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Podengo Portugueso Pequeno Dog Breed: Info, Pictures, Traits & Care

Written by: Oliver Jones

Last Updated on July 22, 2024 by Dogster Team

Podengo Portugueso Pequeno

Podengo Portugueso Pequeno Dog Breed: Info, Pictures, Traits & Care

The Portuguese Podengo Pequeno, also known as the Podengo Portugueso Pequeno is a purebred dog that is the smallest of the Portuguese Podengo breeds (Pequeno translates to “small” or “little”). They are the national dogs of Portugal and belong to the Hound Group through the AKC, and they are considered the smallest hunting dog breed in the world. It is believed that the Pequeno was brought to Portugal at least 1,000 years ago through Moorish, Phoenician, and Roman traders and was used for hunting rabbits in the Portuguese countryside.

Breed Overview


8–12 inches


9–13 pounds


12–15 years


Fawn, Yellow, Brown, Black, Gray, Orange, Red

Suitable for:

Active families, Apartments or Houses


Active, Lively, Playful, Intelligent, Eager to Please

The Pequeno is a small dog with erect pointed ears and a sickle-shaped tail, and she comes in a smooth or wirehaired coat. Pequenos come in a variety of different colors, including black, chestnut, red, orange, gray, and most commonly in gold, yellow, or fawn with white markings.

Podengo Portugueso Pequeno Characteristics

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.

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Podengo Portugueso Pequeno Puppies

There aren’t many Portuguese Podengo Pequeno breeders in North America, so be prepared for the possibility of traveling to find one. The Portuguese Podengo Pequeno is a highly energetic dog that is very healthy with a long lifespan. They are intelligent and agreeable and should be easy to train, and they tend to get along with everyone provided they have been socialized well.

If you welcome a Portuguese Podengo Pequeno puppy into your home, you can expect a great family dog. They make energetic, loving and highly intelligent dogs. Make sure to read the breed’s full care guide to know what type of food, exercise, and grooming they need.

Temperament & Intelligence of the Podengo Portugueso Pequeno

The Pequeno is a very energetic and lively dog that enjoys spending lots of time outdoors in the sun but shouldn’t be left alone for too long. Not only because they are prone to escape, but because they will exhibit destructive behavior such as digging or barking.

The Pequeno is a highly intelligent dog that will make an excellent watchdog as she will alert you to anyone approaching or intruding on your property. While they are very active dogs while outdoors, they are usually well-mannered and sweet dogs while indoors.

Are These Dogs Good for Families?

The Pequeno will make a fantastic family dog! They get along very well with children of all ages, and their playful nature also means they can all tire themselves out. There should be supervision with smaller children, particularly since the Pequeno is a little dog. All children need to be taught to respect dogs and how to approach and treat dogs of all sizes. There should never be any ear or tail pulling, and certainly no riding them like a horse.

Does This Breed Get Along with Other Pets?

The Pequeno does get along with other pets, provided they were appropriately socialized while they were puppies. Because these dogs were bred to hunt small animals, you should always supervise them around smaller pets (including cats) as the Pequeno might fall back on her instincts.

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Things to Know When Owning a Podengo Portugueso Pequeno

Food & Diet Requirements

You’ll want to find high-quality dry dog food, that is meant for dogs of all sizes. Following the guidelines on the back of the food bag will help you determine how much you should feed your Pequeno every day. You will want to keep your dog’s age, size, and activity level in mind when shopping for food. Consult your vet if you’re considering adding human food to your dog’s diet or if you have any concerns about her weight.


While the Pequeno is relatively small, she is full of energy and will need a fair bit of exercise to keep her healthy and happy. Be prepared to give her about 1 hour of exercise daily and be sure to include playtime and possibly some shorter walks as well. These dogs are known to be rather tireless, so you could also consider involving her in obedience and agility trials.


The Pequeno is intelligent and wants to please her owner, so training is generally easy. They are quick to pick up tricks and commands, but the training sessions should be short and fun sessions to keep them interested and eager. Lots of positive reinforcement and praise will go a long way, and your Pequeno, with the right training and socialization, will be a well-mannered dog that will be welcome wherever she goes.

Grooming ✂️

Grooming the Pequeno will depend on which coat your dog is sporting. The smooth coat will need weekly brushing with a rubber curry brush or a grooming glove, and the wirehair will also need weekly brushing but with a pin brush. Neither coat type has an undercoat, so shedding isn’t as much of a problem, but the wirehair will need a little extra maintenance on her facial hair and beard. Unless your Pequeno is extremely dirty, she will only need a bath (with a good dog shampoo) once every 3 months.

You should brush your Pequeno’s teeth about 2 or 3 times a week, clean her ears around once a month, and trim her nails every 3 to 4 weeks (or as often as you deem necessary).

Health and Conditions

The Pequeno is a robust and healthy dog and not prone to many health conditions. Good breeders test their dogs for the genetic problems that might be an issue to help eliminate these conditions in the future.

Minor Conditions
  • Eye problems
Serious Conditions
  • Hip dysplasia
  • Kneecap dislocation

Your dog’s vet will check her hips, knees, and eyes in addition to a full physical exam to rule out any of these possible health issues.

Male vs Female

Both male and female Pequenos are 8 to 12 inches in height and weigh 9 to 13 pounds, but the female might be slightly smaller and lighter than the male.

The next consideration between females and males is whether or not you plan to spay or neuter your Pequeno. Spaying the female is a more complicated surgery than neutering the male and will be more expensive and take longer for her to recover from. The most obvious advantage of electing to have your dog go through surgery is in preventing unplanned pregnancies, but it can also decrease aggressive behavior, and it might even prolong your dog’s life by reducing the possibility of specific health problems in the future.

Lastly, it has been said that female dogs are easier to train and can be a little more affectionate than males, but there are debates about this. The most important factor in every dog’s life is how she was socialized and trained as a puppy and how she has been treated throughout her lifetime. All of these factors will determine her personality and temperament as an adult dog.

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3 Little-Known Facts About the Podengo Portugueso Pequeno

1. The Podengo Portugueso Pequeno helped sailors in the 1400s.

They were brought on ships heading to the Americas in the 15th century to help keep them free of vermin. This helped protect the stored food and protect the sailors from succumbing to rodent-borne diseases.

2. The difference between the Podengo Portugueso Pequeno and Podengo Portugueso is in size.

The word “pequeno,” as mentioned earlier, means small or little. The Podengo Portugueso comes in the sizes medium (16-22 inches) and large (22-28 inches) where the medium typically hunts rabbit (like the Pequeno) and the large hunts deer and boar.

3. The Pequeno shouldn’t be left alone outside.

They are prone to digging and are capable of jumping reasonably high, so if you leave her alone in your fenced yard, she might find a way to escape. When you have her outside, she should be monitored or on a leash at all times unless you have a very secure and high fence.

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Final Thoughts

If you are interested in searching for one of these gorgeous dogs, you can start by looking for an excellent local breeder. However, there aren’t many Portuguese Podengo Pequeno breeders in North America, so be prepared for the possibility of traveling a fair distance in order to visit a kennel to pick up your puppy. You can also attend dog shows, speak to a national or local dog club, or post your desire to find a Pequeno puppy on social media. Don’t forget to look into adopting an adult Pequeno. You might be required to do some extra searching, but wouldn’t rescue a dog be worth that effort?

If you have an active family and the time to devote to a lively and smart little dog, then maybe you should consider bringing a Pequeno home with you.

Featured Image Credit: Mabuya, Pixabay

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