The Portuguese Spaniel is a breed of dog originating from the Iberian Peninsula, known for its athletic and harmonious appearance, with a short and dense coat. They are curious and persistent dogs, showing enthusiasm in their hunting work and maintaining a close bond with their owners.
The breed has a medium size and a strong structure. The height varies between 52 and 56 centimeters, while the weight ranges from 16 to 27 kilograms. The life expectancy of the Portuguese Pointer is approximately 14 years. In addition, the breed belongs to Group 7 of the Fédération Cynologique Internationale (FCI), which groups pointing dogs.
Breed history in brief
The Portuguese Perdiguero has its roots in the Iberian Peninsula and is descended from the ancient Peninsular Perdiguero, an ancestral line of retrievers. Over the centuries, this breed evolved and adapted to the climate, terrain and hunting sport in Portugal, thanks to the selection carried out by local breeders. Its history dates back to at least the 12th century, when it was known as the "Podenco de muestra" for its outstanding ability in the sport of hunting. It was bred in the kennels of nobility and royalty, and also used in falconry.
The definition of the current traits and the promotion of the breed by a group of hunters and breeders began in the first quarter of the 20th century. Since then, the Portuguese Pointer has preserved its morphological and functional characteristics over the years.
The Portuguese Spaniel is a medium sized dog with an athletic and harmonious appearance. His eyes are expressive and cheerful, oval-shaped and dark brown. The ears are triangular, pendant and flat, slightly wider at the base than at the tips. The tail is of medium length and is carried straight, except when moving, when it rises horizontally or slightly above the topline.
Its coat is short and dense. On the head and ears, the coat is fine and soft to the touch, similar to velvet. The color of the coat may be yellow, either solid yellow or with white patches on the head, neck, chest, lower limbs, under the elbows and hocks, and on the tip of the tail if not docked.
The Portuguese Pointer is known to have an extremely gentle and affectionate temperament. They are strong, hardy and dedicated dogs, showing great devotion to their owners. Although they are calm and sociable, they can show a certain haughtiness towards other dogs. They are curious by nature and show persistence and liveliness in their hunting work. They always keep in close contact with the hunter, being enthusiastic and committed hunting dogs.
Common health problems
The OFA (Orthopedic Foundation for Animals) Canine Health Information Center (CHIC) recommends an eye screening exam at ages 1, 4 and 7, as well as a test to assess for hip dysplasia and autoimmune thyroidits (at ages 2, 5 and 8).
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