Podenco Canario

Canis lupus familiaris

Last updated: October 26, 2022
Verified by: AZ Animals Staff
© iStock.com/Wirestock

It has a peculiar bark that locals refer to as "the song of the rabbit".

Podenco Canario Scientific Classification

Kingdom
Animalia
Phylum
Chordata
Class
Mammalia
Order
Carnivora
Family
Canidae
Genus
Canis
Scientific Name
Canis lupus familiaris

Read our Complete Guide to Classification of Animals.

Podenco Canario Conservation Status

Podenco Canario Locations

Podenco Canario Locations

Podenco Canario Facts

Prey
Rabbits and ferrets
Main Prey
Rabbits
Name Of Young
Puppy
Group Behavior
  • Herd
Fun Fact
It has a peculiar bark that locals refer to as "the song of the rabbit".
Most Distinctive Feature
It has a distinctive bark.
Distinctive Feature
It can blush.
Temperament
Quiet, playful, and intelligent
Diet
Omnivore
Average Litter Size
6
Lifestyle
  • Herd
Origin
Canary Islands, Spain
Location
Canary Islands, Spain
Group
Dog

Podenco Canario Physical Characteristics

Color
  • Brown
  • Red
  • White
Skin Type
Hair
Lifespan
11-13 years
Weight
Male is 44-55 lbs. The female weighs 40-50 lbs.
Height
The male is 21-25 inches at the shoulder. The female is 18-22 inches.
Aggression
Low

Podenco Canario as a Pet:

General Health
Energy Level
Shedability
Trainability
Intelligence
Tendency to Chew
Size
Family and kid friendliness
Yappiness / Barking
Low
Separation Anxiety
High
Preferred Temperature
Warm climate
Exercise Needs
High
Friendly With Other Dogs
Moderate
Pure bred cost to own
$1,000
Dog group
Hound
Male weight
44-55 lbs
Female weight
40-50 lbs

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The Podenco Canario is a dog that has been hunting rabbits for centuries, and this breed still hunts in Spain. The term “Podenco” means “hound” in Spanish. A type of hound from the Canary Islands, the Podenco Canario is an ancient dog that originated in Egypt and came to these islands via the Phoenicians during their travels.

This breed of dog first appeared in the Canary Islands and has been preserved in its original form because of the island’s geographic isolation. The Podenco Canario is an affectionate and gentle dog that gets along well with children, though they do not enjoy playing rough games. Children should be careful when playing with these dogs because they may nip at them if they are too rough. Though they are very intelligent, strong, and independent dogs with a high prey drive, they are not necessarily good companions for small animals.

The Podenco Canario is a very stubborn breed of dog which requires a lot of exercise from its owners. It utilizes multiple senses when hunting, including sight, scent, and sound, to catch rabbits and ferrets. These dogs are pack animals by nature, and one of their favorite things in the world is being affectionate with people who are close to them.

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3 Pros and Cons of Owning a Podenco Canario

Pros:Cons:
The Podenco Canario is a very quiet dog and rarely barks. They typically only bark when they see something unexpected, such as a stranger or another animal.This dog is an independent and bright dog which can make it stubborn and hard to train. It’s not likely to come when called.
They are affectionate and loyal to their family and have a gentle temperament, making them good with children. They like to play with older children and can spend hours at a time playing together.They do not care for rough play, so they will nip at small children who tug on their ears or pull their tails. They are also big enough to carelessly knock an unsuspecting child over.
According to health surveys, the dog is in good health and is not predisposed to any genetic diseases or other physical malformities.The Podenco Canario has a high prey drive, meaning it may run off after small animals if given the opportunity. This can also mean that it is not a good dog for someone with small pets.

The Best Dog Food for Podenco Canario

The Podenco Canario is a very active dog that needs to exercise for one to two hours a day. They also have a high metabolism. This dog needs dry kibble with high protein, carbohydrates, and fats to have enough energy for daily activities. Any food given to the Podenco should have meat as the number one ingredient. We say that Hill’s Science Diet Dry Dog Food, Adult, Chicken & Barley Recipe is the best dog food for the Podenco Canario.

Size and Weight of the Podenco Canario

Podenco Canario in a Field
Ranging from 18 to 25 inches in height, Podenco Canarios are tall dogs.

©iStock.com/Wirestock

The male Podenco Canario stands an average of 21 to 25 inches at the shoulder. It weighs an average of 44 to 55 pounds. The female is on the smaller side with a height of 18 to 22 inches and a weight of 40 to 50 pounds.

Height (Male)21-25 inches
Height (Female)18-22 inches
Weight (Male)44-55 pounds
Weight (Female)40-50 pounds

Common Health Issues of the Podenco Canario

While relatively healthy, Podencos may suffer from issues with hip dysplasia and testicular tumors. They are also physically daring while hunting, so it is important to watch for injuries. Occasionally they will experience eye issues. Podenco Canarios have large ears, which means they are prone to ear infections.

