Dog breed library - Hounds

Size of dog
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Grooming required
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Afghan HoundThe elegant afghan may have a tendency to look rather aloof, and in fact, the breed standard says that they are meant to look "at one and through one". Afghans come in many colours with a long nose and an athletic build under a long, silky coat. They also have a saddle area of close coat. The build is similar to that of a Greyhound but they are more angulated. Originally bred by tribes in Afghanistan for hunting, they are rather independent so not generally known for a high level of obedience. With a generally steady temperament, they don't bark overly but can be known to howl. Afghans can be aloof with strangers at first but can be won over. They tend to get on well with other dogs but their hunting instincts make them inclined to chase wildlife. Afghans love to run and people often race them. As a result, they need a lot of exercise. Free running is ideal but they're also good escape artists so gardens have to be secure. Their coat needs a lot of upkeep so thorough, regular grooming is essential. Moulting isn't excessive although the bitches tend to lose a lot of coat during their seasons. The Afghan has changed little over the years so the breed remains strong and healthy. They're not prone to any particular health problems so are not routinely screened for anything.
AzawakhElegant Azawakhs are not just an alert and loyal hunter and protector but something to show off with pride. The Azawakh is a sighthound, rather Saluki-like in build although with a small head and an impression of fineness with very taught skin. The hair is very short and non-existent on the belly. Their coat is fawn with a white chest, white feet and a white-tipped tail. Originally bred in the Sahel region of Africa to guard, hunt and act as companions, they take their name from the Azawakh Valley. They tend to hunt and guard in packs. Naturally attuned to anything that may mean danger, they are ultra sensitive. Attentive, alert but gentle with his owner, Azawakhs are wary of those they don't know. They are used to working as a team with other dogs but will guard against other animals. They need plenty of outdoor exercise as they tend to lounge indoors. As their build suggests, they are capable of great speeds. The short coat is easy to maintain with the occasional brush and they don't moult excessively. Their thin skin and short hair makes them prone to cold so they need a coat in winter.
BasenjiThe Basenji, famously, does not bark but does make a variety of other sounds including a kind of dog-yodel. They also clean themselves like a cat. The Basenji is a small, muscular dog with a short, shiny coat that comes in a variety of colours. There are white markings on the feet, chest and tip of the tail too. They also have a long tail that curls over to one side of the back. Their foreheads are wrinkled giving them a slightly puzzled expression. In Africa, Basenjis were used to warn of danger and to help with hunting but images of Basenji-like dogs have been found in Egyptian tombs. Basenjis are alert, playful and respond well to training. They also love to chew so giving them their own chew toys is wise. They form a bond with their owner but are wary of strangers. They may respond well to other dogs and often enjoy living with other Basenjis but they might not be trustworthy around non-canines. They have plenty of energy and will be active around the house as well as enjoying exercise outdoors. Because the breed washes itself like a cat, little grooming is needed, they tend to be odourless and they shed very little hair. They are prone to kidney problems.
Basset Bleu De GascogneThese interesting little dogs nearly became extinct in the 19th Century but were rescued due to the interest of a French enthusiast named Alain Bourbon. The Basset Bleu De Gascogne is a short-legged ("Basset" means "short-legged"), long-backed hound. It has long, floppy ears and a smooth coat which is white with "ticking" to give the blue appearance. Their origin is a little unclear but it is known that they were used in France at the time of the French Revolution for hunting on foot - their shape prevents them from moving too quickly. They are trainable, but like all hounds, may become selectively 'deaf' when they catch an interesting scent. They are stable and friendly around people but their natural tendency is to chase wildlife. They enjoy regular exercise and have good stamina for long walks. Their short coat is easy to maintain with the occasional brush. They are a generally healthy dog although food allergies have been reported and occasional gastric problems.
