The hound dog is known to be quite the useful companion for hunters. Hound dogs have the ability to track and chase down the targeted animal. The breed uses their sight and smell to find their prey. This differs slightly from gun dogs and retrievers, both of which are also used in hunting. The gun dog directs hunters to the location of potential prey while the retriever recovers quarry that has been shot and left for dead. Sight Hounds, like the Greyhound, Saluki and Afghan, display amazing speed that they use to catch and kill their game. The Scent Hound is usually a slower breed like Bassets, Beagles and Bloodhounds, who track down prey from scent.
The Beagle is perhaps the oldest hound. This Scent Hound has quite the nose and will constantly follow scents around. Despite a stubbornness that makes them difficult to train for obedience, this small dog makes a great pet. They get along fabulously with children and other dogs and have a generally calm demeanor.
Dachshunds are another breed dog type that may present some difficulty with housebreaking and obedience training. they are usually independent and stubborn but always good hearted. A Dachshund is playful, fun and able to handle non aggressive kids. You can get them in either a Miniature or Standard size. They also have three different coat varieties – shorthair, longhair and wirehair.
Basset Hounds are friendly, trustworthy and gentle hounds. This dog is extremely loyal and will literally worship their master. Basset Hounds are easy-going and get along fine with children, animals and strangers. This Scent Hound will have their nose to the ground quite a bit. In fact, the only time they may lack obedience is when they are investigating a new scent.
A very large, intimidating and powerful breed is the Bloodhound. Despite this dog’s tough strong exterior, they are usually affectionate teddy bears with family and children. The negatives? You’ll have quite the droller on your hands and they can show some temper when it comes to possessiveness of their toys and food.
A Rhodesian Ridgeback is a hound with a very distinguishing ridge of hair that runs the opposite direction to the rest of the dog’s coat. The dog is very dignified, intelligent, trustworthy and loyal. They can be a little overly protective of family and wary of strangers and other animals. A younger Ridgeback is also too hyper for toddlers and small children. Breeders are gradually phasing this breed dog hound out by spaying and neutering offspring so they are no longer bred.
The Whippet is a quiet and gentle breed. The dog is quite energetic and playful, with superb athletic skills, but many of these dogs are confined to small spaces since their size makes them apartment friendly. They are sometimes content to spend a good portion of their day sleeping. Some of these dogs experience a condition called “excessive greeting disorder”, an overly excited ritual of greeting their owners, even when only separated momentarily. These episodes include howling, barking, jumping, running in circles, humping and trying to throw you off balance.
Other popular hound dog breeds, according to the American Kennel Club, include the Basenji, Irish Wolfhound, Borzoi and Afghan Hound. All of these dogs provide a great form of companionship that extends well beyond your home.