What is a Podenco?
About the Podenco
Podencos are native to Spain and can be found across the different comunidades, or communities, of the country. They have traditionally been used as hunting dogs but as the number of abandoned Pondencos rises, many local rescues have stepped in to help.
Podencos vary widely in size and are classed as either small, medium, or large. Due to their differences in size, height and weight also vary. The small Maneto variety resembles a Dachshund with its short, stout legs and long body but it has the face and erect ears of the larger hounds. The small varieties range in weight from 18-25 lbs and measure about 13 inches tall. Medium-sized Podencos such as the Canarian average around 44-55 lbs and stand around 21 inches tall. The largest, the Ibizan, weighs up to 66 lbs and stands up to 28 inches tall The average life expectancy for Podencos is between 12-14 years with the smaller varieties living slightly longer.
Podencos have three different coat types: smooth, long, and wire. The smooth-coated varieties shed a moderate amount and simply need occasional brushing to remove dead hair. Long- and wire-haired Podencos will need a little more upkeep. Although the wire-haired Podencos barely shed, they will need frequent brushing to detangle their fur as well as clipping.
The typical colors for Podencos are shades of dark brown and red usually mixed with white. Their amber eyes are a striking identifying characteristic.
While out on a hunt, Podencos can often be seen leaping straight up in the air from a standing position in order to spot their prey. Because both their standing and running jump is high,a yard with a sturdy fence a must. This athleticism would make them a good candidate for aglity which provides both mental stimulation and exercise.
Though they are certainly high energy, they are not nervous or excited barkers. Podencos tend to be quiet dogs.
What all Podencos, great and small, have in common is that they were bred to hunt and have a high prey drive - something that all potential adopters must take into account. Multi-sensory specialised hunters, They have large, highly-mobile pricked ears, keen eyesight and an acute sense of smell. All have been bred with a combination of speed and agility with endless endurance for trotting rather than galloping. They are agile to the point they have been known to climb trees in pursuit of prey and can even jump great heights from a stand. A secure yard with 6' fence is typically required for this breed if they are not on lead.
Perhaps due to their cleverness and persistent focus, Podencos are considered to be even more persecuted than the Galgos. Smart, curious and clownish, they have a profound awareness of their surroundings and a sensitivity to their humans. Podencos reward their human companions with great loyalty, love, affection and are wonderful family members if the adopter is ready to devote time and energy to their Podenco. espite the fact that as hunting dogs, Podencos are kept outside, adopters are finding that they make wonderful family pets. Their energetic and playful nature makes them a lively addition to the household.
Podencos require good daily exercise and activity and are not a good candidate for stay at home long hours kind of homes as they become bored very easily and can get mischievous and in trouble if not given a good outlet for their energy. That said, Podencos are calm in the home once exercised. They nap and love sun bathing and get along great with their pack mates and with other dogs.
Podencos can be homed as therapy dogs, canicross athletes and agility competitors... given the right support and training, this incredibly adaptable breed can truly turn its hand to almost anything.