Basset Fauve De BretagneThe Basset Fauve De Bretagne is a sound, busy, happy little dog that makes a good family pet. They are small and neat, and as the name implies, short legged, but their legs are slightly longer than other similar types. In addition they have a very wiry, harsh coat, red or wheaten in colour, with darker shaded ears. They were bred in France for hunting and are naturally good at scent work. In 2004, a Kennel Club survey found that one of the most common causes of death was road traffic accidents, possibly due to the fact that once they get a scent for an animal it will often override training. They are loving towards people and good with children. They are good at co-operating with other dogs, they enjoy regular exercise, have good stamina for long walks and can give rabbits a run for their money. The wiry coat needs stripping two or three times a year to keep it in condition appropriate to the breed but occasional brushing the rest of the time is sufficient. No hereditary problems have been found in the UK but there have been some instances of epilepsy in Europe.
Basset Griffon Vendeen (Grand)The Basset Griffon Vendeen (Grand) loves human company and is fun to have around. The name is sometimes shortened to GBGV. The name describes the dog perfectly: Basset (shortened leg), Griffon (wiry-coated), Vendeen (from the Vendee region in France), Grand (larger of the two breeds, standing about two inches taller at the shoulder than the Petit). They come in any hound colour and white. Originating from the Vendee region of France, they were bred to hunt rabbit, hare and deer. With a strong hunting drive, they love to dig and can be good at escaping so need a secure garden. They also have a strong bark and healthy appetite, if they are in a secure environment, finding and feeding them isn't normally a problem. This breed is a hound and loves company they should never be left for long periods of time as they will howl and become withdrawn. They get along well with people and other dogs but are less trustworthy with non-canine pets, GBGV's are an active breed that enjoys walking and has plenty of stamina. They must be groomed regularly with a metal comb to rake out the top coat which would normally be ripped out whilst hunting in heavy undergrowth. Their undercoat does not shed and they are a generally healthy breed.
Basset Griffon Vendeen (Petit)This friendly, confident, little dog is into everything and fun to have around. Petit Basset Griffon Vendeen (sometimes shortened to PBGV) are small, low to the ground and the length of body (measured from point of shoulder to point of buttock) exceeds the height at withers at a ratio of approximately 7:5. They have quite a long, harsh outer coat and a thick, short undercoat which is generally white with any hound colour. Both the Grand and Petit Basset Griffon Vendeen came from the Vendee region of France to hunt rabbit and hare and were bred down from the Grand Griffon Vendeen, hence the name 'Basset' meaning shortened legs. Initially, if the puppies were small they were named 'Petit' and if they were large (over 38cm at the shoulder) they were named 'Grand'. They are now recognised by the UK Kennel Club as two separate breeds. They have a strong hunting drive so a lot of care and preparation is needed if they're going to be let off lead. They are active indoors but enjoy physical exercise outdoors too, so a large garden is ideal. They also like to dig so gardens must be safely fenced. Generally sociable with people and other dogs, they can be less trustworthy with non-canine pets. Regular brushing should be enough to keep shedding fairly minimal. They are a generally healthy breed although eye problems have been reported.
Basset HoundA popular cartoon image is that of the Basset Hound with a deerstalker and his magnifying glass to signify his skills as a detective. This short legged dog is quite heavily built with a sad expression, loose folds in the mouth and skin and long hanging ears. The coat is short and shiny and they come in a variety of colours. They also have a deep and ringing bark. The breed is a direct descendent of the Bloodhound and has excellent scenting ability, helped by the fact that his shape makes it easy for him to keep his nose to the ground. They are reported to have been bred by monks to hunt hare and pheasant. The Basset Hound is devoted and naturally well behaved, but like all hounds, they're inclined towards selective deafness when they catch an interesting scent. They have a sweet and gentle nature and are good with children and generally get along well with other animals too. They tend to be sedentary indoors but outdoors they are capable of long distances and it's important to give them plenty of opportunity for outdoor walks to keep them fit. The short coat is easy to maintain but it's important to monitor the health of the ears too. Because they have short legs and a long heavy body, they can suffer lameness so it's important to be careful not to overfeed them.
