Top 10 Most Popular Hound Dog Breeds

Mary Simpson
by Mary Simpson
Let’s talk hound dog breeds! Not the iconic “you ain’t nothing but…” pooch of song made famous by Elvis but the different breeds that fall under the term “hound”.

While all hound dog breeds were originally bred for the chase or the hunt, many of today’s dogs have found their true calling – that of companion animal – and they chase nothing more than an errant treat under the sofa or the family cat. That’s not to say these clever boys have been decommissioned, in fact the physical traits that made them inherently ideal for work in the field such as a heightened sense of smell, superior long-range vision and physical prowess are still very much intact and need to be taken into consideration by new pet parents thinking about adopting a hound dog breed.

So, let’s take a look at some of the most popular hound dog breeds.


The quintessential scent hound, this woeful looking pooch has incredible tenacity and more than 230 million scent receptors (40 times that of humans) that allow him to pick up a weeks-old scent and track it for over land and water for miles and miles. Something to keep in mind if you plan to let him off-leash on the trails. (Photo credit: NSC Photography/Shutterstock)


Tally ho! This pooch is the scent hound most often associated with Britain’s fox hunt and for good reason. This chipper little guy possesses an exceptional sense of smell and his easy-going nature makes him not only a great hunting companion but an ideal family pet. You may also see him climbing over luggage to sniff out narcotics at airports! (Photo credit: Alexey Androsov/Shutterstock)


This superb sighthound’s long, lean head gives him a greater degree of binocular vision that allows him to locate and follow quarry from afar. One of the fastest dogs in the world, he can sprint short distances to catch small prey however his fave place in the world is a cozy sofa. And once settled, him getting up to chase the family cat just isn’t going to happen. (Photo credit: photosounds/Shutterstock)


This little guy is one to be reckoned with. He’s the only breed certified to hunt above and below ground and his miniature stance, stubborn nature and keen sense of smell make him the perfect pooch to flush out small burrowing animals and track a scent over long distances. While not aggressive, prospective pet parents with smaller animals may want to take note! (Photo credit: otsphoto/Shutterstock)

Basset Hound

While this pooch with the hang-dog expression and super-long ears is short in stature he makes up for it big-time with an innate sense of smell that is second only to that of the Bloodhound. Shorter legs made him easy to keep up with on foot and ideal for hunting small game. Today, this affable, low-slung pooch is perfect for spotting all those lost treats and bits of food on the floor. (Photo credit: Grigorita Ko/Shutterstock)

Rhodesian Ridgeback

Aptly named for the ridge of fur that runs down his back and grows in the opposite direction of the rest of his coat, this big boy was originally bred in Africa to protect the hunters’ fresh kill from hungry lions. Yes, this is one courageous hound dog who bonds quickly with his human pack and while highly protective, is actually quite great with kids and other animals. (Photo credit: dezy/Shutterstock)


This super alert, ultra-fastidious dog is one of the few hounds that excels at both sight and scent. Often compared to a cat because of his impeccable grooming habits, insatiable curiosity and lack of bark, this ancient breed originated in Africa and was used for tracking small game and chasing them into nets. Today, he’s a great family pet who does well with other animals – both big and small. (Photo credit: Grisha Bruev/Shutterstock)

Irish Wolfhound

The largest of the sight hounds, this tall, lanky boy the Emerald Isle was bred to hunt, you guessed it – wolves! Today, this sweet-natured pooch with the easy-going personality is a great family pet who needs just moderate exercise to keep him happy and fit. Of course, prospective pet parents will need to bump up their grocery budget… (Photo credit: Jana Oudova/Shutterstock)

Afghan Hound

Doesn’t this elegant pooch just scream diva? In spite of the flowing locks, this sighthound was bred to work and the longer coat helped protect him from the colder mountain climates in Afghanistan. His high prey drive means he’s off chasing squirrels and small animals as soon as he’s off-leash so early socialization is a must. (Photo credit: David Raihelgauz/Shutterstock)


Also known as the Russian Wolfhound, this ultra-tall sighthound was originally bred to bring down wolves and my, how times have changed. Today this gentle pooch who resembles a long-haired greyhound isn’t particularly territorial and doesn’t make a great watchdog however he does live up to the Russian meaning of his name which is “fast” as he will typically be the first to claim a space on the sofa or a cozy chair. (Photo credit: Grisha Bruev/Shutterstock)

Mary Simpson
Mary Simpson

Sharing space with three seriously judgy Schnoodles and a feline who prefers to be left alone. #LivingMyBestLife

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