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If you are looking for temperament and adventure, the dog breed Podenco Canario is the right choice. The agile hunting dog likes to move and is loyal to its favorite people. People who know how to handle restless animals will be able to handle the four-legged friends who love to move. The breed portrait reveals what challenges the animal still has in store.

The Podenco Canario belongs to FCI Group 5. He is assigned to Section 7.

Podenco Canario Dog Breed Information

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Size: 53-64cm
Weight: 19-25kg
FCI group: 5: Spitz and archetypal dogs
Section: 7: Archetype, dogs for hunting use
Country of origin: Spain
Colours: red, white-red
Life expectancy: 10-14 years
Suitable as: hunting and companion dog
Sports: –
Character: High-spirited, courageous, independent, sensitive
Leaving requirements: high
Drooling Potential: –
The thickness of hair: –
Maintenance effort: rather low
Coat structure: smooth, short, and dense
Child-friendly: rather no
Family dog: medium

Origin and breed history

The Podenco Canario is one of the oldest dog breeds in the world. However, the exact historical development of its original ancestors and the period of settlement on the Canary Islands, where the breed is predominantly found today, is not known. The origin is suspected for the Mediterranean area, whereby the history of its ancestors is said to go back to ancient Egypt. Due to its resemblance to the pharaoh hounds that existed on ancient Egyptian murals, the animal could even be traced back to the archetype of the ancient Egyptian dog Tesem. But even this theory is only conjecture. It is nevertheless obvious. The same is assumed for today’s Pharaoh Hound.

The first known inhabitants of the Canary Islands were the Guanches, who already kept dogs when they were settled. This can be assumed because the name “Islas Canarias” is linked to the meaning “dog islands”. The term was coined by the Roman author Pliny the Elder when he visited the islands as part of an expedition. However, it is not known what kind of dogs the settlers kept.

Since the Podenco Canario was mainly used to hunt rabbits and they were only brought to the islands with the Spanish colonization, today’s breed probably only came about with this introduction. A mix of those dog breeds that already lived on the Canary Islands is suspected, with Podencos from the Balearic Islands or the mainland of Spain. Only in 1987 did the first breed standard of the FCI officially come into force.

Essence & temperament of the Podenco Canario

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The Podenco Canario breed has a fiery character as soon as it is allowed to move freely. The dynamic and courageous four-legged friend, some of which is still used today to hunt packs of rabbits, often appears restless in public. At home he is a quiet creature. However, this is only the case if the active hunting dog has previously been able to satisfy and live out its pronounced need to run and temperament outdoors. In fact, the sometimes annoying animal can spend hours curled up in its dog basket.

The hunting dog, which is used especially for tracking, still has a strong hunting instinct. But this is not shown in an aggressive form. As with other hunting dogs, the principle of trust applies. If the dog has taken this to his reference person, he is loyal to his mistress or master. With all the trust, obedience is not always so good. For this reason, the Podenco Canario cannot be let off the leash everywhere by its owner. This is especially not advisable in a big city. Even when guided by an experienced hand, the pronounced hunting instinct cannot always be mastered once the experienced rabbit hunter gets away with it.

What is a Podenco Canario?

The Podenco Canario is a hunting dog.

The appearance of the Podenco Canario

The Podenco Canario is medium-sized. Adult Podenco Canario males reach a height at the withers of 55-64 cm, females are slightly smaller at 53-60 cm. Dogs of this breed weigh between 20 and 30 kilos, depending on their size. The coat of the dog breed is smooth and dense and usually comes in the color white-orange. Some Podenco Canarios are red with white or orange to mahogany red, but these coat colors are less common.

Although the animal is very slender, has an elongated physique and is rather lightly built, its nature proves to be extremely resilient. The hip bones, the spine and the shape of the rib cage are easy to recognize because the subcutaneous fatty tissue is missing. When moving, the muscle contractions are visible through the skin and reveal a well-trained animal.