Bavarian Mountain HoundThis handsome hound is known as the Bayerische Gebirgsschweisshund in his native Germany. They are medium sized dogs with quite a long body with a slightly raised rump. The coat is short, thick and shiny and quite harsh. They are black-faced with a fawn or brindle body. The breed is a cross between the Bavarian Hound and the Hanover Hound and was bred to trail wounded game in the mountains so they are very agile. They're calm, loyal and brave. Their excellent sense of smell and persistence make them an excellent hunting dog. Loyal to his family and good with children, they can be wary of strangers. Like all hounds, they will go after wildlife, they need plenty of space and a lot of exercise so are well suited to being a working dog. They need little grooming to maintain their short coats. They have few health problems.
BeagleThe Beagle is a sociable, cheerful dog, eager to please and game for anything. They are a sturdy little hound that looks like a miniature Foxhound. Their coat is short and sleek and any hound-type colouring is acceptable. When out hunting, they have a recognisable baying call. The first Beagles date back to the 1500s bred by the British to track and hunt small game. They are brave and intelligent with a strong tracking instinct so will respond well to scent-based games. They are a good family dog, liking people and children. They are bred to co-operate with other dogs but might not be trustworthy around other animals. They need plenty of exercise as they have lots of energy and stamina but are a very active dog indoors as well as out. Like all hounds, once they pick up a scent, they have a tendency towards selective deafness. The short coat is easy to care for with regular brushing and the occasional shampoo. Some lines can be prone to epilepsy, heart disease, eye and back problems.
BloodhoundWhen it comes to tracking, the Bloodhound cannot be beaten. The Bloodhound is a very large hound. They have very long drooping ears and excess skin that hangs in folds particularly around the head and neck. The coat is short and generally a mixture of black and tan or red. They also tend to drool. Bloodhounds originated in Belgium, have been around for about 1,000 years and have always been used for tracking. When tracking game their job is to track but not kill. Although they can be sensitive, they are generally good natured and tolerant, a gentle giant, but once they get a scent of something, they will tend to single-mindedly follow it. Bloodhounds tend to get on well with people and other animals particularly when out on a trail. Full grown Bloodhounds enjoy plenty of exercise and have incredible stamina. They need little grooming to maintain their coats but their ears need to be checked regularly. They are prone to bloat and need a padded bed to prevent callouses on their joints.
BorzoiThe regal looking Borzoi is a noble dog who makes a loyal companion to his owner. The Borzoi, or Russian Wolfhound, is similar in shape to a Greyhound, very slender but with a deep chest, but their coat is long and comes in a variety of colours. They were bred in Russia for hunting across the open planes and are very fast. Their name comes from a Russian word meaning "swift". They are quite quiet and clean and can be trained but like all hounds may give priority to a scent over a command. Although they do not naturally take to strangers, they can be trained to accept them but would not enjoy rough play with children. Like all hounds, they will chase after wildlife. They will tend to be sedentary indoors so need plenty of outdoor exercise and will move very quickly given the opportunity. The silky coat needs careful attention to keep it at its best and Borzois will moult quite heavily at certain times of the year. They are prone to bloat and sensitive to drugs.
Cirneco Dell'EtnaThis nimble hound can move over the difficult terrain formed by lava flows and go for hours in the heat without food or water. They are a slender but muscular, medium-sized hound with a short, glossy coat and upright ears. They come in shades of brown with white patches, particularly on the chest. They come from the Island of Etna and were bred to hunt rabbit. They are lively, intelligent and independent but also affectionate. They are particularly good at hunting, using sight and hearing as well as their sense of smell, and they enjoy physical sports like agility. They generally get on well with people and other animals but their natural instinct is to chase, they need plenty of physical and mental exercise. Their short coat is easy to maintain. They are a very hardy breed and not prone to any particular health problem.
