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Hound Group Dogs Were Born To Hunt

Dogs included in the American Kennel Club(AKC) Hound Group are a diverse collection of sight hounds and scent hounds. They range in size from the very short Dachshund to the very tall Irish Wolfhound. Some are very ancient breeds, such as the Pharoah Hound and the Saluki, while others are more recent developments, such as most American coonhound breeds.

While they may vary greatly in size and appearance, they all have one thing in common, they were born to hunt.

Listed below are the dogs currently include in the AKC Hound Group.

Afghan Hound

The Afghan Hound breed began in Afghanistan and is a sight hound. When all dressed up for a show, few other dogs are as regal in appearance. The Afghan Hound is an ancient breed and has a reputation for not being the brightest dog in the doghouse. It ranks dead last, according to Sidney Coren in his book The Intelligence of Dogs.

Afghan Hound Club of America

Height: 25-27 inches; Weight: 50-60 pounds;
Lifespan: 12-15 years; AKC rank: 113 of 197

American English Coonhound

If you want to hunt raccoons, the American English Coonhound is the dog for you. This breed was developed in the United States, primarily in the South, from foxhounds imported from England. These dogs bark loudly while pursing the wily raccoon, and this tendency to bark may be a problem if you live in a big city.

American English Coonhound Association

Height: 23-26 inches; Weight: 45-65 pounds;
Lifespan: 11-12 years; AKC rank: 175 of 197

American Foxhound

The American Foxhound, the state dog of Virginia, is the American version of the English Foxhound.

The early immigrants to Virginia and Maryland brought many customs and dogs with them from England. This included the sport of fox hunting and the American Foxhound was the result. George Washington helped developed this breed whose distinctive bark can carry for miles.

Height: 21-25 inches; Weight: 60-70 pounds;
Lifespan: 11-13 years; AKC rank: 186 of 197


The Azawakh (pronounced oz-a-wok) is a is tall and so thin that you can definitely see its bone structure under its skin. It has a short, smooth coat with fine hair that needs occasional brushing.  Coat colors can be black, brindle, cream, white, shades of brown, and white.

The Azawakh is a sight hound.

American Azawakh Association

Height: 23-29 inches; Weight: 33-55 pounds;
Lifespan: 12-15 years; AKC rank: n/a of 197


From out of Africa comes the Basenji, an ancient hunting dog that is a sight hound. Another term used to describe this breed is pariah dog.

The Basenji is a small, short-haired dog that is very curious and groom themselves much like a cat (which they will chase). They don’t bark like other dogs but instead make a yodel sound. Only the Afghan Hound is ranked longer in doggy intelligence.

Basenji Club of America

Height: 16-17 inches; Weight: 22-24 pounds;
Lifespan: 13-14 years; AKC rank: 87 of 197

Basset Hound

The melancholy face of the Bassett Hound is just one of its endearing qualities. This scent hound was bred in the United Kingdom to hunt hare.

Their sense of smell is second only to the Bloodhound. They are built low to the ground and have more endurance than speed when chasing prey.

Basset Hound Club of America

Height: up to 15 inches; Weight: 40-65 pounds;
Lifespan: 12-13 years; AKC rank: 39 of 197


Happiness, according to Charles Shultz, warm Beagle. Many people agree with that and have made the Beagle the most popular of the hound breeds.

The Beagle is a small dog that closely resembles the much bigger Foxhound. Bred to be a scent hound, its primary prey was the hare instead of the fox.

National Beagle Club of America, Inc.

Height: 13-15 inches; Weight: 20-30 pounds;
Lifespan: 10-15 years; AKC rank: 6 of 197

Black and Tan Coonhound

This scent hound was bred to hunt raccoon and was created by mixing a Bloodhound with the Black and Tan Virginia Foxhound (a breed not recognized by any Kennel Club including the AKC). When they get lonely, they will howl a mournful song that your neighbors may or may not enjoy. Probably not a dog for you if you live in a city.

American Black and Tan Coonhound Club

Height: 23-27 inches; Weight: 65-110 pounds;
Lifespan: 10-12 years; AKC rank: 138 of 197


The Bloodhound has the best sense of smell of any dog breed and is well known for its ability to track just about anyone from a lost hiker to an escaped prisoner.

This peaceful dog is laid back at home but relentless when on the hunt. It is used by police and rescue organizations all around the world.

American Bloodhound Club

Height: 23-27 inches; Weight: 80-110 pounds;
Lifespan: 10-12 years; AKC rank: 49 of 197

Bluetick Coonhound

The Bluetick is another of several coonhound dogs developed in the United States, primarily in Lousiana. They also like to bay, especially when hunting, so may be better suited for a country lifestyle unless you spend time training them not to be so vocal.

They are intelligent dogs and are well-behaved if properly trained.

National Bluetick Coonhound Association

Height: 21-27 inches; Weight: 45-80 pounds;
Lifespan: 11-12 years; AKC rank: 130 of 197


The Borzoi is a Russian sighthound and not a dancer for the Bolshoi Ballet company. They are tall, swift dogs that were bred to chase and catch hare and sometimes wolves. Like the Afghan Hound, they are selectively intelligent (they learn what they want to learn) and may be difficult to train. They are affectionate dogs but too sophisticated for rough play.

