Portuguese Podengo Pequeno – Full Breed Profile

Written by: Bojana Radulovic
The Portuguese Podengo Pequeno is a small size dog of lively temperament. Do you need a small size dog who will follow you around no matter what? In that case, meet the Portuguese Podengo Pequeno.
Dog Breed Group:
Hound Dogs
8 to 12 inches
9 to 13 pounds
Life Span:
12 to 15 years

Breed Characteristics:

Apartment Friendly


How well will this breed adapt to apartment living? Is the apartment size the most important factor when it comes to proper living conditions? Is the breed suitable for apartment living?

Good For First-Time Owners


Some dogs aren't suitable for first-time dog owners. Is this breed a good match for someone with no dog experience? Can training help them be on their best behavior with owners with no dog experience? Are they suitable to be handled by someone who is just entering the canine world?

Overall Sensitivity


Some dogs are sensitive. Certain breeds are rough on the outside, while having the softest heart on the inside. In other words, some dogs are 'thick-skinned' while some are 'easygoing.' Is this breed prone to sensitivity?

Tolerates Being Alone


Separation anxiety in dogs is a serious condition that can affect a dog's life quality. Is this breed prone to this condition? Can you leave him alone for hours? How destructive this breed can become when bored, neglected, or not loved enough?

Affectionate With Family


How affectionate this breed will be around his humans? Will he welcome new family friends easily or he will choose to be shy? Some breeds can be clingy with owners, while others don't attach a lot. Will this breed act as the family's best friend?



Some dogs will tolerate children, while others will adore well-behaved ones. Dogs and children should always be supervised, no matter how well trained the dog might be. Will this breed act as a nanny dog or he will stay away from children?

Friendly Toward Other Dogs


Some dog breeds cannot wait to run to the dog park and run with others. Others prefer to be with their humans, and not to be a part of a multi-pet household. Is this breed dog lover or not? How friendly this breed will be toward other dogs?

Friendly Toward Strangers


Some dog breeds tend to be reserved toward strangers and highly suspicious. Others are fast to walk away with them easily. How welcoming this breed is toward strangers?

Drooling Level


If you love to clean all the time drooling level in dogs is a trait that you should mind. Is this breed less likely to drool, or you will always need a towel on hand?

Easy To Groom


Heavier shedding during the shedding season is something that every dog needs to go through. However, some dogs shed just a bit all year round. Is this breed one of them? How often should you groom this dog?

Overall Health


What can you expect from this breed in terms of health? Are there any genetic conditions to vary about? Is obesity a major issue in this breed? By knowing more about the dog's health, you are learning how to help him live a longer and healthier life.

Prone To Obesity


Treats are a great addition to training sessions. Dogs love sweet bites of dog treats but they should be served in moderation. Treats can lead to obesity, next to poor nutrition. Can this breed gain extra weight from treats? How prone to obesity this breed actually is?

Trainability Level


Training some dogs is easier than others. How easy this dog will be to train? What can you expect? Some dogs are huge people pleasers and they will master commands easily, while others will try to outsmart you.

Intelligence Level


Dogs are smart beings. We do our best to train them, but they do still end up training us to adapt to their needs. How intelligent is this breed? Will he try to outsmart you? Or he will need multiple training sessions to master basic commands?

Prey Drive


Dogs were bred for a specific purpose. Those who were bred to hunt have natural instincts to hunt, even today. This is why many dogs, like Terriers, will chase other animals. They will also have a hard time concentrating on your commands when there is something small moving. Is this breed prone to following his prey instincts?

Barking Level


How vocal this breed is? Can you expect neighbors to ring you often to calm your dog? Or you can sleep without worries of hearing your Fido bark? Some breeds are highly vocal, others have unusual sounds, and some are silent. Is this breed prone to barking?

Energy Level


Low-energy dogs are happy with regular walks and indoor chill times. High-energy dogs are always ready for action. Is this breed a couch potato, energetic dog, or somewhere in between?