DachshundIntelligent and lively, dachshunds are generally very sociable and affectionate, although they can be quite vocal if not trained properly. Their shape is easily identifiable, but they don't so much have long bodies as short legs. They come in 6 different varieties: - There are 3 different coat types: smooth, long and wire; - Two different sizes: standard and miniature. each coat type can be in either size. The standards should be up to 26lbs in weight, whereas the minis are 10 - 11 lbs. There are three main colours: black / tan, red and chocolate / tan although there can also be dapples and brindles too. Originally bred for hunting, the standards went to ground for badger and fox and the miniatures for rabbit and vermin. They have an excellent sense of smell so are also used for tracking wounded game. Like all hounds, they can get distracted by scents when off lead so training for a good recall is important. They need plenty of mental stimulation and exercise otherwise they can be noisy and destructive. Not naturally obedient, with persistence they are trainable and tend to respond well to food rewards. Minis can often take longer to house-train. They are very good with people and children, but are likely to chase and harm small furries, although they will generally tolerate animals they've been brought up with. It's important not to over-exercise puppies because of the strain this would put on their joints and developing bones, but once adult, they are surprisingly active for their shape and they enjoy exercise. A wire coat needs the most attention as it needs hand-stripping. The other coat types need brushing too; the long-haired varieties also requiring regular attention. They can suffer from back problems, but there is currently no preventative health test for this. It is advisable to not encourage them to run up and down stairs, or jump on or off furniture because of the stress this can put on their spine. There is an eye condition in the minis called cord1 PRA which breeders should use a DNA test for. Mini Wires should be DNA tested for Lafora Disease, a form of epilepsy. For the most up-to-date health information and advice for buyers and owners, please visit <a href="" title="Visit the Dachshund club website"></a>
DeerhoundThe gentle deerhound makes a dignified and affectionate companion. At first glance, the Deerhound looks like a rough-coated Greyhound but they are larger and slightly heavier in build. They can come in a variety of colours but mainly black, blue-black or grey. They tend to carry their tail low, almost between their back legs. They were bred in Scotland to help to track deer so the harsh coat is for protection against the cold. They almost became extinct, their numbers fell because, at one time, only the nobility were allowed to own one. They are particularly good at tracking and are a well-mannered and loyal dog but can be rather slow to follow commands. They enjoy the company of people and are very good with children, they normally get on well with other dogs but have to be trained to tolerate non-canine animals. They need plenty of outdoor exercise as they tend to be sedentary indoors. Their harsh coat needs trimming and stripping. They are prone to bloat but are otherwise generally healthy.
Finnish SpitzThe Finnish Spitz was not named the "barking bird dog" for nothing. They were bred to bark and even take part in barking contests. There is something fox-like in their appearance. They have a a foxy face and reddish colouring. Their body is muscular and square and their impressive tail curls up and over the body in typical spitz fashion. The double coat is typically spitz too with a dense undercoat and rather harsh top coat. They originally came from Russia but are now the national dog of Finland. They were used to hunt small game and would alert the hunter with a yodelling bark. They are friendly, loyal, lively, intelligent and brave. They tend not to be fully mature until about 3 or 4 years old. They generally get on well with people and children and with the right training, they will get along with other animals. They need plenty of exercise, especially outdoors. Their coat is fairy easy to maintain but they shed heavily at certain times of the year. There are no known health problems.
FoxhoundThe Foxhound is a large and very energetic hunting dog. They have a wide head with large, brown eyes and a long muzzle. Their short and dense but glossy coat is usually a combination of black, tan and white. They were bred in the UK for tracking and hunting in packs, and with their great stamina, they work well with hunters on horseback. In the UK this breed is still most often found in kennelled packs, and is not widely kept as a pet. The Foxhound loves to run and likes to 'bay' rather than bark, but can be stubborn so patient and continuous training is needed. Excellent with people, particularly children, this breed accepts leadership well but training requires patience. They prefer being with other dogs, and are generally good with other household pets, but are likely to take off if they pick up an interesting scent whilst off the lead. Once they have reached adulthood, until they are around 6 years old, this dog can run at speed for many hours at a time, so they need a lot of daily exercise in the form of long and brisk walks or runs. They are easy to groom with a comb or firm brush. There are no known health problems.
