Top 10 Dog Breeds by Sense of Smell

Written by karin barga Google
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  • Introduction

    Top 10 Dog Breeds by Sense of Smell

    The English word "hound" originated from the German word for dog, which is "hund." While hund is a word used to define all dogs, hound in English has come to mean a type of dog used for hunting. The hound group of dogs is divided into scent hounds (commonly called nose hounds), which hunt by scent, and sight hounds, which hunt by sight. Some hounds actually use sight and scent equally when on the hunt.

    Hunting hounds (tourist - hunter for foto image by DOLPHIN from

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    The beagle breed was originated to hunt and track small game by scent. Before Roman times, packs of beagles across Britain worked as hunters and trackers. The breed name was most likely derived from the French word "begueule," which means "gape throat" and refers to the barking or tonguing sounds made by a pack on the hunt.

    Beagle puppy (little beagle image by Denveros from

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    English Foxhound

    The English foxhound dates back before the 1800s and originated in Great Britain. This breed was developed by crossbreeding a variety of hounds with the bulldog, greyhound and fox terrier. The English foxhound has impressive stamina and is used in packs for chasing foxes with mounted hunters. The English foxhound is slower and stockier than the American foxhound.

    Prey for the foxhound (fox image by DOLPHIN from

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    The bloodhound was initially used for hunting because of its keen tracking abilities, but eventually replaced with smaller, swifter hound breeds. For hundreds of years the bloodhound has been used instead as a man-trailing dog, starting out by tracking poachers. Bloodhounds are commonly used for tracking fugitives by law enforcement agencies. In fact, one particular bloodhound is reported to have tracked more than 600 criminals over the course of his career.

    Bloodhound trail (forest trail. image by mdb from

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    Otterhounds were used in packs to hunt river otter in England to prevent the otters from destroying food sources. Queen Elizabeth I was the first "Lady Master of Otterhounds." The otterhound breed is derived from bloodhounds, several rough-coated French hound breeds and the now extinct Southern hound. Terriers were bred with otterhounds to create the Airedale terrier breed.

    River otter (asain otter image by Earl Robbins from

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    The Plott brothers of Germany were mountain men who settled in North Carolina, bred the family dogs and used them to hunt bear and boar. As the Plott family spread about the Smoky Mountains, their dogs came to be known by the family name as Plott's Hounds. Mixed with a tan, black-saddled Blevins, an exceptional cross was made and Plotts remain well-known for their tracking and treeing abilities while hunting large game, such as bears, boar and mountain lions.

    Plotts can track and tree large game. (bear image by Mat Hayward from

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    American Foxhound

    The American foxhound is the taller, faster cousin of the English foxhound. Because of refined breeding, the American breed has a keener nose on the hunt than the English foxhound. Because of their unyielding stamina, these dogs are untiring hunters of wild game.

    Hunted by foxhounds (fox image by DOLPHIN from

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    Black and Tan Coonhound

    The black and tan coonhound is the product of crossing the now extinct Talbot hound with the bloodhound and the black and tan foxhound. This breed is known for tracking and treeing raccoons, but has also been used to hunt game such as bear, stag, opossum, deer and mountain lion.

    Coonhounds tree their prey. (raccoon up a tree image by Kenny L Gillett from

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    Treeing Walker Coonhound

    The treeing Walker coonhound is believed to have originated when Thomas Walker brought English foxhounds to the United States and crossed them with an unknown dog breed. The treeing Walker coonhound has continued to be refined since the 1700s and now has the body of a beagle with the legs of a Great Dane.

    Treeing Walker coonhound (molly the lazy beagle image by TheSupe87 from

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    Bluetick Hound

    The bluetick coonhound originated in, and is the state dog of, Tennessee. Breeders in Louisiana selectively bred foxhounds, curs, French hounds and English coonhounds to produce the bluetick. This breed is full of natural born hunters with a tendency to run off if not kept in a safe, supervised, fenced environment.

    Hunted by the bluetick (raccoon image by Xavier MARCHANT from

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    Basset Hound

    The word "basset" is derived from the French adjective "bas," meaning "dwarf" or "low structure." The accuracy of the basset hound's nose is second only to the bloodhound. In the United States, basset hounds are primarily used by hunters for hunting rabbits.

    Basset hound (chien de garde image by Eric MATVEEFF from

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