Eager to learn about the Podenco Canario, a native to the Canary Islands? Read on for information on this dog’s health, exercise needs, personality traits, and more!
Podenco Dog Breed Info:
Height: 21-25 inches
Weight: 20-25 kilos
Podenco Lifespan: 11-13 years
Pedigree? (registered with the KC?): No this breed is not registered with the Kennel Club
Positives and Negatives
The traits listed below are common amongst the Podenco Canario:
- Fantastic watchdog
- Ideal for first-time owners
- Friendly towards children and dogs
- Highly intelligent
- Energetic breed
- Independent thinker, may wander off
- Not suitable for an apartment
- Isn’t a hypoallergenic breed
The Podenco Canario is a member of the sighthound family and is most popular in Spain and the Mediterranean. They closely resemble the Pharoah Hound and the Ibizan Hound, leading some to believe they share the same lineage.
Podenco means ‘Hound’ in Spanish. There are 8 other Podenco breed types. This one is from the Canary Islands and is still part of pack hunting today. Like most pack hunters, friendliness and the need to be around others is generally the norm. Podenco Canarios love being around family!
This breed is very active, so they will need an owner who loves the outdoors just as much as them. These dogs have the stamina to work for hours on end! Podenco Canarios are not known to be aggressive, making them ideal for a home with children.
The Podenco Canario hasn’t been recognized by any organization, apart from the United Kennel Club on the 1st of July 2006. The Ibizan Hound is the only Podenco to be registered by both the Kennel Club and the American Kennel Club.
Podenco Canarios are native to the Canary Islands and are believed to have lived there for around 500 years. Where they came from before this is disputed. Many believe this dog has ties to Egypt and looks strikingly similar to the sighthounds featured on Ancient Egyptian tombs.
It is then thought the Phoenician Merchants of Lebanon brought these dogs over into the Mediterranean, where they remained. This would have taken place around 8BC. The Egyptian dog is believed to be the Podenco Canarios ancestor.
The breed is an efficient rabbit hunter and is still used as a pack hunter and pest controller to this day. Mostly in the Canary Islands and Spain. Their eyesight, pricked ears, and sense of smell are what allows them to be an outstanding hunter. Some Podencos can even climb up trees!
Podenco Canarios are one of the tougher hunters out of the Podenco family. They’ve developed to harsher terrains as they were mostly used to hunt in rural Spain. Their robustness is why they have kept their popularity.
Unfortunately, once the Spanish hunting season has ended, thousands of Podencos including the Podenco Canario are abandoned. So, if you are interested in purchasing a Podenco Canario puppy, check the shelters first before spending money with a breeder.
Recommended: Learn about the Bearded Collie in our latest guide.
Podenco Canario Temperament:
If you want a friendly, well-mannered dog then the Podenco will be a great fit. You must be sure you have the time and energy for this pooch before taking them on. Yet their calm and gentle personality makes them suitable for elderly owners. Podenco Canarios don’t bark much either.
This dog loves to work and is excellent out on the field. It is not underheard of for a Podenco to be used as a therapy dog. Although they aren’t one of the best breeds for this purpose, their intelligence makes them somewhat suitable.
Are Podenco Canarios Good With Strangers?
No, the Podenco Canario can be reserved and shy with strangers. They are wary of those they don’t know and will hold themselves back. The breed should not, however, resort to aggression. Podenco Canarios make excellent watchdogs and will alert you to anybody approaching your home.
Are Podenco Canarios Good With Children?
Yes, this breed is a great choice for children. Their energetic nature matches a child perfectly. Do be aware that the Podenco Canario doesn’t like rough play.
They may nip a child if they feel they are being man-handled. Make children aware of this before allowing play. Podencos bond well with all of the family.
Are Podenco Canarios Ok With Other Dogs?
Yes, as a dog that works in a pack, the Podenco Canario loves the company of other dogs. You must be careful with the Podenco around smaller dogs. Their high prey drive may see them chase and potentially harm them. The breed can’t live with other household pets like cats, rabbits, birds, etc.
This breed will need around 1-2 hours of daily exercise each day. Podenco Canario puppies may need a little longer. Whilst this pooch is perfectly happy playing interactive games with the family out in the garden, a daily walk will still be needed.
Remember this dog was a hunter so a garden must have high fences. You should also keep this dog on a leash to prevent them from chasing smaller dogs and animals. Enclosed spaces are the only areas a Podenco Canario should be allowed off a lead.
Like most working dogs mental stimulation will be needed. If you want to see the Podenco Canario excel, then get them involved in dog sports. Courses such as racing, agility, and competitive obedience are a perfect way to exercise and also train this pooch.
Next: Learn more about Welsh Springer Spaniel dogs in our guide.
Although the Podenco Canario is known to be a relatively healthy breed, there are still some health issues they can face. Check out the list below for the breed-related health conditions:
- Hip Dysplasia- An abnormality of the hip joint will cause lameness, inflammation, swelling, and pain in the affected area. At some stage arthritis is inevitable.
- (Males) Testicular Tumors- This condition is the most common of cancers for intact male dogs. Neutering your pet is one of the best ways to prevent this.
- Ear Infections- The overgrowth of bacteria and yeast will cause itchiness for your pet, possibly pain. Try to check and keep the ear canal cleaned weekly to prevent this.
Intelligence & Training
The Podenco Canario is definitely a smart breed. Their working life and hunting skills are where their intelligence shines the brightest. Their mischievous side can, however, make training a little difficult. Positive training is the way forward. Rewards and praise will help keep this breed engaged.
Be calm with your tone, raised voices and frustration will not get you anywhere. As long as your sessions are short, fun, and different each time, your Podenco Canario will be interested to listen to you. Aim to complete at least two training sessions per day for around 10 minutes each time.
This pooch is active, so if its exercise needs aren’t being met, all your time spent training will go straight down the drain. Bad behaviors are often picked up through boredom. Podenco Canarios are used to being in the field all day and will need strenuous exercise.
These dogs tend to be wary, shy, and reserved in the presence of strangers. Socialization needs to begin as soon as possible. Introduce your dog to new environments and people. They do have an inquisitive and independent side, all they need to do is find their confidence.
Housetraining a Podenco Canario is pretty easy. They will get the hang of it rather quickly, especially with access to a garden. The breed also excels in dog sports and is an ideal way to keep them mentally stimulated. It will only take them a couple of sessions before their pro! Well.. almost!
Recommended: We explain what makes the Scottish Deerhound special next!
Grooming this breed is rather low maintenance but their short coat does shed fur. This is the main reason why Podenco Canarios aren’t suitable for allergy sufferers. You will need to brush them once a week to promote your dog’s natural oils, keeping them clean.
Deshedding gloves, rubber, and slicker brushes are all ideal tools for keeping your dog groomed. Baths won’t be regularly needed. Thanks to their short, smooth fur dirt and debris don’t hold well. So you should only wash this dog once they are dirty.
Consistent washing can dry out a dog’s skin which can lead to further issues. Leaving shampoo residue on your dog’s coat can also cause skin problems. Be sure to wash this out thoroughly when bathing your dog.
Podenco Canarios are prone to ear infections. To prevent this ensure you check and clean your dog’s ears once a week. There shouldn’t be any hair strands blocking the ear canal’s airflow. Always keep your dog’s ears dry especially after they’ve had a swim. Cotton balls work best.
Nails can also grow quite quickly on a Podenco. If they haven’t been trimmed or filed down monthly and begin to overgrow, it could cause your pet issues with their joints and will become painful, possibly infected. Vets recommend you brush your dog’s teeth daily to remove any debris and plaque.
Image Sources: Photo 1