The Portuguese Podengo Pequeno (PPP) is becoming ever more popular with exhibitors, and judges will see more variety of color and style in the ring. The Board of Directors and Judges Ed of the Portuguese Podengo Pequenos of America, PPPA, are asking that you remember a few important points when judging and/or evaluating the breed.
First, proportion is extremely important. They are 20 percent longer than they are tall, measured from point of shoulder to point of buttocks. This allows the dogs to get into the tight groundcover of the commonly hunted areas of Portugal. They are able to flush out the rabbits into more open areas. A dog that is too short in length of body will not be able to maneuver as easily in these situations. Be aware, this measurement is not from the prosternum. Measured there, you will have a dog that is too short. The other proportion to consider is the leg-to-body ratio for height. When you look at a Pequeno, the body of the dog, from point of withers, to the ground, the body makes up 50 percent of the height and the legs are the other 50 percent of the height.
The size range of the Pequeno is quite varied. They can be from 8 inches to 12 inches tall. The smallerones are just as important in a hunting pack as the larger dogs. Smaller dogs are better able to get into tight spaces where the rabbits can hide, and the larger dogs may be able to run down a rabbit for the kill. Be aware of dogs being over-sized. While there is no DQ for over- or under-sized, the norm should be the middle of the standard, at 10 inches. A dog that is too heavy in bone may not be as efficient in the field and may tire too easily and possibly break down. Likewise, a dog that is light in bone may not be able to do the job needed either. They might not be sturdy enough to take the stress of a day(s)-long hunt. Moderation is the key, and there is no difference for wire or smooth.
There are two preferred colors, fawn and yellow. Those preferred colors can be with white or the dog can be white with the preferred colors. There are two acceptable colors, brown and black. Those colors can also be with white or white with the acceptable colors. The fawn or yellow dogs are easier to see during a hunt and are less likely to be confused with the rabbit. Darker dogs may be harder to see and could be accidentally shot by the hunter. This is why there are preferred colors for the breed.
One of the most important things when judging the Portuguese Podengo Pequeno is that it is a RUSTIC breed and ANY DOG WHOSE COAT HAS BEEN ALTERED BY EXCESSIVELY SCULPTING, CLIPPING or ARTIFICIAL MEANS shall be PENALIZED as to be effectively ELIMINATED from competition. Please do not reward an over-groomed dog. They should look neat and be clean. Their wire or smooth coat is very easy to care for and takes very little work.
Enjoy judging our funny little breed. They are smart and funny and full of themselves. Feel free to attend a seminar near you, join us at our National, or contact PPPA Judges Education for any
Judging the Portuguese Podengo Pequeno
By Jean Evanoff