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Meet the Portuguese Podengo Pequeno Temperament: Playful, Charming, and Lively

An ancient breed, the Portuguese Podengo Pequeno temperament is playful, alert, and lively. They are completely devoted to their humans and love to be included in family activities. Pequenos are extremely intelligent and are quick learners but can be stubborn and independent.

Photo of Portuguese Podengo Pequenos Small  Liicking Nose Min

If you’re searching for a loyal breed that will put a smile on your face with their silly personality, the Portuguese Podengo Pequeno is for you.

Portuguese Podengo Pequeno Temperament and Personality

Though small, they are not Lap-dogs

The Portuguese Podengo Pequeno dogs may be small, but they are not Lap-dogs. While loving, they are rambunctious and tireless hunting dogs. They require active engagement with their family members to stay happy.

They are extremely silly…

While they are bright and active. Pequenos are well-known for their silly personality. Don’t be surprised if you find them sprinting around the house and bouncing on and off furniture.

You – and they – will be entertained for hours with all the silly ideas they come up with to entertain themselves.

In fact, many a Podengo Pequeno has cracked up his owner while on a walk – these dogs are constantly checking to make sure you’re still following them. Lead on, little dog, lead on!

The game cranks up a notch, though, if you are able to get two of them. They’ll playfully stalk each other around the yard, “fight” over their toys and chase each other all over the place.

This breed truly brings joy into the lives of those who own them.

…And loyal to their families

Portuguese Podengo Pequenos become very attached to their owners. They have a naturally protective and watchful nature.

Expect them to alert you of anything going on both inside and outside with a bark. And, once trained, they are more than happy to do whatever it is you ask of them.

Good Guard Dog

The Podengo Pequeno is one of those breeds who acts much bigger than he truly is. He, therefore, makes a good guard dog, but you should still supervise him whenever possible, as his brash bravery could lead him into trouble.

They are great with children and pets

The Pequeno temperament makes the breed excellent companions for children, especially if they are raised together. While they generally get along well with other dogs, this breed may view smaller pets as prey unless raised with them.

In other words, if you already have a hamster, lizard, or some other such small pet, then the Podengo Pequeno does not make for a good addition to your home.

…But they are aloof with strangers

Their fearless and protective nature makes Pequenos wary of strangers. Be sure to socialize your Portuguese Podengo Pequeno as much as possible so they do not become too aloof or aggressive.

These are not characteristics the Podengo Pequeno is born with, and therefore do not define the breed. But these are still some examples of negative side effects that can result from improper socialization.

They are adaptable.

Because of both their size and their temperament, the Podengo Pequeno makes for a wonderful addition to any home, be it in the city or on a farm.

Other Names

Other names for this breed include, more simply, the Podengo Pequeno and the Small Portuguese Podengo.

Pequenos, as they are sometimes called, are most likely the world’s smallest hunting dog. The breed is related to the Cirneco dell’ Etna, the Pharaoh Hound, and the Ibizan.

The Portuguese Podengo Pequeno Appearance

The Portuguese Podengo Pequeno’s size is small. They weigh between 9-13 pounds and stand between 8-12 inches tall.

Photo of Portuguese Podengo Pequenos Small Standing In Foilage Min

If you’re looking for a particular color of Podengo Pequeno, you’ll be happy to know that this breed comes in a wide variety. From chestnut to yellow and everything in between, you’re sure to find a Podengo Pequeno in a color that pleases you.

History of the Portuguese Podengo Pequeno Breed

It’s believed that the Portuguese Podengo Pequeno’s ancestors were brought to Portugal by Roman, Phoenician, and Moorish invaders and traders. They were used to hunt rabbits in the Iberian countryside.

However, Wire Coat Pequenos did not make their way to the U.S. until 2001, when one popped up at a dog show in Boston, MA – the first one ever shown in the U.S.!

Now, while there are actually three sizes of this breed, most of the purebred Portuguese Podengos currently in the U.S. (75 percent) are of the Pequeno variety – and most of those are wire coats.

The Other Portuguese Podengo Breeds

The Portuguese Podengo comes in three sizes: small, medium and large. While this may seem like just a throwaway trait, there’s actually some significance to the breed across the different sizes. And it mostly centers around hunting.

Podengo Pequeno

To be able to tell the size of the breed, you simply look at the name. For instance, the Podengo Pequeno, which is the one we've been talking about thus far, is the small, or Pequeno, version of this breed. As we’ve mentioned, this small fry is skilled at hunting rabbits.

Podengo Medio and Podengo Grande

The Podengo Medio, or “medium”, version of the Portuguese Podengo, hunts similar game to the Podengo Grande, or “large” version. These two versions of the Portuguese Podengo hunt larger game, like deer and boar. However, hunters have used these larger versions of the Podengo to hunt rabbits, too.

In recent times the faster Podengo Medio breed has emerged as the most popular of the 3 varieties.

How Do You Train a Portuguese Podengo Pequeno?

Portuguese Podengo Pequenos are very intelligent and bright. They are quite easy to train, especially with a reward-based training program. When using positive reinforcement – with treats and praise – standard obedience training is a breeze.

Photo of Portuguese Podengo Pequenos Agility

You should start training your Podengo Pequeno the moment you bring him home. Once he reaches 8 weeks old, he’s like a child in that he becomes a sponge, absorbing everything you tell him.

The earlier you start, the better, as this puts him on a path to learning better behavior sooner – which makes life easier for both of you!

Recall training is imperative for the Pequeno due to their independent and sometimes stubborn temperament. You also need to remain tough. That stubborn little temperament will show itself if he thinks he can get the upper hand on you.

