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Portuguese Hound

Breed Organization
The American Canine Association, Inc. (ACA)
800 Delaware Avenue
Reg. Dept, Box 992
Wilmington, DE 19899-0992
Phone: 1-800-651-8332
Portuguese Hound

Dog Breed Descriptions


North American Kennel Club
American Kennel Club
Fédération Cynologique Internationale
The Kennel Club of Great Britain
The Canadian Kennel Club
The Australian National Kennel Council
The New Zealand Kennel Club
The United Kennel Club
Native Country
Other Names
Large Portuguese Hound, Portuguese Podengo Pequeno, Podengo Portugueso Grande, Podengo Portugueso Medio, Medium Portuguese Hound, Small Portuguese Hound, Podengo Portugueso Pequeno
Breed Description
Head: Dry. Shape of the head is like that of a four-sided pyramid, with a broad base and pointed tip. Flat skull. Stop not pronounced. Straight nose bridge. Thin nose. Tight, fine lips.
Ears: Broad at the base, triangular, thin leather. Held perfectly erect or tilting slightly forward.
Eyes: Small, set obliquely in the skull. Honey or chestnut color.
Body: Long. Strong, long neck without dewlap. Narrow forechest. Chest is well let down. Ribs are rather flat. Broad, muscular loin. Long, straight back. Broad, muscular, very slightly sloped croup.
Tail: Strong, thick, pointed. Moderate length. Carried horizontal and slightly arched when in action.
Hair: Two varieties: short, smooth, and dense; or long and hard. Moderately coarse. The Small Portuguese Hound has the shortest coat.
Coat: Predominant colors: yellow and fawn with lighter and darker shades and a black tint. Solid color or pied.
Size: Large Hound: 55 to 70 cm (21.7-27.6 in).- Medium Hound: 40 to 55 cm (15.7-21.7 in).- Small Hound: 20 to 30 cm (8-11 in).
Weight: Large Hound: 20 to 30 kg (44-66 lb).Medium Hound: 15 to 20 kg 33-44 lb).Small Hound: 4 to 5 kg8.8-11 lb).
The Portuguese Hound, descended from large-eared hounds, is very common in northern Portugal where it is used as a hunter and pet. There are three varieties: - The Large Portuguese Hound (Podengo grande), a very rare breed used for hunting large game;- The Medium Portuguese Hound (Podengo medio), which hunts rabbit in packs or alone and looks very much like the Ibizan Hound;- The Small Portuguese Hound (Podengo pequeno), which hunts rabbit underground and looks much like the Chihuahua.

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This rustic, extremely lively dog is used for hunting, but also makes an excellent pet and loyal guard dog. Firm training is required.
The Portuguese Hound requires a lot of exercise and room to run. Daily brushing is required.
Hunting dog, guard dog, pet.

Physical Characteristics - General Canine Information

Many dogs, such as the American Water Spaniel, have had their natural hunting instincts suppressed or altered to suit human needs. Modern dog breeds show more variation in size, appearance, and behavior than any other domestic animal. Within the range of extremes, dogs generally share attributes with their wild ancestors, the wolves. Dogs are predators and scavengers, possessing sharp teeth and strong jaws for attacking, holding, and tearing their food. Although selective breeding has changed the appearance of many breeds, all dogs retain basic traits from their distant ancestors. Like many other predatory mammals, the dog has powerful muscles, fused wristbones, a cardiovascular system that supports both sprinting and endurance, and teeth for catching and tearing. Compared to the bone structure of the human foot, dogs technically walk on their toes.

Sight: Like most mammals, dogs are dichromats and have color vision equivalent to red-green color blindness in humans.

Different breeds of dogs have different eye shapes and dimensions, and they also have different retina configurations. Dogs with long noses have a "visual streak" which runs across the width of the retina and gives them a very wide field of excellent vision, while those with short noses have an "area centralis" - a central patch with up to three times the density of nerve endings as the visual streak — giving them detailed sight much more like a human's.

Some breeds, particularly the sighthounds, have a field of vision up to 270° (compared to 180° for humans), although broad-headed breeds with short noses have a much narrower field of vision, as low as 180°.

Hearing: Dogs detect sounds as low as the 16 to 20 Hz frequency range (compared to 20 to 70 Hz for humans) and above 45 kHz[22] (compared to 13 to 20 kHz for humans), and in addition have a degree of ear mobility that helps them to rapidly pinpoint the exact location of a sound. Eighteen or more muscles can tilt, rotate and raise or lower a dog's ear. Additionally, a dog can identify a sound's location much faster than a human can, as well as hear sounds up to four times the distance that humans are able to. Those with more natural ear shapes, like those of wild canids like the fox, generally hear better than those with the floppier ears of many domesticated species.
Smell: Scent hounds, especially the Bloodhound, are iconic for their keen sense of smell. Dogs have nearly 220 million smell-sensitive cells over an area about the size of a pocket handkerchief (compared to 5 million over an area the size of a postage stamp for humans). Some breeds have been selectively bred for excellence in detecting scents, even compared to their canine brethren.

What information a dog actually detects when he is scenting is not perfectly understood; although once a matter of debate, it now seems to be well established that dogs can distinguish two different types of scents when trailing, an air scent from some person or thing that has recently passed by, as well as a ground scent that remains detectable for a much longer period. The characteristics and behavior of these two types of scent trail would seem, after some thought, to be quite different, the air scent being intermittent but perhaps less obscured by competing scents, whereas the ground scent would be relatively permanent with respect to careful and repetitive search by the dog, but would seem to be much more contaminated with other scents.

In any event, it is established by those who train tracking dogs that it is impossible to teach the dog how to track any better than it does naturally; the object instead is to motivate it properly, and teach it to maintain focus on a single track and ignore any others that might otherwise seem of greater interest to an untrained dog. An intensive search for a scent, for instance searching a ship for contraband, can actually be very fatiguing for a dog, and the dog must be motivated to continue this hard work for a long period of time.

The meaning of "intelligence" in general, not only in reference to dogs, is hard to define. Some tests measure problem-solving abilities and others test the ability to learn in comparison to others of the same age. Defining it for dogs is just as difficult. It is likely that dogs do not have the ability to premeditate an action to solve a problem.

Coat Color: Domestic dogs often display the remnants of counter-shading, a common natural camouflage pattern. The general theory of countershading is that an animal that is lit from above will appear lighter on its upper half and darker on its lower half where it will usually be in its own shade. This is a pattern that predators can learn to watch for.

A countershaded animal will have dark coloring on its upper surfaces and light coloring below. This reduces the general visibility of the animal. One reminder of this pattern is that many breeds will have the occasional "blaze", stripe, or "star" of white fur on their chest or undersides.

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