Popular Hound Dog Breeds

Different dogs can be categorized into different categories or groups of dog breeds, Hounds are one such classification for dog breeds.Hounds are basically those dogs that help hunters in the hunt by tracking or chasing after animals that are being hunted. The following dog breeds have become famous for their abilities as hounds and are very popular around the world among hunters and dog lovers. You can find basic breed information and characteristics in this article if you want more details about the breed including health and disease information please visit our Dog Breed articles page for details on each of the dog breeds.

Afghan hound:
This coursing hound comes from the mountains and plains of Afghanistan, developing from two distinct types which are now almost entirely intermingled. There is some evidence that Afghan hounds had moved eastward along the trade routes and had originated in the hounds of the eastern Mediterranean. They were first imported in to Britain in 1894, but failed to make much of an impression until in 1907 a dog named Zondin appeared at shows and attracted the attention of royalty. Afghan hounds were imported into North America in 1926.

A dignified hound, but capable of playing the fool. It needs a lot of exercise and its profuse coat demands frequent grooming. Given proper care it is one of the most striking of breed and for this reason enjoys the mixed blessing of great popularity. The moment of the Afghan should be smooth and springy with considerable style. The dog gives the impression of strength and dignity combined with speed and power. The head is long and lean, the body strong and deep, with much muscled forequarters and powerful hind-quarters.
This breed originated in Zaire. It is unique as a dog which does not bark, though it is an accomplished yodeler, and, as a Spitz breed from Africa, still very close to its wild ancestors. Familiar as a guard, hunter, and companion in Western Africa for Centuries, it was unknown in the western world until two were brought to Britain in 1895; unfortunately both died shortly afterwards. It was until 1937 in Britain and 1941 in America that imports were more successful and breeding stock become established. The Basenji’s popularity has waned in recent years, with fewer than hundred dogs being registered in the UK in 1997.

This breed is remarkable for its great cleanliness, produced not only by its short coat but by its personal habits. Basenjis are lightly built, finely boned, aristocratic animals, tall, poised, alert and intelligent. The wrinkled head, with pricked ears, is carried proudly on a well-arched neck.
Basset Hound:
Basset hounds originated with the old French hounds, which were crossed with Bloodhounds to produce the dog which Shakespeare compared with Thessalian bulls. Bassets were developed in Britain from a litter imported in 1872 from comte de Tournour by Lord Onslow. They are slow-moving, Ponderous, deep-voiced pack hounds used for hunting the hare. Bassets bred for work and those bred for the show ring may nowadays be very different animals.

A short- legged hound of considerable substance, capable of moving smoothly. The head is big, domed, and heavy, owing a lot in appearance to the Bloodhound; the ears are long and pendulous. The body, from prominent breastbone to the long strong tail is of considerable length, and comprises a well-rounded chest, a broad, level back, and arched loins.
This English breed is the smallest of the pack hounds and is used for hunting the hare with followers on foot. By the time Thomas Bewick was writing his history of Quadrupeds in 1790, he was able to speak of these hounds as having been known for over 300 years. In those days there were two sizes of beagle, with the name “Vaches” being reserved for the largest variety. Eventually the smaller sort ceased to be used, but in America attempts have been made to recreate the pocket Beagle.

Certainly one of the most popular hounds and one which makes a cheerful companion. The Beagle is compactly built and should convey the impression of great stamina and activity, the standard asks for a short body, powerful loins, clean shoulders, and very muscular hindquarters. The tail is of moderate length, and is carried proudly, but not over the back.
The English Physician and scholar Dr john Caius, in 1953, was able to describe the Bloodhound very much in terms which are applicable today and was one of the first to make the mistake of attributing the source of the breed’s name to its ability to follow a blood trail. In fact the word is used in the same sense as in “blood stock” as a reference to aristocratic breeding. Even so the blood hounds reputation as a formidable tracking dog has obviously already been established and has survived to this day. The breed is one of the many English hounds originally derived from French stock.

