Some have incredibly keen noses. Others are known for their
sight. A fair amount of them are food thieves. And many of them are skilled hunters.
You guessed it, we’re talking about dog breeds in the Hound Group. And there are a lot of them.
From the food-loving Beagle to the speedy Whippet, the hounds sure are a talented group of dogs. Check out our photo gallery to learn more about each one.
first look, the Afghan Hound seems to be all about elegance, but beneath that
long, dazzling coat is a true Hound. Bred to hunt hare and gazelle, most Afghans have a strong instinct to run and chase. And the breed is no couch potato, so be prepared to
make a commitment to his exercise needs. Proper maintenance of his trademark coat also requires devotion.
thought of as a companion dog, the American Foxhound is one of the oldest and least known American breeds. He’s frequently found as a
member of a pack owned by a fox-hunting club, but he can easily be a best friend
to an active person or family who wants a regular exercise buddy. The typical Foxhound weighs between 65 and 75 pounds and can be
gentle and friendly.
is a rare sighthound from the Sahel region of Africa, where she has long been a
prized companion of the nomadic Tuareg people. The breed usually forms a
strong bond with a single person or family and tends to be indifferent toward
people outside her family. You may think the Azawakh looks underfed, but she
was bred for running and her thin skin is supposed to stretch over her muscular
Though he is known as the African Barkless Dog, the typical Basenji is by no
means silent. He crows, growls, screams, chortles and
yodels to communicate. He also can seem catlike
in his cleanliness, curiosity and independence, so be firm, patient and consistent during training sessions.
Hounds can be a little too much for some
people, but the Basset Hound's short legs
slow him down and he usually gets along with children, cats and other dogs.
Just don't fall for his sweet, pleading eyes or you'll find yourself giving him
lots of treats.
Beagle has long been one of the most popular breeds for families, thanks to her
compact size (20 to 35 pounds) and typically happy, outgoing nature. It's important to keep in mind that this scenthound is ruled by one thing: her nose. If she smells something good, she might escape from your yard or dig through the trash to find the scent — especially if it's food. Make use of her scenting abilities by giving her plenty of opportunities to sniff while walking or hunting, or train her in nose work or tracking.
Black and Tan Coonhound
The Black and Tan was the first Coonhound to achieve AKC
recognition and is famous for his cold nose, which is the ability to find and follow an
old trail. He is a large breed, ordinarily standing 23 to 27 inches tall and
weighing 65 to 100 pounds, and when he's not enjoying a long, meandering on-leash walk, you can find him snuggling on the couch with his family.
Even though he's droopy-eyed and resembles someone in need of a serious face-lift, the
Bloodhound can be an affectionate dog with a keen sense of humor and strong
character. The breed is renowned for his man-trailing ability, as
evidenced by his appearance in modern crime movies and television shows. And
under certain circumstances, courts will accept his testimony.
Like the Bloodhound, the
Bluetick Coonhound is a cold-nosed dog, meaning he’s good at finding and
following an old trail. The
Bluetick typically stands 21 to 27 inches tall and can weigh anywhere from 45
to 80 pounds. He is generally friendly, happy and good with children. Most Blueticks love hunting, but if that's not your thing, he also can enjoy long hikes, tracking or search and rescue.
With her long legs and flowing coat, the
elegant Borzoi looks like she just stepped off the runway. It's hard to believe that such a glamorous breed was bred to course wolves and other game. She has long been featured in art —
especially during the Art Deco era — and she remains a
favored breed of the aristocracy and royalty. The Borzoi is a giant breed,
weighing anywhere between 55 to 120 pounds and usually standing 26 inches at
the shoulder or more, so it's good that she's ordinarily quiet, clean and
Chart Polski is a muscular yet lean sighthound who can be fast and loves to run. Typically
26.5 to 31.5 inches tall and weighing 65 to 95 pounds, he is one of the bigger
and heavier sighthounds. This breed isn't for everyone, the Chart Polski can be highly protective and
territorial and requires an experienced owner who can commit to consistent training and socialization.
Cirneco dell’Etna is a rare sighthound not often found outside Italy. The breed
was depicted on Sicilian coins minted as early as the 3rd century B.C., and it’s
believed that the Cirneco descended from dogs who were left behind by the
Phoenicians along Sicily’s coast. While he is mainly a companion dog today, the
Cirneco was once well-known for his silent hunting
methods, allowing him to sneak up on prey.
