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Podenco Canario: The Ancient Egyptian Hunting Breed

Podenco Canario: The Ancient Egyptian Hunting Breed

If you are looking for a rare hunting dog breed, then the Podenco Canario would be just perfect for you! These exotic and slim dogs would make amazing companions on your hunting trips, but they will also cuddle up to you on the couch when you come back home. As this is a rare dog breed, there are many things that you probably don’t even know about these canines. First of all, you have to know that there are different types of Podenco dogs.

Despite the fact that all Podenco types have similar traits, they can differ substantially in size and appearance. However, what makes them stand out is that they all have oversized prick ears. From the significantly bigger Podenco Andaluz to the practically dachshund-shaped Podenco Maneto, Pods come in various sizes. Since it can often be challenging to verify their true pedigree, they are frequently all referred to simply as Podenco. 

You will have a vivacious, humorous, and devoted companion in a Podenco Canario. The Podenco Canario can be the ideal pet for you if your household has room for an active animal. You might need to take a few precautions or significantly alter your lifestyle if you decide to bring a Podenco into your family. However, you will receive a devoted friend in exchange who will value your company above all else.

They are best suited for active families that live in the country. While they can live in harmony with other pets, they work best with dogs of the same breed or size. These dogs don’t enjoy rough play, and they aren’t afraid to fight back. That’s why they don’t mix well with small children, but older kids and teens love them!

History of the Podenco Canario

Podencos are frequently mistaken for Basenjis and Pharaoh Hounds. In the graves of ancient Egyptians, including Tutankhamen, similar-looking primitive types of dogs with large ears, long tails, and hound shapes have been discovered. One legend says that this dog has descended from ancient dogs brought to the islands in antiquity from North Africa by the earliest human settlers. 

Others believe that these breeds of dogs were first introduced across the Mediterranean Sea by Phoenician traders, a prehistoric culture with origins in Lebanon. As early as the eighth century BC, they brought them with them when they traveled the coastal trade routes from Africa to Spain. 

Some of the island-specific Podenco-type canines were supposed to have evolved as a result of the dogs being thought to have landed on the offshore islands. These included the Podenco Ibicenco, Podenco Valenciano, and the Podenco Canario, from the Canary Islands.

In rural areas of Spain, the dogs continued to thrive as hunting dogs, and many breeds of Podenco dogs began to emerge since each region’s hunting grounds were different. Compared to the Galgo, another popular Spanish hunting dog, they are more sturdy and suitable for harsher terrain. 

Even though the Podenco is still employed as a hunting dog today, they are frequently treated more like tools than pets. They are frequently mistreated, ignored, and left behind. They frequently hone their survival skills on the streets or are given to high-kill shelters. There are now numerous groups working to provide permanent homes for Podencos both nationally and globally as awareness of their predicament grows.

An adorable dog on a walk wearing a sweater

Source: Instagram (@dog_from_venus)

Personality & temperament 

With the right care, the Podenco Canario breed can be friendly and playful. They are calm and quiet, and rarely bark. They will bark, however, if they see a stranger or an intruder, which makes them a good watchdog. This is a bright dog that can develop a strong link with its family, but they need a lot of activity and mental stimulation. 

Podencos, who are frequently referred to as the clowns of the canine world, will keep you entertained. They are very playful and frequently try anything to grab your attention. Podencos also enjoy socializing and playing with other dogs. This breed works best with knowledgeable owners rather than inexperienced ones. It also doesn’t want to spend a lot of time alone.  

The dog is more wary of strangers, but with the right socialization and training, it shouldn’t become hostile. Some of these dogs may grow anxious and act agitated if they lack stability, training, and socialization. It is best suited for owners who will take it hunting because that is what it was bred to do. It enjoys having a role to play or a task to complete. 

However, their instinct may tempt them to chase the tiny pets away even if they can be domesticated with other animals. Therefore, a Podenco Canario puppy should be introduced to all household pets when they are still young. 

Podencos are devoted to their owners. They are amiable and adore cuddling. They are best suited to active people or families because of their high energy levels and daily activity requirements. The idea that Podencos are untrainable has been perpetuated by hunters in Spain. Although they can exhibit stubbornness, they are intelligent. Your Podenco will soon be rolling over and giving paw with the right instruction and dedication. 

Are they good family dogs?

We already know that these dogs make amazing hunting companions, but are they good family pets too? Yes, they are. Podenco Canarios are incredibly sociable and devoted to their families. The dog is ideal for a home with children if it receives the proper socialization, especially if they are raised together. Due to their complementary high levels of energy and fun, they can make the ideal pair and provide each other with a playmate. 

Although the Podenco Canario is very friendly when playing with children, it dislikes physical play and may bite or flee if a child pushes its boundaries, depending on its socialization and training. Make sure to supervise your children at all times and to teach them appropriate ways to interact with and play with Podencos. No matter how well they get along, you should never let small children and dogs unsupervised.

