All Things Poddie

If you are reading this, you are considering adopting/fostering one of these marvellous dogs. First thing to do is Google Podencos and find out all about their background and what their life was likely to have been like before they come to you. If this makes you even keener to help (of course it will!), then read on.

Before you read further, it is very important to read and understand the following, and if the tone offends you, then I am afraid we make no apologies, we are here to find good homes for dogs and we simply do not have the time nor inclination to pander to people who overestimate their own abilities to the detriment of the dogs:

  • Your new addition may exhibit any or all of the behaviours listed below. We did not make them up, nor are they unusual, you MUST be prepared to deal with anything they throw at you, if you’re not, please don’t read any further.
  • However experienced you are or think you are, you are NOT the dog whisperer, please do not read our information and shrug it off because you think that somehow your presence in the dog’s life will instantly cure it of any fears, hang ups or issues it has. If you have a magic wand, please tell us that at the time of applying and we will inspect it for effectiveness!
  • You don’t know these dogs better than us, regardless of the fact that you have “had dogs all your life”, “always had rescues”, dealt with every kind of behaviour imaginable” and “never given up on a dog so not about to start now”. Believe me, we have heard it all and sometimes it turns out to have been “BlahBlahBlah”
  • We have a dedicated trainer and also a very active support and advice group as well as your own allocated Support Buddy. We expect you to ask for advice and help before an issue becomes a problem. We do not want you to blindly seek advice and training tips from other agencies without consulting us, nor to try and implement training of your own devising rather than ask for help.
  • We do not have a bank of spare homes sitting available, ready to step in at a moment’s notice if you feel it isn’t working out. If you decide to give up on the dog, you MUST understand it may take us some time to make alternative arrangements for it, so you MUST be prepared to provide a safe and suitable environment for it while we find somewhere else.
  • If you read our information, sign our contract, foster or adopt one of our dogs, then tell us you can’t cope for reason A/B/C, etc, you create a whole world of extra work for the PINS team, all of whom work and have to juggle this with our own lives/dogs/families, consequently we are likely to be very (justifiably) impatient with you.
  • We do not need to know if you have mental health issues (90% of the Team do!), it is not our business, however, we do rely on you thinking about your own capabilities/limitations very carefully before applying to adopt/foster one of our dogs. Taking in any new dog, will involve extra work, cleaning, stress, etc and probably a level of sleep deprivation. If you think this will impact badly on your mental health, please do not proceed further. We rely on you to be mature enough to make that call before landing yourself in a situation that you can’t deal with, but that should have been forseeable to you.
  • If it is a puppy - it will chew, pee, bark, whine, refuse to sleep, want to play bitey face at 3am, then ultimately, IT WILL GROW UP AND STOP BEING CUTE! Anyone giving up on a puppy for any of these reasons (or possibly any reason) is not fit to have a
  • dog.
  • Finally, we have NEVER had a dog that didn’t find it’s perfect home through us. We have NEVER had to return a dog to Spain or worse. We have had to rehome several from adoptions that didn’t work and EVERY TIME that dog has become a loved companion and asset to it’s new adopters. That means that the problem, if there is one, ALWAYS lies with the human(s), not with the dogs. If you don’t agree that this will always be the case, then please don’t proceed further.

What is a pet pod like?

Highly intelligent. Hugely affectionate. Cheeky. Loyal. Funny (HaHa and peculiar!). Energetic (in between snoozes). Agile. Prone to thievery! Did I mention Cheeky!?

When he first arrives he may also be scared, nervous, undernourished and generally under par, but they very quickly respond to a loving, secure environment and a consistent routine.

As he may have been used for hunting, he will possibly have a high prey drive and be able to hear a mouse hiccup half a mile away! On walks, he may do the “poddie pounce” into the verge at inopportune moments and, if you’re very unlucky, will come out of the grass with a small rodent in his mouth!

When he settles in you can expect him to learn how to open cupboards, steal your socks, hoover everything off your kitchen counters, stalk birds in your garden, dance for you when you give him a rump rub, encourage your other dog into all sorts of mischief and watch every morsel of food you put in your mouth. But above all, he will convince you he is a giant lap dog who must sit on your knee and give your ears a good clean before rearranging your hairstyle!

Pods are HUGE characters. They are sighthounds with attitude (and brains!).

First Introductions

Be prepared! Prior to the arrival of your dog, our transporter will contact you directly with an ETA for delivering him. We strongly recommend that you spend a few pounds and come prepared with a collar and tag with your name and contact number to immediately put on him. A good strong harness is recommended too: collars can be “slipped”, and a harness provides extra security. We advise you to be especially careful when transporting your dog from the car to your home. Podencos may have issues with passing through doorways and so may need to be carried in at first.