Borzoi Club of America, Inc.

Height: 26-28 inches; Weight: 60-105 pounds;
Lifespan: 9-14 years; AKC rank: 103 of 197

Cirneco dell’Etna

Cirneco dell’Etna (named after the Etna volcano) is an Italian sighthound from Sicily. They were bred to hunt rabbits and other small game.

The Cirneco is an ancient breed that may have arrived in Sicily over 3,000 years ago.

Cirneco Dell’Etna Club of America

Height: 16-19 inches; Weight: 17-26 pounds;
Lifespan: 12-14 years; AKC rank: 183 of 197


The Dachshund was bred to scent and chase badgers. Flushing a badger from its burrow is not for the faint of heart and the Dachshund’s bravery may sometimes border on the foolhardy. Dachshunds, nicknamed weiner or sausage dogs, also hunt small game such as rabbits.

Dachshund is German for “Badger Dog.”  Owners of Dachshund tend to become very devoted to the breed.

Dachshund Club of America

Height: 5-9 inches; Weight: 16-32 pounds;
Lifespan: 12 years; AKC rank: 12 of 197

English Foxhound

If you are a Foxhound, the first words you learn as a puppy is “Tally-Ho!” Those words are yelled tell everyone that the fox has been spotted.

These scenthounds are sociable but are not frequently kept as family pets. They were born to hunt, and that desire is ingrained in their personality.

Height: 24 inches; Weight: 30-75 pounds;
Lifespan: 10-13 years; AKC rank: 188 of 197

Grand Basset Griffon Vendéen

The Grand Basset Griffon Vendéen is a French hunting dog that is a couple of inches taller than the Basset Hound.

They were bred to hunt boar, deer, and rabbits but now are mainly household pets. They are happy, confident, and sometimes stubborn companion dogs.

Grand Basset Griffon Vendeen Club of America

Height: 15-18 inches; Weight: 40-45 pounds;
Lifespan: 13-15 years; AKC rank: 177 of 197


The Greyhound was originally bred for hunting as a sighthound and now more commonly for the sport of dog racing. Adopting retired racing dogs has become popular and has made the Greyhound a well-loved family pet.

The Greyhound is a very fast dog, the fastest in the world, and can reach speeds up to 45 miles per hour (still well short of the Cheetah‘s top speed of almost 80 miles per hour however),

Greyhound Club of America

Height: 27-30 inches; Weight: 60-70 pounds;
Lifespan: 10-13 years; AKC rank:.145 of 197


The Harrier is a medium-size scenthound bred in the United Kingdom to hunt rabbits. It larger that a Beagle, but smaller than a Foxhound, both of which it resembles in appearance.

The Harrier is an old dog breed and made it way to Colonial America. It is possible that George Washington used the Harrier to create the American Foxhound.

 Harrier Club of America

Height: 19-21 inches; Weight: 45-60 pounds;
Lifespan: 12-15 years; AKC rank: 189 of 197

Ibizan Hound

The Ibizan Hound is from Ibiza, an island in the Mediterranean Sea about 90 miles off the mid-eastern coast of Spain. It is an ancient, perhaps from Egypt, and was used to hunt rabbits and other small game.

The Ibizan Hound is a versatile hunter, and hunts by both scent, sight, and sound.

 Ibizan Hound Club of the United States

Height: 22-27 inches; Weight: 45-50 pounds;
Lifespan: 11-14 years; AKC rank: 152 of 197

Irish Wolfhound

The Irish Wolfhound is a large sighthound from Ireland. It is a very fast dog with speeds that compare to the Greyhound.

It is also a guard dog, especially against wolves. It is too friendly to be a top guard dog against humans, but its great size is probably enough to scare away most intruders. The Irish Wolfhound is the tallest of all dog breeds.

Irish Wolfhound Club of America

Height: 30-32 inches; Weight: 105-120 pounds;
Lifespan: 6-8 years; AKC rank: 76 of 197

Norwegian Elkhound

The Norwegian Elkhound, the national dog of Norway, is a prized hunter of large game animals such as bear, elf, and moose. Brave and fearless, this breed is also a great companion dog and displays affection and loyalty to its human companions.

Unlike coonhounds who bark almost continuously during the chase, the Norwegian Elkhound only barks when the quarry is standing still.

Norwegian Elkhound Association of America

Height: 19-21 inches; Weight: 48-55 pounds;
Lifespan: 12-25 years; AKC rank: 97 of 197


The Otterhound is a large scenthound from England which was used to hunt otter before that hunting was outlawed. This is a rare breed and is listed as a vulnerable native breeds of the United Kingdom.

The Otterhound has a thick, shaggy coat, webbed feet, and loves to swim.

 Otterhound Club of America, Inc.

Height: 24-27 inches; Weight: 80-115 pounds;
Lifespan: 10-13 years; AKC rank: 182 of 197

Petit Basset Griffon Vendéen

The Petit Basset Griffon Vendéen (PBGV), pronounced “Puh-TEE Bah-SAY Gree-FOHN VON-day-uhn”, is a small to medium scenthound, bred to hunt rabbits in the brambles that cover fields in the Vendée area of France.