Grand Bleu De GascogneThe Grand Bleu De Gascogne loves to hunt, sounding their pleasure with a deep, ringing howl. They are a large, impressive dog with a lean and muscular frame, slightly domed head, drooping ears and with a droop at the sides of their mouths. The short coat is white with black mottling giving the blue look overall. They were bred in France to hunt deer, wild boar and even wolves and have excellent scenting skills. They are sociable, intelligent, confident and capable of independent thought but bore easily and can be rather stubborn. They are normally friendly towards adults, children and domestic pets but their hound nature may make them inclined to chase wildlife. They need plenty of opportunities to exercise their body and brain. The short coat is easy to maintain. They are generally healthy but can suffer from hip dysplasia, a blood clotting disorder eyelid problems, sensitivity to anaesthesia and bloat.
GreyhoundThe Greyhound is the fastest dog in the world, capable of reaching speeds of over forty miles per hour. They are sighthounds, hunting by sight scanning for movement rather than following a scent. Everything about the Greyhound is long and slender. They have slender bodies with deep chests, a long narrow head, long legs and even a long, thin tail. Their coat is short and fine and comes in all colours. There are two types of Greyhound - show dogs and racing dogs. The show dogs are taller, heavier and not as fast. With greyhound type dogs appearing in hieroglyphics it is believed they may have come originally from Egypt. Greyhounds are the only breed mentioned in the Bible. Hundreds of years ago, they were used in England to hunt wild boar, deer and foxes, but over more recent years have been used for racing. They are a gentle, quiet, affectionate breed but can be very sensitive. They can be reserved around strangers and would not welcome rough play from children. Many can be taught to live happily with other animals but a strong urge to chase combined with the speed to catch what they are chasing means they must be managed responsibly. Built for speed they are very much couch potatoes indoors and enjoy regular short exercise opportunities (two 20 minute walks each day is usually recommended depending on the needs of individual dogs). Lead walking is great to tone their muscles and a secure area where they can let off short bursts of speed can be particularly enjoyed. They will need a coat in winter. The short hair is easy to maintain. They have a unique physiology to enable them to reach their high speeds including a proportionately larger heart compared to other breeds, and a greater proportion of red blood cells within their blood. They are prone to bloat and hypothyroidism and can also be sensitive to drugs including insecticides.
Griffon Fauve De BretagneThe Griffon Fauve De Bretagne, or Griffon Fauve for short, is one of the oldest French hunting dogs. They date back to the 13th Century and for many years were used in pairs to hunt wolves. As the wolf started to decline, so did the numbers of Griffon Fauves and when the wolf was wiped out the breed nearly became extinct. Fortunately they were revived in the 1940s. They are still a popular hunting dog today, for game and wild boar, showing determination and courage for their work and loyalty and affection for their family. They are a hardy, medium-sized dog with a distinctive shaggy coat in shades of fawn from golden to red, which is easy to maintain.
HamiltonstovareThe Hamiltonstovare is a very easy going hound but they love to work. They are very like a slender version of the English Foxhound, in overall shape, colour and coat and were, in fact, bred from combining the English Foxhound with German hounds. They were bred by Count Hamilton in the late 1800s in Sweden who wanted to produce a hound that would hunt foxes and hares singly rather than in a pack. They are affectionate and trainable but can be stubborn. They tend to be good with people and children but have a strong prey drive so may not be trustworthy around small animals. They have a lot of energy and stamina so must be given the opportunity for long walks outside but they also have a great urge to run off after a scent. They need little grooming and shed very little. They are a very healthy breed. There have been cases of hip dysplasia and epilepsy but the instances are very low.
