The words Dog Breed Info with the letter D inside of a black paw print

The Purebred Portuguese Podengo

Information and Pictures

Side view - The right side of a furry tan with white Portuguese Podengo is standing on a concrete surface and it is looking forward.

Patriota de Viamonte the wire hair Portuguese Podengo Pequeno at 1 years old.

Other Names
  • Portuguese Hound
  • Portuguese Rabbit Dog
  • Smooth Portuguese Podengo Pequeno
  • Wirehaired Portuguese Podengo Pequeno
  • Smooth Portuguese Podengo Medio
  • Wirehaired Portuguese Podengo Medio
  • Smooth Portuguese Podengo Grande
  • Wirehaired Portuguese Podengo Grande
  • Podengo Portugueso Grande = Large Portuguese Hound
  • Podengo Portugueso Medio = Medium Portuguese Hound
  • Podengo Portugueso Pequeno = Small Portuguese Hound

Por-tu-guese hound


There are three sizes of Podengo Portugueso: Grande (large), Medio (medium) and Pequeno (small). The Medio Podengo Portugueso is a moderately-sized sighthound type with a well-proportioned head, flat skull and pronounced stop. The nose is usually brown, but may be black. The ears are large, naturally upright, triangular and highly mobile, turning forward to catch sound. The muzzle is straight. The chest is muscular and prominent. The small, oblique eyes are brown to honey in color. The cat-like feet have well-arched toes with hard, strong pads. The back line only has a slight arch. The neck is strong and muscular without dewlap. When the dog is calm the tail hangs down; when the dog is excited or in motion the tail is horizontal. The coat comes in two varieties: smooth and wire-coated. The smooth coat is hard and longer than that of most sighthounds. The wirehaired coat is medium-long, shaggy and coarse. Colors may include yellow, fawn or black with white markings.


The Podengo Portugueso Medio is probably the fastest of three Podengos. It is an intelligent, lively dog. Courageous and a good watchdog it is affectionate, making a good family companion. Many Portuguese owners favor the Medio over both of its brothers, the Grande and Pequeno because they feel its size is ideal—not too big and not too small. Regardless of its size, the Medio is a wonderful companion dog and super-efficient hunter. Socialize this breed at an early age and be sure to teach it simple obedience like walking on a leash. They need a firm, but calm, confident, consistent handler. Proper canine to human communication is essential.

Height, Weight

Height: Small 8 - 12 inches (20 - 31 cm)
Height: Medium 15 - 22 inches (39 - 56 cm)
Height: Large 22 - 27 inches (55 - 70 cm)
Weight: Small 9 - 13 pounds (4 - 6 kg)
Weight: Medium 35 - 44 pounds (16 - 20 kg)
Weight: Large 44 - 66 pounds (20 - 30 kg)

Health Problems

A very healthy breed. Because this breed has had relatively limited intervention by humans, it has a low incidence of known inherited defects or diseases.

Living Conditions

The Podengo Portugueso Medio is not recommended for apartment life. This breed is well-suited for hot sunny climates and can live and sleep outdoors so long as they have adequate shelter.


This fast and very active breed needs a lot of daily exercise, including a daily, long, brisk walk or jog. While out on the walk the dog must be made to heel beside or behind the person holding the lead, as in a dog's mind the leader leads the way, and that leader needs to be the human.

Life Expectancy

About 12-14 years

Life Expectancy

About 3-5 puppies


The Podengo Portugueso Medio needs little grooming. Occasionally comb and brush to remove the dead and loose hair. This breed is an average shedder.


The Podengo Portugueso comes in three sizes: The Grande (large), Medio (medium) and Pequeno (small). There are two possible origins of all Podengo Portugueso. The Grande, from which the Medio and Pequeno evolved, is similar to the tan-colored sighthounds, such as the Pharaoh Hound, which spread out of North Africa to the Iberian Peninsula. However, the Podengo could be a descendant of small Iberian wolves. Although the Medio's closest relative, the Podengo Grande, is now very rare, this lively and alert medium-sized hound remains a popular dog, particularly in rural parts of northern Portugal. It is sometimes still used as a small-game hunter there. Hunting in packs or alone, the Portuguese Hounds became very skilled at hunting rabbits. Human intervention in breeding has reduced the Medio's size, while leaving other characteristics intact. In Portugal these dogs are used for hunting, ratting, guard work and companionship. It is nicknamed the Portuguese Rabbit Dog. This breed was recognized by the AKC in 2004



  • ACR = American Canine Registry
  • AKC = American Kennel Club
  • APRI = American Pet Registry, Inc.
  • CKC = Continental Kennel Club
  • DRA = Dog Registry of America, Inc.
  • FCI = Federation Cynologique Internationale
  • NAPR = North American Purebred Registry, Inc.
  • NKC = National Kennel Club
  • PPCA = Portuguese Podengo Club of America
  • UKC = United Kennel Club
Left Profile - A wiry-looking tan with white Portuguese Podengo is standing in grass and looking to the left. The dog's tail is up high in the air.

Vasco de Viamonte the multi champion Wirehaired Portuguese Podengo Pequeno at 11 years old.

Front side view - A tan with white Portuguese Podengo and a brown with white Portuguese Podengo are laying next to each other outside in grass and they are looking forward. Both dogs have wiry-looking coats.

Left: Alfinete De Viamonte "Laranja" (male)—Right: Laranja Do Vale Negro "Beca" (female)—Photo courtesy of Viamonte Podengos

A tan shorthaired Small Portuguese Hound is laying in grass and it is looking to the left. it has large perk ears.

Cashew, a shorthaired Small Portuguese Hound, photo courtesy of Judy Wagers

A wiry-looking tan with white Portuguese Podengo is standing on a green surface at a dog show and behind it is a person holding its leash. The dog's tail is being held up high in the air.

PORT. CH. Neco De Plushcourt (male), Bred by Antonio Rogado, owned by Mrs. Betty Judge of the World Famous Plushcourt Kennel, photo courtesy of Viamonte Podengos

Front view - A perk-eared, red with white Podengo Portuguese dog that is laying on a tiled floor and it is looking forward.

"This is Raposa, which is the Portuguese word for "fox" or "foxy," but you can call him Repo. Repo is a Large Portuguese Hound."

Side view - A wiry tan with white Portuguese Podengo is standing in grass that is taller than it.

"I took this picture near the pond on our farm of our Portuguese Podengo. Scrubby is his name and he is a rescue dog. The best dog in the world."

See more examples of the Portuguese Hound