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Dog breeds

Hound group

This Group comprises dogs that have been developed over hundreds, and sometimes thousands, of years to assist humans in hunting fur-bearing game for both food and sport. It is a large group and the breeds which it encompasses are diverse in size and appearance. Some of the hounds rely on their powerful scenting abilities to track game, others use their highly developed vision coupled with great running speed to discern and pursue their prey.

The sight-hounds (also known as gaze-hounds) boast the fastest, tallest and most ancient of breeds among their number. They rely on their keen eyesight to spot their quarry which they then run down with incredible swiftness and agility. They generally share certain characteristics such as an aloof, dignified demeanour, a streamlined body shape and gracefulness of movement.

Scent-hounds possess great physical stamina and a single-minded determination which enable them to hunt for long hours over difficult terrain and through thick cover. Many of the scent-hounds traditionally hunt in packs, eg Foxhounds and Beagles, and nearly all ‘give voice’ as they hunt. Some, such as the Elkhound, are not required to take down quarry but to hold it at bay for the hunter. All tend to be of solid build and robust constitution.

Having always been bred for function hounds are generally quite sound in health and temperament. They all require a considerable amount of exercise and the hunting instinct is never far below the surface.

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