharaoh hounds, brought into the Mediterranean by Phoenician sailors. Podengo means ‘rabbit hunter’ or ‘Warren Hound’ and this hunting ability, along with their skill in controlling vermin around the house made them very popular in Portugal from the 16th century. Nowadays they retain that popularity but mostly as a family companion where their friendly temperament, character and intelligence make them a great personality. The breed has three sizes; small, medium and large and two coats; the smooth haired variety which was developed in the wetter climate of northern Portugal and the wire coated in drier areas where the wire coat could often protect against the sun. All varieties are also used as watchdogs and as companion dogs.

The three different sizes were used as below:

  • Small Podengo: used for searching rabbits in holes and rocks.
  • Medium Podengo: also known as Warren Hound, its natural aptitude as a rabbit hunter is well used, hunting either in a pack or alone.
  • Large Podengo: used for hunting big game.

Read more about the history of this breed – HERE

OTHER NAMES – Warren Hound, Portuguese Hound


Podengos, in general, are funny dogs that love to play. They easily entertain themselves with toys, chase each other and stalk each other around the house and yard. They are highly intelligent and learn new things very fast. Since they are a watchful dog though, they are not as easy going and playful with strangers and may view smaller animals like dogs and cats as prey. They may be quite reserved initially and prefer to greet strangers on their own terms, They are very tolerant and compliant, eager to please their family members and put up with most requests we make of them. Podengos will both surprise and test the unprepared owner – they require firm training or they will find their own adventures, but they are easily motivated by food and fun. They are very loyal to their families and are good with children when they are raised with them. They are energetic, social and highly intelligent dogs that also thrive in a home environment providing they are given enough to do. Podengos are well suited to people who lead active, outdoor lives and who are familiar with the particular needs of such an active, smart dog bearing in mind that their hunting instinct is deeply embedded in a dog’s psyche.


This information is taken from kennel clubs and other reliable sources

PURPOSE BRED FORHunting, Companion, Watchdog
OVERALL SIZE3 different sizes (see below)
TEMPERAMENTSociable, Intelligent, Lively
EXERCISE NEEDED1-2 hours per day
HEIGHT – SMALL20-30 cm / 7-11 in (to shoulder)
HEIGHT – MEDIUM40-54 cm / 15-21 in (to shoulder)
HEIGHT – LARGE55-70 cm / 21-27 in (to shoulder)
COAT TYPESmooth, Wired


  • The smooth coat is the traditional look for the Podengo. The wired coat is believed to have been incorporated into the breed when it was crossbred with other breeds in the 20th century.
  • They are excellent jumpers so a high fence is needed, also one that sits well below the ground because they are quite good at digging as too!
  • Podengos are not the best choice for first time dog owners because they must be socialised, handled and trained by people who are familiar with the needs of such an intelligent, high-energy dog.
  • Podengos have a very unique voice and they sometimes sing which in Portuguese is referred to as “maticar”.
  • Podengos are natural watchdogs and would always be quick off the mark to let an owner know when there are strangers about.


Click on any image to view these pictures larger and in a slideshow


Enjoy this video about Portuguese Podengos, you can view the entire playlist of videos about this breed on our YouTube Channel by clicking the button below:


Here’s some websites specifically dedicated to this breed, click to view them. I am not affiliated with any of these sites, they’re just here for further information. Please note I will not advertise breeders on this site and as many websites dedicated to a specific breed are run by breeders, sometimes there’s fewer sites listed here.

Thanks for reading!

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