Meet The Hound Dog Breeds: Know Your Scent Hound From Your Sight Hound

hound dog breeds

Hairy Contrary Hound Dog Breeds

Super Sleuths And Daring Dashers Of The Doggy World

Two types of hounds make up this varied and fascinating group of intrepid hound dog breeds: Sight and scent hounds have the best eyes and noses of the whole doggy world.

Hounds contain some of the oldest breeds in existence today, a fact which amply demonstrates just how long humans have relied on dogs to help them hunt

Afghan Hound
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American English Coonhound
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Azawakh
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American Foxhound
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Basenji
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Bassett Hound
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Black & Tan Coonhound
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Bloodhound
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Bluetick Coonhound
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Borzoi
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Dachshund
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English Foxhound
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Greyhound
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Harrier
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Ibizan Hound
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Irish Wolfhound
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Norwegian Elkhound
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Otterhound
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Petit Basset Griffon Vendeen
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Pharaoh Hound
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Plott Hound
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Portuguese Podengo Pequano
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Redbone Coonhound
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Rhodesian Ridgeback
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Saluki
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Scottish Deerhound
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Treeing Walker Coonhound
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Whippet
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For our earliest ancestors, hunting with a spear or bow and arrow, was an effective if inefficient method of catching food.

The introduction of the dog into our hunting methods was a game changer for early humans, the dog’s superb sense of smell and exceptional speed acted as the perfect foil for humans abilities to plan and execute the hunt.

No one will ever know how our ancient ancestors first introduced early dogs into their hunting patterns, but it was the start of a close partnership which has endured for thousands of years and continues to this day.

No other animal, (with possible exception to the horse) has such an enduring and close knit affinity with human beings as the dog.

The Hound dog breeds recognised by the AKC today still reflect their earlier hunting roles and they come in two distinct types.

 

Hound Dog Breeds Come In Two Distinct Flavours

hound dog breeds
Saluki scanning for prey

Sight Hounds are the canine world’s swiftest runners and display great stamina, they will spot and pursue fleeing game. Many sight Hound breeds such as the Borzoi and Saluki stem from Arabia and the Eurasian plains, where wide open spaces and lack of vegetation to provide cover, meant prey could be pursued for many miles ahead of their human hunting partner.

For this reason sight hounds are usually quite intelligent as they have to act independently and make their own decisions.

Contrary to expectations and their sleek racing lines, sight hounds are not usually the most active of breeds and often don’t require as much exercise as you might think.

Sight hounds are usually calm and quite aloof, they can make great pets for people who are looking for a dog which doesn’t demand constant attention, although that intelligence can sometimes incorporate a wilful streak when it comes to training.

hound dog breeds
Beagles picking up the scent

Scent Hounds have a sense of smell far eclipsing anything we humans can imagine, these guys live in a world of aromas that is essentially another plane of reality.

Scent hounds evolved to pursue prey in close, dense and more difficult terrains such as forest, marsh or bush.

Some track prey by air scenting and some track by scenting a trail,  hence the big floppy ears and drooly jowls which are designed to trap scent molecules  and concentrate it via the nose.

There are numerous tales of these dog’s legendary noses and their abilities to track down quarry over many miles can seem almost supernatural at times.

Like the Sporting Dog breeds, scent hound breeds are usually friendly and good natured, this is especially true for breeds which were bred to hunt with a pack such as Beagles and Foxhounds.

The more solitary hunters like Basset Hounds often display a wilful streak and can develop ‘selective hearing'( especially if following a scent) which might make training a challenge and reliable recall infuriating.

Hound Dog breeds are a fascinating group to explore, they display such a diverse range of characteristics that there is usually a breed for most people who are choosing a dog. By and large Hounds are good natured and undemanding, but can show a wilfulness if asked to do something they don’t want to do.

 

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