Upbringing and keeping of the Podenco Canario – This is important to note

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The Podenco Canario is clearly not suitable for beginners. This is due to his nature, in which there is a lot of temperament. Dog owners who have experience with hunting dogs in particular are best suited. Dealing with them usually requires some special knowledge.

The hunting instinct is not equally pronounced in every specimen of this breed. The hunting motivation becomes apparent over time. They also have to learn to assess the animal at the beginning. That would simply overwhelm a beginner. An experienced dog owner shows consistency in training without exception. Especially with a hunting dog of this dog breed, this attitude is the top priority. If there are uncertainties on the human side, the animal does not take its owner seriously. The Podenco Canario quickly takes over the role of pack leader.

In addition, the Podenco Canario fan should be able to satisfy the animal’s urge to move and have it under control. A cramped environment is not the place for this. This means stress for both the Podenco Canario and his favorite human. Therefore, both need an environment that is free of any risks. In any case, rabbits should not be on the “piste”. Rural areas where wildlife is manageable and traffic density is low are best suited.

How much exercise does a Podenco Canario need?

This dog breed needs a lot of exercises because it is a dog with a high hunting motivation.

Diet of the Podenco Canario

The Podenco Canario is a good feed converter, although the animal does not make great demands on the feed. Nevertheless, owners should always choose a high-quality food that contains a lot of meat. The high meat content corresponds to at least 80 percent. Vegetables can be included. Other fillers such as grain do not belong in dog food, nor do sugar, preservatives or artificial flavors. Both wet and dry food can be used for feeding. This can also be done in the form of mixed feeding or semi-moist feed.

Because the animal moves a lot when kept in a species-appropriate manner, it is important to ensure that it is supplied with sufficient energy. The amounts of food must always be in proportion to the level of activity so that the animal keeps its slim waist. Due to the short, smooth coat, excess pounds are immediately visible. If the Podenco Canario weighs too many pounds, the feed must be reduced.

The feeding should not take place immediately before the extensive run. The animal is very agile and dynamic in its movements when it is allowed to let off steam. The sprints and sudden hooks are intense movements that shouldn’t be done on a full stomach. There is a risk of stomach torsion, which can be life-threatening in dogs. That is why responsible dog lovers give this breed their food only after their daily run. After that, the animal can treat itself to a break for digestion.

Dry chews can also be used to maintain jaw mobility.

What food does a Podenco Canario need?

Podenco Canarios tolerate both wet and moist food.

Health – life expectancy & common diseases

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The life expectancy of the Podenco Canario breed is between 10 and 12 years. The long life expectancy is due to the hardy nature and health of the hunting dog. Therefore, no common or breed-typical diseases are known. This is mainly due to the fact that the animal has not fallen victim to fashion breeding. Nevertheless, the acquisition should always take place from a reputable breeder. As a rule, they have the parent animals examined before they are used for breeding. This serves to rule out possible hip, knee or eye diseases. The corresponding documents show you when you buy, even without an explicit request. Otherwise the buyer asks.

If the animal does not move enough, there is a lack of physical exertion. The organism also uses less energy. If the usual amount of food is not reduced, the dog’s body will gain weight. This can also happen relatively quickly because the Podenco Canario is used to a lot of exercise as a hunting dog. The dietary factors of age, weight, size and above all activity should be strictly observed with this breed of dog.

Due to its origin from warm regions, the Podenco Canario is not sensitive to warm summer days. But he has short fur, which hardly protects him from the cold. The ears in particular are sensitive to cold and this dog breed freezes quickly overall. A dog coat is recommended here.

How old does a Podenco Canario get?

The Podenco Canario can live up to 12 years.

Care of the Podenco Canario

The short and smooth coat of this dog breed does not require intensive grooming. The animal is extremely easy to care for. Therefore, an occasional comb is enough, because loose hair can be easily removed with it. Dog lovers are welcome to use a massage glove for this. Care routine and wellness at the same time strengthens the bond between humans and animals. The owner takes his time and takes care of his four-legged friend, who notices and appreciates this.

