Podengo Pequeno Smooth Coat - Overview
The smooth coat Podengo. A happy, healthy little Hound averaging 9-13 lb and no more than 12" in height, the smooth coat Podengo Pequeno is a fine companion, a quick learner and a terrific hunter.
While the breed comes in two hair types -- the elegant and intelligent Podengo Pequeno Smooth Coat and the lively and endearing Podengo Pequeno Wire Coat, there are significant differences beyond the hair type. The Smooth Coat has been recorded in history for centuries and retains its original lines and charm. The wire coat is a more recent variety, with a number of influences, and was first recorded in Portugal in 1976. The two varieties should never be interbred as the characteristics of the Smooth Coat will be lost. Cross-breeding often results in "half-hairs" and dogs not consistent with the breed standard. This will be presented in greater detail in other educational sections of this site.
How the Podengo got its Name
The word Podengo was used in Portugal at least as early as the 16th century to refer to pack-hunting dogs. The full name then was Podengo de Mostra (the Mostra part referring to a pack). Over time, this was shortened to Podengo and referred to multi-sensory, endurance-trotting, pack-hunting dogs. The Portuguese do not have a word for hound, so use the word Podengo as a specific term for the kind of primitive, prick-eared, hunting dogs like us that were distributed around the Mediterranean basin 2,000 years ago by the Phoenicians.
Podengos hunt rabbits, which in Portugal live mostly in rock crevices and thick briars, rather than in underground warrens. The Medio works in tandem with the smaller Podengo, the Pequeno, to flush rabbits from crevices and dense briars, as well as to chase, track, kill and retrieve the rabbit. Medios and Grandes also hunt deer and wild boar.
So that's what's in the name!