The Hound dogs are well know as fantastic hunting dogs, bred primarily to seek and hunt prey!
Hound dogs hunt either by sight or sound, but all have one trait in common, stamina. These dog breeds include the Sighthounds, Scent Hounds, and those that hunt by both sight and scent including the Spitz Hounds
Many Hound dogs make very good companions. The Scent hounds for example, are very much like rambunctious children. Yet some of the hound dogs would rather be hunting than anything else. These dogs some may seem a bit distant and aloof, that is part of their nature. Focused hunting dogs, especially the Spitz, can have a very hard time sitting still or paying attention. Their minds are actively seeking and they are instinctively ready for the chase.
Hound dogs can make reliable sturdy pets, with exceptional stamina. But Hound dogs are hound dogs, so no matter which breed of hound dog it is, keep in mind that these are instinctual hunting dogs. Once a hound dog catches a scent or sees a moving target, it will readily pursue it with no bounds. For their safety, hound dogs, will need to be kept on a leash or securely fenced. Many should not be trusted around small animals.
Hound Dog Backgrounds
The Hound dog breeds include some of the oldest dog breeds. They were primarily developed for use in hunting. They hunting dogs possess strong ancestral traits, renowned for their exceptional scenting abilities, great speed, or keen sight. Traditionally hound dogs lead the hunt rather than waiting for the hunter’s directions. Hound dog breeds include the Sighthounds, the Scent hounds, and other hound types such as the Spitz breeds.
Sighthounds, originating in the Middle East and Asia, are the world’s oldest types of dogs. They were bred to hunt by sight and course prey. Depicted in history as a nobleman’s companion, they are powerful, swift, and have keen sight.
Scent hounds were developed in Europe and North America to track and pin point prey, and then alert the hunter. Consequently, some of these hounds can be very vocal.
Other hound dog breeds hunt by sight and scent, and they also possess a listening ability . These hounds are diverse bunch and include the Spitz hounds. The Spitz can be easily identified by their pricked ears, a ruff around the neck, and a tail that curls up and over the back.
Hound Dog Breeds: Information
Inherently, hound dogs are physically athletic and sturdy. Hounds with an acute sense of smell were used to follow a trail and track down prey. Hounds with incredible stamina were used to relentlessly run down quarry. Once a hound dogs quarry was pinned many hounds developed a unique sound known as baying, which was used to alert the hunter.
Beyond these traits however, there are no other generalizations that can be make about these hunting dogs. They are diverse in physical appearance, size, and behavior, so the merits of each dog needs to be considered individually.
Popular Hound Dog Breeds
When thinking about Hound Dogs, the Beagle is perhaps the dog that first comes to mind. The Beagle is one of the most popular pet Scent hounds. Some of the other well known Scent hounds include:
- Basset Hound
Others Scent hounds that are also strongly favored as pets include:
- Petit Basset Griffon Vendéen
- Black and Tan Coonhound
- English Foxhound
- Plott Hound.
Sight hounds are fast and streamlined, with the most popular being:
- Afghan Hound
- Irish Wolfhound
Some of the other Sight hounds that make fine pets include:
- American Foxhound
- Norwegian Elkhound
- Scottish Deerhound.
Scent and Sight Hounds, Spitz Hounds:
Some of the other most popular hound types are:
- Rhodesian Ridgeback
- Ibizan Hound
- Pharaoh Hound
The Basenji is a Spitz hound that is highly skilled in both sight and scent. Some other well known Spitz dogs are:
- Finnish Spitz.
Dog Care Tips for the Hound Dog
Hound dogs breeds vary in their behaviors and in the ease of keeping them. Some traditionally hunted in packs, so get along very well with people. Others are so wired to the hunt that they have difficulty focusing on obedience training.
The physical features of the Scent hound are said to enhance their hunting abilities. They are solidly built for tenacity in pursuit, with long ears and facial wrinkles to help catch and direct scent. The nose of the Scent hound is it’s key attribute. Scent hounds are generally friendly and often exuberant. They do have special health issues. Their long ears and loose wrinkly skin are prone to infections and need to be cleaned regularly.
The Sight hounds are the runners of the dog world. These dogs are always ready for the chase, but they do separate work from leisure. When hunting they are very focused, but will easily relax when at home. They need to have a purpose and lots of exercise. They will chase after anything, so need to be leashed or securely fenced. As large breed dogs they tend to be short lived. They have very deep chests so are subject to bloat, and they are sensitive to anesthesia. Today some breeds, like the Greyhound, are used to compete in races. Others, like the Bloodhound, is used in police work to track missing persons or fugitives.
Scent and Sight Hounds, Spitz Hounds:
Like the Sighthound and the Scent hound, the other types of hounds are instinctively focused for the hunt. They were bred to hunt and that is uppermost in their minds. They too will independently pursue a quarry. Many of these dogs make good pets, but keep in mind the traits they were bred for. They can be independent and seem somewhat aloof, with their focus on tracking and chasing.
Featured Image Credit: Edoma, Shutterstock