Portuguese Warren Hound
Other names: Portuguese Podengo
The Portuguese Warren Hound, otherwise known as the Portuguese Podengo, is a rare breed. Scarce in even their home country and threatened by extinction. This dog has a lively character, is intelligent and versatile. They can be used just as well for hunting, as a guard dog or simply as a pet. As a breed, the Podengo is divided into 3 size categories (small, medium and large), each with one of two possible varieties of coat (short and smooth or longer and wirey).
Key facts about the Portuguese Warren Hound
Origins and history
These are very ancient dogs but little information exists regarding their origins: however they are probably Egyptian like the other Podengos. This dog has never been very well known outside of their country of origin and even in Portugal the number of dogs is unfortunately in constant decline.
FCI breed nomenclature
Group 5 - Spitz and primitive types
Section 7 : Primitive type - Hunting Dogs
Physical characteristics of the Portuguese Warren Hound
Female : Between 16 and 21 in
Male : Between 16 and 21 in
- Male: Between 8 and 12 inches
- Female: Between 8 and 12 inches
- Male: Between 22 and 28 inches
- Female: Between 22 and 28 inches
Female : Between 35 and 44 lb
Male : Between 35 and 44 lb
- Male: Between 9 and 13 lbs
- Female: Between 9 and 13 lbs
- Male: Between 44 and 66 lbs
- Female: Between 44 and 66 lbs
The dog’s coat can be yellow and tawny (from lightest to darkest) with or without white marks; or white with yellow and tawny marks.
Type of coat
The coat is either short or long.
The coat can be either short and smooth or thicker and wired. In both cases the fur is averagely thick but denser for the short-coated variety.
Ranges between honey and hazel depending on the colour of the coat.
The Portuguese Podengo is a slender hunting dog, well-proportioned and strong. They can possess two types of coat depending on the 3 varieties of size; the small, medium and large Podengo. The head is a truncated pyramid-shape, with a broad base and pointed tip. The skull is flattened with an almost straight profile; the frontal furrow is not very pronounced and the stop is barely defined. The chamfer is rounded with a straight profile. The eyes are oblique, and small. The ears stand up and are very mobile, vertical or slightly forward sloping. The neck is straight, long, proportionate to the rest of the body. The medium-length tail, set rather high, is thick at the base and pointed at the tip. The limbs are strong and slender.
Good to know
This is a breed of dog that is unfortunately close to extinction, even in their country of origin. Those who like primitive dogs should think about breeding Podengos, which would also allow an ancient race that is very interesting from a dog-handling perspective, to survive.
Smooth coated Portuguese Warren Hound
Wire coated Portuguese Warren Hound
These dogs only trust their owners: to whom they will show great kindness but will become distant towards strangers.
Within the family, this dog is very jovial, excitable and playful. Their intelligence and enthusiasm make play-time with this dog great fun for the children.
The Portuguese Warren Hound is very energetic and excitable in nature. This energy must be channelled with a good education so that it does not become excessive.
It is mostly the versatility of these dogs that makes them intelligent. Regardless of their size, they can indeed be used for hunting, as guard dogs or simply as companions.
This is a truly primitive dog, expressing itself best when hunting. The medium Podengo is used for rabbit hunting; the large Podengo is used for big game hunting; the small Portuguese Podengo itself is used for rabbit hunting in burrows or rocks.
Fearful / wary of strangers
They are quite a reserved dog that attach themselves to their owners and are always timid around strangers. This shyness however, should not transform into aggression. A quality socialisation from an early age is indispensable for the Portuguese Warren Hound, especially whilst still a puppy.
Like most primitive dogs, this dog makes for a good companion but with an underlying independence. All the same, they are not the most independent of the Podengo dogs and are very attached to their master.
Behaviour of the Portuguese Warren Hound
This dog is very devoted to their master, yet despite being primitive, they do not enjoy solitude. It is in fact advised to have the dog be raised in a litter.
Furthermore, the Portuguese Warren Hound puppy must be positively and progressively trained to get used to spending time alone, in order to find these moments easier in later life.
Easy to train / obedience
Due to the fact that this dog can sometimes prove to be disobedient, their education must begin as of the puppy’s arrival in the home, in order to avoid taking up bad habits.
This dog barks very rarely and never without good reason.