Guide to Pet Dog Breeds
A guide to choosing the best pet dog or puppy for you and your family.
Choosing the right pet dog breed for families with children

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All Pedigree Dogs are grouped in breed types.

Hounds

Gundogs

Terriers

Utility
Group

Working Group

Pastoral Group

Toys


 

 


Popular Dog Groups - Hounds




Hounds have historically been used for hunting whether it has been through their relentless pursuit of game which is helped by their enormous stamina and total dedication, or it might be their highly tuned sense of smell and amazing ability to follow trails.
Hounds are usually
divided into three sub groups:

Sight hounds (also called gazehounds), dogs who pursue their prey predominantly by using a combination of speed and acute sight. These dogs have been bred to be very fast and will catch and kill game (e.g., hares, gazelles, deer) by themselves. Characteristics of these hounds is their body shape; long legs giving them a great stride length, a deep rib cage holding an exceptionally large strong powerful heart and lungs, necessary for the exertion needed when chasing their prey, they also have a long flexible tail which acts as a rudder allowing them to corner and chage direction quickly. Sighthounds are generally lean and streamlined with long, light, narrow heads which improves their keen stereoscopic vision so essential in the pursuit of prey at speed. Nowadays most dogs referred to as sighthounds are kept primarily as pets, they have been bred for thousands of years to detect movement, chase, capture, and kill prey primarily by speed. They are physical very active dogs. Some have quiet personalities making them ideal pets but others can be watchful and even hostile towards strangers. The instinct to chase running animals remains strong which can cause something of a problem when they are kept as a pet. It is not unusual to see these pet dogs leashed and only allowed to run free in safely enclosed spaces. Many of the dogs that fall into the category of sighthounds have a long history and there is ample evidence that the type of dog we now know as Saluki, Afghans and Borzois have been used for hunting for many thousands of years.

Scent hounds: - tend to follow prey or other animals and people by tracking the scent. These dogs possess an acute sense of smell, have endurance, but are generally not fast runners. This sub group tend to vary much more in shape and size and are generally less aggressive. As they are often used to hunt in packs the tendency to be violent towards other dogs has to some extent been bred out of them. Following (often cold )scents over sometimes great distance requires a lot of concentration and these hounds are not easily distracted. Another common attribute of most of these type of dogs is their large booming voices, often seen as essential when hunters follow the dog (packs) on foot.These traits are seen in dogs used purely for hunting/tracking and are often in the dogs bred to be kept as a pet dog.


Other hounds: -
these are the hounds that do not actually fall into either of the above groups or dogs that have some of the attributes of both and are not strictly speaking Sightshounds or Scenthounds; some examples are, Basenji, Ibizan Hound, Pharaoh Hound, Rhodesian Ridgeback and Thai Ridgeback.

 

Some examples of dog breeds that fall into the category Hounds.


  • Afghan Hound
  • Basenji
  • Basset Hound
  • Basset Bleu de Gascogne
  • Basset Fauve de Bretagne
  • Basset Griffon Vendéen (Grand)
  • Basset Griffon Vendéen (Petit)
  • Bavarian Mountain Hound
  • Beagle Hound
  • Bloodhound
  • Borzoi
  • Dachshund (Various sizes)
  • Deerhound
  • Finnish Spitz
  • Foxhound
  • Greyhound
  • Harrier
  • Hungarian Vizsla
  • Ibizan Hound
  • Irish Wolfhound
  • Norwegian Elkhound
  • Otterhound
  • Rhodesian Ridgeback
  • Saluki
  • Scottish Deerhound
  • Whippet

Many of the above examples make excellent pets, but it should be remembered that they will need a lot of exercise, they can have very loud barking/baying traits, will be prone to chase other animals the may think of as prey, are often stubborn and single minded; so it would be wise to buy from a breeder who produces dogs specifically as pets and not as working dogs.
Whippets, Dachshunds, Bassets are examples of the hound group that can make an excellent pet.