Types of Hound Dogs

a picture of a sighthound dog
There are myriad types of hound dogs that have assisted men over centuries to pursue and hunt down prey. Some hounds have keen sight, some have a sharp sense of smell and others are lightning fast. Here, let us take a look at the varieties of these extraordinary breeds.
One of the oldest dog groups are the hounds. These dogs have been in action alongside people for many centuries, usually for capturing animals that are being hunted. They are similar to gun dogs, who help in identifying locations of the animals, and retrievers who just help in getting the quarries which are shot back to the hunter. We shall have a look at the different variants that have helped hunters catch prey around the world.
Variants of Hound Dogs
There are over a 100 varieties of these dogs in the world that are divided into three categories. These dogs are trained to track and hunt prey in different terrains and settings. Over the years the dogs have adapted themselves to the environment they hunt in and the prey they chase. They tend to use one of their senses to capture an elusive quarry, thus, giving rise to sight hounds, scent hounds and other hounds. Categories of hound dogs are as dealt in detail below:
Types of Sighthound Dogs
Also called gazehounds, this type of dogs rely on their sight, speed and agility to hunt down the prey. They are very useful in flat and barren landscapes which provides them a wider field of vision and a good running surface. These dogs were of great use in North Africa for over 5000 years to track down animals in the desert landscapes. With their keen eyesight these dogs can easily detect the slightest of movement. They can capture  fast prey such as deer, and hare with regular success.
Sight hounds have very flexible back and have long legs that allow them to take long strides. They have a deep chest with a large heart and efficient lungs. This body structure helps them get the required speed to hunt down animals. Today, most of them are used as racing dogs,and for open field coursing and hunting. They also prove to be good house pets. However, they require a lot of physical activity to keep themselves active and prevent them from getting bored and destructive. The following is a list of sight hound dogs:
Afghan Hound
Afghan hound
Height - 25 - 27 inches
Weight - 50 - 60 pounds
Life Span - 12 - 18 years
The Afghan hound is one of the most dignified looking dogs in the world. They are very active and need daily exercise. For a long time, these dogs were used for long distant hunting pursuits. These dogs prefer to be aloof and need regular grooming. They are social under supervision, and they must be kept engaged, for the dog can get bored easily.
Azawakh
Azawakh dog

Height - 24 - 29 inches
Weight - 33 - 55 pounds
Life Span - 10 - 12 years
The fine and fast Azawakh is an Afro-asiatic dog built for speed. The body structure is thin yet rugged, which helps this dog take longer strides, clocking a speed of an astounding 40mph. The dog assisted tribes of men for years and hence have high stamina and demands to be indulged in extensive activity every day.

Basenji
Basenji dog
Height - 15 - 17 inches
Weight - 22 - 24 pounds
Life Span - 13 - 14 years
Ears standing, tail curled up high, and eyes fixed is the characteristic of this African dog. These dogs are very alert and hunt with sight as well as scent. They are almost indefatigable and need good exercise on a daily basis. they are friendly towards their owners and aggressive towards other animals and strangers.
Borzoi (Russian Wolfhound)
Borzoi dog
Height - 26 - 28 inches
Weight - 75 - 105 pounds
Life Span - 9 - 14 years
The beautiful and graceful Borzoi are also known as Russian Wolfhounds. They are not as active as other hunting dogs, but are great sprinters if such an occasion manifests itself. The sound body helps its remarkable acceleration. They need open space to run around and need occasional grooming. It is independent and needs proper training. It's also not very amiable towards other smaller animals.
Irish Wolfhound
Irish wolfhound
Height  - 30 - 32 inches
Weight - 100 - 120 pounds
Life Span - 6 - 8 years
The tallest of the hound family, the Irish wolfhound is strong and muscular, yet agile. They are docile and very friendly. They don't need a lot of space to run around although some do enjoy a good run every now and then. They get bored easily and must be always engaged. The fur needs occasional grooming, they face health issues often and have a short life span.
Italian Greyhound
Italian greyhound dog
Height - 13 - 15 inches
Weight - 7 - 14 pounds
Life Span -  14 - 15 years
The slender and agile Italian greyhound is one of the fastest dogs in the world. It has a short hair fur coat and comes in myriad colors. A very affectionate and mischievous dog, something that you must always keep in mind and watch out for. It doesn't bark too much and is quite peaceful at home. Being an agile dog regular exercise or walks are necessary.
Ibizan Hound
Ibizan hound
Height - 23 - 27 inches
Weight - 40 - 50 pounds
Life Span - 11 - 14 years
The Ibizan hound with its large ears certainly looks like a hyper active breed. It is indeed very energetic, which makes it a world renowned sprinter. It is also very amiable, which makes it the perfect house dog. Over the years the dog assisted humans with its keen sight, which is better than most of the other sight hounds.
Persian Greyhound (Saluki)
Persian greyhound dog
Height - 23 - 28 inches
Weight - 40 - 65 pounds
Life Span - 10 - 17 years
The Persian greyhound also goes with the name of Saluki. It is graceful, agile and dignified. The body structure supports speed and it has keen sight, making it one of the best hunters that can hunt down even a gazelle. It needs open space to run around, as it's unstable when tied. Due to its independent nature it is hard to tame this dog. But proper affection and care with regular practice can make the dog a true hunter.
Pharaoh Hound
Pharaoh hound dog
Height - 21 - 24 inches
Weight - 45 - 55 pounds
Life Span - 12 - 14 years
The dog has a sharp look and a sharp disposition. It is active and responsive and makes a good house dog. It requires a large ground and can learn and perform tricks owing to its athletic body. It has a natural instinct to chase smaller animals and hence needs to be taken care of. It is also one of the nosiest of the hounds.
Scottish Deerhound
Scottish deerhound dog

