"Podengos of the Forest"


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We became interested in the wire-hair Portuguese Podengo Pequeno in May 2002 when we decided that we’d like to look for a small dog to share our family life.  After having had many different large breeds of
dogs over our lifetime, and having shared the previous 26 years with trailing Bloodhounds who lived in the house with us,
we decided to look for a small breed that had the following qualities:  good health, friendly personality but not overly dependent on constant attention, fairly easy to train, could be trusted around
very young children, strong and sturdy especially in our New England winters, prick ears, wire-hair, “tight” lips, maintenance free coat, could hike long distances, was quiet in the house, and enjoyed snuggling up
with its
human family members. 
To our delight, we have found the PPPWH to have all of these traits and more. 

Coming from Portugal, the breed loves warm weather, but we have found that they do very well in our winters here in NH. Occasionally we will get a foot or more of snow at one time. I will go out in the dog yard and tramp down a few trails for them. They take over after that and love it. They go out in the woods with
us for cross-country skiing; snowshoeing, and sledding - always looking for elusive "critters". You do have to call them in on a regular basis so that they don't range too far. Being hounds, they need to be fenced when let out to "potty" or just to get out of the house for air and exercise. They require next to no grooming as
the wire hair usually sheds everything.

All Portuguese Podengo Pequenos need good daily exercise and preferably a large fenced-in area.  However, when they come in the house, mine just "grab" a couch, chair, or spot on the carpet and lie down and sleep. They often follow me from room to room,  then pick a new spot there and sleep. I don't give commands, they just do it. 

We are very fortunate in that we have a huge forest behind and to the side of our house and can walk
many miles back there. Since they were all little puppies, we have walked our Podengos loose when we go out. We frequently call them back to us as we walk as they are constantly hunting for "critters". Some are more obedient than others.  Practice on the "Recall" should be started early and practiced regularly.  They are a hunting hound and this is what they have been bred to do - hunt. *While we do not hunt ourselves, we are adamant about keeping this strong instinct/ability in this breed.*

Portuguese Podengo Pequenos are not only hunters but they are also excellent watchdogs, so if anything or anyone is out in the woods when we're out there, they will bark at it. They will bark in the house, too, and that does need to be controlled with common sense and consistency. They are NOT a guard dog. 

As I researched the breed and we saw the first live PPPWH’s (only 6 were in the USA that we knew of at
the time), I decided that I would really enjoy getting back into the showring with this rare breed and try to help build the foundation stock for the USA.  Over the years, I had bred Basset Hounds, Great Danes, and finally, Bloodhounds – showing some of these breeds in AKC Conformation classes as well as Obedience trials and earning various titles with them. I had also taught dog obedience professionally for eight years.  Both Cal and I had spent 22 years training and working Bloodhounds and training other Bloodhound handlers for criminal and search and rescue work – being Deputy Sheriffs, ourselves. Cal continued to help train Bloodhound handlers for another 4 years after.

I was fortunate enough to be put in contact with some of Portugal’s most outstanding PPPWH breeders
and started to communicate via "snail" mail, mostly, for our first puppy.  Nine months later, he arrived.  Our second puppy took almost a year to obtain, but she was well worth the wait.  After this, despite my fear of flying, we went to Portugal to see the Monografica and meet the PPP’s in “the flesh” and the breeders in person.  (See our “Portugal” webpage.)

We got our first PPPequeno, Horacio de Viamonte, in January 2003, from Miguel Sabino in Leiria, Portugal. 
Our second puppy,  Sarissa from the Monte dos Podengos kennels of M. Antonieta Rodrigues of Biscainho, Portugal, arrived in April.  A  few months later in August 2003, after a trip to see the Monografica - the big Portuguese Podengo dog show put on by the Portuguese Podengo Club of Portugal - we returned and awaited the arrival of Ilda da Casa de S. Domingos, a puppy from the Abreus of Ereira, Portugal.  A year
later, we brought back our final two puppies of our original breeding stock from Carla Molinari of  Vale do Negro kennels
in Estoril, Portugal.  These two puppies are Saladinha and Tintol do Vale Negro. 

On our recent trip to Portugal in June of 2007, we added a new little boy, Habib da Casa da Torre, to our breeding stock and our family. He is of a different bloodline than our others and we are hoping that he will add some additional good qualities to our breeding program.  Jose Romao Pereira Silva of Estremoz,
Portugal, is his breeder.

We are deeply grateful for the trust that these Portuguese Podengo breeders have shown us by allowing us to import their puppies and by their help and encouragement in furthering the breed in America.

In January 2008, we bred our ARBA CH Aurora da Floresta - "Rory" - to our imported Habib da Casa da Torre.  We now had our first generation of American born puppies from our own American bred bitch. We were quite excited over this "big" step in forwarding this breed's foundation in America.
In December 2009, we again bred ARBA CH Aurora da Floresta, this time to our imported ARBA CH Horacio de Viamonte NA, NAJ, to produce the "I" Litter, of which we now have puppies. We are quite happy with the results !!!  Hope you'll view them under "Puppies" - "I"  Litter.

Since March 2005, when our first PPPWH bitch was old enough to be bred, we have produced 9 litters
with a total of 25 puppies.  We will not breed a bitch before she is 2 years of age as we want her to
be mature both physically and emotionally.  All of our breeding stock have their patellas checked each
time they go to the veterinarian's for annual check-ups; and recently we have started to send them
in for OFA certification.  All of our breeding stock had their eyes checked by a canine ophthalmologist
in November 2007 and have been CERF certified.   We are now also x-raying hips and submitting them to
OFA for ratings. We have been very pleased with the results.  

Puppies from our Podengos da Floresta Kennels now reside in Finland, Africa, France, and Florida, Massachusetts, Oregon, New York, Maine, North Carolina, Virginia, Maryland, Delaware, California, and New Hampshire.

We are charter members of the
Portuguese Podengo Pequenos of America club and Penny is the treasurer.  We are working hard to help develop this club.  We believe that people that are interested in the Portuguese Podengo Pequeno breed should seriously consider joining this club to help support the club’s endeavors to have the breed recognized by the American Kennel Club and to help us educate the general public about this rare breed and its many delightful attributes. For further info:  http//pppAmerica.org


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