Hound Dogs - Pictures and Info - Dog Breeds - PetBreeds
Hounds are divided into three groups: the scent hounds, sight hounds and those who don't fall into either category. Almost all hounds were bred for hunting and have an extremely strong sense of smell or excellent sight. Hounds are a diverse lot and, depending on the breed of hound, the dogs in the group are both active and laid-back, quick sprinters or slow trotters depending on the situation. But all hounds have the ability to bay, that howl that seems so mournful and lonely. Unfortunately, this vocal nature can be seen as a deterrent to prospective owners but hounds can be . Many of their other characteristics, including friendliness, patience with children, exuberance and dependability, make up for their tendency to vocalize.
These names replaced older names in 1957, when it was decided to append "Anglo-Français" to the names of all the hound breeds that had been crossed with foxhounds. "Grand" (French for "large") does not mean that the dogs are especially large, but rather that they hunted in large packs. Hunting with the hounds was originally done in two styles, , in which the pack chases and kills the game animal, and , where the pack (or sometimes an individual dog) circles the game animal and chases it back towards the waiting hunter.
Hounds were used throughout ancient history to hunt animals. While times have changed and few hounds today are used for hunting purposes, this instinct remains strong in all Hound Group breeds. The hounds are divided into two subgroups: sighthounds and scenthounds. The eyesight of the sighthound is excellent, and the scenting ability of the scenthound is very keen. Both hound types were selectively bred to hunt a wide variety of animals: Sighthounds were used to find and chase down large game such as deer, elk, moose, and wild boar; small hounds used scent to chase prey into the ground; and medium-sized hounds utilized both sight and scent for smaller game like rabbits and foxes.