The best way to think of your new foster dog is as a puppy. Most Podencos have very little experience of the basic things in life such as walking on grass, noises from household appliances, heavy traffic and meeting and socialising/playing with people. They don’t know how to react in the right way and are often frightened.

Every experience (new or otherwise) that they have with you should be a positive one and you will need to allow lots of time and have lots of patience to help him thrive and become confident.

Position his bed in an area that provides respite from the noise and foot traffic of your home. Under the stairs or in a faraway corner are good options.

Close the door to any out-of-bounds rooms, such as bedrooms and garages to set out rules from day one. This approach is preferable to giving him free rein at the start, only to then have to teach him not to enter certain rooms.

When your pod arrives in your home, he may want to sleep for a day or so. He may be hungry and thirsty so offer water and a small, simple easily digestible meal. He may have an upset stomach from the travel, the change in food and the stress of the new environment. Show him his bed and keep fuss to a minimum for the first day or so. It is essential that children are taught how to behave with your dog; he will not be used to cuddles or caresses and may think any attempt to do this will end up in an attack on him. Designate his bed as a “safe place” where children are not allowed to disturb him. Never leave other pets or small children unsupervised with the new dog until they are used to each other. If you plan on crate training your pod, leave the crate open so that he can go in whenever he feels like it in case he gets overwhelmed. Leave him to settle in for a few days, with him leading interactions with the humans in the house. Speak to him often but don’t make demands that he interacts with you. Remember he only speaks Spanish, but he’ll learn quickly! Never approach him from behind or with your hand reaching out above his head. Never grab him by the collar or wake him suddenly from sleep. Some Podencos will learn to trust you very quickly but others may have been very abused and could take a long time to be confident that you won’t hurt him. To see him gradually learn to trust is one of the most wonderful things you will experience.

Lead walk, preferably also with a harness, your dog around the house and garden for the first few weeks. Let him explore at his own pace and get used to the new sights and smells. Many of the dogs have never been on a lead so therefore may be nervous. We advise you not to take your dog walking anywhere unsecured for a couple of weeks. Foster dogs MUST be kept on lead at all times when outside in an area that is not secured by a 6 foot fence or higher.

N.B. IT IS A GOOD IDEA TO ENTER INTO YOUR ADOPTION PROCESS WITH THE THOUGHT IN MIND THAT YOUR NEW DOG MAY NEVER BE RELIABLE ENOUGH TO GO OFF LEAD. As with many other sighthounds, it may be that the hunt instinct will always kick in meaning they may never be perfect at recall. While many pods, with patience and the right training, may be able to be trusted off lead. We suggest if this is a deal breaker for you, you do not offer to adopt a Podenco.

Treats are good as an encouragement and of course plenty of praise. Some pods, however, will be wary of treats as they may have been used to coax the dog close enough for a hunter to grab him in his previous life. Introduce him to short periods of solitude. Many dogs are anxious if left alone. By giving him periods of five to ten minutes alone, you show him that solitude is never permanent, and at the end, he is always reunited with you. Give him/her a treat when you put him in the crate, so he associates the brief periods of isolation with a positive stimulus. NEVER use a crate as a punishment. Always seek advice on crate training prior to using a crate for your dog.

Note any stimuli that cause anxiety, fear or aggression. These may include other dogs, certain sounds, newspapers, men, women, walking sticks, children or cats. We do not know everything about your dog’s background, but if he has been neglected or badly treated in the past, you can usually spot the signs such as flinching. If he shows fear toward any particular object or person, slowly introduce him to that source of fear while on the lead but never force your dog to do something he is unhappy about; this can lead to someone being bitten. Reward him for remaining calm and walk him away if he becomes anxious or distressed.

If you have another dog, it is important that they are introduced in the right way. Do not allow your dog to go charging up to your new pod. You will know your own dog best and whether he would be best introduced in the garden or inside the house, but make sure your pod is secure in case he takes fright and tries to bolt. Once in the house, make sure your pod can go to his safe place without the other dog following if he chooses to.

Try to ensure you keep the home a calm, quiet place at least until he is used to you. Raised voices and general banging and clattering may scare him. Make sure the first time you use the vacuum, washing machine etc; he has somewhere to go away from the noise if he wants to. Even the television will be new and possibly frightening to him at first.

Cats (AKA Hissy Wizards!)

