Hound Dogs are unique. While Hound Dog characteristics may vary
more than with other groups, in some respects they are very distinctive.
For instance, Hound Dogs are the only breed of dog that bays (a unique
howling sound). Hounds are often broken into two groups referred to as
sight hounds and scent hounds. Both groups have been and are still frequently
used by hunters. The scent Hounds track prey by smell. Along with the Bassett
and Blood Hounds, these are the breeds are generally considered to have
that 'hound dog appearance.' With long ears, droopy eyes, and a distinctive
face, their appearance is consistent with their keen ability to track scents.
Potential Hound owners should be aware this trait could translate into
a dog that frequently runs off to track the scent of anything from a small
animal to a pile of trash. Hounds need supervision and containment to keep
them safe at home.
Sight hounds have a markedly different appearance. These hounds
are slender and built for running. Sight hounds generally have more of
a greyhound type appearance. These hounds are very athletic and often chase
down their prey. The instinct to chase among these dogs is very strong
and even as pets, they will often chase small animals or cats that they
come across. Their exceptional speed can make them very difficult to catch.
Most Hounds have a gentle temperament and can make great pets.