The AKC Hound Breeds

Hound Breeds

A Bloodhound ready for work

The hound breeds has a wide range of shapes and sizes, starting at the low-to-the-ground Dachshund and moving up to the very large Irish Wolfhound with every size in between. Many of these hound dogs have hunting as a common bond in their heritage so they have that ability to track by scent and stamina to track for every long distances without tiring.

"Baying of the hounds" - There are hound dogs that “bay” instead of bark so when you are choosing a dog, you might want to check on that if a “baying hound dog” is not what you (and your neighbors) had in mind.

Generally, hound dogs make wonderful house pets. This includes the Beagle, Bloodhound, Greyhound and Whippet to mention a few. Anyway, here’s the hound dog alphabetical list:

Afghan Hound
This breed presents itself with a profile like no other. You can’t miss the uniquely dignified, majestic appearance of the Afghan. Royalty loves to pamper this king of the hound breeds. The Afghan is basically gentle and mellow, wary around strangers but polite, and tries to cope with older children in the family. It is difficult to train. This is a dog that loves to hunt and run, especially after small animals. Running or jogging needs to be part of her daily exercise. The Afghan needs lots of attention and interaction with her family to keep her happy. They can be reserved, nervous, stubborn or very quiet depending on the individual dog.

American Foxhound
The Foxhound is a tradition among the wealthy and “established” folk in American history including George Washington who went out “riding to the hounds” for entertainment. The American Foxhound stands tall and bays after chasing down its’ prey. The Foxhound is a hunting dog and not well known for family living. It can do well indoors after adequate exercise and is somewhat playful and even a bit affectionate. The Foxhound gets along well with other dogs and people but if following a scent, will not acknowledge any commands whatsoever. “The baying of the hounds” is typical for the hound breeds.

This is a very primitive breed originating in Africa. The breed is known for it’s inability to bark or bay. Instead, it makes a low howling, gurgling sound, and not often. It is a fairly high energy dog that needs exercise but settles down for play and family matters. The Basenji is not overly affectionate, not fond of other dogs, house pets or strangers, and definitely is not a watchdog with that vocal matter of hers! She does not shed and is a good candidate for folks with allergies. If you want a dog that will warn you of intruders or a house fire, don't’ choose this dog.

Basset Hound
The poor basset is one of those breeds that is a slow-moving, easy-going, member of the hound breeds that gets along with children, loves family and loves to sniff and roam around. He doesn’t need a lot of exercise. A little walk on leash and some play in the yard will do. This guy is generally friendly with other dogs and pets. Children must be careful not to put weight in the Basset’s back, as it is long and can damage easily. This breed bays when excited and tends to drool.

Beagle’s are among the friendliest of family dogs in the hound breeds group. They tolerate children very well and are affectionate, friendly with other dogs, strangers and pets. The Beagle is not easy to train so if you’re short on time, don’t get one. They atr a tracking dog and if left off leash will roam and track a scent and disappear into the night so they need a fenced yard with a locked gate. They love to howl and bark but otherwise are a fine house pet.

Black and Tan Coonhound
This breed is not your everyday house dog. He’s a trailing dog that loves the outdoors and to get on a scent and run with it. This dog can run for many miles at a time. However, he is a calm and polite family pet when allowed enough exercise. The dog is quite tolerant with children but at the same time is independent and stubborn and may not please the very young child by it’s actions. It doesn’t care much for strangers, though is not overly aggressive with them. The Black and Tan is a pretty good watchdog. It may bay and howl and does drool.

The Bloodhound is a giant gentleman of the hound breeds. This guy is calm and very easy-going. He’s a big “mush” around the house, a lovable friend with a sad face that likes tummy rubs, loves kids, is tolerant with them, but probably isn’t as playful as little kids would like. The Bloodhound is very affectionate and adores his family but just isn’t playful. He is first and most a tracking breed with a nose that can trail anything and that’s his #1 job in life. He’s a fair watchdog but not a guardian. This guy is just too sweet and gentle.

Handsome Borzoi
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This is a beautiful breed from Russia that is a fine, loyal house pet and loves to run outdoors. The breed gets along well with most children though is not very playful. The dog can be timid and reserved around strangers. The breed, a sighthound, is very fast and will travel for miles, sometimes getting lost. A true candidate for the hound breeds page. Always keep your Borzoi on leash. They are quiet and reserved around the house and seldom bark even outdoors. This breed needs to be well socialized as a puppy and since they are sensitive and hard to train, training should also start as a puppy and continue on. These dogs are not dumb, just slow to catch on.

Here’s the smallest of the hound breeds. This is another scent hound but on a small scale. The Dachshund has a lot of energy and is quick. It can go into burrows after badger and pull them out for the kill. They make good little house pets and get along well with children as long as the kids respect the dog and are careful not to harm the dog, especially it’s back and spine. It’s reasonably affectionate and playful but the main love is hunting game in the field.

English Foxhound
This is one of the hound breeds group and is the traditional pack hound that ran on the hunt with royalty. The dogs were bred to keep up with the horses and sniff out the fox on the run. This breed bays, from which we get “the baying of the hounds.” The Foxhound has a lot of energy and needs equal exercise, as most hound dogs do. It can serve as a house pet and does need constant companionship with either other pack dogs or humans. However, this is not your true companion dog. He’s not a watchdog or guardian and is not that easy to train.

