The history and origin of Podenco Canario is not absolutely clear, but it is generally believed, that it is an old breed with its roots in ancient Egypt and that it was imported to Canary Island by Phoenician, Greek, Egyptian or Carthaginian traders. The Egyptian ancestor of Podenco Canario is several thousands years old and there are many engravings and statues of dogs similar to Podenco Canario in the tombs of Egyptian Pharaos.
2) Canary Island
We can find Podenco Canario on all the Canary Islands, especially on the largest Gran Canaria and Tenerife. After the breed was imported to this area, they lived in isolation for many centuries and they naturally evolved into the breed as we know it today. Locals would use Podenco as a hunting dogs, especially to hunt rabbits, which were overpopulated on the island and the Podenco was great for this purpose and they were highly valued especially for their agility, speed, athleticism and strong hunting instinct.
But the Podenco Canario is not only a great hunter, but also very good and sensitive companion dog. These dogs are known for their gentle and emotional side, which is why they need very patient and kind owner, these dogs truly do respond well only to kind and fair treatment and harsh methods will definitely not work with these dogs. On the other hand, these dogs are also known for their playfulness and relatively lively character, which is why they will enjoy company of older kids who will play with them. But of course, the kid should be old enough to know how to treat dogs gently and with respect. Podenco Canario can also live with other dogs in the family, but smaller household pets, such as rabbits, might be problematic due to the Podencos high prey drive and ancestry of a hunter.
4) The Great Forgotten
Podenco Canario, just as other spanish Podenco breeds are sometimes reffered as The Great Forgotten or Invisible Dogs. It is because today, they are very often abused by spanish hunters, who only bred these dogs for hunting purposes and let them live in bad conditions, often times chained in tiny rooms. Sadly, these hunting dogs are currently not protected by spanish law and they are one of the most abused dogs in Europe. Luckily there are several organization in many European countries that are adopting these abused Podencos and finding them new homes. On of the best known organization for Europe, but also for US or Canada is Hope For Podencos and if you would ever consider adopting a Podenco, you should definitely check out their website hopeforpodencos.com
5) Other Podencos
I just mentioned in the previous point that there is not only Podenco Canario, but also other Podenco breeds. And it is true. All the Podenco breeds are quite similar, they might have slightly different coat or size, but they are similar and they are named and differ mostly based on the place where they live. To mention some of the other Podencos, there is the Podenco Andaluz, Ibizan Hound and Podenco Valenciano. In neighboring Portugal you can find Podengo Galego or Podengo Portugues.
There are actually two size varieties of Podenco Canario. The first one is medium sized Podenco Canario with height between 53-65 cm, which is 20-25 inch. This is the only height you can find in the official FCI breed standard, but a second smaller sized Podenco Canario has been recognised within the Canary Islands and it has height between 27-40 cm which is 10-15 inch. For both varieties, females tend to be slightly smaller than males.
The Podenco Canario lives in relatively warm region and it has a coat type according to it. It is a short, smooth and dense coat, preferably in red, white or most commonly in combination of these colors. The red can be in almost any shade, from orange to very dark and rich mahogany red.
Not only the coat of Podenco Canario is red, they also have reddish nose and skin. And interesting fact is, that very often, when the Podenco Canario is very excited, it seems that they are blushing.
Great fact is, that the Podenco Canario does not need almost any grooming. They need bathing only very rarely and brushing is also not needed very often. Even without any grooming at all, they will keep the coat in great condition. On the other hand, they do need daily longer walks, jogs and vigorous playtime to stay healthy, happy and in good condition. Just like with any other dog breed, you should also regularly check the dogs ears, eyes, nails and teeth and clip them or clean them if needed.
The Podenco Canario is known as rather healthy breed with only few health issues associated with it. The health issues that may occur are canine hip dysplasia, ear infections and problems with teeth and gums. The average lifespan is around 12 or 13 years.