Home Getting A Puppy Hound Dog Breeds – Sighthounds and Scent Hounds

Hound Dog Breeds – Sighthounds and Scent Hounds

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Hound Dog Breeds – Sighthounds and Scent Hounds
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If you are on this page, it’s likely that you may be wondering about hound dog breeds and what type of pet they might make?

Well, to begin with there are quite a few dogs listed under the title of hounds, including Afghans, Beagles, Basset Hounds, Dachshunds, Irish Wolfhounds and Whippets. This hounddog breed possesses certain characteristics that other breeds do not have and as you read on, you will learn more about them.

What Is A Hounddog?

The primary hound dog characteristics are its ability to assist hunters in tracking and catching prey. They are very capable when tracking and chasing an animal.

Hound dogs are one of the oldest groups of dogs in existence. Although they were once used primarily for hunting, now they are largely kept as family pets. They come in all shapes and sizes with varying personalities, and there is certain to be a breed of hound dog that will fit in nicely with your needs and those of your family.

There are two types of hounds – sighthounds and scent hounds. As the name implies, certain hound dogs will hunt by sight while others will do their hunting by scent. Both types of hounds are registered under the Hound Group with the American Kennel Club.


Sighthounds like this Greyhound puppy were built for speed

When you own a dog that fits this classification, you will have an excellent hunting dog that will be able to keep its prey always in sight. They are very fast runners and use their speed to overcome whatever animal they are hunting.

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The Greyhound would be considered a dog that is incredibly fast and will largely hunt its prey by using the sense of sight. In fact, this breed can reach speeds of up to 40 mph! If you are looking for a hunting dog, a sighthound will be an excellent choice even though today these animals are mostly used for pets. Some of the dogs considered to be sight hounds are as follows:

Afghan Hound

Borzoi or Russian Wolfhound

Chart Polski or Polish Greyhound


Irish Wolfhound

Italian Greyhound

Hungarian Greyhound

Saluki or Persian Greyhound

Scottish Deerhound

Silken Windhound



Scent Hounds

The other type of hound dog is the scent hound. This breed of dog will rely on its sense of smell to sniff out and hunt down its prey. With a scent hound, endurance is the important quality rather than speed.

Scent Hounds
Scent hounds like the Basset Hound puppy shown can hunt for long periods of time thanks to a body that’s built for endurance

They are able to follow a scent for quite a long distance and can even detect a scent over water. A scent hound will typically have a large nose and long ears. Their bodies are built for endurance, allowing them to stick with a scent as long as they need to in order to catch their prey. A Dachshund is an example of a scent hound.

There are certain breeds that will fall into the categories of sighthound and scent hound both and are known as Spitz Hounds. The Basenji and the Elkhound are two examples. These animals can hunt equally well by sight and by scent. Otherwise, common examples of scent hounds include:

American Foxhound

Artois Hound

Austrian black and tan hound


Basset Hound

Bavarian Mountain hound




Black and Tan Coonhound

Redbone Coonhound

Bluetick Coonhound

English Coonhound

Treeing Walker Coonhound


English Foxhound

Finnish Hound


Grand Basset Griffon Vendeen

Hanover Hound


Hungarian hound

Norwegian Elkhound


Petit Basset Griffon Vendeen

Rhodesian Ridgeback

Serbian Hound

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Even though hunting hounds will do a great job of tracking prey, which is what they were bred for, they can still make very good pets. Each breed in the hound dog category will have certain characteristics that will be unique to that particular animal. If you are considering getting a certain breed, you will want to do additional reading on that specific animal to see what qualities you can expect.

Hound Dog Behavior and Characteristics

Types Of Hound Dogs
No matter what types of hound dogs you might be considering you must understand their nature and exercise them regularly to maximum enjoyment from this loveable breed

If you get a hound dog, you must keep in mind that these animals love the hunt. It is instinctual behavior with them. If they see a moving target or get a whiff of an interesting scent, their first reaction is going to be pursuit. For this reason, you should always keep your pet on a leash when walking, and a fenced-in backyard is a necessity.

If you are specifically looking for an animal that you can use for hunting purposes, hound dogs will definitely be able to assist you with the task of capturing prey. For those who live in an area where large animals roam and it is legal to use dogs for hunting, big game hounds will make valuable companions.

Hound Dogs Must Have Exercise

If you already own a hound (or are thinking of getting one) remember that your pet is going to require a good bit of exercise. Hounds have a great deal of stamina since they were bred to hunt down prey. This is especially true of sighthounds, who love to run and chase after other animals. They will need to have ample exercise in order to expend their considerable amount of energy.

Depending on the breed, certain hound dogs may seem somewhat independent. This is most likely due to the fact that hunting is uppermost in their minds. If you remember the reason for this trait and take it into consideration at those times when your pet seems aloof, you will have a better understanding of your hound dog.

Hound Dogs Are A Healthy Bunch

Since hounds have been designed for hunting, they are athletic dogs with good general health. Of course, each hounddog breed may have certain health issues that owners will need to be aware of, which will be the case with any breed of dog, whether hound or otherwise.

You can do some research on the particular type of dog that you find interesting so that you will have knowledge of what health matters may occur over your pet’s lifetime. It is always important to give your pet a nutritious diet and provide it with adequate exercise. You will also want to acquire the services of a reputable veterinarian to provide your pet with appropriate vaccinations and examinations for optimal health.

You may want to check out hound dog puppies at a local breeder to see what types of dogs are available. You will also find your share of hounds on the Internet, as they comprise a very popular breed and are always in demand.

No matter which hound dog breeds you’re interested in, they can make great companions in any family and will get along well with children and other pets.