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Portuguese Podengo Pequeno: Dog Breed Info, Pictures, Traits & Facts

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By Nicole Cosgrove

Podengo Portugueso Pequeno

Height: 8 – 12 inches
Weight: 9 – 13 pounds
Lifespan: 12 – 15 years
Colors: Fawn, Yellow, Brown, Black, Gray, Orange, Red
Suitable for: Active families, Apartments or Houses
Temperament: Active, Lively, Playful, Intelligent, Eager to Please

The Portuguese Podengo Pequeno is a purebred dog that is the smallest of the Portuguese Podengo breeds (Pequeno translates to “small” or “little”). They are the national dogs of Portugal and belong to the Hound Group through the AKC, and they are considered the smallest hunting dog breed in the world. It is believed that the Pequeno was brought to Portugal at least 1,000 years ago through Moorish, Phoenician, and Roman traders and were used for hunting rabbits in the Portuguese countryside. 

The Pequeno is a small dog with erect pointed ears and a sickle-shaped tail, and she comes in a smooth or wirehaired coat. Pequenos come in a variety of different colors, including black, chestnut, red, orange, gray, and most commonly in gold, yellow, or fawn with white markings.

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Portuguese Podengo Pequeno Puppies  

portuguese podengo puppy
Image Credit: Marcis Gaujenietis, Shutterstock

If you’re thinking of purchasing a puppy through a breeder, the most important step is to establish that the breeder has ethical breeding practices. Always ask to visit the breeding facilities before making any payments. Also, make sure you receive information about the puppy and their parent’s health. It’s important to meet the puppy’s parents as well since this can give you an idea of their personality and temperament.

When you bring a Portuguese Podengo Pequeno home, be ready to have an active and playful pup by your side. They tend to be very intelligent and easily trainable, and will create strong bonds with their human companions.

3 Little-Known Facts About the Portuguese Podengo Pequeno

1. The Portuguese Podengo Pequeno helped sailors in the 1400s.

They were brought on ships heading to the Americas in the 15th century to help keep them free of vermin. This helped protect the stored food from the sailors succumbing to rodent-borne diseases.

2. The difference between the Portuguese Podengo Pequeno and Podengo Portugueso is in size.

The word “pequeno,” as mentioned earlier, means small or little. The Podengo Portugueso comes in the sizes medium (16-22 inches) and large (22-28 inches) where the medium typically hunts rabbit (like the Pequeno) and the large hunts deer and boar.

3. The Pequeno shouldn’t be left alone outside.

They are prone to digging and are capable of jumping reasonably high, so if you leave her alone in your fenced yard, she might find a way to escape. When you have her outside, she should be monitored or on a leash at all times unless you have a very secure and high fence.

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Temperament & Intelligence of the Portuguese Podengo Pequeno 🧠

The Pequeno is a very energetic and lively dog that enjoys spending lots of time outdoors in the sun but shouldn’t be left alone for too long. Not only because they are prone to escape, but because they will exhibit destructive behavior such as digging or barking.

The Pequeno is a highly intelligent dog that will make an excellent watchdog as she will alert you to anyone approaching or intruding on your property. While they are very active dogs while outdoors, they are usually well-mannered and sweet dogs while indoors.

Are These Dogs Good for Families? 🏡

The Portuguese Podengo Pequeno will make a fantastic family dog! They get along very well with children of all ages, and their playful nature also means they can all tire themselves out. There should be supervision with smaller children, particularly since the Pequeno is a little dog. All children need to be taught to respect dogs and how to approach and treat dogs of all sizes. There should never be any ear or tail pulling, and certainly not riding them like a horse.

Does This Breed Get Along with Other Pets? 🐶 😽

The Pequeno does get along with other pets, provided they were appropriately socialized while they were puppies. Because these dogs were bred to hunt small animals, you should always supervise them around smaller pets (including cats) as the Pequeno might fall back on her instincts.

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Things to Know When Owning a Portuguese Podengo Pequeno

Food & Diet Requirements 🦴

You’ll want to find a high-quality dry dog food including ones that are meant for dogs of all sizes. Following the guidelines on the back of the food bag will help you determine how much you should feed your Pequeno every day. You will want to keep your dog’s age, size, and activity level in mind when shopping for food. Consult your vet if you’re considering adding human food to your dog’s diet or if you have any concerns about her weight.

Podengo Portugueso Pequeno with blue collar
Image Credit: Sally Wallis, Shutterstock

Exercise 🐕

While the Pequeno is relatively small, she is full of energy and will need a fair bit of exercise to keep her healthy and happy. Be prepared to give her about one hour of exercise daily and be sure to include playtime and possibly some shorter walks as well. These dogs are known to be rather tireless, so you could also consider involving her in obedience and agility trials.

Training 🦮

The Pequeno is intelligent and wants to please her owner, so training is generally easy. They are quick to pick up tricks and commands, but the training sessions should be short and fun sessions to keep them interested and eager. Lots of positive reinforcement and praise will go a long way, and your Pequeno, with the right training and socialization, will be a well-mannered dog that will be welcome wherever she goes.

Grooming ✂️

Grooming the Portuguese Podengo Pequeno will depend on which coat your dog is sporting. The smooth coat will need weekly brushing with a rubber curry brush or a grooming glove, and the wirehair will also need weekly brushing but with a pin brush. Neither coat type has an undercoat, so shedding isn’t as much of a problem, but the wirehair will need a little extra maintenance on her facial hair and beard. Unless your Pequeno is extremely dirty, she will only need a bath (with a good dog shampoo) once every 3 months.

You should brush your Pequeno’s teeth about 2 or 3 times a week, clean her ears around once a month, and trim her nails every 3 to 4 weeks (or as often as you deem necessary).

Portuguese Podengo
Image credit: Pikrepo

Health Conditions ❤️

The Portuguese Podengo Pequeno is a robust and healthy dog and not prone to many health conditions. Good breeders test their dogs for the genetic problems that might be an issue to help eliminate these conditions in the future.

Minor Conditions

Your dog’s vet will check her hips, knees, and eyes in addition to a full physical exam to rule out any of these possible health issues.

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Male vs. Female

Both male and female Pequenos are 8 to 12 inches in height and weigh 9 to 13 pounds, but the female might be slightly smaller and lighter than the male.

The next consideration between females and males is whether or not you plan to spay or neuter your Pequeno. Spaying the female is a more complicated surgery than neutering the male and will be more expensive and will take longer for her to recover from. The most obvious advantage of electing to have your dog go through surgery is in preventing unplanned pregnancies, but it can also decrease aggressive behavior, and it might even prolong your dog’s life by reducing the possibility of specific health problems in the future.

Lastly, it has been said that female dogs are easier to train and can be a little more affectionate than males, but there are debates about this. The most important factor in every dog’s life is how she was socialized and trained as a puppy and how she has been treated throughout her lifetime. All of these factors will determine her personality and temperament as an adult dog.

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If you’re interested in searching for one of these gorgeous dogs, you can start by looking for an excellent local breeder. However, there aren’t many Portuguese Podengo Pequeno breeders in North America, so be prepared for the possibility of traveling a fair distance in order to visit a kennel to pick up your puppy. You can also attend dog shows, speak to a national or local dog club, or post your desire to find a Pequeno puppy on social media. Don’t forget to look into adopting an adult Pequeno. You might be required to do some extra searching but wouldn’t rescuing a dog be worth that effort?

If you have an active family and the time to devote to a lively and smart little dog, then maybe you should consider bringing a Portuguese Podengo Pequeno home with you.

Featured Image Credit: nvphoto, Shutterstock

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