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What You Should Know About Hound Dogs [+ Free FAQ]

Profile picture of the author - Anna Lengacherby Anna Lengacher

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Scenthound vs Sighthound
Hound Dog Specs
Popular Hound Dogs
Hound Dog Training
Where to Find a Hound Dog?
Hound Dog FAQ

Hound dogs.

They are loyal.

They’re hunters and chasers.

They are independent.

They’re a family favorite.


When talking dogs, there are seven groups in which all dogs are divided into.

There are herding dogs, sporting dogs, non-sporting dogs, working dogs, terrier dogs, toy dogs, and what we are talking about today: Hound dogs.

According to AKC, there are currently thirty-two registered Hound dog breeds.

These include Afghan Hounds, Basenjis, Beagles, Dachshunds, Norwegian Elkhounds, and Salukis, to name a few.


When scouting out dogs belonging to the Hound group, you’ll find one thing in common:

Every single one of them was bred to hunt.

Tracking and chasing and hunting runs deep in their blood.


No doubt each Hound was designed to hunt a very specific target.

For example, Beagles and Dachshunds are stunning small game hunters.

The Coonhound is a champion Racoon hunter.

Afghan Hounds and Salukis are chief at hunting large game including deer and antelope, while the Otterhound literally has webbed feet to aid in hunting waterfowl.


Beyond their common love of hunting, you may not find much more in common for the Hound dog family.

In size, you’ll find anything from a tiny ten pounds all the way to 150 pounds.

Temperaments are different, coats range anywhere between short and stiff to long and flowing, and even shapes are likely to be different too.


First up today we are talking about the two different categories which Hound dogs are divided into.

We’ll also look at which Hounds are enjoying popularity today, followed by successful training tips, where to find your own Hound dog, and what you can expect when it comes to grooming members of the Hound dog family.

Welcome!  We’re glad you are here.

Let’s get started.


Scenthound versus Sighthound

While every single Hound loves to hunt, they don’t all go about it the same way.

There are some who hunt by tracking scents (aka Scenthounds), while others hunt primarily using their vision (aka Sighthounds).

Bloodhound dog with protective vest hunting in the mountains.

Scenthounds are notorious for tracking with their nose.

They are creatures of endurance and have no problem running long distances.

Plus, Scenthounds love using their nose and thrive on tracking targets that are out of sight.

They possess expert scenting powers and are famous for successfully following a trail.

Many Scenthounds carry a deep, booming voice and love to either corner or tree their prey.

In addition, Scenthounds have an independent streak, thus making it convenient to work at a distance from their handler.

Thanks to a dedication to their own nose, these champs can be easily distracted and are happy to follow a scent trail for miles.


In contrast, Sighthounds chase primarily using their vision.

Sighthounds specifically thrive in short, high-speed chases.  They sport incredible stamina to quickly run down their victims.

Rather than cornering or treeing their victims, Sighthounds will strike and kill their prey whenever possible.

Sighthounds love to chase anything that moves, whether that’s another small animal or a favorite toy.  If it moves away from them, it suddenly becomes potential prey.

One member of Sighthound dogs is the Whippet.

The Whippet breed is literally considered the fastest moving domesticated animal of his size and can reach speeds of 35 mph.


While many Hounds fall into either the Scenthound or Sighthound category, there are Hound dogs who excel in both forms of hunting as well.

Following is a list of popular Hound dogs categorized as either Scenthounds or Sighthounds.


Scenthound Dogs Include:

American English Coonhound

American Foxhound

Basset Hound


Balck and Tan Coonhound


Bluetick Coonhound


English Foxhound

Grand Basset Griffon Vendeen


Norwegian Elkhound


Petit Basset Griffon Vendeen

Plott Hound

Redbone Coonhound

Tree Walker Coonhound


Sighthound Dogs Include:

Afghan Hound



Cirneco dell’Etna


Hungarian Greyhound

Ibizan Hound

Irish Wolfhound

Italian Greyhound

Pharaoh Hound

Polish Greyhound

Rhodesian Ridgeback


Scottish Deerhound




Scent and Sight Hound Dogs Include:


Portuguese Podengo Pequeno


Hound Dog Specs

While there is a vast variety in Hound dogs, a few things ring true for every Hound breed.


