Country/Date of Origin: Portugal/1600s
There are three native sight hounds in Portugal, all closely related. Podengo ( meaning running hound) are divided by size. The largest, about twenty five inches at the shoulder is used mostly for coursing hares. The middle size Podengo, or Medio, is about 18 inches tall and is used to chase, catch, kill and retrieve rabbits. The smallest size called the Pequeno is a warren dog that is often used in concert with the Medio. It is sent down the rabbit hole to flush the quarry to the waiting coursers.
The two larger size Podengos are hunted singly or in pairs in the manner of Greyhounds. The Pequeno is traditionally hunted in packs like a beagle.
The Medio is a true sighthound. The largest size is believed to be the original form and it is thought that the other two sizes were bred down from it.
FCI Group: 5 (Hound)