Keep sessions short and fun to get the most out of training. Portuguese Podengo Pequenos excel at a variety of dog sports as well as hunting.

Helpful Dog Training Resource:

For help with training your Portuguese Podengo Pequeno dog, you should take a look at The Online Dog Trainer by Doggy Dan. Doggy Dan is an expert Dog Trainer based in New Zealand. His online resource contains Hundreds of Excellent Dog Training Videos that will take you step-by-step through the process of developing a healthy, happy well-behaved dog.

Caring for a Portuguese Podengo Pequenos

How Do You Groom the Portuguese Podengo Pequeno?

Portuguese Podengo Pequeno grooming is fairly minimal.

The Portuguese Podengo Pequeno comes in two coat types: wirehaired and smooth coated. A Portuguese Podengo Pequenos wire coat requires routine brushing along with a comb-through to get rid of tangles.

A Portuguese Podengo Pequenos smooth coat only requires the occasional wipe-down using a damp cloth in between their monthly bath. They don’t need any scissoring or clipping.

You may be wondering, do Portuguese Podengo Pequenos shed? 

And the answer is, yes, regularly.

For this reason, they are not hypoallergenic dogs. If you tend to suffer an allergy attack when you’re around dogs, then the Podengo Pequeno is not the dog for you.

Staying Healthy

The Portuguese Podengo Pequenos is a fairly healthy breed, but they can suffer from specific genetic health conditions. Some possible health issues include:

The good news is that, because the gene pool for this breed in the U.S. is so small, breeders are able to screen and weed out any dogs born with defects before those dogs end up breeding and creating offspring with defects. For this reason, the Podengo Pequeno is one of the healthiest dogs you can bring into your home.

That said, though, it’s important to remember that, just like people, every dog’s health is individual to that particular dog. Just because the breed is healthy overall does not mean you are guaranteed not to end up with a sick pup. That’s just life, unfortunately.

The Portuguese Podengo Pequeno’s lifespan is between 12-15 years.

Helpful Dog Health Resource:

Note: if you agree that your health and your dog's health should be a top priority then get a copy of The Ultimate Guide to Dog Health.  Your Pequeno friend will love you for it.


Their heritage makes the Portuguese Podengo Pequeno a moderately active breed. They require daily exercise in the form of walks or playtime in the backyard thanks to their reputation as a tireless and tough breed. He can go all day, and he will – if you let him.

Make sure when you walk him that you keep him on a leash. His prey drive is incredibly high, so if he catches sight of a small animal that he feels needs chasing, like a bird or a squirrel, he’ll take off after it, given the chance. You definitely don’t want him running out into the road, or chasing prey for miles and losing his sense of direction.

This breed will do great with active families and those looking to channel their energy into dog sports such as agility or obedience.

Finding the Perfect Portuguese Podengo Pequeno

Ready to add this spunky breed to your family? Now it’s time to decide whether you want a Portuguese Podengo Pequeno puppy or adult.

Photo of Portuguese Podengo Pequenos Portrait With Blue Collar

To find your perfect Portuguese Podengo Pequeno, consider your lifestyle. Portuguese Podengo Pequeno puppies are great for families who have the time – and patience – to raise one.

Raising a puppy isn’t easy – they require constant supervision, consistent training, and lots of socialization.

If you don’t have the time to raise a puppy, consider adopting an adult Pequeno from a rescue organization. Portuguese Podengo Pequeno rescue is great for families looking for an adult dog who isn’t as rambunctious as a puppy and knows basic commands.

How Much are Portuguese Podengo Pequeno Puppies?

Purebred Portuguese Podengo Pequenos for sale from a breeder will cost between $800-$1000.

Whereas Pequenos from a rescue organization will cost between $200-$400.

The Portuguese Podengo Pequeno price for purebred puppies depends on the breeder, your location, and litter availability. The cost also depends on whether the puppy is AKC registered.

The cost for a Pequeno from a rescue depends on the organization itself as well as where you live.

Portuguese Podengo Pequeno Rescue and Adoption

Decided on Portuguese Podengo Pequeno rescue? Some tips and tricks for finding and adopting the perfect Pequeno are:

  • Searching for one in your area on the internet. There are numerous websites that allow you to search for Pequenos in your area. And, social media is a great way to find an adoptable Portuguese Podengo Pequeno. Try posting on your Facebook page so people in your community can help.
  • Reach out to local experts such as groomers, dog walkers, or vets to see if they know of any available for adoption.
  • Reach out to breed clubs, such as the Portuguese Podengo Pequeno Club of America. They can help you find an adoptable dog that will be perfect for you.

Portuguese Podengo Pequeno Breeders

To find Portuguese Podengo Pequeno breeders, begin your search with local breeders through either the Portuguese Podengo Pequeno Club of America or the AKC Marketplace.

Both websites allow you to search for Pequenos based on location and the AKC Marketplace lets you search based on AKC status and gender.

Good, reputable breeders will match you with the perfect puppy based on your lifestyle and desires. Great breeders will be happy to answer questions about health and temperament as well as ask you questions in return about what you are looking for in a dog.

Avoid any breeders who only seem interested in making money or how quickly they can hand the puppy over to you.

Also, steer clear of any breeders who have puppies available or multiple litters on site. Reputable breeders take their time with litters and provide them with proper care.

Take your time finding the perfect Portuguese Podengo Pequeno breeder and you’ll find the right puppy for you and your family.

Conclusion: Why the Portuguese Podengo Pequeno?

The Portuguese Podengo Pequeno temperament is alert and playful. If you can deal with their independent and sometimes stubborn nature then you will enjoy their personality and companion.