Scent Hounds for Finding

Scent Hound c 1563Scent Hound c 1563Scent 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 its patron who was a celebrated huntsman. This was the also one of the first breeds to be described with a distinctive physical appearance which was as follows:

This large dog easily reached over 2 feet at the shoulder; it was at the same time powerful and fast, with an excellent nose and eager to hunt all animals. Its dark coat, its fine dense hair, its wide pendulous ears, its head marked with furrows and folds of skin all gave it a distinctive appearance [1] 

Scent Hounds were greatly prized by huntsmen of the nobility who wished to hunt stag and wild boar for hours, the most obvious direct descendant of the Saint Hubert Hound being the Bloodhound. Later, his amazing finding or scenting abilities had a great impact on the selective development of many other breeds.

Smaller Scent Hounds

Early DachshundEarly Dachshund

These include:

  • The generic name of smaller scent hounds mentioned in the First English Stud Book called Harriers, historically used to hunt hare.
  • Those breeds with shorter legs developed so people could also hunt with them more easily by foot, without the need for a horse. These include the 'Basset' family their name derived from the French word 'Basse' or 'Bas' meaning low.
  • Those breeds which followed their prey beneath the ground and were called 'Terriers' from the Latin word 'Terra' meaning earth.

References and Further Reading

[1] Fernand Mery 'The Life, History and Magic of the Dog' Pub. 1970 Madison Square Press English Translation New York Chapter 3 Page 47