Ibizan HoundThe Ibizan Hound is an extremely energetic hunting dog. They are slim and athletic, with large upright ears and amber coloured eyes. Their coats, a combination of whites, reds and tans are most commonly smooth-haired, but can be wire-haired, or, less often, long-haired. They were bred in the Spanish islands for hunting rabbits, either alone or in packs. Most garden fences would not present much of a challenge to such a breed that so loves to run, and, especially, chase. They can be a little cautious with strangers, but once they get to know them, the Ibizan Hounds are very good with adults and children. They are generally good with other pets that are raised in the household, but cats, rabbits, rodents and other small animals outside the home are likely to be hunted, and if caught, might be killed. This breed needs a great deal of very energetic exercise. If the Ibizan Hound chases off, following a scent, it can be very difficult to retrieve! The only grooming required is an occasional brushing or sponging. The coat of the Ibizan Hound is not very protective in particularly cold weather. This breed enjoys generally good health with very few hereditary issues, but some suffer from allergies, and others might have occasional seizures.
Irish WolfhoundThe Irish Wolfhound is the tallest breed in the world so, despite their gentle and affectionate nature, a lot of thought has to be given before taking on a dog of this size. They are the size of a small pony, everything about them is long but well-built and they have a shaggy, wiry coat that comes in a range of colours but is commonly grey. Their name derives from the fact that they were, at one time, actually used for hunting prey like wolves, boar and deer and they were highly prized but they fell out of favour when there were no more boar and wolves in Ireland to hunt. Like other giant dogs, Irish Wolfhounds are good natured, loyal, intelligent and eager to please but they can be rather clumsy as they grow and have to get used to their size. They get along well with all other animals, adults and children. They need a decent amount of exercise but no more than many of the smaller breeds and care must be taken when they are young not to put too much strain on their giant frame. Their coat needs regular brushing and occasional stripping. They can be prone to cardiomyopathy, bone cancer, bloat, PRA, Von Willebrand disease and hip dysplasia.
Norwegian ElkhoundThe Elkhound is one of the oldest hunting dogs. They have a fine sense of scent, capable of smelling game from over a mile away, and were around at the time of cave men. They are a strong and sturdy medium-sized spitz-style dog. Their double coat is thick and hard and comes in grey with black tips. They have a black muzzle, ears and tip of the tail too. The name Elkhound is translated from a Norwegian word meaning "Moose Dog" and originally they were a hunting dog used for tracking and hunting a range of animals including moose, elk, bear and mountain lion. Their working method was to hold prey and bark until the hunter arrived so they are inclined to be insistently vocal in trying to get attention. They can be difficult to obedience train but are friendly, loving and loyal to their family. They are usually fine with children and other dogs but may be wary of strangers and possibly not trustworthy around other animals. Although active indoors they can take a lot of outdoor exercise too but are happy with less if need be. They need regular brushing and combing and shed heavily at certain times of the year. A special brush is needed at shedding time as the old hair clings to the new but their coat is easy to keep clean. They are prone to hip dysplasia, some skin problems and PRA.
OtterhoundThe Otterhound is said to have a sense of smell that is so good that they can detect the scent of an otter in the morning when the otter passed through the water the night before. They are a large scent hound, rectangular in shape. Their head is rectangular, too, with long-hanging ears and a shaggy face with bushy eyebrows. They have webbed feet and a coarse double coat which is dense and very weather resistant. They come in all typical hound colours - grizzle, sandy, red, wheaten, blue, white with slight lemon, blue or badger pied markings, black and tan, blue and tan, black and cream, occasional liver, tan and liver, tan and white. They were bred to hunt otter when otters were plentiful and endangered the fish supply. Otterhounds are not the most trainable of dogs but are brave, lively, loving, devoted and friendly. They love water and can happily spend hours in it. They are loud with a baying call that can carry for a considerable distance. They are people friendly, good with children and get along with other dogs and even non-canines in the family but may well chase wildlife. They need a lot of exercise and, if possible, opportunities for swimming but they can be single-minded about running off if they get an interesting scent. Their coat tends to attract the nature they like to ramble in and they need brushing and combing regularly but should not be clipped. They can be prone to hip dysplasia, thrombocytopenia, hemophilia and bloat.