One of my favorite of the hound breeds is the Greyhound. The breed is very laid-back and quiet around the house and just a wonderful family pet. They are obedient and loyal to family, though not the best watch or guard dogs. Greyhounds are raced for about 3 years, then retired so you can get a great 3 year old that’s well mannered, house-trained and just needs to learn to go up and down stairs. They do well in apartments, as they have lived their lives in small;; cages. This dog is very sensitive so never scold it or have a family squabble around it. She's rather affectionate, playful to a degree, gets along with people and dogs.

Harrier’s come from England and look like the Beagle and Foxhound. They are foremost hunting dogs with lots of energy but they are also good with children and quite tolerant. The Harrier is a good family pet that likes people in general. She is reasonably affectionate and playful and can do well with other family pets and dogs. This is one of the more versatile of the hound groups, in that she’s a home body and watchdog as well as an avid hunter full of energy.

Ibizan Hound
The Ibizan is an unusual dog in the hound breeds group. It is a sight hound with a sharp sense of smell and hearing. It comes from Ibiza in the Balaeric Islands and is a quiet, loyal, mild-mannered family dog. It likes to chase small animals and barks while on the chase. The Ibizan has moderately high energy and equal exercise needs but would do fine in an apartment as long as she gets her walks in daily. She’s rather friendly with other people, dogs and pets. She’s a good watchdog.

Big Irish Wolfhound and a small mutt.

Irish Wolfhound
This is the largest of the hound breeds, standing 30 to 32 inches at the shoulders. That’s nearly 3 feet tall. Sometimes called the “gentle-giant,” this big guy is a sweet, easy-going love that is a loyal family pet with fairly low energy and exercise needs. The Irish Wolfhound even gets along fine with other people, pets, dogs and kids. The only reason this guy is not highly popular is because he’s so big and not practical for most people to own

Norwegian Elkhound
Elkhounds are actually large game hunters, such as moose. They come from Norway and thrive in cold weather. One wonders how they got into the hound breeds section... sounds more like a working breed. Anyway, they are quite bold, independent and playful. This is a people dog, with no problem meeting strangers. The Elkhound does not generally care for other dogs or household pets, nor is it much of a guard dog. This breed must be heavily socialized as a puppy and onward and training needs to also start around 4 weeks old and continue onward. As long as the dog gets adequate training,. socialization and exercise daily, it makes a good house pet and companion.

Otterhounds were originally used to hunt otter in streams and locate their dens. They are very much big water dogs, reaching weights up to 115 pounds. This breed was never considered a family pet but does make a good companion. The dog is well mannered and friendly in the house, very affectionate with the family and does well with kids. They get along well with most people and strangers. It is basically a friendly hunting dog.

Petit Basset Griffon Vendéen
This little 30 pound pooch comes from France and was used to hunt rabbits over rough and bramble filled terrain, thus the shorter legs and thick coat. It is friendly, playful and happy as a family pet, gets along well with children, other dogs, strangers and some dogs. The PBGV is always looking for fun and excitement and is ready to go on the hunt. This is a lively dog that needs plenty of exercise and attention from the family.

Pharaoh Hound
The breed goes back to ancient times and comes from Malta. It was originally a sighthound and rabbit dog. She, as with moist of the hunting hounds, needs a lot of exercise and is also a kind and gentle family pet. She’s known to be good with children and most other dogs, though reserved and wary of strangers. She is a fairly good watchdog, not a guard dog and is pretty easy to train.

The Plott is a product of Joahnnes Georg Plott of Tennessee, USA. This dog originated in Germany and Mr. Plott brought a few back to his home in Tennessee. The dog is a scent hound and was used for locating bear and wild boar, something not found in Tennessee. The Plott’s make fine family pets and are good with children. However, other pets, strange people and dogs lurking about can be a problem. The Plott is a pretty good watch and guard dog and may chase them all away or put up as fight at least. Otherwise, this is a playful and affectionate breed where family is concerned and he does warm up to strangers rather quickly.

Rhodesian Ridgeback
The Rhodesian Ridgeback is one of the hound breeds that is both a scent and sight hunter from Africa where his job was to hunt lion. He’s also known as the African Lion Dog. The Ridgeback is a good family dog that gets along well with children and is a great watch dog and guardian of his family. He’s reasonably playful and affectionate and good with other house pets as a rule. He does all right with cats if raised with them and has a problem with other dogs of the same sex.

A Saluki lost the race
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Saluki’s were used by the Arabs to track down fox, rabbits and gazelles in the deserts. They are fast, noble and clean animals. For this, they were allowed to sleep in the Arab tents, something of a rare privilege. The Saluki are gentle and good with children but not very playful so young kids don't’ get much from the friendship. It can be timid, sensitive, shy and quite wary of strangers. Training must be done in an upbeat, positive manner with no negatives in their lives.

Scottish Deerhound
This deer hunting, stag coursing guy from the hound breeds is a quiet, laid-back family-loving indoor pet. His exercise requirements are average and must be met. He is a sighthound that loves to run after anything that moves so you have to keep him fenced and on leash. Around the house, he’s well-mannered but not a watch dog or guardian as he’s just too peaceful for that. The Deerhound gets along with other dogs and is reasonably affectionate. This is a very sensitive dog that is not that easy to train so there could be a problem there.

The Whippet is one of my favorite of the hound breeds. It is extremely sensitive both physically and mentally and needs plenty of exercise and play time. The Whippet is a wonderful family pet that gets along well with children, is patient, quiet and tolerant and quite affectionate too. She’s a fairly good watchdog but falls short on the guardian thing. She does very well with other pets and dogs. This is one friendly pooch.

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