Also called the Portuguese Rabbit Dog, this native breed of Portugal is believed to have either descended from small Iberian wolves, or from tan-coloured sighthounds like the Pharaoh Sighthound. They come in three sizes: the Grande (large) which weighs from 44 to 66 pounds and has a height of 22 to 27 inches; the Medio with a weight range of 35 to 44 pounds and height of 15 to 22 inches; and the Pequeno (small), weighing from 9 to 13 pounds and has a height range of 8 to 12 inches. It has a straight muzzle, and the chest is muscular and prominent. The eyes are small and oblique-shaped. It has ears that are large, upright, triangular and very mobile. It has a strong and muscular neck, and well arched toes with strong pads. It has two coat types as well – smooth and wirehaired. The wirehaired variety is made of medium long and shaggy hairs while the smooth coat is made of harder and longer hairs than that of most other sighthounds. Colours range from yellow, fawn, or black with white markings.
The Portuguese Hound is a lively and intelligent dog, used for hunting, ratting, guard work and companionship. They are fast, agile and active dogs that are courageous and efficient especially when out on the hunt. At home they are affectionate and devoted. This is a healthy breed but not recommended for apartment living. Like most other breeds, they need a lot of daily exercise and stimulating activity. It can live for about 12 to 14 years.