Portuguese Podengo

The increasingly popular Portuguese Podengo is the national dog of Portugal and forms part of the hound group.

Portuguese Podengo breed Group


Size of the Portuguese Podengo

Small. The Podengo is one of the few small breeds in the hound group, although medium and large sizes do exist.

Country of origin


Time of original development

Around the 16th century.

The Portuguese Podengo through history

The multi-talented Podengo was originally used to catch vermin and rabbits.

Portuguese Podengo breed introduction and overview

The Portuguese Podengo is becoming more popular in the UK with 31 dogs recorded with the Kennel Club in 2015. There are actually 6 varieties of this alert and affectionate dog. It comes in wire and smooth coats, with 3 sizes including small, medium and large. The 3 sizes are available in both wire or smooth coats, making the 6 varieties. Only the small Podengo is currently recognised with the Kennel Club.

The Podengo is intelligent, and able to hunt using scent, sight and sound! It’s still popular in Portugal today, and is proudly their national dog. Renowned for hunting rabbits for food, the word Podengo translates as rabbit hunter or warren hound in Portuguese. It is believed to be a relative of the Pharaoh Hound.

Portuguese Podengo temperament

The breed is generally friendly, energetic, affectionate and alert. It makes a good family pet, and normally enjoys the company of children. Other dogs should not be a problem, and the Podengo rarely displays any aggressive behaviour. Cats may be accepted, but early socialisation is essential. Smaller pets are not compatible, and may be in danger from the Podengo.

Colour varieties of the Portuguese Podengo

The breed comes in a variety of colours and markings including:

  • Black & Tan
  • Black & White
  • Dark Fawn
  • Dark Fawn & White
  • Fawn
  • Fawn & White
  • Grey
  • Light Fawn & White
  • White & Fawn
  • Yellow
  • Yellow & White

Size and weight of then Portuguese Podengo

Height bitch 20-30cms

Height dog 20-30cms

Weight (kilos) bitch 4-5kgs

Weight (kilos) dog 4-5kgs

Exercise requirements of the Portuguese Podengo

Low. This breed requires 30-60 minutes of exercise daily ideally off the lead.

It is an adaptable dog and suitable for both rural and city life.

Is the Portuguese Podengo a good dog for a first time dog owner?

Not recommended. This breed like most in the hound group are driven by their hunting instinct, and difficult and frustrating to train. Running off and roaming can be a problem in the breed.

Portuguese Podengo coat length

The smooth coated Portuguese Podengo has a short hard coat. The wire coated dog’s coat is rough, wiry and coarse, growing up to 3 inches in length.

Portuguese Podengo Grooming requirements

The Short coated variety requires virtually no grooming, however a buff with a chamois leather will bring out a glorious shine to the coat. Dogs with short coats should be dried after walks in wet and cold weather conditions. This breed does tend to feel the cold.

A soft pin brush or slicker brush are the ideal tools for keeping the wire haired Podengo’s coat tangle free, tidy and healthy. Brush 2-3 times per week.

Ears should be cleaned and checked regularly for any sign of infections.


No. Both the wire and smooth coated Podengo shed hair steadily throughout the year, making it an unsuitable choice of dog for allergy sufferers.

Health Issues in the Portuguese Podengo

The healthy and hardy Podengo comes with very few health problems but potential owners should consult their breeder about the following reported issues:

  • Legg Perthes
  • Epilepsy
  • Luxating Patellas
  • Ear Problems
  • Jaw overhang or underhang
  • Allergies

As with all pedigree dogs, it is very important to obtain a puppy from a reputable source where you can be guaranteed that it has been bred with a view to avoiding the inherent physical and psychological diseases of the breed.

Average lifespan of the Portuguese Podengo

A healthy dog should expect to enjoy a life expectancy of between 10-12 years.

Approximate Portuguese Podengo pedigree puppy price

Expect to pay around £500-£800 for a puppy and be aware that litters are few and far between. Register your interest with established reputable breeders, so they can notify you when a litter is due. You may have to travel long distances to find your suitable puppy.

There are generally 3-6 puppies in an average litter.

Estimating how much a Portuguese Podengo would need to be fed each day and weekly cost

A bitch or dog weighing 5kgs requires 123gms of complete dry food daily.

The weekly cost of feeding a 5kgs bitch or dog is around £3.00

Our figures are based on feeding an ‘above average quality’ and popular complete dry food bought from a leading supermarket. A good quality feed is suggested for the energetic dogs in the hound group.

Other financial costs to consider when owning any dog breed

Remember to budget for essential pet treatments and procedures that are not covered by pet insurance policies including:

  • Worming and fleas preparations
  • Annual Vaccination boosters
  • Neutering or spaying
  • Microchipping
  • Dental treatment