With other canines, Podenco Canario gets along well and enjoys their companionship. You don’t need to be concerned that your dog won’t get along with other puppies or turn violent if they receive the right socialization. However, things could get a bit complicated with birds, hamsters, or rabbits. This is not the best dog for a household with little pets, because they could see them as prey. They may start chasing them due to its high prey drive.

Caring for a Podenco Canario

Pods typically have a short, silky coat or one of the wire-haired varieties. They are pretty low-maintenance, and not hard to take care of. Typically, a weekly brush out is enough to keep the skin and coat healthy and lustrous while removing any molting hairs. You don’t have to give them a bath too often, every couple of months will be fine. In addition to that, make sure you are trimming their nails, cleaning their ears, and brushing their teeth to avoid dog dental problems.

The hunting prowess and hard ethic of the Podenco Canario breed are where their intelligence shines the most. However, their playful nature can make training a little challenging. The optimum strategy is positive reinforcement. This dog will remain interested with praise and treats. These dogs need to be socialized as soon as possible because they have a tendency to be skeptical, reserved, and shy around strangers. Introduce unfamiliar people and places to your from puppyhood.

Because these dogs are energetic, all of your training time will be wasted if you don’t give them the exercise they need. Podenco Canario will need to work out for 1-2 hours per day. A daily walk in the dog park won’t cut it for these energetic dogs. Podencos need to go on runs and hikes in nature. They are also great at dog sports. The best exercises for this dog include agility, racing, and obedience competitions. 

The Podenco Canario should be fed premium dog food that is rich in protein and other nutrients. The recommended amount is between two and a half and three and a half cups of dog food. Depending on the dog’s size, age, degree of activity, and metabolism, this can change. Watch your dog’s calorie consumption and weight level because they are prone to obesity.

Health problems

As this is a hunting dog breed, it’s no surprise that these canines are generally healthy. Most of them will live a long and healthy life with an average lifespan of 11 to 13 years. Make sure your dog lives a healthy lifestyle, with a balanced diet and enough exercise.

However, that doesn’t mean that this dog can’t get sick at all. They are prone to different health conditions. Some of them are back problems, anesthesia sensitivity, bloat and more.

The Pon is also prone to SRY-Negative xx Reversal. This is an extremely rare genetic disorder that is commonly seen in Cocker Spaniels. The affected female dog will develop either testes or ovotestes instead of ovaries. To avoid this ovotesticular disorder, make sure your breeder did the best DNA test possible on his puppies.

It’s a known fact that these muscular dogs are also prone to hip dysplasia. This can cause loss of mobility and devastating pain. As hip dysplasia is a hereditary condition, best DNA test a dog before bringing him into your family. Symptoms can include stiffness in the hind legs and pain.

A Podenco Canario dog on a beach walk with his owner

Source: Instagram (@dog_from_venus)

Where to get a Podenco 

The American Kennel Club only acknowledges the Ibizan Hound as a Podenco type. If you do decide to engage with a breeder to bring home a puppy of an Ibizan Hound or another breed of Podenco, make sure you do your homework.

Be cautious to look for a trustworthy breeder who permits you to see the puppies before buying. The price of a Podenco puppy can range from $500 to $1,000 if you decide to buy from a breeder. Ibizan Hound puppies, on the other hand, can cost between $2,000 and $2,500 because they are an AKC-recognized breed. 

Your puppy’s purchase price serves as your primary initial outlay, but there are some additional expenses to make when the puppy arrives at your home. A crate, food bowls, bedding, a leash and collar, and a carrier, all of which will cost you about $200, are necessary equipment. Additional criteria include physical examinations, deworming, immunizations, neutering or spraying, chipping, and blood testing, all of which would cost you about $350. 

If you want to adopt a stray Pod directly from Spain, seek out rescue organizations. They will help you bring one to the United States. But you should always check the reputation of the organization you choose. These particular dogs must go through health examinations, be transported securely, and their temperaments should have been appropriately evaluated. 


Now that you have learned so much about this dog breed, you know that they aren’t the type of dog for people who live in apartments or don’t enjoy being active. The Podenco Canario is a hunting breed of dog, so don’t underestimate this dog’s ability to run for hours without a break. 

This sturdy dog is not the right choice for couch potatoes. This rare breed is an active dog that needs to have its exercise needs met, or else it may start to show destructive behavior. Because this dog hunts, he also needs early socialization. They have a strong prey drive and could see anything as an opportunity to hunt. 

Their short fur and smooth coat don’t need much maintenance at all but make sure you are on top of their pest control. There are different types of Podencos, and as we already explained, grooming could be a bit different for each of them. There are different coat colors available too, so you have options in terms of the Podenco Canario appearances too.

They haven’t yet been recognized by the American Kennel Club, which means they can’t take part in dog shows. But the United Kennel Club did recognize them. But if you want an ancient dog breed and a unique pet, and you don’t mind working out for 1-2 hours a day, then this smart breed may be a great choice for you. 

My name is Katy and I am 27. I love to travel and you would be surprised how good I am at karaoke. 🙂 Passionate dog lover and a "mother" to a beautiful toy puddle named Zara. I work as a volunteer in a local shelter and I am a veterinary assistant helping our four-legged friends every day.