MAY 1st is the International day of the podenco
The podenco is the most abused dog in Spain. Podencos don’t have a chance; being bred just to hunt and then kept in squalid conditions between hunts. Even in the cities like Malaga there are areas close to the city where hundreds of podencos are kept chained up for the hunt. It can be difficult to imagine the suffering they endure especially once you have known and loved a pod and have experienced their love and devotion. We are sorry if the images we post are distressing, but unfortunately this is the condition our dogs routinely comes to us in.
The history of the Podenco is the beginning of the story; to understand their background is to understand their behavior and appreciate their amazing personalities.
The most accepted origin of the Podenco Andaluz, found mainly in the south of Spain, is Egyptian, brought by the Phoenicians to Iberia (Spain) and it is possible they were bred with the original Pharaoh hounds and with the Basenjis of Africa.
There are three main types of podencos on mainland Spain which also includes the Ibizan hound from the island of Ibiza (long legged beauties) and the Podenco Canarios brought from the Canary Islands. It is believed they are the purest of the podencos in that they were isolated for hundreds of years on these islands.
The rest of the podencos in Spain are an off shoot of these three main groups and they vary in size and coat from the smallest mini podencos to the largest the podenco Camapanero in the North of Spain used for boar hunting. Each type is bred to hunt in a different terrain and a different type of prey.
Thus some have rough coats to protect their skin from the thickets, or bigger feet to manage rocky areas or short legs like the Maneto to go after moles or what not close to ground.
What they have in common is that they were all bred to hunt and that is something that all potential adopters must take into account. It is in their genes and the podenco is single minded when it comes to smelling a scent as well as seeing a prey.
They are not only sighthounds, but scent and ear hounds; triple duty hunters!
Even with their amazing hunting abilities, podencos make wonderful companions if the adopter is ready to devote time and energy to their podenco. Podencos are very smart, they are affectionate, gentle, very loving and good in the home. They are alert barkers so they are great home protection. Podencos require good exercise and activity and are not a good candidate for stay at home long hours kind of homes as they become bored very easily and can get mischievous and in trouble if not given a good outlet for their energy.
But all that said podencos are calm in the home once exercised. They nap and love sun bathing and get along great with their pack mates and with other dogs.
By Lynda Paterson
Founded by Irene and Steve Allan, Hope for Podencos is situated in Albacete, Spain
Most podencos are rescued from Gran Canaria and the mainland of Spain. Once safe at Hope for Podencos, all Podencos receive medical care and are assessed and matched with their new families. They are neutered/castrated over 6 months, receive worm and flea treatment and a blood test before travel.
Hope for Podencos does not distinguish between age and mix, Podenco mixes, senior Podencos as well as puppies are all welcome.
Most Podencos are abandoned in fields and by the roadside or brought to killing shelters after having served their hunter well.
Podencos can be adopted in countries such as the UK, France, Germany,The Netherlands, Czech Republic, USA and Canada where full back up is available if the adoption does not go as planned.
We have recently launched our Facebook online shop where you can soon purchase our fabulous 2019 calendar amongst many other wonderful gifts and items for yourself!
We have many ways in which you can support our charity and these beautiful dogs, our new Venture Give a Pod a Life Project where we are trying to raise funds for our new centre, our Hope for Podencos Food Fund where we ask for monthly donations to care for our Pods awaiting adoption and our Amazon Wish Lists (UK and US) for purchases as often or as little as you would like for the bits and bobs we need as they come up. A special form of collaboration is to participate in our Virtual Adoption program and become the sponsor of one of the animals that live in the rescue centre or are reserved in the perrera. Finally, we have a Longer-Term Foster Project we hope some of our supporters can help with to introduce our Podencos to family and life experiences before they go into their Forever Homes.