The word Podengo was used in Portugal at least as early as the 16th century to refer to pack-hunting dogs. The full name then was Podengo de Mostra (the Mostra part referring to a pack). Over time, this was shortened to Podengo and referred to multi-sensory, endurance-trotting, pack-hunting dogs. The Portuguese do not have a word for hound, so use the word Podengo as a specific term for the kind of primitive, prick-eared, hunting dogs that were distributed around the Mediterranean basin 2,000 years ago by the Phoenicians.
Podengos hunt rabbits, which in Portugal live mostly in rock crevices and thick briars, rather than in underground warrens. The Medio works in tandem with the smaller Podengo — the Pequeno — to flush rabbits from crevices and dense briars, as well as to chase, track, kill and retrieve the rabbit.
In England they have taken to calling the Podengo Warren Hounds, but we prefer the real name — Portuguese Podengo. There are three types of Podengos — Pequeno, Medio and Grande.
The Pequeno, or "small" Podengo, is not a "go to ground dog" but rather a fearless flusher of rabbits from dense brush and crevices. Back in the 15th -18th centuries, this trait made its ancestors ideal ratters, and they served that purpose sailing with the Portuguese explorers on their voyages of discovery. As a result, the Podengo spread its genetic influence around the world, and also picked up some influences from other breeds, which have by now largely disappeared, making the breed true to the Podengo type.
So that's what's in the name!
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