Hound Breeds: Deerhound, Foxhound, Greyhound, And Harrier

Some hounds are used to hunt deer, foxes, gazelles, and hare. Here are four breeds of hound dogs: Deerhound, Foxhound, Greyhound, and Harrier.

Deerhound, Scottish

Once known as a rough Greyhound, the Deerhound is so much a member of the Greyhound family. He was a sight-hunter of stags and deer in the Scottish Highlands in the 17th century, so prized that a lord convicted to death could buy his reprieve with a leash of Deer-hounds. Among the largest breeds, he has a deep chest and back line arching over the loin. The head is long, skull kind of flat, muzzle tapered and

covered with a glossy mustache and beard. The ears are little, set high and folded back, occasionally being raised semi-erect in agitation. The tail, which touches almost to the ground, is carried dropped or curved. The abrasive and wiry coat is three to four inches long.

Weight, males 85-110 pounds; females 75-90 pounds

Height males at least 30 inches; females at least 28 inches

Color: dark blue-gray preferred; darker or lighter grays or brindles; yellow; sandy red; red fawn.


Foxhound, English

The English Foxhound was bred mainly for the sport of fox hunting. Current type developed via select breeding over the past 150 years. In Britain nowadays, there are more than 250 packs of trained Foxhounds. Their breeding is managed by the masters of hounds who lead fox hunts. The English Foxhound is like his American cousin but sturdier in build.

Weight, 55-70 pounds

Height: 21-25 inches

Color: any hound color (black, tan, and white most popular).



Known for a few thousand years before the time of Christ, the Greyhound was employed by Egyptian pharaohs to go after hare and gazelle. The first description of the breed was penned by

Ovid, the Roman poet, who existed from 43 B.C. to A.D. 17. The Greyhound is a distinctive sight-hunter, streamlined for speed, very tall and slim. His back is arched, his chest is deep, and his legs are straight. The head is long and narrow, small ears, thrown back and folded as though held down by the wind. His long and fine tail is sported in a slight curve, and his coat is short.

Weight males 65-70 pounds; females 60-65 pounds

Height: 26-28 inches

Color: any color.



Considered to be brought into Great Britain by the Normans about 800 years ago, the Harrier takes his name from the Norman-Saxon word for “hound.” His ancestors were the now-extinct Talbot and St. Hubert Hounds and French Bassets. Recognized in the U.S. since colonial times, he was typically used in packs to hunt hare. He appears like a small Foxhound, though he is shorter in back. The Harrier is potent, having a deep chest, well-sprung ribs, straight legs, and round catlike feet. His head is moderate in size and quite long, with closely hanging drop ears. His tail is carried off from the body. The coat is short and hard.

Weight: 40-50 pounds

Height: 19-21 inches

Color: hound color— combinations of black, tan, and white.

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