Dachshund comes in two sizes, three coat types and a wide variety of colors and
markings, so it goes without saying that there’s a Dachshund out there for
almost everyone interested in this breed. Typically, the miniature weighs 11 pounds or less and the standard
weighs between 16 and 32 pounds. Dachshunds are known for seeming fearless to the point of recklessness
and usually have no qualms about following their prey into underground burrows or
English Foxhound has been bred for more than 150 years and is primarily a pack
hound used for fox hunting. Though he is rarely thought of as a companion dog, he
can be a best friend to an active person or family who wants a regular running hiking buddy (overall health permitting, of course). He's the
rarest of the foxhound breeds and usually weighs between 60 to 70 pounds.
Nicknamed the 40-mph couch potato, the
Greyhound is the fastest of the dog breeds. Despite his large size (commonly 50 to 70
pounds or more) and speedy reputation, the breed is usually quiet and gentle and can adapt to almost any lifestyle or home. In fact, most Greyhounds seem happiest when they're snuggling on the couch with their favorite people.
Often mistaken for an oversized Beagle or a
small English Foxhound, the Harrier is a rare scenthound used to hunt
hare and fox. Dogs of the Harrier type are thought to have been brought to
England after the Normans invaded in 1066. She is
primarily a pack hound, but that does not mean she cannot make a good companion
dog. The Harrier is typically very energetic and, being a pack animal, she is
often fond of canine company and is best suited for a home where she won’t be the
you think the Ibizan looks like he belongs in ancient Egypt, you aren’t alone.
His resemblance to depictions of the Egyptian dog-god Anubis is one of the
reasons he is often thought to be an ancient breed. Nicknamed Beezer, the
Ibizan Hound originated on Spain’s Balearic Islands (Ibiza being one of them)
where he was used to hunt rabbits. While his appearance is proud and exotic, the
Ibizan Hound's personality is typically affectionate and comical.
you look at an Irish Wolfhound, you’ll see a dog of tremendous size and
commanding appearance. He typically stands 30 to 35 inches tall and weighs
between 105 and 180 pounds. But do not let his name and size fool you — he usually has a quiet and gentle disposition. Unfortunately, since he's such a giant breed, he has a devastatingly short life span of only 6 to 8 years.
Norwegian Elkhound has a long history in Norway as a watchdog, flock guardian and big-game hunter. When it comes to hunting, his job is to track elk, bear or
moose, and then keep the animal at bay by barking at him until the hunter arrives. That being said, Elkhounds can be barkers, so keep that in mind if you have neighbors.
his rough, messy coat, the Otterhound might look like a mutt at first glance,
but he’s actually a sighthound who was bred to hunt otters in Great
Britain. After hunting otters became illegal in 1978, the breed nearly
disappeared, and today the Otterhound is extremely rare. He is a water-loving
dog and has large, webbed feet to facilitate swimming.
Peruvian Inca Orchid
Peruvian Inca Orchid is an exotic-looking breed who hails from the Andes. It is said that
Spanish conquistadors found these small- to medium-size sighthounds living amidst orchids in Incan homes and called them perros
flora, which means flower dogs. Her name in Quechua, the language of the Incas,
translates to dog without vestments, or naked dog. The PIO comes in two coat varieties: hairless and coated. The hairless has smooth, supple
skin with a narrow patch of hair on top of her head, sort of like a mohawk. She
may sometimes have a little fuzz on her forehead or sparse tufts of hair on her
lower tail and feet. The coated variety has a single
coat that can be short and smooth, long and curly or long and straight.
Petit Basset Griffon Vendéen
Petit Basset Griffon Vendeen is a a French scenthound built to
move through heavy underbrush in pursuit of rabbits. The breed’s name describes him to a tee: petit
(small), basset (low to the ground), griffon (rough-coated), Vendeen (the area
of France where he originated). For short, he is called the PBGV, Petit, Griff or Roughie.
