The Portuguese Podengo Médio is active and playful among family. And though these pups can be reserved with strangers, they're generally good with other dogs and children.
Thousands of years ago, Phoenicians brought Portuguese Podengos to the Iberian Peninsula from Asia Minor. The breed then became very common in northern Portugal and gained popularity as hunters and companions.
Portuguese Podengos use their keen senses to hunt vermin and rabbits. This talent earned them passage on the ships of many early explorers—including Vasco da Gama and Magellan—where they protected the food stores and sailors from rodent-borne diseases.
The Portuguese Podengo Médio is slightly bigger than the Portuguese Podengo Pequeño and slightly smaller than the Portuguese Podengo Grande. The Fédération Cynologique Internationale recognized the breed in 1967.
The medium-sized Portuguese Podengo Médio has a slender square body that's well-proportioned and muscular.
Portuguese Podengos can have smooth or wire coats that range from a lighter yellow or fawn color to a darker yellow with black sabling. These coats can be solid-colored or have areas of white—usually on the face, chest, legs or feet, and tip of the tail.
The Portuguese Podengo's distinctive characteristics are its large, upright, triangular ears and wedge-shaped head. These dogs also have almond-shaped, expressive eyes.
Portuguese Podengos enjoy the company of other dogs and humans alike. So, they make excellent companions and natural pack dogs. That being said, the Podengo may view smaller animals as prey, and they tend to dig.
Funny, playful dogs, Portuguese Podengos are usually good with children when socialized at an early age. They make good guard dogs, too, as they readily bark when strangers approach their home. But some Podengos have such a piercing bark that they may not make a suitable pet for those who live in close quarters, such as an apartment complex.
Portuguese Podengos require a high-quality, age-appropriate diet. Be sure to monitor how much your Podengo Médio eats, and reduce portions if your pup gains excess weight. Also, remember that giving too many treats in addition to regular meals can contribute to obesity.
Wire-haired Podengos shed in sections. So, you should brush regularly to remove dead hair and keep your dog's coat looking its best. Smooth-coated dogs don't need as much grooming—an occasional sweep with a brush will do.
Portuguese Podengos need periodic baths and monthly nail trims. It's also a good habit to inspect your dog's ears frequently for wax buildup and debris.
All dogs need dental care, which should include daily teeth brushing and occasional professional cleanings. Maintaining good dental hygiene is essential for your pup's overall health.
This hardy, lively breed requires a lot of exercise and room to run. But you should make sure they get their exercise in a secure area with a tall fence. (As skilled hunting dogs, Podengos can jump incredibly high.)
Portuguese Podengos are independent thinkers and excel at many dog sports—including agility, obedience, and rally.
A bright, people-pleasing breed, the Portuguese Podengo is a fast learner motivated by both fun and food. That said, these dogs have an independent nature and are not always easy to train. A firm, positive approach should help—along with obedience classes starting as early as possible.
Reviewed July 26, 2020 by Cindy Elston, DVM, MPH