Generally most pods will be able to be trained to live with a cat, some will actively love their new cat buddies, some will, however, not be able to resist chasing them if they see them running outside, so keep that in mind even if your pod is good with your cat in the house. As they are so intelligent and generally driven to please, they learn quickly that the cat isn't prey and is "mummy's cat!" Unfortunately, cat tests done at the shelter or perrera are often not a good indicator that a pod will continue to ignore a cat in it's new home. They are frightened, overwhelmed or even shut down when they have just been rescued, so most won't react to the cat they are "tested" with. However, once they've lived with you for the magical 3 weeks (no idea why but it's always 3 weeks) they may begin to get cheekier and pushier with the cat, so be prepared. It may be measure of their confidence growing and them beginning to realise they now have a place of their own, so they start to push the boundaries and may go into 2nd puppyhood.

Take sensible precautions when you first introduce them. If your cat normally has the run of the house and appears soon after your pod arrives, don't panic about shutting it away, but don't actively arrange a cat test for the first couple of days until your pod is recovered from the journey and a bit settled. Pods should be on the lead, preferably with 2 connections to collar and harness and ideally be muzzled so that if the worst happens and he gets free, he won't actually hurt the cat. Get someone to sit in a room with the pod under control in this way and bring the cat in, either carrying it or, if it's confident, under it's own steam. Don't take the dog into the room

where the cat is as it may feel cornered and always make sure the cat has an escape route. Carrying the cat in then putting it on a raised surface a distance away from the dog to start with is ideal. Stay with the cat, stroking it and reassuring both, while the pod gets to watch. Let the cat leave whenever it wants but be prepared if it jumps down and runs that the pod may try to chase. Let the pod sniff your hand where you have stoked the cat and give treats and praise if he's not behaving wildly. The person holding the pod should also have treats and distract the pod's attention from the cat to them a few times during the interaction if possible, praising every time the dog looks away from the cat. Build on this at the pace that suits cat and dog, a lot will depend on the cat too, whether it is dog-savvy/friendly or scared. Until you are sure they are happy together, always either keep the dog on lead when the cat is in the same room, and/or muzzled. If you have to leave them both in the house, make sure they are in separate rooms - you need to be 100% confident that they are pals before you can leave them the run of the house together.


Pods can jump! And dig! And climb! Your pod may not do any of those things once he is settled and bonded with you, but some will always need to have a securely fenced, minimum 6’ high fenced area in order to be off lead. And some will jump that! Until you are certain of his recall, don’t take chances. A long training line or a horse’s lunge line is ideal in the garden so he can have a bit of freedom but you can still have control. If he smells rabbits or similar on the other side of the fence, recall training may go out of the window! Your home checker should have identified any potential escape areas in your garden prior to your pod’s arrival, but assess any area thoroughly first if you intend to let him off lead. We won’t rule out an adoption application if you don’t have a secure garden area, but we will need to be confident that you will never allow the dog out unsupervised without a lead or long line.


Pods are as energetic as you allow them to be. If you want to hike up a mountain or go an 8 hour walk, then your pod will happily join you. They are surefooted so cope well with terrain that other sighthounds may struggle on. They are often excellent at agility and cani-cross, although many are not keen on water. There isn’t a need for this level of exercise though, and if you can only manage a couple of shorter walks a day, then as long as you are giving your pod lots of mental stimulation, this will be perfectly fine. Pods learn by watching – one of only 3 breeds that can do this, the others being Poodles and Alsatians. So snuffle boxes, treat treasure hunts, puzzle toys and training to do new things are all excellent ways of engaging your pod’s brain, after which he will need a long snooze to recover!

If your pod has a prey drive and tends to pounce on invisible rodents, a bungee type lead is perfect for helping prevent dislocated shoulders!

If you live in town, he will quite possibly be very scared of traffic, so short gentle introductions to walking in urban areas will be essential. Walk early or late when traffic is light, and away from main roads until he gains in confidence. When a pod takes fright, he will leap and wriggle like a Tasmanian devil and the last thing you want is for him to get free and run into traffic.

Toilet Training

Your pod will probably not be toilet trained, but will almost certainly take to it very quickly, especially if you have another resident do to show him what is expected. You need to learn from your pod’s behaviour when he is giving you a cue that he needs to go out.