Hound Dog Exercise

Thanks to their love of hunting and chasing down prey, many Hound puppies and dogs are high energy pals.

They greet life with excitement and seldom let a dull moment slide by.

Consider daily exercise a must if you plan to keep your Hound dog happy and thriving.

Should you push off exercise, be warned: a board Hound dog can quickly prove destructive.

So to keep your shoes and sofas and blankets from getting chewed to bits, strategize how you plan to keep your Hound dog busy.

Go on daily walks together, play games of fetch in the backyard, grab a few favorite doggy toys, and visit your local park.


When in public, always keep an eye out for other small animals.  As mentioned earlier, Hound dogs love to hunt and chase.

Sometimes they simply don’t understand that another little dog may simply want to be friends.

So be sure no little loved-on animals are becoming your Hound dog’s victim.


Hound Dog Temperament

Hound dogs are generally wonderful pets.

Loyalty runs deep in their veins, and they are often friendly towards people they meet.

When they aren’t hunting and chasing, it’s likely they will morph into your favorite couch potato.

Do note, however, that independence also courses through a Hound dog’s veins.

As a result, it’s important to establish at a young age who the pack leader is.

Always be loving and kind, while also clearly establishing who is in authority.


Hound Dog Grooming

Scroll through a selection of Hound dogs and you’ll discover anything from short fur coats to long and silky hair.

How much grooming a Hound dog requires will depend directly on which breed you choose.

For example, the Afghan Hound diva will need more grooming attention than the short-haired Basenji.

Regardless of which breed you choose, every Hound dog will need at least a regular brushing complimented with an occasional bath.


9 Extremely Popular Hound Dogs

9 Extremely Popular Hound Dogs


Champions in tracking a scent, Bloodhounds have over 230 million scent receptors.  This is 40 times more than that of humans.  As a result, Bloodhounds can track a scent that is literally weeks old and will follow a scent across land and water.  Bloodhounds were originally bred to hunt boar and deer.  Today, they are excelling in rescue efforts and exude a tenacious spirit.


The Beagle is on the smaller end of Hound dogs and range anywhere from 13 – 15″ at the shoulder.  They are smart, easy-going, and great as a family pet.  Beagles were originally bred by English gentlemen to hunt small game including foxes, birds, and rabbits.


The Whippet is among the absolute fastest dogs.  They are originally from England and first excelled in hunting small game such as rabbits.  Whippets track using their sight and are playful through and through.  They are gentle with friends, and once their exercise quotient is met, they love to spend time on the sofa.


Thanks to their mini stance, short legs, and long body, the Dachshund is the only breed certified to hunt both above and below ground.  They are a stubborn little pal and expert at evacuating burrowing animals.  Dachshunds originated in Germany with the intent of hunting badgers.  They have an incredible sense of smell, they are excellent watchdogs, and they present the epitome of Hound dog courage.

Basset Hound

Signature to the Basset Hound is their super long ears.  Their innate sense of smell nearly matches that of the Bloodhound, and they are skilled in hunting small game such as birds, rabbits, foxes, and deer.  Their short legs make them easy to keep up with, and they don’t require much exercise.  Thanks to their unique Hound dog physique, you’ll want to make sure to not overfeed your Basset Hound.   Best of all, Basset Hounds are great with children and a wonderful family pet.


Alert and curious are two words that sum up the handsome Basenji.  These Hounds are considered both sight and scent Hounds and enjoy a type of yodeling rather than the traditional bark.  Basenjis exude sheer elegance and own fastidious grooming habits.  They are a high spirited group and are great for experienced dog owners.  Basenjis first originated in Central Africa with the purpose of tracking and chasing small game into nets.

Afghan Hound

A sighthound at their core, Afghan Hounds are the diva of Hound dogs.  Their long, graceful coat offers protection in the cold mountains of Afghanistan where they were first bred to hunt and work.  Afghan Hounds are fond of chasing small animals and have a weakness for trailing squirrels.


Also known as the Russian Wolfhound, the Borzoi is a Sighthound bred to hunt wolves.  Their history began in Russia where they excelled in hunting wolves, hares, and foxes.  The Borzoi is exceptionally speedy, slightly agile, and stunningly graceful.  In place of being territorial, you’ll find a Borzoi to be gentle and highly fond of love and attention.