Pharaoh HoundThe Pharaoh Hound is one of the oldest breeds in the world, possibly going back as far as 4,000 BC. Artwork from ancient Egypt certainly shows a dog very like them. They are tall, slim and athletic looking with a deep chest. Their neck is long and slightly arched and their head a long wedge with large, erect ears and amber eyes. Their short, smooth and glossy coat is a reddish tan with a few white markings and ideally a white tip to the tail. They were used as a scent hound and sight hound for small game as well as a royal companion. They are now the national dog of Malta. The Pharaoh Hound loves to play outside and is a pleasant, loving and peaceful dog indoors as long as they are given enough opportunity for exercise. They do need handling with care though, as they can be sensitive and have a unique tendency to "blush" when excited with their ears and nose becoming bright pink. They are normally child-friendly, ok around other dogs but wary of strangers and like to chase small game. They are relatively inactive indoors but can run very fast and enjoy the opportunity to do so outside. Their short coat is easy to look after. They tend to stay clean and have no doggy smell but they may need to wear a coat against the cold in winter. They are generally very hardy and healthy but they may be sensitive to insecticides and certain medicines.
Portuguese PodengoThe Podengo is the National Breed of Portugal. Podengos actually come in three sizes: small, medium and large, but only the small are recognised by the kennel club in the UK. They are a well proportioned and muscular dog. All sizes of Podengo come in two coat types: smooth and wiry. The smooth coat type is much older, the wiry was created by mixing with other breeds. They usually come in fawn (all shades from light to dark) often with white patches. They can come in yellow but not plain white. All three sizes were bred for hunting, what prey they hunt depends on their size. Generally they hunt in packs and flush out their prey. They then either kill it or wait for the huntsman to catch up and kill it. As Podengos are all hunting dogs, they have a keen sense of sight and smell. They can all be a little wilful but are intelligent and very trainable. The Portuguese Podengo has a tendency to return to their owner when out on walks to check that they are still following. All sizes make loving companion dogs with their owners but the small and medium are naturally more friendly and sociable with strangers, children and other animals. They all need plenty of exercise so regular walks are important, the medium type is probably the fastest. They also like to dig and are good jumpers so fencing would need to be secure. None of the types present any problems with grooming, in fact the breed standard states that they are not trimmed, even for the show ring. For both coat types, an occasional groom with a comb or brush is all that is needed. They are generally very hardy and healthy.
Rhodesian RidgebackRhodesian Ridgebacks, used in packs, are excellent at hunting lions with hunters on horseback so they are sometimes known as "African Lion Hound". They are a large, muscular hound with a flat, triangular head and, sometimes, a black tongue. Their short, smooth coat comes in shades of wheaten and red but their most noticeable feature is the ridge of hairs that grow the wrong way along their back. They originate from Zimbabwe where they worked as a retriever and guard dog but in Rhodesia they found a new use as a hunter of big game. An excellent hunter, they are loyal, protective and surprisingly calm in the home. They are trainable and will be good natured and well behaved if allowed sufficient opportunity to exercise. They are normally good with children although may be a little boisterous for small children and they can be wary of strangers. They also need to be trained to get along with other animals. They have a lot of energy and stamina and need plenty of opportunity to exercise. They can withstand extremes of temperature. The smooth, short hair is easy to groom. Rhodesian Ridgebacks are generally very hardy but can be prone to hip dysplasia, dermoid sinus, cysts and mast cell tumours.
