Other Scent Hounds

Basset HoundBasset Hound

This section contains an overview of some of the Scent Hound breeds not yet dealt with in detail. It is interesting that some of these breeds are short legged, bred to follow their prey beneath the ground with a similar construction to some of the breeds of short Legged Terriers with deep chests.

Dachshunds also belong to this category and were bred to work underground. Their legs have been shortened in order to dog through tunnels similar to Short Legged Terriers with Deep Chests.So Scent Hounds like Terriers come in long and short legged varieties but of course they were bred for a different purpose.

In Europe, it seems that every separate country has its own Scent Hound. The French Hounds are particularly interesting boasting some 76 breeds and/or varieties which were derived from the packs on the old pre-French Revolution estates. Within the various breeds of Scent Hounds, the Basett Hounds alone include the Basset Fauve de Bretagne, the Grand Basset Griffon Vendéen and the Petit Basset Griffon Vendeen.

Basset hounds have shortened legs for a different purpose from that of a Dachshund. His name comes from the French word 'Basse or 'Bas' meaning low. So, he was developed on short legs so he could be more easily followed by a hunter on foot, rather than the huntsman mounted on a horse. The Basset Hound was developed in England and popularized there with cartoon characters such as 'Fred Basset'.

The English scent hounds are the dogs usually associated with the English hunt scenes. In 1534 when Dr Caius did the first classification of dogs, he called dogs which hunted as packs of Scent Hounds Harriers. As the centuries rolled by, packs of mixed Hounds developed and mixtures of Foxhounds and Harriers became common. These packs of Hounds had long legs.In the last few decades, the Harrier has become a pure breed in its own right and so has the Foxhound. The popular Beagle is the smallest of the English Scent Hounds.

From Scandinavia we have the Finnish Hound from Finland,Hamiltonstövare and Drever from Sweden, as well as the Norwegian Elkhound, the Norwegian Lundehund, as well as the Dunker, Haldenstoslashvare, and Hygenhund all originating from Norway.

The Swiss Hounds are vary according to the district in Switzerland where they were originally developed. These include the Bernese Hound, the Jura Hound, the Lucerne Hound and the Schwyz Hound each separate breed coming in two varieties, namely with long legs or with short legs.

In addition there are different breeds of Scent Hounds developed from Bosnia, Croatia, Spain, Greece, Italy, Serbia, Montenegro, Austria Poland and Slovakia. Couple this with the 6 varieties of the Portuguese Podengo which can be a Sight Hound as well as a Scent Hound, the Dalmatian which originated as a Scent Hound in Croatia, we have a very large variety of different Scent Hounds.

Rhodesian Ridgeback;deserves a special mention. He is a hound developed in Rhodesia which is in the Southern part of the African Continent now called Zimbabwe. He was a hunter and guardian against lion and the country's other hostile predators. The 'ridge', a band of hair growing in the opposite direction to the remainder of the coat, is the dog's identifying mark. A similar ridge also appears on Thailand's native dog, the Thai Ridgeback, although this dog looks more like a heavier version of the Australian Dingo which is not yet a recongised pure-breed.