Scent Hound

by Daniel Mackie August 29, 2012

Watercolour of English Foxhound

Watercolour in progress of a scent hound. This one is an English Fox hound.

How sensitive is your nose? The Scenthound breeds are generally regarded as having some of the most sensitive noses among canines.
The theory goes that the long ears aid the wafting of sent into the scent hounds sensitive nose and their loose, moist lips are help in trapping scent particles.

So the History goes like this.

First there was warrior dogs. Phoenician traders Brought Molossian dogs (early mastiff-type dogs) to the Uk in the sixth century BC. These enormous brutes were used as “dogs of war”. When Julius Caesar invaded britain in 55 BC he described how the Britons fought side by side with warriors dogs and was so impressed he stole the idea, took them back to Italy and called them “Pugnaces” or “the Broad-mouthed dogs of Britain.” They then fought beside roman legions and fought bears and lions in the amphitheaters. From Italy the dogs began to spread across Europe.

At this point in dog history it is important to remember that dogs were not categorized as specific breeds, but were bred and classified according to the job they did. So in the case of the scent hounds, one excellent trailing dog was simply bred to another, no matter whether the breeding partners resembled each other or not. It is believed that the Celtic people were the first to realize that some of the mastiff-type dogs had incredible scenting ability, they selectively bred the mastiff type dogs and created a sort of gigantic scenthound. Later on these massive scent hounds were probably crossed with lighter sight hounds (dogs that primarily hunt by speed and sight) resulting in the hound dog we see today.

View cards and prints at Daniel’s shop The DM Collection




Daniel Mackie
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