hound

hound

[hound]
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.
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

Search another word or see houndon Dictionary | Thesaurus |Spanish
Copyright © 2015 Dictionary.com, LLC. All rights reserved.
  • Please Login or Sign Up to use the Recent Searches feature