Podencos- the invisible dogs of spain
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
It is believed that podencos made their way to Iberia by way of invaders and traders. They come in a wide variety of sizes, colors and coats that over the years have been defined by region. Among other types is the small Podenco Andaluz of the mainland used for rabbit hunting, the medium size Podenco Canario from the island of Gran Canaria, and the very recognizable Ibizan Hound from the island of Ibiza also used for rabbit hunting.
Multi-sensory specialized hunters, they have large, highly-mobile prick ears, keen eyesight and an acute sense of smell. All have been bred with a combination of speed and agility with endless endurance for trotting rather than galloping. They are agile to the point they have been known to climb trees in pursuit of prey and can even jump great heights from a stand. A secure yard with 6' fence is typically required for this breed if they are not on leash.
Perhaps due to their cleverness and persistent focus, podencos are considered to be even more persecuted than the galgos. Curious and clownish, they have a profound awareness of their surroundings and a sensitivity to their humans. Podencos reward their human companions with great loyalty, affection and are wonderful family members.
For more information about Podencos, please do not hesitate to contact any member of our team or firstname.lastname@example.org.