A hound dog can run for miles and nap for hours – the perfect balance of energy and calm for your family! Hound dogs come in all shapes and sizes, so there are many different options within the hound family. This breed is diverse, but they all have one thing in common – they are all hunters with an incredible sense of smell and keen eyesight. These pups were developed to help humans with hunting on both horseback and foot. Some of the most common types of hound dogs include the Beagle, Dachshund, Rhodesian Ridgeback, Basset Hound, and Bloodhound.
Beagles are active companions and are happiest when following an attractive scent. The Beagle dog personality is cheerful and fun-loving while also being stubborn and requiring some patience. This type of dog is a scent hound, and it’s argued that the Beagle is one of the best rabbit hunters today. They are easily recognizable with their big brown eyes and square, floppy ears. Overall, the breed makes an excellent companion for both adults and children while also being a widely recognized breed throughout the United States.
The Dachshund, a German word meaning “badger dog,” comes in two different sizes and three different varieties - a smooth coat, a long coat, and a wire-haired coat. They were initially bred to hunt badger and other burrowing animals, so they have short legs are an asset.
You may also know the Dachshund by one of their other lovable nicknames, such as the Weiner Dog, Sausage Dog, Doxie, and more. The Dachshund dog personality is full of energy and adventure while also being brave to the point of rashness and a little stubbornness. They are incredibly endearing and have a unique look, making them a prevalent hound dog breed.
The Rhodesian Ridgeback is a hound dog originating from Rhodesia, Africa, which is now Zimbabwe. They were most commonly used as hunting dogs and were well known for keeping lions from their hunter’s kill. The most famous trait of these hound puppies is the ridge running along their back with hair growing in the opposite direction from that on the rest of their body. Ridgebacks are fast and powerful athletes who can weigh between 70 and 85 pounds, and sometimes even more. They are strong-willed, independent, and authoritative dogs. There are also faithful, protective, and affectionate with those they trust.
One of America’s favorite dog breeds is the Basset Hound, with its adorable short legs, droopy eyes, and wrinkled face. They originated in France during the 16th century, and their name is derived from the French word 'bas', meaning low. Even though this type of hound stands no higher than 14 inches at the shoulder, they have lots of strength and stamina. They are scent hounds initially used for hunting rabbits and hare but make perfect family companions today. Basset Hounds are relatively lazy dogs that don’t require much exercise, but owners also need to make sure they don’t gain too much weight. They are very gentle, perfect for families with children, and considered good pets for novice dog owners.
Initially developed in France for hunting deer and boar, the Bloodhound is most often found today working with police and military personnel, detecting weapons and narcotics, and search and rescue operations. Known as the “sleuth hound,” they have exceptional scent abilities along with powerful legs, allowing them to follow a trail for miles over rough terrain. The Bloodhound is a large dog, standing 23 to 27 inches at the shoulder and weighing over 110 pounds. These hound puppies are also famous because they make caring and loving family pets. They are gentle and affectionate dogs but can also be stubborn, especially when they find a scent they’d like to follow.
Like any dog group, hounds are susceptible to some specific health issues. Beagles and Basset Hounds both have heavy drop-over ears, which can trap dirt and moisture. If you don’t clean your hound’s ears regularly, it may develop an infection. Hounds are also more prone to gaining weight. Bloat, a condition that is also known as gastric torsion, occurs in hounds. A build-up of gas and fluids pushes the stomach outward, and when the dog moves around, the pressure can cause the stomach to turn over. You can prevent your hound from developing health problems by regularly taking it to the vet.
Since hound dogs are so diverse in size, personality, and activity level, you’re bound to find a type of hound that is perfect for you and your family. From the active and athletic Rhodesian Ridgeback to the docile Basset Hound, there are lots of options to choose from. If you're thinking of bringing one home, there are a few things you need to know. The hound breed might be perfect for you if:
- You’d like an active dog that will also happily cuddle on the couch with you when not out and about.
- You have the time and energy to invest in training a dog that is not considered an obedient breed.
- You live in a more rural location with lots of areas to exercise your hound and go for daily long walks.