SalukiThe graceful, athletic Saluki literally flies when it runs. At top speed, all four of its legs are in the air at the same time. They are a tall, slender, elegant dog that naturally carries their tail between their legs. They are like a long-haired Greyhound. Their coat comes in white, cream, fawn, golden, red, grizzle and tan, black and tan tricolour or white. They are the royal dog of Egypt and go back to the time of the Pharaohs. They were never sold but offered as treasured gifts and were used to hunt gazelle. Like the Greyhound, they are a gentle, loving dog but can be very sensitive. They are also intelligent and will bore easily if left alone or given insufficient exercise. They are naturally people, children and dog friendly but great care must be taken around other animals as they have a strong prey drive. They have great speed and tremendous stamina but can be single minded when they spot something to chase. They need little grooming but their feathery ears need checking for signs of infection. They have no natural doggy odour. They are prone to eye problems and cancer and can get sunburnt.
Segugio ItalianoAlthough very popular in their native Italy, the Segugio Italiano is rarely kept as a pet. They are primarily a hunting dog, capable of working alone or in packs. They are a medium-sized, squarish hound with a length equal to their height that comes in smooth and wire coated types. Their coat can be fawn coloured or black and tan. They were bred originally to hunt boar but are now used for hunting rabbits and hares. They work in a unique way, tracking and then herding the prey to bring it to the hunter. When excitedly on the trail, they make a distinctive high-pitched "ba, ba" noise. They are generally calm, intelligent and affectionate but need plenty of opportunity to exercise their body and brain. They are normally good with other dogs, children and people. They are very fast and have great stamina so need plenty of exercise but their prey drive will incline them to chase if they spot wildlife. Regular brushing and combing keeps the coat in good condition. They are usually very healthy.
SloughiAlthough very similar to Greyhounds in appearance, the main difference between Sloughis and Greyhounds is in the way they move. Sloughis do not hunch and extend as much as the Greyhound - their gait is smoother and seems effortless. They are squarer in shape than the Greyhound but with the same short, smooth coat. The most common colour is sandy with dark heads but they can come in other colours too such as brindle, white or even black and tan. They are an Arabian breed, originating from a region in the north Sahara and have been in existence since the 1300s. They were a treasured possession of chiefs and kings and used for hunting. Sloughis are not the easiest dog to obedience train but they can be very affectionate, gentle, and loyal to their owners. Indoors, they are happiest lying around on soft furnishings. They can be wary of strangers although get along well with children and other animals if they are raised with them but care needs to be taken around small mammals. They will be relaxed indoors but need a lot of exercise outside. They also have an urge to chase but are equally keen to return to their owner. They are easy to groom but need protection against cold and wet weather. They are a naturally clean dog with almost no doggy odour. They are generally very healthy although there have been reported cases of PRA, problems with their immune system, balance problems, haemophilia and sensitivity to anaesthetics.
WhippetThe name "Whippet" comes from the expression "whip it" meaning "move quickly" and this relatively small dog can reach speeds of up to 37 miles per hour in seconds. They are a medium-sized sight hound that looks like a small Greyhound. Despite their power, everything about them is dainty and slender: long and lean head and muzzle, slender body and long, slim tail, often held between the back legs. Their coat is short and sleek and comes in all colours. They originate in England and were bred in the nineteenth century as a small racing dog. They are sweet natured but, like the Greyhound, very sensitive. They are also intelligent and, given sufficient exercise, will be quietly devoted and affectionate in the home. They may be wary of strangers but are fine with children as long as the child is not rough with them. They normally get on well with other dogs. They need opportunities to have a good run but have a natural urge to chase small mammals. They are also sensitive to cold so need a coat in winter. Their short coat is easy to maintain with occasional brushing and combing and they have very little doggy smell. They are prone to upset stomach and skin problems.