Top Ten Hunting Dogs

There are approximately 20 breeds of dogs that are officially recognized as being
hounds or hunting dogs.

They range in size from the small Dachshund to the largest breed, which is the Irish
Wolfhound. Because of their varying sizes, it's possible to find a dog from this group
which will meet varying lifestyles and preferences.

Dogs in the hound group make excellent family pets and often excel in field trials
and dog show events.

Number One: The Dachshund (the smallest hound or hunting dog) - The smallest of the hound group is the Dachshund, which displays one of three different kinds of coats. The short-haired Dachshund features a coat colored red or red-yellow or exhibits a two-colored coat in black and tan, or black, brown, or gray with rust-colored markings.

Wire-haired Dachshunds have coats that are similar to the coats of short-haired Dachshunds although, as the name suggests, the fur is tougher and thicker.

Long-haired Dachshunds have long and silky coats, similar to an Irish Setter's. The ears and tail on the dog are featured. The Dachshund, an exceptionally alert dog, is used and has been used for hunting badgers in Europe. In fact, Dachs is the German word for badger while hund translates to dog in the language.

Number Two: The Bassett Hound (second in size to the Dachshund) - Because of its short stature, the Bassett Hound is an invaluable dog when it comes to hunting in dense areas or thickets and brush. The dog is used for hunting such prey as rabbits, pheasants, or foxes.

Number Three: The Bloodhound - The Bloodhound is even-tempered and affectionate and therefore makes an excellent family pet. The dog hunts by scent but never attacks his prey upon discovery. His coat is short, thick and wiry and is colored black and tan, red and tan or tawny.

Number Four: The Otterhound - While the Otterhound is similar to the Bloodhound in appearance and disposition, he does not display the same solemn expression. His coat is longer and more wiry as well. The coat, which is also oily, enables the dog to shed water and endure weather extremes. He excels in the water because of his webbed feet. His coat can be colored bluish-gray and white or tan and black.

Number Five: The Beagle - The Beagle, which resembles a miniature Foxhound, makes a good hunting companion as well as household pet. The dog is one of the oldest known breeds favored for hunting hare. The beagle can hunt in packs or individually. He stands about fifteen inches at the shoulder.

Number Six: The Basenji - The Basenji, which is about the same size as a Beagle, looks a little bit like a wire-haired terrier, although his coat is short, silky, and fine. The dog, which is typically colored chestnut, is known as a Barkless Dog, and comes from the Congo basin of Africa. Instead of the barking, the canine emits a kind of yodel or howl.

Number Seven: The Irish Wolfhound - Previously regarded as a serious hunter, the Irish Wolfhound stands tall or about 32 inches at the shoulder. The dog, which looks a lot like a Scottish Deerhound, features a rough and wiry coat that is colored brindle or bluish gray.

Number Eight: The American Foxhound - Standing about two feet at the shoulder, the American Foxhound is known for his speed, stamina, and intelligence. Similar in looks to a Beagle, the American Foxhound is a cousin of the English Foxhound, which is used as a pack hound more than a pet. Both Foxhounds, as the name suggests, have been trained and are used for fox hunting events.

Number Nine: The Harrier - The Harrier looks like a Foxhound but is slightly smaller, standing about 20 inches at the shoulder. The pack hound, which hunts by scent, was used in England to hunt hares and has been used for hunting since Colonial times. Hunters like using the dog because of his slow hunting speed as prey can be overtaken and captured on foot.

Number Ten: The Afghan Hound - Similar in looks to a Scottish Deerhound, the Afghan Hound is a large-statured animal, standing around 27 inches tall. The dog's coat is very long, silky and thick with the canine featuring feathered ears and legs. The dog, which runs exceptionally fast, can navigate easily on both hilly and flat terrains. Like the Deehound too, the Afghan Hound hunts by sight instead of scent.