Dogs 101: 10 Hound Breeds - PetHelpful - By fellow animal lovers and experts
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Dogs 101: 10 Hound Breeds

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This article provides information about 10 types of hounds. Read on to find out which breed matches your personality, family, and lifestyle.

Hound Breeds

  1. American Foxhound/English Foxhound
  2. Greyhound
  3. Harrier
  4. Irish Wolfhound
  5. Norwegian Elkhound
  6. Otterhound
  7. Rhodesian Ridgeback
  8. Saluki
  9. Scottish Deerhound
  10. Whippet
American Foxhound/ English Foxhound

American Foxhound/ English Foxhound

1. American Foxhound/ English Foxhound

Foxhounds were bred for four different functions, and there are, therefore, four different varieties: trail field hounds, lone fox hunters, drag hounds, and pack hunting dogs. The pack hunter makes the best pet.

The English Foxhound is a little stouter than its American cousin, but its appearance and temperament are almost identical. The pack hunting Foxhound is a large dog, developed to hunt in packs of 15-20 dogs. This essentially social activity has resulted in a very vigorous but submissive dog.

Behavior problems may include roaming, baying when a member of the breed hears other dogs barking, and house soiling. "Kennel dog syndrome" has been the most common complaint with this breed.

American Foxhound/ English Foxhound Traits

Dimension of TemperamentLevel of Dimension

Indoor activity

Very high

Outdoor activity

Very high

Vigor

High

Behavioral constancy

Med.-Low

Dominance to strange dogs

Low

Dominance to familiar people

Low

Territoriality

Very low

Emotional stability

High

Sociability within family

High

Sociability with children

High

Sociability with strangers

Very high

Learning rate

Low

Learning obedience

Med.

Learning problem solving

Med.

Watchdog ability

High

Guard dog ability

Low

Greyhound

Greyhound

2. Greyhound

The Greyhound is another dog whose function is clearly observable from its build. Greyhounds are built to run fast, to chase after deer and, more recently, to race. Descriptions include: lovable and tractable, high-strung, easily upset by sudden movements, starting readily, stubborn, and trainable only when calm. There is a divided opinion on the temperament of the Greyhound, some sources praising its friendliness and gentleness, other focusing on its potential for being high-stung and nervous.

Because of its willowy build, it is prone to tremble in cold weather. Behavior problems may include: fear biting, phobias and timidity, touch shyness, irritable snapping and house soiling.

Greyhound Traits

Dimension of TemperamentLevel of Dimension

Indoor activity

Low

Outdoor activity

Very high

Vigor

Low

Behavioral constancy

Low

Dominance to strange dogs

Med.

Dominance to familiar people

Med.

Territoriality

Med.-Low

Emotional stability

Low-Very low

Sociability within family

Med.

Sociability with children

Low-Very low

Sociability with strangers

Low

Learning rate

High

Learing obedience

Low-Very low

Learning problem solving

Low

Watchdog ability

High

Guard dog ability

Low

Harrier

Harrier

3. Harrier

The Harrier looks like a smaller version of the English Foxhound and is used for a similar purpose, hunting by scent in a pack. The Harrier's quarry was, appropriately enough, the hare. Descriptions include: easy going, solidly built, handy in size, well constructed and muscular, and both hardy and active, gentle with people, stubborn and bold, too restless for the city.

Behavior problems may include: indoor restlessness, excessive barking, roaming and house soiling.

Harrier Traits

Dimension of TemperamentLevel of Dimension

Indoor activity

Very high

Outdoor activity

Very high

Vigor

High

Behavioral constancy

Low

Dominance to strange dogs

Med.-Low

Dominance to familair people

Low

Territoriality

Low-Very low

Emotional stability

High

Sociability within family

Med.

Sociability with children

Very high

Sociability with strangers

Med.-Low

Learning rate

High

Learning obedience

Low

Learning problem solving

High

Watchdog ability

Very high

Guard dog ability

Low

Irish Wolfhound

Irish Wolfhound

4. Irish Wolfhound

The Irish Wolfhound is an enormous animal, probably the tallest breed of dog in existence. Standing at 36 inches at the shoulders and reaching up to 7 feet when standing on its hind legs. In the past it was used for hunting wolves in Ireland and for bringing down the six-foot-tall Irish elk. Today, giving the conspicuous scarcity of Irish wolves and elk, the breed is perpetuated primarily as a pet. Descriptions include: quiet mannered and dignified, beneath the fierce looking exterior there beats a gentle heart, it treats most other dogs as insignificant, commands are slowly executed, sluggish.

Behavior problems may include clumsiness, an occasional dominant animal's challenging its owner's authority and other dominance related problems.

Irish Wolfhound Traits

Dimension of TemperamentLevel of Dimension

Indoor activity

Low

Outdoor activity

Med.

Vigor

Low

Behavioral constancy

High

Dominance to strange dogs

High-Med.

Dominance to familiar people

Med.

Territoriality

Med.

Emotional stability

High

Sociability within family

High-Med.

Sociability with children

Very high-Med.

Sociability with strangers

Med.-Low

Learning rate

High

Learning obedience

High-Med.

Learning problem solving

Med.

Watchdog ability

High-Low

Guard dog ability

High-Low

Norwegian Elkhound

Norwegian Elkhound

5. Norwegian Elkhound

The Norwegian Elkhound is a medium-sized, thick-coated, powerfully built dog adapted to the severe Scandinavian winters. Originially used to hunt the huge Scandinavian elk, this breed is strong, compact and extremely hardy. Descriptions include: willingness to hunt day after day and all day long in rugged country, where stamina rather than extreme speed is called for, being able to bounce like a rubber ball when struck by elk hooves, absolutely dependable and trustworthy, may start bullying in a attempt to have its own way, easy going, reliability and quickness to learn, stubborn and bold, intelligence and eagerness for praise, staunchness, dignity and independence. The contradictions stem from the dog's potential for dominance. It may be obedient to dominant owners but disobey submissive ones. Its tendency to hold its quarry at bay makes it a potentially effective guard dog.