Height - 28 - 32 inches
Weight - 75 - 110 pounds
Life Span - 8 - 11 years
The Scottish Deerhound is big and powerful but rather calm for its size. The calmness increases as it gets older. When at home this dog will not trouble a soul, but once brought outside, it can disappear in a matter of seconds. Like all the sight hounds it has keen vision and can be employed for pursuit.

Sloughi
Sloughi dog
Height - 24 - 29 inches
Weight - 35 - 50 pounds
Life Span - 10 - 15 years
The sloughi is thin, fast, robust and indefatigable. It lives up to its name of a sight hound and a hunter dog. Over the ages it has served men as a true hunter dog able to endure long pursuits. It is very close to its master and aloof to strangers. It should not be toyed with, for when threatened, it can be more dangerous than other sight hounds. It requires open space to run around and high fences lest you want him gone.
Whippet
Whippet dog
Height - 18 - 22 inches
Weight - 25 - 40 pounds
Life Span - 12 - 15 years
Whippet: sounds like something shooting by you, right ? well, this cute, amiable and agile dog has all the abilities to do it. Just a look will give you a hint of its racy nature. Like all sight hounds it can run fast, but its acceleration is truly astounding. Fences should be high to contain this dog and to feed its active nature, regular outings are necessary.
Assorted Sight Hounds
  • Polish Greyhound (Chart Polski)

  • Spanish Greyhound (Galgo EspaƱol)

  • Magyar Agar (Hungarian Greyhound)

