Last Updated on January 28, 2021 by Dogs Vets
The Scent hounds breeds
If you think the scent hounds breeds just like to smell the empty potato chip bag you hid in your coat pocket, think again! Scenthound breeds are a type of hunting dog used for hunting. They can track the scent of another animal for days while running through fields, brush, or even running water. They are physically built for the hunt, possessing exceptional tenacity and the stamina needed to pursue the quarry with relentless determination.
And when it comes to knowing about noses, these Scenthound breeds won’t stop until they’ve tracked down the source of the scent.
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A dog’s nose is a pretty magical thing with about 300 million olfactory receptors compared to our paltry six million. With a sense of smell that scientists have determined is 10,000 to 100,000 more acute than us humans (and 40 times more brain space to analyze the odors they encounter), it’s safe to say that all dogs are impressive when it comes to the power of their snouts. But some are even more impressive than others.
Scent hounds are a class of dogs that primarily use scent – rather than sight – to navigate the world around them. They generally have long ears that hang close to the ground to “scoop” scents as they go, as well as small statures that ensure they’re always close to where the action is (or, more accurately, where the scents are). So, who are the best of the best when it comes to getting their nose to work?
Here are the Top 12 most famous scent hounds breeds
Beagles are known to have one of the best noses in the canine kingdom, as well as a keen intelligence that comes in handy when you’re trying to pick up a particular scent. Their small size, as well as their athleticism and natural affinity for agility, make Beagles an impressive scent dog with plenty of energy to stay on the trail for hours.
HEIGHT: 13 to 15 inches
WEIGHT: 20 to 30 pounds
PHYSICAL CHARACTERISTICS: Short, muscular and firm, with long ears and a standard tri-color coat; long tails carried high, and a square muzzle and snout-both ideal for keeping the nose as close to the ground as possible.
This Viennese dog breed is not just for show. Despite their small size, Dachshunds are sought-after hunters, using their noses to track subtle scents both on the ground and in the air. In fact, they are the only breed of scent hounds that may hunt both below and above ground – pretty impressive for such small pups.
HEIGHT: 8 to 9 inches (standard), 5 to 6 inches (miniature).
WEIGHT: 16 to 32 pounds (standard), less than 11 pounds (miniature).
PHYSICAL CHARACTERISTICS: Long, muscular body and short legs (hence the hot dog comparison) with an elongated head that allows them to dig their nose into the ground with minimal effort; short-haired, long-haired and wiry coat varieties
3. Basset hound
The Basset Hound is another short scent hounds breed with an incredible scenting abilities. He has been bred for years to help in the hunting field. He has a natural ability to pick up and track even the most subtle scents. It’s no surprise that they’re also quite stocky – a useful trait when your job is to keep your nose to the ground.
HEIGHT: less than 15 inches
WEIGHT: 40 to 65 pounds
PHYSICAL CHARACTERISTICS: Stocky with long ears and a rectangular appearance; droopy, sometimes red eyes; stooped legs.
4. English pointer
Pointers are not short and good like many of their counterparts, but don’t let that fool you. This breed is one of the best hunting companions with a special talent for aerial prey. They have a deep muzzle, wide nostrils and extremely strong sniffers that can pick up the trail quickly.
HEIGHT: 23 to 28 inches
WEIGHT: 45 to 75 pounds
PHYSICAL CHARACTERISTICS: Long and lean, with a short coat that is sometimes firm and sometimes has markings; Particularly broad nose and erect tails that serve as a kind of finger when it comes to pointing out targets
5. American Foxhound
With a name like the American Foxhound, it should come as no surprise that these dogs excel at scenting. This breed absolutely loves to put their nose to work and is one of the few scent dogs that will go out on their own to track while their humans stay put. When they detect a scent, they emit a bark specifically called a “cry” that alerts their companions to the scent.