If the fur is heavily soiled, cleaning with a damp cloth is sufficient. If it is dirt when it is wet, it simply needs to be dried. Then the coat can be brushed out normally. A Podenco Canario does not need to be bathed. This should only happen in exceptional cases.

Grooming also includes regular ear checks. If dirt accumulates there, it can be removed with a special ear cleaner for dogs. The claw clippers are also used when the claws do not wear out sufficiently naturally. This is the case when the Podenco Canario mostly runs on soft ground. If the claws are too long, they can get caught on foreign objects on the ground.

Owners can clean their teeth with a dog toothbrush and dog toothpaste. Dental care snacks also support the dog’s dental health.

Podenco Canario – activities and training

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Hunting dogs generally need a lot of exercise. With the Podenco Canario, the urge to do so is quite great. As soon as the daily exercise is announced, the animal becomes restless. This restlessness does not decrease even when it is in freedom. If you are not used to this, you can quickly feel annoyed. Podenco Canarios also like to run at a pace that the pet owner would not be able to keep up with. This is only possible on areas that are spacious. Therefore, rural areas are best suited, where the hunting instinct can be realized without risk.

Like the Pharaoh Hound, the Podenco Canario has a greyhound-like physique. With the same hunting tasks come the same movement patterns. For physical exertion, the opportunities offered by the Sighthound Association to participate in sighthound races and coursing can be used.

In addition, the Podenco owner and his dog can also visit a dog sport together. At the forefront of canine sports is agility. Here, the Podenco Canario can face certain challenging tasks as part of the sophisticated dog course. But in dog sports, obedience must also work. Depending on the hunting motivation, this can be a challenge for the owner. The tasks to be overcome together strengthen the bond between humans and animals, so that better controllability can be promoted.

Good to know: Peculiarities of the Podenco Canario

The Podenco Canario dog breed is known for temperament and restlessness. However, the animal turns into a quiet fellow as soon as it lies in the dog basket at home for hours. A calm that may surprise some interested parties.

Disadvantages of the Podenco Canario

The dog enjoys robust health and is an even-tempered companion when given the exercise it needs. Disadvantages only arise if the animal is not kept in a manner appropriate to the species and unwanted behavior arises as a result. If you are not an active dog lover yourself, but rather a leisurely dog ​​lover, you should choose another dog breed. Hunting dogs are not always easy to handle. This is especially true for the Podenco Canario.

Is the Podenco Canario right for me?

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Hunting dogs like the Podenco Canario are not lap dogs. Although they can lie motionless and curled up in their dog basket for hours, they are happy to give free rein to their urge to move outdoors. Prospects who live in a big city and a cramped environment will not be able to keep this dog breed well over the long term. Nature is what the dog needs. Expansive landscapes where the fast four-legged friend can run are recommended.

A house with a larger garden is suitable. In the meantime, the Podenco Canario can also use its nose for sniffing on this patch of earth. Because the animal needs a lot of exercise, dog lovers are encouraged to provide varied activities. From daily walks to attending dog sports and greyhound racing, there are many things you can do with your dog. Interested parties should be able to schedule time for this.

The Podenco Canario takes up a large part of a person’s life because they can be employed in so many different ways.

As a rule, the Podenco Canario is described as a family dog. For some specimens, this can only apply to a limited extent. That depends on his social compatibility with children and also on his hunting instinct. Basically, however, the animal is considered fond of children. It is also important for the dog to have a permanent place in the family. Already at the age of a puppy, this hunting dog should get a consistent and loving upbringing. As a family dog, he doesn’t cause any problems.

The dog is not suitable for seniors if the stated housing requirements cannot be met. An active, physical presence that can keep up with the dynamics of the Podenco is also necessary.