The Portuguese Podengo Club of America

Canine Education

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Podengos have a great sense of play, as evidenced in this photo of two 9-week old Pequeno puppies. Channel that energy into canine sports and your dog will be just delighted and happy as can be!

Aside from enjoying their loyalty and playful antics, there are several dog sports where Podengo Pequenos excel. It will take an investment of your time and a dedication to learning the sport to do well. However, the result will be that your Podengo Pequeno will be a terrific partner who is in tune with you, happy to be working and together you will become a working team.

Obedience demonstrates the usefulness of the purebred dog as a companion to man. Obedience trials showcase dogs that have been trained and conditioned to behave well in the home, in public places, and in the presence of other dogs. UKC trials and tests allow exhibitors and their dogs to enjoy companionship and competition as they proudly earn UKC titles. Rally Obedience is a newer dog sport that is taking the nation by storm.

Rally offers both the dogs and handlers an experience that is fun and energizing. A rally course includes 10 to 20 stations, at which the dog and handler must execute a certain obedience maneuver before moving on to the next station. Communication between handler and dog is encouraged and perfect heel position is not required, but there should be a sense of teamwork between the dog and handler. The canine team moves at their own pace, very similar to rally-style auto racing.

Rally was designed with the traditional pet owner in mind, but it can still be very challenging for those who enjoy higher levels of competition.

Agility is an event in which dogs traverse a maze of obstacles and compete for speed and accuracy. Handlers review course maps showing the route they must take with their dog, and they have an opportunity to walk the course (without their dog) prior to running it for time and faults. The sport has an overwhelming spectator appeal, largely because of the fast pace, the challenging and visually appealing obstacles and the contagious enthusiasm displayed by the dogs and their handlers. Competing successfully in agility requires a good foundation of obedience skills, and can take up to a year or more in training before the first competition. 

Tracking Events are the competition form of canine search and rescue. They provide training for dogs and their handlers to meet some human needs for tracking and finding lost humans or other animals, as well as demonstrating the extremely high levels of scent capability that dogs possess. For the Podengo Pequeno, that possesses a highly refined scent capability (as well as sight and sound), this sport would be equivalent to field hunting for quarry, something which they have been bred to do for centuries. This vigorous outdoor activity is great for canine athletes. 

Lure Coursing is a performance event developed in the early 70's by sighthound fanciers who hunted jackrabbits in the open field, which risked the harm caused by barbed wire fencing. Today's lure coursing s a safer, more controlled sport for sighthounds. The hounds chase plastic bags, attached to a continuous loop line that is pulled by a generator through a series of pulleys, on a course laid out to simulate escaping game. The sport of lure coursing attempts to simulate live-rabbit zig-zag chase patterns while substituting plastic bags for precious bunnies, while allowing judges to watch multiple runs of hounds respond to a single course design. Hounds of the same breed or similar size run in trios, wearing racing blankets to differentiate which dog is winning. Hounds are judged on enthusiasm, ability to follow the lure, speed, agility and endurance.