Portuguese Podengo Pequeno

Classified as a hound, the alert and playful little Portuguese Podengo Pequeno is a quick, athletic rabbit hunter of ancient lineage.

Daily Care

Grooming Tips

The Portuguese Podengo Pequeno doesn’t need a lot of grooming. Wire-haired coats should never be trimmed and require only occasional brushing to prevent tangles and knots in the more densely coated areas, such as under the armpits.
They are almost odorless. As with most other hunting breeds, Podengo Pequenos only need to be bathed when they are dirty. They are energetic and active and generally keep their nails fairly short by digging and running, although monthly clipping may be necessary.
The hair around their eyes, and also around and inside their ears, should be plucked. This requires grabbing a few hairs at a time and pulling them out abruptly. While this sounds painful (and probably is to some extent), Podengos eventually get used to it, much like terriers get used to being stripped.
For ear plucking, it can help to put a bit of white pet talc inside the ears before pulling out the hairs; the powder gives a better grip. Old-fashioned rubber fingertips used for filing can also be helpful; these are available at office supply stores.
If the insides of this breed’s ears are not kept free of hair, they are at increased risk of becoming infected. This is true for both the wire-haired and smooth-coated types. Tooth care is similar as that for any other breed.

Exercise Tips

Podengo Pequenos were bred to have enough stamina and endurance to hunt throughout the day, for consecutive days. As such, they have seemingly limitless amounts of energy and require a great deal of exercise.
Although their small size makes them suitable for small homes or apartments, they should only be housed in small living quarters if their owners are able to cater to their exercise needs each day. They often do best in houses with large gardens or rural farm yards where they can frolic about at will.

Feeding Tips

Pequenos have extremely high energy levels and should be fed 2 to 3 high-quality meals a day.
They should do well on high-quality dog food, whether commercially manufactured or home-prepared with your veterinarian’s supervision and approval. Any diet should be appropriate to the dog’s age (puppy, adult, or senior).
Some dogs are prone to gettingoverweight, so watch your dog’s calorie consumption and weight level.Treatscan be an important aid in training, but giving too many can cause obesity.
Learn about whichhuman foodsare safe for dogs, and which are not. Check with your vet if you have any concerns about your dog’s weight or diet.Clean, fresh water should be available at all times.

Health Tips

The Portuguese Podengo Pequeno is a robust, healthy dog that typically lives well into its teens. Some have lived past twenty. There are few reported genetic disorders in this breed. The most common maladies that Podengo Pequenos suffer are broken toes and other injuries related to hunting and other outdoor activities. Inherited health concerns include Legg-Calve-Perthes disease and luxating patellas. Fortunately, both of those conditions usually are evident well before a dog reaches breeding age.


Podengo Pequenos are extremely intelligent and lively. They are however significantly less “refined” in their behaviors than other modern breeds and require an owner that is familiar with a more primal style of training.
This includes setting rules, boundaries and limitations early on and making it clear what you expect from the dog. Pequenos can also be extremely willful at times and considering their small size and agility, it is advisable to keep them on a leash during training.


The Podengo Portugueso comes in three sizes: The Grande (large), Medio (medium) and Pequeno (small). There are two possible origins of all Podengo Portugueso. The Grande, from which the Medio and Pequeno evolved, is similar to the tan-colored sighthounds, such as the Pharaoh Hound, which spread out of North Africa to the Iberian Peninsula. However, the Podengo could be a descendant of small Iberian wolves.
Although the Medio’s closest relative, the Podengo Grande, is now very rare, this lively and alert medium-sized hound remains a popular dog, particularly in rural parts of northern Portugal. It is sometimes still used as a small-game hunter there.
Hunting in packs or alone, the Portuguese Hounds became very skilled at hunting rabbits. Human intervention in breeding has reduced the Medio’s size, while leaving other characteristics intact. In Portugal these dogs are used for hunting, ratting, guard work and companionship. It is nicknamed the Portuguese Rabbit Dog. This breed was recognized by the AKC in 2012.