Actually, there is no such thing as DEN Podenco – this term is used instead to summarize several Spanish hunting dogs that are very similar to greyhounds, i.e. quite slim and agile; however, they are more heavily built than greyhounds. They only feel it when they get plenty of exercise and occupation.
The sporting dogs are originally from the Spanish mainland, the Canary Islands, and the Balearic Islands. In recent years, however, this breed has become increasingly popular, so Podencos can now be found among dog owners all over the world.
History of Podenco
Podencos are among the oldest and most original pedigree dogs in the world, as they have been bred for many years to help humans hunt. Their homeland is in Spain, but they have probably been kept and bred throughout the Mediterranean since ancient times because of their excellent hunting qualities. The dogs spread quickly through conquests, but also through pilgrims and other travelers.
Podencos from the Spanish islands have remained particularly well preserved in their origins in terms of physique and nature since only a few non-specific dogs could cross here due to the protected location (water all around).
The generic term for all these dogs is Podenco – however, there are various subspecies such as the Podenco Ibiceno, the Podenco Canario, the Pharaoh Hound, and many more; these may differ in appearance, size and behavior. A pedigree dog standard only exists for the Podenco Ibenico and the Podenco Canario; However, several dog breeds are recognized by the FCI – these include, of course, the Podenco Ibenico and the Podenco Canario, but also the Pharaoh Hound, the Cirneco dell`Etna and the Podenco Português.
Mixtures of the different breeds are more common than the breeds mentioned above. A good portion of Podenco is in the blood of many Spanish street dogs that are adopted to Germany since dogs that have become useless for the hunter are often simply abandoned in Spain.
Essence and Character
The noble-looking dogs are lively and always looking for something to do, which is because the Podenco is a working dog. If he cannot pursue his original inclination as a hunting and guard dog because the owner lives in a rented apartment in the city and is not a hunter by chance, the owner has to come up with some ideas to keep him busy – otherwise, the agile dog will quickly get bored and can easily outgrow the owner.
With enough activity, however, the Podenco can be a great family dog: He is loyal and affectionate, adores his owner and his family, and has a very open and friendly nature. Well brought up, he is an ideal companion in everyday life and for sports like jogging or cycling.
Purchase of a Podenco
When purchasing a Podenco, you should consider a few aspects. If you buy an adult animal or adopt a dog of this breed from an animal protection organization, the origin and previous life is particularly interesting: dogs that are used to living on the street and have got to know almost unlimited freedom and the independent hunt for prey are in Germans are often not very happy: Suddenly, their hunting instincts mean short-leash walks only, and their experience of hunger and foraging often makes them quite imaginative when it comes to stealing food – or what they consider edible. They often find it difficult to cope with the limitations of a normal apartment.
It is better to adopt a Podenco that is used to living indoors and has received a certain level of basic training – which can be improved upon, but at least these animals know how to listen to commands and how to adapt and conform to an owner.
When buying a Podenco puppy, on the other hand, the most important thing is where it was bred and raised: hands-off dubious breeders who offer countless puppies at the same time in advertisements on the Internet or elsewhere! Here, bitches and young animals often suffer equally from poor living conditions, malnutrition, and a lack of medical care.
The imprint of the puppy also suffers under such circumstances, which often affects the rest of their life. These puppies often don’t get to know anything except their mother, their siblings, and the enclosure in which they live – fear in everyday situations, when driving a car, of people or loud noises can result and make life very difficult for them and the future owner.
It is better to buy a puppy that has been lovingly raised by the family or directly from the breeder: these animals are usually healthier, at best already familiar with the beginnings of housebreaking, and have already been able to practice everyday situations with the mother’s owner.
What do I need to pay attention to when purchasing?
As already mentioned above, the origin of the Podenco must be clarified and consistent. But a thorough veterinary examination before buying can also protect against unpleasant surprises. In this way, the risk of hereditary or other diseases with high follow-up costs can be minimized even before the purchase.
In addition, it is always good to be able to visit the animal in question and experience it live before you buy it – after all, the chemistry between dog and owner has to be right.
Puppy Development and Training
A Podenco puppy is a baby – so don’t have too many expectations of the little dog. After all, the animal has only just been separated from its mother and siblings and still has so much to learn to find its way in our human world!