The Portuguese Podengo is an ancient hunting breed whose origins can be traced back more than 5,000 years to northern Africa. There are three types of Podengo: Podengo Grande, Podengo Medio and Podengo Pequeno. Within each type are two varieties: smooth-coated and wire-haired.
The Medio, or medium-sized, is a popular dog used for rabbit hunting and appears on the logo of the Clube Português de Canicultura (Portuguese Kennel Club).
The medium Podengo is among all the three sizes, the one where the genetic patrimony is more perfectly stabilized, allowing dogs that are constant in type, colour and temperament, within the guidelines described in the photos and books of the old times. The maintenance of the ancient characteristics with no need of great changes proves that the Podengo perfectly fulfils the objectives of its owner thanks to its physical and moral qualities. Today, the Podengo has succeeded in claiming its place in Portugal and in the world, thanks to numerous hunters and breeders.
Breeding Podengos is a passion because they are intelligent, healthy, rustic, lively and friendly dogs. An adaptable, happy dog, the Podengo thrives indoors or out, in heat or in snow and is equally at ease in all diverse circumstances.
The owners of "de Veiros" kennel are Altino Passadinhas, Henrique Passadinhas and Nuno Passadinhas, father, son and grandson respectively - three generations of Podengo breeders!
The year 1972 was the official start of the kennel when Henrique decided to organise the breeding of Podengos; Altino was already using Podengos for hunting. the affix "de Veiros" was registered and he started registering the dogs already existing in the kennel and acquiring others.
The first dogs bred by the kennel were Medium Podengos in smooth coat and rough coat varieties, however the maintenance of the two varieties was difficult, so they decided to breed only rough coated Podengos. Today the kennel only ever has a maximum of 12 dogs or bitches at any one time.
The puppies are born in Veiros (the hometown) and until eight weeks old they are raised by Altino who uses his time, patience and experience to evaluate the puppies and to nurture them according to their individual needs. Back in Cacém, close to Lisbon, Henrique and Nuno make the final selection: the puppies are chosen for hunting, showing and the best among them for breeding. The choice of each dog is made in two distinct phases, evaluating in each phase different characteristics. In the first phase the beauty (what does the dog look like? Does it fit the Standard well?) and character (Temperament is of upmost importance here - how does the dog act socially with humans/other dogs? Dominant or submissive? Active or lazy?) are noted. In the second phase the dog’s moral and functional qualities are assessed.
The Podengos de Veiros are appreciated in the show ring for their balanced temperament. A good example is Portuguese and Spanish Champion Zero of Veiros, a dog that is close to the breeding objectives of the Kennel, having a magnificent body, good behaviour in the ring, without any fear when facing new situations, without any aggressive behaviour with people or with other dogs, and at the same time presenting a picture of a good hunting dog and an excellent stud dog. Zero de Veiros has been awarded innumerable BOBs, and can claim 2004 - European winner in Barcelona, 2003 – BIS Podengo Special Show, 2002 – BIS all Portuguese breeds and 2001 – World Winner in Porto amongst his wins.
The Kennel has other wins under its belt, such as a four time winner of the Best Breeder of the year in Portugal, Portuguese Champions, German Champions, Spanish Champions, Finnish Champions, International, European and World champions; BIS in Podengos Special Shows (among more than 100 Podengos), and BOB (Medium Podengos Wirehaired).
The dogs "de Veiros" are also Hollywood stars, the Podengos having appeared in Three wishes, Zeus and Roxanne, Soccer dog, Dante’s Peak and Second hand Lions.