Exercise Needs


Some dogs are more than happy with a slow stroll down the street. Others need hours of active time to stay happy and fit. Is this breed demanding in terms of exercise? How much exercise this breed needs to stay happy and healthy?

Playfulness Level


Some dogs never lose that puppy spirit, not even in their senior years. Others are more serious and prefer having a job to do. Is this breed demanding in terms of playfulness? Can you expect playfulness in their senior years as well?

Portuguese Podengo Pequeno is a small size dog of ancient roots, from Portugal. This small dog is actually one of three types of Portuguese Podengo. Three different types are:

  • Pequeno is small version
  • Medio is medium-sized version
  • Grande is the largest version

All three types come in two varieties:

  • Soft coated
  • Wiry coated

There are countries where these breed’s types are seen as one, while in the States Portuguese Podengo Pequeno is recognized as a separate breed.

The reason for this separation is linked with the fact that breeders wanted to prevent mixed breeding between the Medio and the Pequeno.

Portuguese Podengo Pequeno is much appreciated as a companion and sport dog. They are playful, active, and alert – true hound. This sturdy and well-balanced dog is also athletic and quick to react and move.

They may be of ancient roots but over time they did their best to survive up to modern days. They have a very unique appearance, making it easy to recognize them.

They have a wedge-shaped head, large almond-shaped eyes, and pointer ears.

Their overall body is muscular, the coat is short and commonly dense, while the tail is tapered.

Quick Facts

Real name: Portuguese Podengo Pequeno
Other names: Barkless Dog
Origin: Portugal
Breed type: Hound Dogs
Weight: 9 to 13 pounds
Height: 8 to 12 inches
Lifespan: 12 to 15 years
Litter Size: 4 – 6 puppies
Color: Yellow or fawn
Coat: Two different varieties: smooth coat which is short and very dense, or wire coat (rough) is
long and harsh.

Portuguese Podengo Pequeno History

The Portuguese Podengo Pequeno was ancestors back to Roman time.

Some documents claim that relatives of this breed existed together with Phoenicians over 2,000 years ago. Therefore, the Portuguese Podengo Pequeno is considered to be an ancient breed.

Over time, they were adopted in the Iberian countryside, and ever since they have been named “probably the world’s smallest hunting dog.” They are fine with working in teams while at the same time they can work as independent spirits.

They were mostly used to assist during the hunting season, haunting rabbits – pulling them away from their hiding places into the open space. The Portuguese Podengo Pequeno started moving across the globe in the 15th century.

They were mainly used to keep ships rodent-free, and to keep food safe during long trips. This small dog entered AKC in January 2011 as part of the American Kennel Club Miscellaneous class.

Two years later, in January of 2013, this breed entered the Hound class. If you are sure that this breed is for you, make sure that you think about adoption first.

You will be surprised to learn just how many purebred dogs end up in local shelters.

When you adopt, not only that you get to save a life, but you will know the exact medical condition of the dog and you are most likely to get a microchipped dog. This means that you won’t have to pay for microchipping.

Portuguese Podengo Pequeno Physical Appearance

The Portuguese Podengo Pequeno is a small size dog. They are highly compact dogs who can thrive in city surroundings.

With only 9 to 13 pounds, and commonly 12 inches at the shoulder (and very often they are even smaller) this tiny dog is perfect for apartment living. The head is broad, while the skull is flat, with big and expressive eyes.

Muzzles are always curved, while the ears are straight and at the level of the eyes. The coat can be either smooth or wire. Overall, their appearance is very rustic.

Two coat colors are allowed, fawn or yellow. They may appear in other colors as well, including black or brown, but they are not preferred. They may have white markings as well.

Skin is thin and tight, while the overall agile movements.

Portuguese Podengo Pequeno Personality

The Portuguese Podengo Pequeno is a very lively dog with big dog energy.

In fact, they are so playful and so active that this small size dog isn’t recommended for first time dog owners.

Those who have long experience as dog owners, know that dogs with high energy levels need a confident and experienced dog owner. Otherwise, they will do their best to lead the pack. To keep his energy in balance, it’s crucial to provide enough exercise and overall outdoor activity.

