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Podenco Canario Dog Breed Guide: Info, Pictures, Traits & Care

Written by: Nicole Cosgrove

Last Updated on May 22, 2024 by Dogster Team

Podenco Canario_Marcelino Pozo Ruiz_Shutterstock

Podenco Canario Dog Breed Guide: Info, Pictures, Traits & Care

The Podenco Canario is a member of the Sighthound family and is commonly found in the Mediterranean and Spain. They resemble the Ibizan Hound and the Pharaoh Hound, making some people believe they share the same lineage.

Podenco is a Spanish word meaning Hound. The Podenco Canario originated from the Canary Islands and is still part of pack hunting today. Like most pack hunters, affection and the need to be around others is often the norm. The dog loves to be around family.

Breed Overview


21-25 inches


44–55 pounds


11–13 years


Red, white, mixture of red, white, and brown

Suitable for:

Active families, active singles, house with a yard, hunting


Intelligent, playful, gentle, enthusiastic

The Pedenco Canario is highly active and requires an owner who loves the outdoors. They have the stamina to work for several hours but are not known to be aggressive, making them ideal for a household with kids.

This ancient dog is brilliant but can be willful and needs an experienced owner to train them. When given early socialization, the Pendenco can tolerate other people and pets. However, some are shy around strangers.

High-energy dogs will need a lot of mental and physical stimulation to stay happy and healthy, while low-energy dogs require minimal physical activity. It’s important when choosing a dog to make sure their energy levels match your lifestyle or vice versa.
Easy-to-train dogs are more skilled at learning prompts and actions quickly with minimal training. Dogs that are harder to train will require a bit more patience and practice.
Some breeds, due to their size or their breeds potential genetic health issues, have shorter lifespans than others. Proper exercise, nutrition, and hygiene also play an important role in the lifespan of your pet.
Some dog breeds are prone to certain genetic health problems, and some more than others. This doesn’t mean that every dog will have these issues, but they have an increased risk, so it’s important to understand and prepare for any additional needs they may require.
Some dog breeds are more social than others, both towards humans and other dogs. More social dogs have a tendency to run up to strangers for pets and scratches, while less social dogs shy away and are more cautious, even potentially aggressive. No matter the breed, it’s important to socialize your dog and expose them to lots of different situations.

divider-dog pawPodenco Canario Puppies

A Podenco Canario puppy may be expensive if you’re looking for a dog that can compete in dog shows and sporting events. Besides the adoption fee, you must budget for the crate, food bowls, bedding, leash and collar, and carrier. In addition, there are some health and medical requirements, including physical checkups, deworming, vaccinations, neutering or spraying, microchipping, and blood tests.

When you welcome a Podenco Canario into your home, you’ll have a playful, energetic, and smart pup who is ready for training and playtime sessions with their family.

Temperament & Intelligence of the Podenco Canario 🧠

The Podenco Canario is a calm and quiet breed that, with proper care, is friendly and playful. They’re generally quiet but will bark to alert you of an intruder or stranger, so they make a good watchdog. They form a close bond with their family, and they are intelligent and require a lot of activities and mental enrichment.

The dog is more reserved around strangers, and with proper training and socialization, they should not be aggressive. Without stability, training, and socialization, the Podenco can become nervous and unhappy. They are suitable for owners who hunt and have impressive skills for tracking game.

Although they can tolerate other pets, their instinct may tempt them to chase small pets away. So, a Podenco Canario pup should be familiarized with all family pets at a young age. They’re better for experienced owners who don’t travel often since Podenco Canarios dislike being alone for long periods.

Are These Dogs Good for the Family?

Podenco Canarios are very friendly and bond closely with their family. They are suitable for a family with older kids, and they’re unlikely to get tired of running around the yard and playing with your children.

Although Podenco Canarios are very gentle when playing with kids, they don’t like rough play and can bite or retreat if a kid goes too far, depending on their training and socialization. Make sure you teach your kids how to approach, touch, and play nicely with Podencos and supervise them.

Does this Breed Get Along with Other Pets?

Podenco Canario gets along well with other dogs and enjoys their company. With the proper socialization, you don’t have to worry that your dog will become aggressive or not get along with other pups. However, since they have a high prey drive, they are not the best dogs in a household with small pets because they can start chasing them.

divider-pawThings to Know When Owning a Podenco Canario

Food & Diet Requirements

With your vet’s approval and supervision, the Podenco Canario should be fed high-quality dog food. The required daily amount ranges between 2½ to 3 cups of dry dog food. The amount varies depending on the dog’s size, age, activity level, and metabolism rate.

Some Podencos are susceptible to becoming overweight, so watch your dog’s calorie intake and weight level. Treats can be an essential aid in training, but giving too many can lead to obesity. It’s also vital to research which human foods are safe for your dog and which are not.

Consult your vet if you have any concerns about your dog’s diet and weight. In addition, make sure your dog has access to clean water.


Podenco Canarios require about 1–2 hours of exercise each day. Although they are happy playing interactive games with the family out in the yard, a few daily walks are still necessary. Because of their prey drive and hunting instincts, they need a fenced-in yard with a tall fence. In addition, you need to keep them on a leash in public areas to prevent them from chasing smaller dogs and creatures.

