Podenco Dog Breed Information & Care

An Older Podenco

The podenco is a hound dog breed with a smooth, wired, or long-hair coat that originated in the Mediterranean region, particularly in Spain (where podenco means "hound" in Spanish). The podenco is a type of sighthounds that are widely employed to hunt rabbits.

While all podenco varieties have similar properties, their size and appearance vary widely. They do, however, all have enormous prick ears that give them a unique look. The podenco maneto is virtually dachshund-shaped, but the podenco Andaluz is significantly bigger. Because it might be difficult to verify their real pedigree, they are sometimes referred to simply as podenco (or podengo, which is the Portuguese word for the same dog breed).

Breed Overview


HEIGHT: Varies greatly, from as small as 13 inches to 28 inches

WEIGHT: Varies greatly, from around 18 pounds to 70 pounds

COAT: Smooth, wire, or long-coated

COAT COLOR: A wide variety of colors, with most common combinations of shades of brown or red, and often with white markings

LIFE SPAN: 12 to 14 years

TEMPERAMENT: Active, intelligent, sensitive, friendly, enthusiastic



Characteristics of the Podenco

You should anticipate your podenco, regardless of breed, to be a high-energy dog who forms a strong attachment with its family. Pods may be silly and fun, as well as a little naughty at times.

Affection Level  High
Friendliness  High
Kid-Friendly  High
Pet-Friendly  Medium
Exercise Needs High
Playfulness  High
Energy Level  High
Trainability Medium
Intelligence  High
Tendency to Bark  Low
Amount of Shedding Medium

History of the Podenco

Podencos are frequently mixed up with basenjis and pharaoh hounds. Ancient Egyptian tombs, notably Tutankhamen's, include similar-looking dogs with long erect ears and the characteristic sighthound form.

The Phoenician traders (an ancient culture originating in Lebanon) are said to have been the first to carry these dogs over the Mediterranean Sea. They first encountered them when traveling along the coastal trade routes between Africa and Spain in the 8th century BC.

The dogs were assumed to have landed on the coast's islands, which is how some of the island-specific podenco breeds arose. The podenco Canario, from the Canary Islands, and the podenco Ibicenco were among them (the Ibizan hound).

The dogs proceeded to thrive as rural hunting dogs throughout Spain, and distinct sorts of podenco dogs began to emerge, adjusting to their hunting habitat. They're tougher and more adapted to harsher terrain than the galgo, another popular Spanish hunting dog.

The podenco is still employed as a hunting dog today, but instead of being respected, they are frequently viewed as a tool. Abuse, neglect, and abandonment are all common occurrences. They are frequently forced to learn to survive on the streets or surrendered to high-kill shelters. As their predicament becomes increasingly widely recognized, various national and international NGOs are currently working to provide podencos permanent homes. As a result, podencos are progressively gaining in popularity in the United States.


Podenco Care

Pods are not renowned for being couch potatoes like their greyhound or galgo relatives, despite the fact that they love plenty of snuggles with their owners. Because of their stamina and hunting heritage, these dogs require a lot of activity and excitement. They also have minimal grooming requirements.


Regardless of the breed, your podenco will require one to two hours of daily activity, including walks and engaging playtime. Because of its athleticism, the podenco enjoys participating in dog sports like as agility and (competitive running with your dog).


Podenco are fairly diverse. Pods have either a short, smooth coat or a wire-haired variant. A weekly brushing should be enough to remove any molting hairs and maintain the skin and coat looking bright and healthy.

It's important to keep your nails trimmed to avoid them becoming overgrown. This can have an effect on your dog's stride and, as a result, its joints. If your nails grow excessively long, they may curl in on themselves, causing pain and maybe infection.

Check your dog’s ears weekly for dirt, wax buildup, and other abnormalities. Aim to brush its teeth daily.


A podenco might be difficult and independent at times, but it responds well to positive reinforcement training. You may need a little more patience than, say, a Labrador Retriever that is eager to please!

Because of the pod's hunting history, it may have a high prey drive, and you may need to work hard to get a rock-solid recall. You'll almost certainly need to work on developing a solid "drop it" and "leave it" command.


Common Health Problems

Podencos are known for being tough, healthy, and powerful dogs. Because there is no universal breed standard, they are less likely to develop inheritable diseases. There are, however, a few health concerns to be aware of, including:

  • : Problems with the hip joints are more common in large breed dogs, and the bigger podencos are no exception. For those types, like the Andaluz and the campanero, this can be a more common occurrence.
  • Back Problems: The podenco maneto, with its long spine and short legs, can experience back issues similar to those found in dachshunds, like slipped or ruptured discs.
  • Anesthesia Sensitivity: Podencos, like their greyhound relatives, can be more sensitive to anesthesia drugs than some other dogs because of their metabolic rates. Your vet should be aware of this, and this should be considered if surgery is ever required.

Diet and Nutrition

Your podenco should be fed a high-quality, portion-controlled food, just like any other dog. If the dog has spent some of its life on the streets or has to struggle for its food, it may be prone to scavenging, which can cause stomach issues. Feeding your dog interactive reward toys and slow feeders will help him feel fuller while also keeping him interested.

Where to Adopt or Buy a Podenco

The Ibizan hound is the only podenco type approved by the American Kennel Club. If you want to engage with a breeder to get an Ibizan hound puppy or another sort of podenco, make sure you do your homework beforehand. Make sure you choose a trustworthy breeder that will let you view the puppies in their natural surroundings. They should not be removed from their mother until they have completed weaning. Before they come home, they should be at least eight weeks old.

If you opt to engage with a breeder, podenco pups can cost up to $1,000 on average. However, because the Ibizan hound is an AKC-registered breed, you should expect to pay between $2,000 and $2,500 for one.

Many rescue organizations are interested in transporting podencos from Spain in search of permanent homes. Always check the reputation of the organization you're considering. The dogs should have received comprehensive health exams, been transported securely, and had their temperaments appropriately assessed. The charity should also give extensive post-adoption assistance.

Begin your search for a podenco by contacting these organizations:

  • Ibizan Hound Club of the United States
  • Hope for Podencos (rescues)
  • Galgo Podenco Support
  • Galgos Del Sol
  • SOS Podenco Rescue (Instagram)

Podenco Overview

  • Thrives in the company of family and other dogs

  • Well-suited for an active family

  • Low-maintenance grooming regime

  • High prey drive

  • Strong-willed and requires extra patience during training

  • Not suited for a family with a sedentary lifestyle

More Dog Breeds and Further Research

A pod could be a great dog for you if you're active and ready for a loyal companion. If you are still undecided, consider researching similar breeds to see if there's a better fit:

There’s a whole world of potential out there—with a little research, you can find the right one to bring home!

  • Are podenco dogs good living in multi-pet households?

    If you have a cat, you'll need to be careful with introductions, and other tiny animals will need to be kept safe. They are normally quite friendly with other dogs and perform well in households with many pets.

  • What are the types of podenco dogs?
    • Maneto
    • Canario
    • Galego
    • Patenero
    • Orito
    • Malagueño
    • Campanero
    • Ibicenco (the Ibizan hound)
    • Andaluz (thought by some to be the oldest Spanish dog)
    • Português (native to Northern )
  • Why is the Ibizan hound the only podenca recognized by the American Kennel Club?

    The AKC recognizes dogs based on a number of criteria, including a sufficient population of the breed that is widely spread in the United States. The Ibizan hound had to have met all of the requirements. However, the "Portuguese podengo" is now eligible to compete in AKC Miscellaneous Class competitions.