The Pharaoh Hound may look like a breed you'd see next to an ancient Egyptian king, but his origin is somewhat of a mystery. He may have originated in Egypt as early as 3,000 B.C., but modern genetics suggest that the breed was created in the 17th century in Malta. Nowadays, the Pharaoh is typically playful, intelligent, and
goofy. He's known for chasing moving objects at every opportunity, and can flat-foot jump a
6-foot fence. He generally weighs between 40 to 60 pounds and isn’t above
stealing unattended food.
Bred in the mountains of western North Carolina, the
Plott Hound is one of the few American-grown dog breeds. The typical Plott is, first and foremost, a hunting dog, but as long as you can satisfy those instincts, then he can be a great family dog.
Portuguese Podengo is a lively, Portuguese sighthound who comes in three sizes: Grande: 44 to 66 pounds; Medio: 35 to 45
pounds; and Pequeno: 8 to 14 pounds. He was bred to hunt rabbits and other small animals and can
jump incredibly high. Alert and intelligent, this hound can be an excellent watchdog and usually makes it his business to know what's going on around your house.
you’re a fan of Where the Red Fern Grows, you know that Little Ann and Old Dan
were both Redbone Coonhounds. The Redbone is a cold-nosed scenthound, meaning
he’s good at following an old trail. He can be uncharacteristically laid-back for a Coonhound, but he is still best-suited
to a country home where he can hunt and howl to his heart's desire.
The Rhodesian Ridgeback is named for the area of Africa from where she originated (now the Republic of Zimbabwe) and for the distinctive ridge of hair that runs down her spine in the opposite direction from the rest of her coat. But, not all purebred Ridgebacks have that telltale ridge, so don't be disappointed if yours doesn't have one. The large and independent-minded breed often weighs 75 to 80 pounds and needs an experienced owner who can train her properly.
of breeds claim to have an ancient heritage, but the Saluki has the DNA
evidence to back her up: She is one of 14 breeds to show the fewest genetic
differences from wolves. According to the Guinness Book of World Records, the
Saluki is the world's oldest dog breed, believed to have originated in Egypt
around 329 B.C. Bred to course hare and gazelle over desert terrain, she typically has a strong instinct
to run and chase.
Scottish Deerhound is a noble and commanding animal — standing 28 to 32 inches or more
at the shoulder and weighing anywhere from 70 to 130 pounds — but he also can have a silly side. Easily suited for a castle or condo, he's normally quiet and
calm in the house as an adult, but he can be more than a little rambunctious as
a puppy and adolescent. The Deerhound has two great joys in life: chasing
things and hanging with his favorite humans on the couch. Try to provide him with both those things, so you can share a happy life together.
were originally used to hunt jackals, gazelles and desert hares in North
Africa as a companion to the nomadic Berber people. Though he might seem indifferent,
this sighthound tends to bond fast and hard with his family and can be very difficult to
rehome. Since he is built for speed, he has thin skin stretched over a frame of muscle and bone. Though it may be tempting with his slender frame
(normally 35 to 65 pounds), do not overfeed him and make sure he gets regular
exercise to stay fit.
Thai Ridgeback is a primitive dog, sometimes known as a pariah dog, with distinctive
physical traits: moderate size (often 35 to 55 pounds), prick ears,
wedge-shaped head, wrinkled forehead, squarish body, long legs and smooth
coat. He can have as many as eight different ridge patterns formed by hair
growing in the opposite direction from the rest of his coat. Patterns can include
whorls, circles and even the shape of a guitar. If you've never owned a dog before, this breed isn't for you. He needs an experienced owner who can deliver consistent training and socialization.
Treeing Walker Coonhound
Treeing Walker Coonhound stands out for his drive, speed and competitive
nature. His natural instinct is to hunt, and he needs plenty of activity to be
happy. Even if you don’t plan to hunt with him, consider taking him on long hikes (allowing him to sniff to his heart’s content) or getting him involved in
tracking or search and rescue. The Treeing Walker stands 20 to 27 inches tall and weighs 45 to 70 pounds.
and valued for his graceful, athletic build, the Whippet has been clocked at
speeds of up to 35 mph. He was created to course rabbits and kill small
vermin. Today, the Whippet can still be a fast and effective hunter, but at home, he’s usually a
calm, quiet companion. He can be friendly to guests and strangers, typically doesn’t mind
snoozing the day away snuggling on the sofa, has a manageable size (normally 25
to 35 pounds), and doesn’t often bark excessively.
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