Although the bow and arrow were put to good use, the game still had to be chased down and corralled in open country. This required great speed as well as stamina, something to which the Sighthounds became well suited. The Hound Dog Breeds all possess a lean, powerful body and long legs. Also, most breeds in the Hound Group have a deep chest.
When it came to the jungle, marshlands and densely forested areas, different Hound Dog Breeds were warranted. In addition, other Hound Breeds were developed to assist owners to follow a scent over difficult ground.
Hound Dog Breeds and their Purpose
Within the two general types of sight hounds and scent hounds, some have been developed to catch and kill their prey. And others to corner the game then howl loudly to attract the attention of the hunter. In addition, smaller dogs go to the ground where they hold the prey until it is dug out.
The size, speed, and strength of Hound Dog Breeds are so varied that the prey of some is the meek rabbit. However, others have tackled large, fierce animals such as wolf, boar, elk, and even the leopard.
Some even follow scent in water and many are the tale of Bloodhounds effectively trailing a scent over a period of several days.
Hound Dog Breeds have long been kept for their hunting skills, both by scent and by sight. However, some of the more fashionable among them have also been retained as something of a fashion accessory. As this may well have been to their detriment, those days are hopefully now in the past.
Now many are kept just as companion animals, but owners should never forget that all hounds retain something of their ancestor’s skills. Hopefully, they may continue to do so.
Of course, many of the breeds in the Hound Group carry out their work as part of a large pack. However, fewer and fewer packs of hounds are now used for hunting.
Hound Breed List of Dogs
Many of the sighthounds take part in coursing and racing and all the Hound Dog Breeds make a very splendid sight in the show ring. Also, several of them have changed but little over the centuries.
Hound Group Breeds make a spectacular sight with their many different coats, some as short as the smooth-haired Dachshund, others as long as that of the Afghan Hound.
The Dog’s in this group come in spectacular colors as well. In some breeds all colors are acceptable, others are restricted to specific colors or color patterns. However, the tri-color is particularly prominent.
Size and weight are also very different. The Miniature Dachshund should weigh under 11 pounds. The Basset, another one of the Hound Dog Breeds that’s low to the ground, is very much heavier. Of the longer-legged breeds the Borzoi, Deerhound, and Irish Wolfhound stand out as amongst the tallest of breeds. However, each and every one has its own brand of devoted supporters.
A Quick Look at Hound Dog Breeds
History: This group houses the most ancient of all known breeds; the first hounds, a Basset Hound, Beagle, Dachshund, Greyhound, Bloodhound, and Harrier, were all registered with the AKC in 1885. Initially, the hound breeds were classified as sporting breeds but were given their group in the late 1920s.
Most popular: Beagle, Ranked 5th in AKC rankings for 1999
Least popular: Otterhound, ranked 157th in AKC rankings for 1999
Tiny breeds (less than twenty pounds): Standard and miniature Dachshunds.
Medium to small-sized breeds (twenty to fifty pounds): Basset hound, Beagle, Harrier, Norwegian Elkhound, Basenji, Whipper, Petit Basset Griffon Vendeen.
Large breeds (fifty to eighty pounds): Saluki, Rhodesian Ridgeback, Pharaoh Hound, Ibizan Hound, Greyhound, English Fox Hound, Black and Tan Coonhound, American Fox Hound, Afghan Hound.
Giant breeds (more than eighty pounds): Scottish Deerhound, Otterhound, Irish Wolfhound, Borzoi, Bloodhound.
Activity level: Many hounds have plenty of energy to burn, but most are relatively calm when in the home. For example, Greyhounds are sometimes called “40-mile-per-hour couch potatoes” for their propensity to love taking naps. Scent hounds are more active than sighthounds.
Lesser-known Breeds That are Worth a Good Look
- Borzoi: This dog is a good-natured and gentle giant that’s happy to sleep the day away. It is perfect if you’re looking for a canine companion that’s manageable in a jumbo-sized package.
- Petit Basset Griffon Vendeen: Ignore the misinformation about this breed. This happy hound is not a wire-haired Basset Hound. This dog is more energetic and agile than the Basset, making it a good pet for active families. Also, its fuzzy face will melt your heart.
- Whippet: This dog is known as “the poor man’s racehorse,” According to the breed standard, the whippet is tougher than it looks, yet quiet and gentle. Whippets love to snuggle, and the smooth coat is as close to low-maintenance as any dog owner could wish for.