A Podenco Canario should only be allowed off a leash in secure areas. Like most working canines, mental enrichment will be required. If you want to see your Podenco Canario excel, you can train them to compete in canine sports. Sports like agility, racing, and competitive obedience are ideal for exercising the energetic pup.


The Podenco Canario is an intelligent breed, and their hunting skills and working life are where their intelligence shines the most. However, their mischievous side can make training a little tricky. Positive reinforcement is the preferred training method; praise and rewards keep the Podenco engaged.

Provided your sessions are short, enjoyable, and different every time, your Podenco will be eager to listen to you. Aim to finish at least two training sessions daily for about 10 minutes each time. Podencos are active, so if you fail to meet their exercise requirements, all your time spent training will go straight down the drain. Negative behaviors are often developed through boredom. Podencos are used to hunting for hours, so they require strenuous exercise.

They can be wary of strangers, so socialization needs to start as soon as possible. Introduce your dog to new people and surroundings. They possess an independent and curious side, so all they need to do is find their confidence.

Housetraining a Podenco is pretty easy, and they will get used to it rather quickly, especially with access to a yard. They also excel in dog sports, and it is a perfect way to keep them mentally stimulated. It will just take them a few sessions before they become pros.

Grooming ✂️

Podenco Canarios are a low-maintenance breed, but their short coat sheds hair. That is the primary reason why Podencos are not suitable for people suffering from allergies. To enhance your dog’s natural health and keep them clean, you must brush them at least once a week.

The ideal tools to use to keep your dog groomed include gloves and slicker brushes. They don’t require regular baths, thanks to their short, smooth hair, which doesn’t retain much dirt and debris. So, you only need to wash your dog if they are dirty.

Continuous washing can dry out your dog’s skin, which may cause further problems. In addition, leaving shampoo residue on your dog’s coat can lead to skin issues. So, ensure you wash and rinse their coat thoroughly when bathing your dog.

Podencos are susceptible to ear infections. To prevent this, check and clean your dog’s ears once a week, and always keep your dog’s ears dry, especially after taking a swim. Nails can also grow fast on a Podenco. If they have not been trimmed or filed for a while and start to overgrow, it can cause mobility problems, which are extremely painful.

Podencos are also prone to gum and tooth problems, but you can begin brushing their teeth when they’re young so that you’ll have fewer issues with the process when they’re adults.

Health and Conditions

Although the Podenco Canario is a fairly healthy breed, there are still some health problems they are prone to.

Minor Conditions
    • Ear infections
    • Epilepsy
Serious Conditions
  • Hip Dysplasia
  • Testicular tumor (Males)

Hip Dysplasia: Hip joint issues are more common in large dogs, and the Podencos are no exception. A dog with this growth disorder can experience muscle reduction, an abnormal gait, and a rise in stiffness. You can manage hip dysplasia with long-term medication or lifestyle adjustments.

Hunting Injuries: Any hunting or working dog is more prone to injuries while on the job. Common injuries in Podencos include bites (especially for those dogs that hunt ferrets and rats), penetrating injuries, and flesh wounds.

SRY-Negative xx Reversal: This is an extremely rare genetic disorder commonly seen in Cocker Spaniels. The affected female dog develops either testes or ovotestes instead of ovaries.

Testicular Tumor: This condition is the most common cancer for intact male dogs. The best way to prevent it is through neutering.


Male vs Female

There are no recognizable distinctions between males and females in the breed. However, males can grow slightly taller and heavier than females. Males weigh between 44 and 55 pounds, while females weigh between 37 and 46 pounds.

3 Little-Known Facts About the Podenco Canario

Podencos can be kept outdoors and make wonderful family pets. Their energetic and playful natures make them lively additions to the household. Here are three little-known facts about the Podenco Canario.

1. Podencos Comes with Three Different Coats to Pick From

Podencos can have three types of coats: long, wire, and smooth. The smooth-haired varieties shed a moderate amount and require regular brushing to remove loose fur. Long and wire-coated Podencos need a bit more maintenance. Although the wire-coated Podencos rarely shed, they require regular brushing to detangle their hair.

2. Your Family Will Love the Podenco Canario Dog

Although they can be shy to strangers, Podencos are loyal to their owners. They are friendly and love to cuddle with family members. They are highly energetic and need daily exercise to stay happy. A myth spread by hunters in Spain claimed that Podencos are not intelligent and cannot be trained. Although they can become stubborn, they are knowledgeable and eager to please their owners. With proper training and persistence, your Podenco will be following your commands and performing tricks in no time.

3. If You Like to Laugh, the Podenco Pet Breed Is for You

As the clowns of the dog world, Podencos will keep you entertained. They are incredibly playful and often do whatever it takes to get your attention. In addition, Podencos love playing and socializing with other dogs.

divider-dog pawFinal Thoughts

Podenco Canarios are lively, funny, and loyal companions. Their distinctive personality and appearance will attract you and turn you into a committed follower. If you have room in your family for an energetic pet, the Podenco Canario may be the perfect choice.

Bringing a Podenco into your family may require you to take a few precautions or slightly change your lifestyle. However, in return, you will get a playful, faithful companion who will cherish your company above anything and bring you joy every day.

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Featured Image Credit: Marcelino Pozo Ruiz, Shutterstock

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