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What are hound dogs?

Written by Ella White


Basset Hound under tree

You might think of hound as a generic term used to describe any dog, but in fact it specifically refers to a group of dogs that share common ancestral traits. Namely, hound dogs were originally bred and trained as hunters.

What Is A Hound Dog?

Hounds are a very diverse group of dogs that love to hunt. Unlike sporting dogs bred to fetch game that’s been shot or killed, hounds do the hunting themselves. They are often very agile with excellent stamina and a keen sense of smell. Beagles, greyhounds, basset hounds, and Afghan hounds are some of the most common breeds in this group, and they perfectly exemplify just how different hound dogs can be from each other.

What Characteristics Do Hound Dogs Have?

Despite their diversity, many hound dogs do share similar traits, including:

  • Excellent stamina
  • Acute sense of smell
  • Speed
  • Stong tracking abilities
  • Love of the hunt
  • Inquisitivity
  • Independence
  • Loyalty
  • Good eyesight
  • Intelligence
  • Baying – a sound unique to this group

Are Hound Dogs Good Family Pets?

Hound dogs can make great family pets, so long as you know what you’re signing up for. They require a lot of exercise and time outside and can become destructive if they aren’t sufficiently stimulated both mentally and physically.

As pack animals, hounds can adapt very well to active families and will quickly become loyal companions who develop a strong bond with their humans. Because of their intelligence and ingrained ability to hunt, they can be disobedient during training if they lose interest or become bored of the session. So fast paced training in small but frequent lessons is best.

What Is The Best Environment For A Hound Dog?

Hounds love the outdoors, so they are best suited to families with lots of space and specifically a lot of enclosed outdoor space that they can explore. City flats are not an ideal living environment for a hound unless you have a lot of green space nearby and plenty of time to take them out there. They’re usually loving and docile so they mostly get on well with children once they’re fully trained.

What Dog Breeds Are Counted As Hound Dogs?

Breeds of hound dogs recognised by the American Kennel Club include:

  • Afghan hound
  • American English Coonhound
  • American Foxhound
  • Azawakh
  • Basenji
  • Basset hound
  • Beagle
  • Black and Tan Coonhound
  • Bloodhound
  • Bluetick Coonhound
  • Borzoi
  • Cirneco dell’Etna
  • Dachshund
  • English Foxhound
  • Grand Basset Griffon Vendéen
  • Greyhound
  • Harrier
  • Ibizan hound
  • Irish Wolfhound
  • Norwegian Elkhound
  • Otterhound
  • Petit Basset Griffon Vendéen
  • Pharaoh hound
  • Plott hound
  • Portuguese Podengo Pequeno
  • Redbone Coonhound
  • Rhodesian Ridgeback
  • Saluki
  • Scottish Deerhound
  • Sloughi
  • Treeing Walker Coonhound
  • Whippet

What To Feed A Hound Dog

Got a hound dog and want to see them live the healthiest life possible? Air-dried dog food is one of the best ways to feed your dog an entirely natural diet without having to cook them up a fresh portion twice a day. 

With air-dried food you can simply pour all the nutrients your dog needs into their bowl every morning – no mess, no fuss, and no added nasties. Just 100% natural protein that will keep your hound dog as fit as they should be.