HEIGHT: 21 to 25 inches
WEIGHT: 60 to 70 pounds
PHYSICAL CHARACTERISTICS: Similar to a beagle, but with a tall and slender frame; tri-color coat as well as the long ears that are ubiquitous in scent hounds
There are quite a few Coonhounds, including Bluetick, American, Black and Tan, and Redbone, and all have highly regarded nose and scent work skills. The various Coonhound breeds differ in what their noses are best suited for. Some are best suited for “hot” work (fresh trails) and others are better suited for “cold” work (old trails).
HEIGHT: Depends on the breed; generally around 20 to 25 inches.
WEIGHT: Depends on the breed and can range from 40 to 100 pounds
PHYSICAL CHARACTERISTICS: The exact physical characteristics of a Coonhound will depend on its specific type, but there are some important characteristics you will see among all of them: the typical drooping ears, long legs and long tails
7. English Springer Spaniel
Is there any scent that an English Springer Spaniel cannot detect? This scent dog is a pro at picking up both hot and cold scents, as well as scents in both wet and dry conditions. Scents in the wind? You can bet they’re on the move there, too. This ability to apply their impressive muzzles to a variety of conditions has made the English Springer Spaniel a preferred breed for things like explosives tracking, narcotics tracking, and even locating human remains.
HEIGHT: 19 to 20 inches
WEIGHT: 40 to 50 pounds
PHYSICAL CHARACTERISTICS: Compact body and feathers on ears, chest and legs; Built for speed, with legs optimized for distance
We wouldn’t leave the Bloodhound off this list. Bloodhounds are the flagship of the scent hounds breed and one of the original chase breeds. They were bred to bring their noses to the hunt as far back as 1000 AD, and have a one-track mind that refuses to give up a scent once they find it.
HEIGHT: 23 to 27 inches
WEIGHT: 80 to 110 pounds
PHYSICAL CHARACTERISTICS: Distinct physical characteristics such as huge ears, loose skin, and notoriously wrinkled faces and necks; One of the most physically powerful of all scent dog breeds with a long frame that allows them to cover a lot of ground at once – even when standing in place
9. Petit basset griffon vendeen
They dog may look more like the Shih Tzu than hound, but Petit Basset Griffon Vendeens are widely known for their high scent-tracking abilities. For centuries, this scent hounds breed has used its superior nosework skills to track rabbits and other small prey, with a remarkable ability to stay on the right track regardless of terrain or outside conditions.
HEIGHT: 13 to 15 inches
WEIGHT: 25 to 40 pounds
PHYSICAL CHARACTERISTICS: Short and stout, with tousled hair and deep, friendly eyes; carries themselves tall and proud, with a cute beard that makes them quite irresistible
You may not know much about the Harrier, an English scent hound breed that barely figures in popular dog culture (the AKC ranks them low 189 out of 195 breeds). But while they might fly under the radar, Harriers are no stranger to hunting, with short legs and strong noses that can closely follow any animal they set their snouts on.
HEIGHT: 19 to 21 inches
WEIGHT: 45 to 60 pounds
PHYSICAL CHARACTERISTICS: Looks like large beagles, but is smaller than the foxhound, which also has that claim to fame. abundantly strong – all the better for a long day of hunting – and have low-set ears and loose lips that are equally important to their scent-seeking abilities
11. German Shorthair
German Shorthair – It’s no wonder that this energetic dog with a tremendous sense of smell was bred in Germany back in the 17th century specifically for hunting. He is good at tracking scents both on land and on water, which makes him a versatile companion for any hunter
12. Black and Tan Coonhound
Black and Tan Coonhound. Just by looking at it, you know that this American-bred dog has Bloodhound in it. This Scenthound is considered capable of tracking everything from bears to cougars, but as its name implies, it is usually used to track raccoons. Long strides, a sharp nose and a large bay make it a hunting favorite.
Scenthound breeds to avoid
All dogs have extraordinary noses, but they are not worthy of being a scenthound. Some breeds that are not ideal if you are looking for scenthound qualities are breeds with short muzzles such as English Bulldogs, French Bulldogs, and Boxers, and especially non-scenthound dogs such as Greyhounds, Whippets, and Chinese Crested.
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