Irish Wolfhound

The Irish Wolfhound is the largest of all Sighthounds and was first bred to hunt wolves.  They made their first debut in Italy and have proven to be a reliable and patient doggy friend.  Irish Wolfhounds do require moderate exercise.  However, they’ll be calm and easy-going once their exercise needs are met.


Hound Dog Training

If you are new to the Hound dog training scene, you should know: well-behaved Hound dogs don’t simply happen overnight.

Instead, they are a result of much love, time, and patience.

When first introduced, Hound dogs can quickly be perceived as stubborn and seemingly impossible to train.

It’s true, Hound dogs are independent and they do love doing their own thing.


So when you set out to train a Hound dog, it’s important that you be firm, kind, and consistent.

Go ahead and match your Hound dog in both stamina and determination.

Understand whether your Hound dog is either a Scenthound, Sighthound, or a combination of both.

Then look for ways to make training fun and exciting.  Discover what motivates your Hound, toss in occasional doggy tricks, and experiment with favorite hunting and tracking games.

Always keep clear who is pack leader, then give your Hound space to unleash his/her inner hunter.

Basset Hound dog in training running on the grass with stick


Where to Find a Hound Dog

You can find a beautiful selection of new dogs for sale by clicking here.


Before you purchase your own Hound puppy, research the breed you are interested in and learn his/her unique traits.

Look for a match that will compliment your current lifestyle.

Here we’re giving a quick run-down of things to consider before you purchase your Hound dog puppy.

Then remember, every dog is unique.

Folks will make generalizations about whichever breed you choose.

However, give your puppy space and freedom to mature into his/her own unique self.


Hound Dog FAQ

Q. Are Hound dogs good pets?

Many Hound dogs have proven to be excellent family pets. While hunting instincts run deep in their veins, Hound dogs are generally loyal, friendly, curious, and exude exceptional stamina.

Q. How big do Hound dogs get?

Hound dogs vary in weight anywhere from 10 – 150 pounds. In size, Hound dogs stand between 12 and 33 inches at the shoulder with the Borzoi typically standing the tallest.

Q. Do Hound dogs bark a lot?

While some Hounds are noisier than others, they do like to make their voice heard. In addition to barking, many Hounds also communicate via a unique vocalization called baying.

Q. Are Hound dogs easy to train?

Hounds are deeply independent and were born to hunt and chase. As a result, training can sometimes prove difficult. Learn what motivates your Hound, then be patient, kind, and consistent.

Q. Are Hound dogs stubborn?

Because Hound dogs love to hunt and chase, they can quickly appear stubborn when finding an interesting scent or target to follow. They mean no ill, they’re just motivated differently.

Q. Are Hound dogs lazy?

Hounds vacillate between hunting, chasing, and resting. When they’re not on the trail, Hounds can soon appear lazy. However, give them a fun target and they’re off to the races.


Final Thoughts

As you can see, no two Hound dogs are the same.

There’s short to tall and anywhere in between.

There are lazy Hounds and high-energy Hounds.

There are Hounds who love small children, and others who won’t stop chasing them.


If you are thinking of bringing home a new Hound dog, consider what it is you are looking for in a Hound.

How much dog are you ready to say yes to?

Which Hound personalities do you most connect with?

As always, should you hit questions along the way, we’re here for you.


Thanks for being a part of this dog-loving community.

We’re glad you are here.

We also love hearing from you.

What’s your favorite thing about Hound dogs?  Let us know in the comments below.


Until next time,

VIP Puppies



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Becker, M. (2013).  Tips for training scent and sight hounds.  Retrieved from

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Halse, K. (2015).  What to know about owning a hound dog.  Retrieved from

Hound Mix (n.d.).  Pet Premium.  Retrieved from

Lane, M. (2019).  Everything you need to know about coonhounds.  Retrieved from

Simpson, M. (2018).  Top 10 most popular hound dog breeds.  Retrieved from

The Best Hound Dog Breeds (2020).  Good Dogs Co.  Retrieved from

Which Dog Breeds Bark the Most? (2015).  Baxter’s backyard blog.  Retrieved from

Wikipedia (2020).  Scent hound.  Retrieved from


Profile picture of the author - Anna LengacherAs the Editor in Chief, Anna Lengacher helps dog lovers learn the ropes of finding, raising, and caring for their dogs so they can enjoy many happy memories together.



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