Temperament of the Podenco Canario

The Podenco Canario is intelligent and independent with a lot of energy. They are very social but are agitated and nervous when not handled well. These dogs are often very enthusiastic and playful with their owners, which makes them fun companions. They’re affectionate and blush when excited. Podenco Canarios are usually quiet dogs that rarely bark unless something alarms them. Though they are smart, independent, and loyal, they easily become bored if they don’t receive enough activity. A good way to keep them busy is to train them, though they don’t respond well to being harshly treated or mishandled.

How To Take Care of a Podenco Canario

Maintenance And Grooming 

The Podenco Canario has a short coat that you don’t need to bathe often, though you can occasionally wipe the fur down with a cloth. They tend to be sensitive to harsh shampoos, so if you do bathe them, use a gentle shampoo.

It’s important for pet owners to remember that they should brush their pets’ teeth weekly to prevent the buildup and accumulation of bacteria. Trim their nails weekly. Also, dog owners should regularly check their pet’s ears for wax and dirt, which can cause pain and infection if not tended properly.

Training 

They can be stubborn sometimes and will take longer to learn a task if you do not treat them with patience and firm yet gentle training. It is important to use positive reinforcement during these sessions and speak calmly in a patient tone. Also, it is important to vary the training sessions so they don’t become monotonous. You can introduce them to dog sports to keep them occupied, and they will learn these rather quickly. Finally, it is very important to socialize them early on, and they can be somewhat reserved around new people and surroundings, so you should introduce them regularly.

Exercise 

They are very active dogs and require a lot of exercise, needing at least 60 minutes of daily activity, if not two hours. Podenco Canarios can run incredibly fast, so if they get loose, they could be gone before you know it. These dog breeds need plenty of room to roam and are best suited for an active family with a lot of yard space. They are best suited for someone who enjoys being out in nature.

Puppies 

When you bring them home, you should begin to train them as soon as possible. They need lots of instruction and playtime to develop their emotional health. In addition, they need to have contact with other dogs and new people, which helps them build courage in unfamiliar circumstances.

Podenco Canario And Children

The Podenco Canario is an excellent companion to have around children, especially older active ones, and likes to play, which makes it the perfect furry friend for children. However, the dog does not like rough play, so anyone who wants to pet it should use gentle motions instead of tugging its ears or tail. You should monitor and train smaller children to handle the dog properly, or it may tend to nip them.

Dogs similar to Podenco Canario

The Ibizan Hound shares some ancestry with the Podenco Canario. They are both rabbit-hunting hounds from Spain. It should be noted, though, that the American Kennel Club actually does not recognize the Podenco Canario as a separate breed from the Ibizan Hound, but the Podenco’s genetic pool was isolated for 500 years, making it purer than many accepted breeds.

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About the Author

After 22 years as a reference and teen librarian, I am now a freelance writer and novelist based in Cincinnati. I enjoy spending time with my family, hiking, photography, woodworking, listening to classic rock, and watching classic films--my favorite animal is a six-foot-tall rabbit named Harvey.

Podenco Canario FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions) 

Are Podencos protective?

The Podenco is not an aggressive dog. It is quite gentle, but it will bark to alert its owners of a stranger’s presence. This makes it good as a watchdog, but not necessarily good as a guard dog.

How much exercise does a Podenco need?

The Podenco is a very active dog and requires one to two hours of daily activity. Some of that activity needs to be brisk and high energy, like a long walk or run.

Are Podencos good dogs?

The Podenco is a great family dog as it is affectionate, pack-oriented, and loyal. It loves spending time with its family. On the other hand, they are known to have high energy needs, so if you are not willing to spend a couple of hours a day in interaction and activity with your dog, you might not be the best fit for this dog breed.

Should Podenco Canarios be allowed off-lead?

Podenco Canarios are known to have a very high prey drive, and when they see something they want, they will either take off or attempt to jump the fence. To do any work with these dogs, it is best to keep them on-lead at all times. Any off-lead work should be done in an enclosed space that is completely fenced in.

Why are Podencos abandoned?

The Podenco Canario is kept as a purely utilitarian hunting dog in Spain. Apparently, it is actually cheaper to start a new pack the next hunting season than to keep the pack fed and quartered during the off-season. They are also disposed of when they get too old or slow to hunt. There are currently no regulations in Spain surrounding the treatment of hunting dogs.

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Sources
  1. Wikipedia, Available here: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Podenco_Canario
  2. Wag Walking, Available here: https://wagwalking.com/breed/podenco-canario
  3. Pet Guide, Available here: https://www.petguide.com/breeds/dog/podenco-canario
  4. Galgo Pod, Available here: https://galgopod.org/what-is-a-podenco/
  5. United Kennel Club, Available here: https://www.ukcdogs.com/podenco-canario
  6. Hope for Podencos, Available here: https://www.hopeforpodencos.com/about-podencos
  7. Primitive Dogs, Available here: https://primitivedogs.com/podenco-canario-information-characteristics/?cn-reloaded=1
  8. Hope for Podencos, Available here: https://www.hopeforpodencos.com/the-plight-of-the-podenco

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