The PBGV is known to be a happy, friendly dog with a constantly wagging tail and a loud bark befitting any hound.

Petit Basset Griffon Vendéen Club of America

Height: 13-15 inches; Weight: 25-40 pounds;
Lifespan: 12-14 years; AKC rank: 156 of 197

Pharaoh Hound

The Pharaoh Hound hails from the Maltese Islands in the Mediterranean Sea. It is the national dog of Malta. An ancient breed, it may have been imported to Malta by the Phoenicians over 2,500 years ago. This hound was used to hunt rabbits.

When the Pharaoh hound is happy or excited, it is know to “blush” and its ears and nose become bright pink.

Pharaoh Hound Club of America

Height: 23-25 inches; Weight: 45-55 pounds;
Lifespan: 12-14 years; AKC rank: 172 of 197

Plott Hound

The Plott Hound was developed in North Carolina and is named after the Plott family who were responsible for starting the breed. The Plott Hound is the state dog of North Carolina.

The Plott Hound is a scenthound bred to hunt bear int the mountains of North Carolina. The Plott family emigrated to the United States from Germany and brought several dogs with them.

Height: 20-25 inches; Weight: 40-60 pounds;
Lifespan: 12-14 years; AKC rank: 171 of 197

Portuguese Podengo Pequeno

The Portuguese Podengo Pequeno is a small hound from Portugal that hunts by both sight and scent. In its native country, there are three sizes of the Portuguese Podengo Pequeno, but the AKC only recognized the smaller one. The different size dogs in Portugal are not interbred.

The Phoenicians likely brought this breed to Iberia a long, long time ago. This dog loves to run, play, and chase things.

Portuguese Podengo Pequenos of America, Inc.

Height: inches; Weight: pounds;
Lifespan: years; AKC rank: of 197

Redbone Coonhound

The Redbone Coonhound hunts raccoon but also is used to hunt larger game such as deer, bear, boar, and cougars. It is descended from dogs brought from Scotland to the southern state of Georgia.

The Redbone Coonhound is mellow and laid-back around the homestead, but is a tireless hunter when on the chase.

National Redbone Coonhound Club

Height: 21-27 inches; Weight: 45-70 pounds;
Lifespan: 12-15 years; AKC rank: 142 of 197

Rhodesian Ridgeback

The Rhodesian Ridgeback comes from southern Africa and was bred to hunt large game. It hunts but did not try to kill lions. This hound tries to keep prey animals at bay until the hunter is able to shoot.

They can be trained to be excellent guard dogs. They may be wary and aloof to strangers but are not aggressive. Their name comes from the way hair grows on their backs.

Rhodesian Ridgeback Club of the United States

Height: 24-27 inches; Weight: 70-85 pounds;
Lifespan: 10 years; AKC rank: 41 of 197


The Saluki is an ancient, possibly over 7,000 years, dog breed from the Fertile Crescent. It is a sighthound that was a favorite of Egyptian pharaohs and even Alexander the Great.

The Saluki may not be quite as fast as the Greyhound over shorter distances, but can run at speed longer that the Greyhound. It is often seen in the dog competition events such as coursing.

Saluki Club of America

Height: 23-28 inches; Weight: 40-65 pounds;
Lifespan: 10-17 years; AKC rank: 120 of 197

Scottish Deerhound

The Scottish Deerhound is a large sighthound bred to hunt the red deer of Scotland.

My heart’s in the Highlands, my heart is not here; My heart’s in the Highlands a-chasing the deer;

Robert Burns

Scottish Deerhound Club of America

Height: 28-32 inches; Weight: 75-110 pounds;
Lifespan: 8-11 years; AKC rank: 158 of 197


The Sloughi a North African (Morocco) sighthound very similar in appearance to the Saluki but is a separate breed. The Saluki was bred to hunt game in the deserts of North Africa.

The Sloughi is usually aloof with strangers, but is very friendly to the people it knows. When you first meet a Sloughi, the dog will expect you to not to try to be too friendly as you might with another breed such as the Golden Shepherd.

America Sloughi Association

Height: 24-29 inches; Weight: 45-70 pounds;
Lifespan: 12-14 years; AKC rank: 192 of 197

Treeing Walker Coonhound

The Treeing Walker Coonhound is a scenthound bred to hunt primarily raccoon but is also used to hunt other game animals.

Most hounds were bred to hunt in packs, so they usually get along will with other dogs and humans. The Treeing Walker Coonhound is no exception and is a loyal and affectionate companion dog.

National Treeing Walker Coonhound Association

Height: 20-27 inches; Weight: 50-70 pounds;
Lifespan: 12-13 years; AKC rank: 137 of 197


The Whippet, a sight hound, comes from England. The Whippet looks much like a smaller version of the Greyhound from which it was developed.

Whippets are commonly used in dog racing events and in dog competition such as coursing.

American Whippet Club

Height: 19-22 inches; Weight: 25-40 pounds;
Lifespan: 12-15 years; AKC rank: 61 of 197


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