Onwards and upwards!!
Pinging into the breed register
The Kennel Club has confirmed that the Portuguese Podengo will be transferred from the Import Register into the Breed Register as from 1st January 2008, which in turn will allow the Podengo to be exhibited at Crufts for the first time in 2009, writes Betty Judge.
This move proves that a breed does not have to be on the Import Register indefinitely. The application for recognition of the breed was applied for in May 2002, recognition was given on the 1st October 2003, and the Interim Breed Standard was granted from 1st January 2006. The Open Meeting for the PPC of GB was March 2004, and the Club was Registered Club by May 2005. While this looks pretty quick, I can assure you it seemed at times like forever!
It has been a long hard journey, with some considerable sacrifices, but also an enormous amount of pleasure and fun along the way too. Many special friendships have been forged especially in Portugal, Worldwide and at home. When this transfer was announced on the Podengo Discussion group, the response was amazing, with Podengo owners in Portugal and Worldwide sending their Congratulations and these Podengo owners are already making plans to come to exhibit at Crufts, and we will welcome their support with open arms. Hopefully, we shall see the biggest gathering of Portuguese Podengos of the small variety outside the homeland at Crufts 2009. When I decided to import this breed really for myself in my old age, little did I realise that the breed would take the British public by storm, as they did the first time the breed appeared at Discover Dogs in London in 2004.
Having imported around 40 Podengos of various bloodlines to ensure the breed has a wide gene pool to get the Podengo off to a good start in the U.K., and having shown them at every opportunity both at home and abroad, and having now bred several generations, the vision has worked. It is acknowledged Worldwide that the Best Wire Coat Small Podengos in the World are here in the U.K., and this is endorsed by the Show results in Portugal, World Shows and in Europe.
The first Smooth hair variety was imported in 2004, so at present is two years behind the wire-coats variety in the U.K., but now there are some absolutely top class specimens appearing, and I do hope that the judges will not overlook them, as some seem to have done so far, as with any smooth coated dog, what you see is what you get, no coat to hide under, and it is much harder to breed a top class smooth than it is a wire for that reason alone. Obviously, as numbers increase, the two coat varieties will, I hope be separated in competition as they are in Europe, but as the two coats are interbred in Portugal and elsewhere, you get the two coat types sometimes in litters, then this may be along way off when it comes to the Breed Register. My mother always said you should never wish your life away, but roll on January 1st 2008 !