The bloodhound is a powerful animal, large than most hound breeds. It is characterized by a thin, loose skin which hangs in deep folds, especially about the head, and the imparts that lugubrious expression for which it is so often caricatured. In temperament the bloodhound should not be quarrelsome with other dogs, as its nature tends to be reserved.
Until comparatively recently, when the Borzoi’s name was changed from Russian wolfhound, its origins could be easily and correctly assumed. Before the revolution every Russian noble man maintained a pack of these hounds, which were used n pairs for coursing wolves. It is amusing to note that early dog writers complained that the breed had become so effete that it was no longer able to pull down a wolf with out assistance.

A very graceful, aristocratic, long-legged dog possessing courage, muscular power, and great speed. The head is long and lean, the neck slightly arched and powerful, the back comparatively short, rising in a graceful curve at the loins, more marked in dogs than in bitches. Although the Borzoi has a hearty appetite, even an adult dog should be fed two or three modest meals a day rather than one large one, to avoid the risk of gastric torsion which is increased after bolting a large quantity of food.

Dachshunds represent a small and distinctive subgroup with in the hound group and have a group of their own in the FCI system. They are differentiated from other hound for their small size the work which they are intended and to some extend by the quarry they used to hunt. “Dachshund” simply means “badger dogs” but must not be taken to mean that these Diminutive hounds, whose history dates back to the 15th century, were used exclusively for the quarry. Larger hounds, weighting 13.6kg or 15.8kg were used for badger, while smaller ones were kept for stoat and weasel. It was not until 1915 that Dachshund was differentiate by its different coats. Since then the breed have achieved considerable popularity as a pet and show dog, and so inevitably perhaps, out side Europe it has become a very different animal from the one so carefully bred in Germany as a working hound.

There are three varieties of Dachshund, classed according to coat Long hair, Smooth hair and wire haired. Each of these occurs in a “standard” and a miniature form.

First and foremost a sporting dog, but equally adaptable as a house pet, a Dachshund will enjoy a surprising amount of exercise for a small dog. The general appearance is long and low, but with a compact and well-muscled body and have a bold defiant head carriage. The head is long the eyes of medium size, the neck long, muscular and clean, with no dewlap. The forelegs are very short, the lower arms slightly crooked. The body is long and muscular, the chest very oval and a breastbone prominent. The headquarters are full and broad, the tail high set, strong, and tapering.   
A breed which demonstrates in the most eloquent manner that some breeds have no need of improvement or to be altered in order to follow the latest fashion. Deerhounds of today are just as they have always been when having been produces out of the hounds used by Pictish hunters; they were used to bring deer to bay and were the prized possessions and constant companions of their masters. A good brace of deerhounds was almost above prize, credited with enough sufficient value to purchase the reprieve of an earl condemned to death. When the battle of Culloden (1745) put a virtual end of the clan system, the highland chieftains assumed exclusive ownership, so that the breed declined. It was reduce from ignominy by Lord Colonsay in around 1825. Now a days the breed is in every way comparable to the hounds which graced Scotland in those earlier days, and which were so remarkable both for their courage in the field and for their courteous dignity in the home. All that had change in the name of the breed, which was formerly the Scottish deerhound.

The general conformation is similar to that of the Greyhound, but of larger size in and bone and with a shaggier coat. Strong powerful with great stamina and an easy to train and make an affectionate and loyal pet. Its only demand is for plenty of exercise.
The elkhound is known in the both North America and Australia as the Norwegian elkhound. It is Scandinavian Spitz breed, which ahs arrived at its present distinctive appearance as a result of selection based on its ability to hunt the Elk, bringing the animal to bay while summoning the hunters with its shrill barking. Careful selection for very many years has made a Elkhound a versatile hunting dog for a variety of quarry, and it ahs not changed as a result of its popularity as a show dog and companion.
The Elkhound is a hardy sporting dog of a typical Nordic appearance and with a bold and virile nature. Its disposition is friendly and intelligent with great energy and independence of character and no sign of nervousness. In general appearance the Elkhound is commandant coat, pricked eras, and a tail curled tightly over the back. The head is broad in the skull, and the eyes are as dark as possible with a fearless and friendly expression.
There can be no doubt that greyhounds are of very ancient origin as early as 1016 canute’s  law for bade “mean persons” from keeping greyhounds and in 1408 Dame Juliana Berners used an older description of the breed in her book of St Albans.