Behavior problems may include: excessive barking, roaming, dominance problems and stealing and guarding food.

Norwegian Elkhound Traits

Dimension of TemperamentLevel of Dimension

Indoor activity

High

Outdoor activity

Medium

Vigor

Very high

Behavioral constancy

High

Dominance to strange dogs

High-Med.

Dominance to familiar people

High-Med.

Territorality

High

Emotional stability

High

Sociability within family

High-Low

Sociability with children

Med.-Low

Sociability with strangers

High - low

Learning rate

Very high

Learning obedient

Low

Learning problem solving

High

Watchdog ability

Very high

Guard dog ability

High

Otterhound

Otterhound

6. Otterhound

The Otterhound is an unusual looking hound with its rough, shaggy coat. The coat is waterproof, and this breed can track its quarry by scent through rough, wet terrain, running and swimming tenaciously to the end of the hunt. Descriptions include: sagacity and unfailing devotion, amiable and boisterous, extremely sensitive nose, inquisitive and persevering in the investigating scents, easygoing, occasionally stubborn.

Behavior problems may include: house soiling, roaming, food stealing, clumsiness and tenacious sniffing.

Otter Hound Traits

Dimension of TemperamentLevel of Dimension

Indoor activity

Low

Outdoor activity

High

Vigor

Low

Behavioral constancy

Medium - low

Dominance to strange dogs

Medium

Dominance to familiar people

Medium - low

Territoriality

Low

Emotional stability

High

Sociability within family

Very high

Sociability with children

Very high

Sociability with strangers

Very high

Learning rate

Low

Learning obedience

Medium - low

Learning problem solving

Low

Watchdog ability

High

Guard dog ability

Low

Rhodesian Ridgeback

Rhodesian Ridgeback

7. Rhodesian Ridgeback

The Rhodesian Ridgeback is a large dog bred in Africa as a guard, scent hunter and big-game hunter. It is characterized by a ridge of hair growing in the opposite direction of the rest of its coat along the length of its spine. It is a powerful, agile dog that can pull down a wounded buck or worry a cornered lion until the hunter arrive. Descriptions include: strong, muscular and active dog, capable of great endurance and a fair amount of speed, stubborn and bold, disobedient to submissive people.

Behavior problems may include: dominance related problems, challenging family members, aggression and house soiling.

Rhodesian Ridgeback Traits

Dimension of TemperamentLevel of Dimension

Indoor activity

Low

Outdoor activity

Very high

Vigor

Very high

Behavioral constancy

High

Dominance to strange dogs

Very high - high

Dominance to familiar people

High - medium

Territoriality

High

Emotional stability

High

Sociability within family

Medium - low

Sociability with children

Low - very low

Sociability with strangers

Low - very low

Learning rate

High

Learning obedience

Low

Learning problem solving

High

Watchdog ability

Very high

Guard dog ability

Very high

Saluki

Saluki

8. Saluki

The Saluki, the royal dog of Egypt, is considered by some authorities to be the oldest known breed.

Salki Traits

Dimension of TemperamentLevel of Dimension

Indoor activity

Low

Outdoor activity

Very high

Vigor

Low

Behavioral constancy

Low

Dominance to strange dogs

Medium

Dominance to familiar people

Medium - low

Territoriality

Low

Emotional stability

Low - very low

Sociability within family

Low - very low

Sociability with children

Low - very low

Sociability with strangers

Low - very low

Learning rate

Low

Learning obedience

Medium

Learning problem solving

Low

Watchdog ability

High

Guard dog ability

Low

Scottish Deerhound

Scottish Deerhound

9. Scottish Deerhound

The Scottish Deerhound is a large dog reminiscent of, but smaller and slimmer than, the Irish Wolfhound. Its long legs and Greyhound build, slightly obscured by its shaggy coat, are designed for high speed and endurance. Descriptions include: tremendous courage, gentle dignity, quiet, keen scent, not aggressive, great persistence, not a sparkler, somewhat timid, not very quick to obey, devoted and loyal to its masters.

No potential behavior problems were mentioned in the literature or by breeders.

Scottish Deerhound Traits

Dimension of TemperamentLevel of Dimension

Indoor activity

Low

Outdoor activity

High

Vigor

Low

Behavioral constancy

High

Dominance to strange dogs

Medium

Dominance to familiar people

Medium - low

Territoriality

Low

Emotional stability

Very high

Sociability within family

High - medium

Sociability with children

Very high

Sociability with strangers

High

Learning rate

Low

Learning obedience

Medium - low

Learning problem solving

Low

Watchdog ability

Low

Guard dog ability

Low

Whippet

Whippet

10. Whippet

The Whippet is a small dog that looks like a miniature Greyhound. It is a small sight hound used for racing, coursing rabbits and killing rats. Descriptions include: high strung and timid, not very demonstrative or playful and poorly padded for roughhousing and the cold, should be trained gently, never bullied or harshly punished.

Behavior problems may include: phobias, house soiling, timidity and irritable snapping.

Whippet Traits

Dimension of TemperamentLevel of Dimension

Indoor activity

Low

Outdoor activity

Very high

Vigor

Low - very low

Behavioral constancy

Low

Dominance to strange dogs

Low

Dominance to familiar people

Low

Territoriality

Low

Emotional stability

Unknown

Sociability within family

Medium - low

Sociability with children

Low - very low

Sociability with strangers

Low

Learning rate

High

Learning obedience

Medium

Learning problem solving

Medium

Watchdog ability

High

Guard dog ability

Low