Hounds are generally hunters by nature due to their great sense of smell. While they make great family dogs nowadays, they actually have a long history of serving as hunting partners because of their athleticism and resilient nature. Although they may not really be dedicated to hunting as before, they can still do well in hunt games with a little training.

In this article, we will look at some of the most popular and best hound dog breeds out there.

Beagle

Beagle
The beagle is a cheerful companion that was originally used for the purpose of hunting game by the English gentlemen. For years, they have been the most popular hound dogs for most American pet owners. Beagles possess a great sense of smell and were bred to hunt using their nose. Although they’re mainly bred to hunt foxes, small deers, and birds, their main quarry are rabbits.

These small-medium guys have a height of 13-15 inches and weigh 18-35 pounds on average. They are very intelligent and love to be in the company of people and other dogs. In fact, they may get restless or destructive when left alone for too long.

They are energetic and active dogs that require regular exercise. Also, pet owners who are looking to adopt beagles must consider developing an exercise area with a fence as these canines can escape easily.

Bloodhound

Bloodhound
The bloodhound is renowned for its exceptional tenacity and scenting abilities. This dog has very high investigative skills and can detect a weeks-old scent in land and water. Unlike most dogs, it has 230 million scent receptors and is very stubborn when wanting to follow a scent. The bloodhound’s coat is short and has a distinctive look of loose skin hanging around the neck and head to form deep folds.

Bloodhounds are accurate trackers, which is why they’re commonly used worldwide in rescue efforts and criminal searches. Originally, they were used for hunting boar and deer. Besides being a hardworking hound, they are very gentle, docile, and affectionate, making them a good family pet.

Borzoi

Borzoi
This graceful, gentle, and large-sized dog belongs to the Sighthound dog family. Hundreds of years ago, it was bred as a hunter of wolves, hares, and foxes in Tsarist Russia (which explains the reason why it’s also referred to as the Russian wolfhound).

Borzois are known to be agile, courageous, and extremely fast. It is for this reason that they require daily exercise, although it should not be excessive. Although they are not keen to smell, they can see well and detect motion quickly.

Today, this tall sighthound dog breed likes to be in the company of other sighthounds. They are well behaved and love a lot of attention. Additionally, their coat requires regular bathing and brushing.

Basenji

Basenji
The Basenji is an elegant and super alert sighthound that originated from Central Africa where it was used for tracking and chasing small games into nets. Something unique about this hound is that it possesses both excellent senses of sight and smell. It is also known as the “barkless dog” since it does not bark but yodels when excited.

Basenjis have a distinctive look in that their forehead is wrinkled and has a curly tail. This ultra-fastidious dog breed is frequently compared to a cat due to its grooming habits. Despite being cold around strangers, the Basenji is very affectionate and high spirited. He is also full of activity and requires an experienced and active owner.

Basset Hound

Basset Hound
This dog is easy to recognize due to its short stature, wrinkled face, soulful eyes, and long ears. It is one of the hound dog breeds that have a great sense of smell for hunting game like birds, rabbits, foxes, and deers. In fact, its innate sense of smell is close to that of the bloodhound.

Today, basset hounds do well in hunting tests, tracking, and scent work. They are also good family companions as they are docile, affectionate, and tolerant of children. They are also very lazy and don’t need a lot of exercise. However, you should be careful not to overfeed them as they can easily put on weight.

Irish Wolfhound

Irish Wolfhound
This breed is easily one of the largest domesticated sighthounds. The Irish wolfhound originated from Ireland and is used in hunting wolves. Despite its size, this breed is patient, reliable, and good with its family. Also, Irish wolfhounds are not known for being aggressive among strangers or even destructive.

Dachshund

Dachshund
The Dachshund is easy to recognize due to its miniature stance, short legs, and long body. This stubborn and hilarious breed was originally bred in Germany in order to hunt badgers more than 300 years ago, thereby resulting in their short legs. This little guy is the only breed that can hunt below and above ground.

Despite having a small body, Dachshunds have a brave personality and a keen sense of smell. They can use their scenting abilities over a long distance. Their loud bark makes them ideal watchdogs. Also, they are loyal and attached to their owners.

Afghan Hound

Afghan Hound
Don’t be fooled by the elegant look of this pooch! The Afghan hound is a large breed that was discovered in Afghanistan and is considered an aristocrat. It was bred to hunt and work and likes to chase off small animals like squirrels. Additionally, its long and silky coat protects him from the colder climate in Afghanistan. Due to that, its coat will require regular grooming.

Whippet

Whippet
This specific hound breed is one of the fastest dogs in the world, originating from England. It resembles the Greyhound and can sprint short distances to catch its prey. Due to a whippet’s great vision, it was bred to hunt by locating the prey with his eyes.

Up until now, whippets are used to hunt rats and rabbits. They also do well in sports like flyball. Besides being playful, they are gentle, good-natured, and make for an ideal family dog. If you are considering this breed, it is important to know that one of their favorite places is a cozy sofa.

American Foxhound

American Foxhound
Just like its name suggests, the American foxhound was bred for hunting foxes. It was also bred to run so fast and can do well in active homes. When an American foxhound spots his prey, he will make a nonstop barking.

Due to its appearance, an American foxhound is often mistaken for beagles, with the exception that it’s a bit leaner and taller. Although this breed is hardworking and athletic, it does make a great family dog.

Additionally, it has an easy-going nature and loves the companions of both children and adults. It requires regular exercise and grooming due to its hard coat.

Conclusion

While all these hound breeds were used for the purpose of hunting back in the days, some are still used for this purpose nowadays. As hunting dogs, they were bred to identify and follow hunt game with the help of their sight and/or smell.

With early training, these dogs make great companions, and you can surely enjoy their unwavering loyalty. However, most of these canines still have their physical prowess, which is why new pet parents should take it into consideration before adopting any of them.