 Various attempt have been made to explain the origin of the name which refers not to color, but its possible derived from the Latin gradus, meaning “rank”. Other look to the old British word grace, meaning “dog” or even Grais, meaning “Grecian”.

The greyhound possesses remarkable stamina and its long- reaching movement enables it to move at great speed; over a measure sprint it is probably the fastest of all dogs. The head is long and the elegant, the eyes bright and intelligent, the neck long and muscular. The chest is deep and capacious with the flanks well cut ups, the legs are strong, well boned and powerfully muscled. It is naturally clean dog, requiring minimal grooming, and makes a loyal and affectionate pet
Irish wolfhound:
Quintus Aurelius the Roman consul, recorded in Ad 391 that a gift of seven Wolfhound had filled “all Rome with wonder” the breed was obviously already well establish, but over the centuries the extinction of the wolf in Britain led to the breed’s decline so that, the mid 19th century, Stonehenge, a usually reliable authority, was able to record that it was extinct. However, in 1860s, Captain George Graham, a scot living in Dursley in Gloucestershire, set him self the task of recreating these massive hounds from the few remaining specimens he was able to gather together. So well did he succeed in this venture that the breed is now found in healthy numbers.

The Irish wolfhound’s most obvious characteristics are its great size, its commanding appearance, and the impression of considerable strength it conveys. The head is long, the Skull not too broad, the ears small and Greyhound-like in carriage. The neck is rather long, and very strong and muscular. The chest is very deep, the back rather long with arched loins, and the belly well drawn-up. The forequarters are muscular, the hindquarters long and strong as in greyhound, with large, round feet. This giant breed is not fully mature until the age of three years, so care must be given not to over exercise it throughout that time Particular attention should also be given to its diet, to ensure that its bones grow strong and healthy. Although adult Wolfhounds enjoy a good run off the lead, they do not require a vast amount of exercise but they do need a lot of space. Their good nature, intelligence and loyalty are legendary and they are very good with children.      
Although otter hunting in England dates back to the early 12th century, it was until the reign of Edward that a description of hounds which fits the modern breed was set down. For over 800 years otter hunting provided sport for the few packs with existed in Britain, by no means all of which were composed of pure-bred Otterhounds, but it was relatively recently that Otterhounds were declared responsible for the Otter’s sudden decline. When, in 1977 Otter hunting declared illegal in England and Wales, there was a danger that the comparatively few remaining pure-bred Otterhounds might be lost. However enthusiastic support for the breed encouraged the Kennel Club to accept registrations so that the hounds could be shown, as they had been in USA since 1907. Although they are not Numerous, Otterhounds seem to be safely established one more.

The Otterhound is a large, rough-coated, squarely built hound, with an exceptionally good nose and deep musical voice, the head is large and narrow , the chest deep, with rips carried well back, the top line  is level and the tail long and sickle-shaped. The legs are heavy –boned forelegs straight, hind legs well muscled. The feet large broad, compact, and webbed. Movement is smooth and effortless, with the feet only just coming off the ground, and the dogs strength and stamina have proved capable of carrying him for many miles. A big dog with a great love of water, the Otterhound makes a good-tempered but energetic companion.     
Rhodesian Ridgeback:
the European farmers who settled in south Africa in the 16th and 17th century brought with them a collection of dogs from which they developed a hound suitable for the condition and game encountered there, and which was also willing to as a guard. They did this by crossing their dogs with a native hunting dog which had a ridge on its back. The dog had to be tough, versatile, and easy to look after, and fit well in to the family. The breed, developed by the Boer farmers, was introduced into Rhodesia in 1877 by Reverend Helm who used it for hunting lions-whence comes its other name of African Lion hound.

The distinguishing feature of the breed is the ridge on the back formed by hair growing against the rap of the nap of the rest of the coat. The Ridgeback is a strong, muscular and active dog, symmetrical in out line and capable of great endurance with a fear amount of speed; its moment is similar to that of Foxhound. The head is of Flat and broad between the ears, which are set high and carried close to the head. The eyes are bright and colored to harmonize with the color of the dog. Forelegs are straight and heavily boned shoulders sloping, clean and muscular, and slightly arched loins. The tail is carried with a slight upward curve.