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Estonian Hound

Country of origin:

Domestic dog

White with brown and black areas. The coat may also be black and mottled with black spots or brown.

42-52 cm

15-20 kg


Other names:
Estonian Hound


Litter size:

Estonian Hounds have a very good sense of smell, so it’s no wonder that these dogs often assist hunters. The Estonian Hound is a very hardy dog that can chase game for hours and can smell its tracks even after 72 hours. If trained properly, Estonian Hounds can be hunting by the age of 5-7 months. Although the breed was created to help with hunting game, Estonian Hounds also make excellent family companions and are very attached to all members of the family.

History of the breed

The Estonian Hound – is a relatively new breed of dog that was developed in the first half of the twentieth century. Before the Second World War, the aim was to protect the roe deer, and it was forbidden to hunt them with hounds over 45 cm tall. Hunters decided to create a new breed of dog that was shorter, so the local hounds were crossed with the Bighorns. The new breed of dog inherited the small stature and strong feet of the beagles (which were considered to be great advantages), but also avoided undesirable characteristics – the new breed was too slow and too much hounding. It was for these reasons that it was decided to inject the blood of Swiss Hounds, which were later crossed with Finnish Hounds, Russian Hounds and Foxhounds. The Estonian Hounds were granted the status of an independent breed in 1954, and the breed standard was adopted five years later. As Estonian Hounds were relatively small in stature and very hard-working, they soon gained popularity not only within Estonia but also outside it. Estonian hounds helped in hunting hares and foxes, as well as larger animals. In 1980, almost 2000 of the breed were registered in Estonia, but today the breed is not very popular even in its native country.

The Estonian Hound: appearance

The Estonian Hound looks very much like a beagle at first sight, but on closer inspection there are many differences. One of them is the height and build of these dogs: beagles are not only shorter but also more compact. Estonian Greyhounds are of medium height – males are 45-52 cm tall at the withers, females 42-49 cm (weight is usually 15-20 kg). Body rectangular, robust and athletic. Skull rounded, muzzle rather long, nose broad, black or dark brown. Bite firm, scissor-like. Ears are low set, drooping, close to the head. Eyes expressive, dark brown.  Tail long, appearing thicker than it is due to the dense coat. The coat is short, dense and shiny. Estonian Hounds are tri-coloured – their coat is mostly white with brown and black areas. The coat can also be black and mottled with black spots or brown and mottled.

Estrous Hound: character

Estonian Hounds make excellent family pets, adapting easily to different living conditions.The breed is very comfortable when travelling, as the most important thing for them is to have their owner around. Estonian Hounds respect the rules of the home and usually do not break them, but it is very important to take care of the pet’s upbringing at an early age.The breed is very gentle and friendly, gets along well with all the members of the family, and is willing to interact with children. However, the Estonian Hound is rather suspicious of strangers and does not always want to interact with them. If the dog is socialised from a young age, it will get along well with other dogs.

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