At Abby & Co., we have grown to love the hound breeds. From the big floppy ears and sad hound eyes to the drool and loud baying! So much so, we shifted our focus to only rescuing hounds! Those that adopt and love hounds are often very passionate about them. What exactly makes these breeds of dogs capture the hearts of so many?
Note that this information is very general and will not always apply to every dog.
Dogs in the hound group were bred for hunting- to track prey by sight or by scent. Sight hounds, such as greyhounds, chase game by sight and are generally sleek and fast. Scent hounds (like coonhounds) track their prey using smell in the air and on the ground. In our area of the country, we find scent hounds in shelters much more often than sight hounds. Scent hounds are often used for hunting and are prone to being left at shelters or to fend for themselves if they are not avid hunters or are not living up to training expectations. They can also be a more tricky breed for those that are not experienced with dogs or prefer a quieter, more easy to train pet.
The main types of breeds we encounter (most will be a mix of many of these individual breeds!)
Family life: Hounds tend to be sociable, loyal, gentle, easy-going, and often very affectionate. They often to do well with children and other dogs. Despite their prey drive and hunting genes, hounds tend to make great, lazy family members.
Training: Hounds can also be tricky to train because of their stubbornness and single-mindedness- we always say, “when the nose is down, the ears are off!” Meaning that if they have their nose to the ground in pursuit of a good smell, they are probably not going to be listening. They tend to have an extremely high prey drive and could wander for miles in pursuit of something interesting. Because of this, they will generally always need to be leashed up or in the confines of a sturdy fenced yard when outside.
Noise: For those that love hounds, a good loud, baying bark is music to the ears! Some hounds will not be the best for apartment living because of their vocalness.
Grooming: While mostly low maintenance, these dogs tend to be more smelly because of the oil produced by their skin to repel dirt and water during those long hunts. Those big floppy ears that we love so much usually need be cleaned regularly to avoid ear infections.
Size: Hounds come in all shapes and sizes! Beagles can be between 20-30 pounds, while bloodhounds can reach over 100 pounds!
Love a loud, affectionate, goofy breed of dog that is great with families and tends to do well with other dogs? Willing to show some patience with training and keep up with the smelly coat and ears? Then a hound breed may be perfect for you! We didn’t even know that we were such hound lovers until we adopted one of our own. We love our 80lb lap dog (the black and tan coonhound pictured above) with all of his drool, smell, loud barks, cuddles, and outgoing personality that doesn’t know a stranger (human or dog!).