From the February 2019 Issue of ShowSight. Click to subscribe.
Judging the Portuguese Podengo Pequeno, a lively, intelligent, sober, little dog with a rich hunting history in Portugal, should be a fun and rewarding experience.
The Pequeno should appear well muscled, energetic, but rustic. Judges should look for the hallmarks of our breed: a wedge shaped head, erect ears, and a sickle tail. An important characteristic of the Pequeno is the silhouette. It should show the proper proportions of twenty percent longer than tall, the height being half and half, leg to body. Buoyant and smart, over-shyness or aggressive behavior are
These cheerful sight hounds should be enjoyable in the ring. A light trot with easy, agile movements are what you should see when they are moved. A natural born rabbit hunter, Pequenos should have sound skeletons and be well muscled. The belly is lean and slightly tucked up. The tail is slightly curved when carried horizontally or vertically in the shape of a sickle. When relaxed, the tail falls curved to the hock joint. A curled tail is a serious fault.
The length of the body is twenty percent longer than tall, as measured from the point of the shoulder to the point of the buttocks. Pequenos, unlike the Medio/Grande, should never be square. The breed standard height is eight to twelve inches, with the bottom of the chest and elbow at the mid point of the height. The weight is nine to thirteen pounds. With this variation it is common to see a wide range of sizes in a ring at one time, and all of the dogs be within the standard.
The mostly frequently asked judging questions revolve around the coat. Light, medium, and dark shades of yellow and fawn coloring are acceptable. Coat colors for the Pequeno can be solid or with white markings. Acceptable colors, while not preferred, but allowed are black or brown, solid or with white markings, also white with markings of acceptable colors. Colors that would disqualify a Pequeno from the show ring are brindle, tri-color, black and tan or solid white. There are two varieties of coat: smooth and wire. The smooth is short and dense and the wire is long and harsh. There is no undercoat in either variety. The breed should be shown naturally. Excessive grooming and sculpting should be penalized.
The Portuguese Podengo Pequeno is a beloved little breed, whose numbers are growing every year. A true Portuguese treasure, it is our responsibility to preserve the breed for generations