Hound Dog refers to a dog originally bred as a hunter, hunting independently using sighting (sighthounds) or scenting skills (scent hounds). Unlike Gundogs, breeds in the Hound Group do not necessarily require directions of a handler or their owner to chase down the prey. Often, humans follow the dogs on foot or horseback during the hunt. Other kennel clubs register gundogs under the Sporting Group or Working Group category.


Dogs in the Hound Group category consist of a diverse group of dogs when it comes to appearance and personality. Hound dogs come in varying sizes, and coat types and their personalities can range from high-spirited and sociable to laid-back and indifferent. However, all hound dogs are independent by nature, reliable, sturdy and possess a great deal of stamina. They also produce a unique "baying" sound.

The Hound Group is made up of three subgroups based on their specific skill set:

  • Sighthounds have the ability to spot animals from a far distance and run down the prey at rocket-like speed.
  • Scenthounds have excellent scent recognition to follow a trail (also known as scent tracking). These dogs are built for endurance but, unlike sighthounds, are not fast runners.
  • Scent / Sighthounds are dogs that use both scent and sight to hunt or track their prey.
Want a dog from the Hound Group? Here is a list of all the dogs registered under the Hound Group of The Kennel Club in the UK.
Hound Dog Highlights:
  • Hound dogs are loyal and dedicated family companions.
  • They have an excellent stamina and tracking anything is easy.
  • They are great with children.
  • They are generally friendly and curious.
  • They are ideal for active, outdoor families.

As with all dog breeds, Hound dogs have different as well as common traits. It is best to do your research on particular hound dogs you are interested in getting or buying, so you know exactly what to expect. Dogs, in general, are affected by several factors (e.g. environment, training, and socialisation) that will determine whether they grow up as well-rounded adult dogs.

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