Many pods come over with a hang up about going to the toilet when on lead. Some will avoid pooing at all costs when on lead. This is down to them having been expected not to stop to relieve themselves when “working”. You may find your dog hardly even wees through the day, then does a HUGE one before bedtime. This is normal and will start to subside as you give praise when they “go”. If you have one of the ‘I’m-not-pooing-on-a-lead’ brigade, use a long line in the garden so that he can get away from your prying eyes to do his business! Bear in mind that your dog will have an adjustment period of getting used to the new diet he is enjoying too, so tummy upsets are not uncommon in the first days. As with all other things, if your pod experiences problems getting the hang of any aspect of toilet training have patience, stay calm and don’t hesitate to ask the PINS team for help and advice. He will get there in the end.


The dog will have been fed on a kibble in Spain so will be used to this, but some may need tempting to eat. A high quality wet food and/or kibble is recommended. If your pod is under-weight, feed small meals at regular intervals, rather than one or two large meals, allowing their systems to cope with the change. For underweight dog’s puppy milk or puppy food is a useful supplement.

Rescue dogs tend to be very, very hungry! Don't feed pets in the same room together until they are showing no aggression or jealousy at mealtime. A dog that has been starved, or forced to give up food to other dogs in the past, may be very protective over the food that you give him.

Adjustment Period: Please read the following VERY carefully and assume that it WILL apply to your new dog.

Allow several weeks to adapt to his new surroundings and up to four months to fully adjust (older dogs or dogs who have been severely mistreated may take longer than this). Fostering/adopting a rescue animal is a real commitment. Sometimes rescue dogs may exhibit behavioural problems that could include house soiling, destructive behaviour, submissive urination, clinging behaviour, licking behaviour, barking/fear aggression, separation anxiety and hiding or cowering in bed. All rescue dogs will be overwhelmed when entering a new home.

Most of the time, negative behaviour quickly stops as the dog becomes used to its new surroundings, and the PINS team are on hand to help.

**It is not advised that you let the new member of your household free rein of the house when you are out. **

Those are some of the situations you may possibly encounter with your Spanish pod. For the majority however, after an initial few days of adjustment you will find you have a truly wonderful dog that wants nothing more than the touch of your hand, the sound of your voice and the love of your heart. You may find it hard to believe that someone in the past treated your new friend with cruelty and malice. It is difficult for us also but, thanks to you that will never happen again.

Please do not assume that you will be able to magically sort any and all issues overnight. Many people brush over these “warnings” thinking it simply won’t apply to their new addition, then it becomes an issue if the dog won’t stay in a crate/cries all night/fights with the resident dog/is too scared of one or more of the humans to want anything to do with them. PLEASE EXPECT THESE THINGS AND MAKE SURE YOU HAVE THE WHEREWITHAL, DETERMINATION AND PATIENCE TO STICK WITH A TRAINING PLAN TO HELP THE DOG OVER HIS ISSUES. IF YOU CAN’T MAKE THAT COMMITMENT, PLEASE DON’T ADOPT A PODENCO FROM US. REMEMBER, BY ADOPTING HIM, THESE BECOME YOUR RESPONSIBILITIES AND IF THE ADOPTION FAILS BECAUSE YOU UNDERESTIMATED THE WORK THAT WOULD BE INVOLVED - THE FAILURE IS YOURS, NOT THE DOG’S.

Insurance & Microchip

The need for insurance is essential as the rescue does not have excess funds for vet’s bills. Insurance should start 14 days prior to adoption so that the dog is covered from their day of arrival in your home. PINS are willing to reimburse insurance costs for fostered dogs if required. A copy of the certificate must be provided to PINS. Alternatively you may agree to be responsible for all and any of the dog’s vet bills whilst in your care. PINS will pay the excess for fostered dogs, but please check with one of the team prior to a vet’s visit, unless of course it is an emergency.

When your pet arrives, his chip will be registered to the country he came from, Spain, and therefore it is essential for all pets to have their details registered in the UK as soon as possible. In the event they do get lost they can be returned to you and save a lot of worry. It can and does occasionally happen that they escape ... remember, everything is completely new to them.

To register the chip into the UK:

You can call or submit online chip details to PETTRAC 08006529977. Alternatively, try PETLOG Call 0844 4633 999, but they are sometimes very difficult to get through to. They are also slightly more expensive at £16 as opposed to PETTRAC £13. Once registered your dog will go onto the UK database or AVID: It is essential that the microchip is registered in the UK as soon as you adopt your dog.


If you are fostering your pod, thank you! He or she now stands a much higher chance of finding a forever home.

If you are the forever home, thank you again and enjoy your perfect new companion.

Thank you from all of us at PINS

We are here!

If you need to talk to us about anything, please contact us, message us on Facebook, or email