History of Hounds

Early SighthoundsEarly Sighthounds

In North Africa around 10,000BC, nomadic people lived in a savannah teeming with giant buffalo and other bovines that were later domesticated into the various cattle breeds we know today. These early people used their hounds for hunting and killing a bovine that roamed within these wild herds.

Wild animals that existed then no longer exist in the now desert areas. To the dog's advantage, man had weapons to kill his prey, but the dog assisted as it could not only run faster than man, it also had a more acute sense of small and could find the prey easier.

When the kill was made, man was selective in choosing which portions of that prey to eat. Bones and certain viscera of this prey that were discarded became food for the dog. So, the first non-nomadic people who settled in communities brought about the first domestication of dogs from which hunting dogs evolved. These dogs also kept these early settlements clean of human excreta and other types of waste. Humans were vulnerable to predators like wolves, and other wild animals which the presence of tame dogs could chase away or warn by barking.

Dogs of ancient Egypt

Early Hounds of the Southern Mediterranean

Around 5,000 BC a distinct type of hunting dog existed as a sacred animal protecting villages in the Southern Mediterranean. It appeared to be an early type of Gazehound or Sight Hound. Often also called a Greyhound used for hunting antelope that invaded the forests that were to become the Sahara Desert. »» Read more...

Bloodhound 1563

Scent Hounds for Finding

Scent Hounds were often called Leash Hounds because they were usually hunted on a leash. The first breed that was created for this specialized hunting by the nobility was the Saint Hubert Hound so called because it was developed by the French monks of the Abbey of Saint Hubert in the Ardennes around 1100 AD. So it was named after ... »» Read more...

greyhounds composite

Sight Hounds for Coursing

The famous Greek philosopher Aristotle (384 - 322BC), stated that if you cross the sleek hound of Southern Mediterranean with the broad mouthed mountain dog of Eurasia, you will procure pups which have the grace of the hound and the courage of the mountain dog. As millennia slipped by, Aristotle's advice became reality with the sport of hunting becoming popular ... »» Read more...


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