Many breeds of dogs have developed over time to become hunters, with some bred for specific prey. These hunting dogs have characteristics such as endurance and keen senses. Some hunting dogs have lost their importance in many nations as hunting animals, but they still make excellent pets.
Popular Hunting Breeds
Black and Tan Coonhound
The black and tan coonhound is a cross between the bloodhound, black and tan foxhound breed and the extinct English Talbot hound. This hunting dog is adept at trailing raccoons and forcing them to climb a tree, where their barking alerts the hunter to the presence of the raccoon. The black and tan coonhound, according to DogBreedInfo.com, can also hunt game such as bear, deer and cougars.
The dog can be as tall as 27 inches at the shoulder and it possesses a color pattern of mostly black interspersed with tan markings. The American Kennel Club recognized this breed, one of the rare All-American dog breeds, in 1945.
The American Kennel Club website states that the otterhound's origins are unknown, but the dog probably has links to French breeds. The otterhound is an atypical hound in that it has a very rough coat and webbed feet. The otterhound's main function in England was to hunt and kill otters that ate the game fish in streams and rivers. The otterhound has an incredibly acute sense of smell, with the dog able to detect traces of an otter that was in the water hours before. The otterhound also is able to hunt other animals, such as raccoons. As a family pet, the otterhound typically makes a devoted animal that gets along well with children.
The borzoi is a Russian breed, with the crossing of Arabian greyhounds with canines owning thick coats resulting in what many people still call a Russian wolfhound. The borzoi was a hunter of wolves, hares and foxes in the open country of Russia.
The borzoi can be as tall as 28 inches and the males can weigh up to 110 lbs. The borzoi typically enjoys being outdoors, and it is a dog that is very protective of its owners. The borzoi has a tendency to chase other animals, making it imperative that its owners keep it on a leash when not in a fenced-in area.
Few Scottish deerhounds are present in the United States, with most Americans having never seen one. The breed hunts by sight, with the Scottish deerhound bred to hunt and kill deer in Great Britain. In the past, only noblemen of high rank could own such a dog, which almost caused the breed to become extinct.
The Scottish deerhound male can be from 30 to 32 inches at its shoulders and weigh up to 115 lbs. The wiry hair on the head, shoulders and neck gives way to a softer coat on the deerhound's belly. The Scottish deerhound breed is susceptible to heart disease and bone cancer, according to TerrificPets.com.
By John Lindell
About the Author
John Lindell has written articles for "The Greyhound Review" and various other online publications. A Connecticut native, his work specializes in sports, fishing and nature. Lindell worked in greyhound racing for 25 years