Hound dogs were the most popular hunting animals around, especially in the days when hunting was considered an entertaining sport. Although hunting as a sport still exists today, it has mellowed considerably.
Hound dogs were hunters’ favorite pet as they had this unique ability to track prey remarkably well. They possess a profound sense of smell, great speed, and are sharp-sighted as well. That is why in most cases, they led the hunt instead of waiting for the hunters’ directions.
The hound dog breeds are among the oldest in the world today. Although they were bred primarily for use in hunting, they have been groomed to become loyal house pets. They are sturdy, instinctual animals with great stamina. This is why hound dog owners are advised to keep their pet on a tight leash or in a fenced area as the dogs are inclined to pursue any moving target relentlessly.
One of the first things you should consider when you want to procure a hound dog is their purpose in life. There are primarily three types of hound dogs in existence today, though only a handful of individuals around the world know this fact:
Sighthound dogs were initially developed in Asia and the Middle East and are believed to be the world’s oldest types of dogs. They are very elegant and have been depicted in many instances as the companion of distinguished noble Englishmen.
Sighthounds have little body fat but are very sleek. Their tolerance for cold weather is extremely low, therefore, take this information into account when seeking to get a hound dog in this category.
Sighthound dogs can also make brilliant house pets, and should not be relegated for hunting only. As long as they have a beanbag or floor cushion to lounge in, they are pleased.
Hound dogs in this category include the Afghan hound, Irish Wolfhound, Whippet, and Borzoi.
Other sighthounds that make excellent pets include the American Foxhound, Greyhound, and Scottish Deerhound, and Saluki.
As the name implies, scent hounds are raised to track prey using their extraordinary sense of smell. They were developed in North America and Europe to not only track but also to pinpoint their prey and make enough noises to alert the hunter. Scent hounds tend to be very vocal, so bear this fact in mind when getting your dog.
They usually look sleepy or slow, but in reality, they are very lively dogs. They are hunters through and through. Scent hounds, due to their active nature, require constant exercise and stimulation.
Dogs that fall into this category include the Dachshund, the Beagle, and the Bloodhound.
Spitz hounds possess keen senses of scent and sight. They are also known to thrive well in cold weather and are characterized by ruffs around their necks, alert ears, and eyes.
They possess acute senses and are known to be independent thinkers; therefore, proper training is required.
Spitz hounds also require a lot of exercises to expend their energy and since they are bred for work, keeping them at home the entire day will not be appropriate. The perfect solution is to take them for a good walk. However, they make great family pets.
Hound dogs in this category include the Norwegian Elkhound, Finnish Spitz, and the Basenji.
The mild temperaments of hound dogs make them remarkable house pets, so carry out adequate research before getting one that will be suitable for your lifestyle.