hound, classification used by breeders and kennel clubs to designate dogs bred to hunt animals. Most of the dogs in this group hunt by scent, their quarry ranging from such large game as bear or elk to small game and vermin; ground scenters trail slowly with the head low, and air scenters hunt with head breast-high. Also classified as hounds are several long-legged breeds that hunt mainly by sight. A third variety, called treeing hounds, also track by scent; these dogs pursue tree-climbing animals, such as raccoons and opossums. Many scent hounds have a coat characteristically patterned in "hound colors": black, white, and tan. The following hound breeds are registered with the American Kennel Club: Afghan hound, American foxhound, basenji, basset hound, beagle, bloodhound, borzoi, black-and-tan coonhound, dachshund, English foxhound, greyhound, harrier, Irish wolfhound, Norwegian elkhound, otterhound, Rhodesian ridgeback, Scottish deerhound, Saluki, and whippet.

Basset hound

Centuries-old breed of dog developed in France and maintained, chiefly in France and Belgium, as a hunting dog of the aristocracy. Originally used to trail hares, rabbits, and deer, it has also been used for hunting birds, foxes, and other game. It is a slow, deliberate hunter, with a deep voice and a nose exceeded in keenness only by the bloodhound's. Short-legged and heavy-boned, the basset hound has long, dangling ears and a short coat in any combination of black, tan, and white. It stands 12–15 in. (30–38 cm) high and weighs 40–60 lbs (18–27 kg).

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or African lion dog

Rhodesian ridgeback.

South African hound breed characterized by a narrow band of hair growing forward along its back, against the direction of the rest of the coat. The ridge is inherited from a half-wild local hunting dog that was crossbred with European dogs. Strong, active, and of great endurance, it is trim and short-haired, with hanging ears and a glossy brown coat. It stands 24–27 in. (61–69 cm) and weighs 65–75 lbs (30–34 kg). It is an able guard and hunter (especially of lions) and a good companion.

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Afghan hound

Breed of dog developed as a hunter in the hill country of Afghanistan. It was brought to Europe in the late 19th century by British soldiers returning from the Indian-Afghan border wars. It hunts by sight, and in Afghanistan it has been used to pursue leopard and gazelle. Its high, wide hipbones are well adapted to rough country. It stands 24–28 in. (61–71 cm) high and weighs 50–60 lbs (23–27 kg). It has floppy ears, a long topknot, and a long silky coat of various colours.

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A hound is a type of dog that assists hunters by tracking or chasing the animal being hunted. It can be contrasted with the gun dog, which assists hunters by identifying the location of prey, and with the retriever, which recovers shot quarry.

There are three types of hound, with several breeds belonging to each type:

Type Example
Sighthounds (also called gazehounds), which follow prey predominantly by speed, keeping it in sight. These dogs are very fast and will catch and kill game (e.g., hares, gazelles, deer) by themselves. Whippet
Scent hounds, which follow prey by tracking its scent. These dogs have endurance, but are not fast runners. Basset Hound
The 'other' hounds follow prey by both sight and scent. These breeds are difficult to classify other than to say they are neither sighthounds nor scent hounds. Rhodesian Ridgeback.

List of hound breeds

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