Dog Breeds: The Hound Group

The Hound Group

You ain’t nothing but a hound dog. (Sorry, I just had to get that in.) These dog breeds like following fast-moving games and this penchant have won them over in the hunting circles. In addition to their keen noses or sharp eyesight, their easy-going and, at times, stoic personality has endeared them as family pets. There are three types of hounds: Sight, Scent, and Large Game hounds.

The Sighthounds

Relying on their eyesight to course fast-moving game, these sighthound breeds have been domesticated to make placid, gentle pets. The instinct to run after fast-moving targets, however, has never been bred out of the sighthounds—they’ll need to be leashed when outdoors because you won’t outrun them!

In addition, they need to be socialized with common household critters at an early age so they won’t confuse them for lunch as they race across your floor. Sighthounds are alert and mild and make wonderful pets in stable households.

  • Afghan Hound
  • Irish Wolfhound
  • Basenji
  • Pharaoh Hound
  • Borzoi
  • Saluki
  • Greyhound
  • Scottish Deerhound
  • Ibizan Hound
  • Whippet

The Greyhound is one of the sighthounds.

The Scent Hounds

Bred to follow the scent, these hound breeds are active, lively, and rugged. That sensitive nose, however, makes them somewhat difficult to train; they’d rather trail a rabbit than hang around learning to Sit and Stay.

A leash or enclosure is required when these dogs are outside—that nose again! Although a bit stubborn when it comes to training, scent hounds are happy breeds. Sweet, lively, and tolerant, they thrive on family involvement and accept children and strangers with ease.

  • Basset Hound
  • Beagle
  • Black and Tan Coonhound
  • Bloodhound
  • Dachshund
  • American Foxhound
  • English Foxhound
  • Harrier
  • Otterhound
  • Petit Basset Griffon Vendeen

The Basset Hound

The Large Game Hounds

As you might guess, these hounds are large, powerful, and fearless when challenged as they were originally bred to hunt lions and elk. No longer used for their original purpose, the large game hounds now enjoy life as pets and watchdogs

All are strong-willed and independent and need the training to enhance their sociability—and your control. These dogs are steady and calm and make devoted pets in the right home. But don’t expect them to back down from an argument! Exercise and socialize these dogs to prevent destructive habits or territorial aggression.

  • Norwegian Elkhound
  • Rhodesian Ridgeback

The Rhodesian Ridgeback