This doesn’t mean that you need to spend an entire day outside, but it means that they won’t be happy laying on the couch for too long.

The Portuguese Podengo Pequeno isn’t a shy dog, so dog parks are always a great activity. However, if they feel threatened by someone that they don’t know, they will bark. These small dogs have a strong prey drive.

After all, they were bred to be hunters. What does this mean to you as a Portuguese Podengo Pequeno owner?

It means that you should keep your Portuguese Podengo Pequeno on the leash all the time, as they may try to chase anything smaller that moves.

This is the worst-case scenario as they can easily wander off, and losing a dog is never something that you want to experience. Overall, this breed is fast to adapt to any housing and any living surrounding as long as they are given proper care.

Portuguese Podengo Pequeno Training

Portuguese Podengo Pequeno is an active dog with high energy levels. To keep that energy balanced and well used, it’s important to provide proper training. They will excel at any task.

After all, they are working dogs who love when there is a job to be done. Any dog sport, such as agility is more than welcome to help them stay busy. This may surprise you, but they are great watchdogs.

Always use positive training methods and a lot of treats. Make sure that you don’t overdo it with treats as these smaller size dogs are more prone to obesity.

Never use any harsh training methods – as no dog deserve it, nor they are as effective as people believe it to be.

Make training sessions:

  • Consistent
  • Fun
  • Short
  • Engaging
  • Treats-based

Make sure that you start training your Portuguese Podengo Pequeno from day one. Puppies are capable of learning basic commands as of eight weeks of age.

Before the socialization period ends, your dog should know commands such as ‘no’, ‘come’, ‘leave’, and much more. If you need an extra hand with the training process, think about puppy classes.

It can be a great bonding experience for both you and your canine.

Portuguese Podengo Pequeno Grooming

If you are not a huge lover of heavy brushing and you know that you want this breed, you are in luck. This is a low-maintenance breed. They do shed but in extremely small amounts.

A weekly brushing should keep your Portuguese Podengo Pequeno’s coat and skin healthy and clean, while regular vacuuming will keep your place in order.

Have the right grooming tools on hand to make grooming easier.

Trim or grind nails once a month check gums and eyes weekly, learn how and when to clean dog’s ears, and provide proper veterinarian care, next to regular vaccination and parasite prevention.

Portuguese Podengo Pequeno Health

The Portuguese Podengo Pequeno is considered to be a very healthy breed.

With proper care, veterinarian check-ups, and proper nutrition, next to safe and loving surroundings this breed can live up to 15 years. They are considered to be healthy dogs without any major health issues or genetic predispositions.

Still, if you are buying a puppy it’s important only to deal with responsible dog breeders. This is the only way to know for sure if your puppy is healthy or not.

Any responsible dog breeder will present you medical documentation on the breed.

They will also let you meet the bitch, show you the facilities and ask you a lot of questions to make sure that you are a suitable potential dog owner.

Still, like in humans, some conditions may appear during the dog’s lifetime. That being said, here are the most common conditions in this breed:

  • Legg-Calve-Perthes disease
  • Hip and elbow dysplasia
  • Eye problems
  • Patellar luxation
  • Broken toes – this is the case if they are being used as active hunters

Is Portuguese Podengo Pequeno For You?

The Portuguese Podengo Pequeno is a small size dog, best fit for active dog owners. This breed is active, playful, and packed with enormous energy.

As an affectionate breed and a bit clingy, they will love nothing more but to enjoy time with their favorite human. This means that they will expect you to take them with you everywhere you do, or to have someone staying in every day.

This is something to consider when thinking about getting a dog. This breed isn’t for you if you don’t fancy longer walks on the rainy days, or if you cannot provide enough activity and exercise, to keep them both mentally and physically satisfied.

On the other hand, if you are a huge outdoor lover, have experience as a dog owner already, and truly understand what does it mean to own small size, then this breed just might be for you.

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