  • Silken Windhound

Types of Scent Hounds
These are one variant of hound dogs that primarily use the power of smell to hunt down prey. These species are said to have one of the most sensitive noses in the world. The scent hounds usually have long, droopy ears with large nasal cavities. Their lips are always moist as it helps them capture scent better. These dogs tend to run after their prey making loud booming noises. The noise is useful for the hunters to keep a track of the dogs when they go out of sight. These hounds are very useful in dense areas where spotting prey is difficult. These dogs are useful in hunting raccoons and foxes.
These dogs are not as fast as the sighthounds. This is because they do not have to keep a track of the animals that are hunted with the power of sight. They just have to follow the smell and therefore, can travel miles in pursuit of the prey. It is said that some scent hounds are able to follow smell that is several days old across running water. Most of these dogs hunt in packs and will run freely till they 'treed' a game. The dogs will then announce the hunt by baying and the hunter can follow the sound and reach the game spot.
These dogs are today kept as pets. They are good with other pets as well as children. They are however, difficult to train as they easily get distracted and are very stubborn at times. They may chase small animals like cats or rats due to their instinct to hunt. The breeds of dogs under the scent hound type are as follows:
Basset Hound
Basset hound
Height - 12 - 15 inches
Weight - 50 - 65 pounds
Life Span - 10 - 12 years
The basset hound is truly one of the best to follow a trail. It has short legs and a strong bone structure and can follow a trail for miles. It is also very difficult to train owing to its stubborn nature. You can use its love for food to train the dog. When in the house, the dogs are amiable and love a peaceful environment, but when outside it has to be leashed for it might run off in the pursuit of an inquisitive scent.
Beagle
Beagle dog
Height - 13 - 15 inches
Weight - 20 - 30 pounds
Life Span - 10 - 15 years
The cute and adorable, Beagle is one of the more popular pets in the world. It is a scent dogs and often enjoys challenging endeavors. The small size makes it irresistible. You just want to hug it. It is friendly with people, and is a very active dog. Therefore, it should not be kept tied for long. It should be taken out on long walks lest you want him to turn destructive.
Black and Tan Coonhound
Black and Tan Coonhound dog
Height - 23 - 27 inches
Weight - 65 - 110 pounds
Life Span - 10 - 12 years
The black and tan coonhound is one of the toughest of the lot, able to withstand any weather and terrain. It hunts using nothing else, but the scent of its prey. Its strongly built and fast; the perfect hunting dog in a dense terrain. It gels with people easily and hence is good to work with. The dog is very vocal and should be brought home when you are really in good terms with your neighbors.
Bloodhound
A BLOODHOUND PACK
Height - 23 - 27 inches
Weight - 80 - 110 pounds
Life Span - 7 - 9 years
You may have seen this dog on detective TV shows or movies, and also may have heard the phrase, 'the nose of a bloodhound'. The bloodhound has one of the most sensitive noses in the world which makes it a perfect dog for a hunt or an investigation. When off work, this dog is friendly and easy going. With its hanging furry skin, it looks adorable and owing to a calm nature it is good with children.
Dachshund
Dachshund dog
Height - 5 - 9 inches
Weight - 11 - 16 pounds
Life Span - 12 - 16 years
The Dachshund is a smart, little, intelligent hound which is seldom used for exploration, but is mostly kept as a house dog. It is adorable, but also very protective of its area and does not entertain strangers. It is a jolly dog and loves a good time and indulges in tricks. Being a hunting dog it has to be taken out for walks every day. The only problem with the little fellow is that it is stubborn which is quite ironical.
English Foxhound
English foxhound
Height - 21 - 24 inches
Weight - 60 - 75 pounds
Life Span - 10 - 13 years
The English foxhound is the first pick if you are a runner for this dog loves to run. It is known for its stamina, that allows him to run long distances without a break. Well, if it doesn't catch an interesting smell on the way, if it does then we might never find it to measure the distance it has traveled. They prefer staying in packs so you might want to get more than just one.
Petit Basset Griffon Vendeen
Petit basset dog
Height - 13 - 15 inches
Weight - 25 - 40 pounds
Life Span - 14 - 16 years
The happiest hound you could ever come across, the Petit Basset Griffon Vendeen is one of the best picks for a pet. The small size and cute alert expression makes it look very precious but do not underestimate it; the dog can hunt small game in any terrain. The dog is also curious and has a tendency to run away following a scent. When out with this dog always put it on a leash.
Redbone Coonhound
Redbone coonhound dog
Height - 21 - 27 inches
Weight - 45 - 70 pounds
Life Span - 11 - 12 years
The Redbone Coonhound is know for its hunting ability for it can map any terrain. Grassland, jungles, mountain everything falls before this determined dog. Along with all this, it also has all the signature features of the hounds. It has the hound smell and the hound howl. The only thing to be cautious about is that it barks a lot.
Some Assorted Scenthounds
  • American Foxhound
  • Harrier
  • Otterhound
  • Plott
  • Blue Tick Coonhound
  • Leopard Curs
  • Black Mouth Cur
  • Treeing Cur
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Types of Other Hound Dogs
There are some dogs who use both their sense of smell and sight to hunt their prey. It is very difficult to place them in either scent hound group or sighthound group. These dogs include:
Norwegian Elkhound
Norwegian elkhound dog
Height - 19 - 20 inches
Weight - 48 - 55 pounds
Life Span - 12 - 15 years
The Norwegian Elkhound is a combination of Scent hound and Sight hound. It can track a prey and chase it too. It is known for its bravery for it does not fear to confront a big game and holds its ground. The fur is grey with dark gray shades and the ears are pointy. Apart from the hunting ground it can also serve as a good house dog provided you have a good routine for it.
Rhodesian Ridgeback
Rhodesian ridgeback dog
Height -  24 - 27 inches
Weight - 70 - 85 pounds
Life Span - 10 - 12 years
The dog with a ridge on its back, the Rhodesian ridgeback is friendly and loyal. It has a keen vision and a sensitive nose to track its prey. The dog was primarily used in Africa to hold big preys like lions. So there is no doubt about the bravery of this dog. It can hold a game and hold its area. It if affectionate towards its master and defensive towards a stranger. Overall it is not a dog for a timid master.
These species make very good hunting dogs as well as prove to be good guard dogs.
Hunting dogs in a kennel
Lead Pack Dog Jumps A Fence
Hunting Dogs In A Kennel
Dogs In Dresser
Miniature Dachshund
Rhodesian Ridgeback Puppy
Playing Fetch With Cute Beagle Dog
Basset Hound Dog
Dachshund Jumping In To A Lake
Hunting Dogs Locked
Beagle In The Spring Woods
Miniature Dachshund Purebred Dog