Estonian Hound

The Estonian hound is also commonly called the Estonian scenthound. The Estonian hound owes its existence to a 1947 decree by the U.S.S.R. Ministry of Economy that required all Soviet republics to have national dogs. Because local laws, which were passed in response to declining wildlife populations, forbid using large dogs for hunting, Estonian breeders imported small hunting dogs, including beagles, dachshunds and Swiss laufhunds, to breed with local stock. This breeding program resulted in the Estonian hound. In 1954, the Soviet government approved the breed standard for the Estonian hound, and Estonia acquired an official national dog. Today, the Estonian hound is extremely popular in Estonia and the surrounding countries, but it is relatively unknown in other regions.

The Estonian Hound is a medium-sized hunting hound with a muscular build. Standing between 16.5 and 22 inches tall and weighing between 30 and 45 pounds. The dog has a rounded head with a long muzzle, almond-shaped eyes, a large nose and long, drooping ears. It closely resembles the beagle although it is larger. The Estonian hound has a short, coarse, glossy coat with a poorly developed undercoat. The coat is tricolor, and most members of the breed are black, tan and white. Some dogs, however, have yellow patches instead of black or tan ones. The tip of the tail is white. Personality: Known for its sweet temperament, the Estonian hound is loyal, curious and friendly. The dog is very affectionate with family members but tends to be slightly aloof with strangers. Since it was bred as a pack hunter, it gets along very well with other dogs, but its hunting instincts could make it a danger to smaller pets. Early socialization is important for Estonian hounds because they tend to develop anxiety issues, including separation anxiety and fear of strangers, easily. While these dogs are highly intelligent and generally easy to train, it is challenging to teach Estonian hounds to come when they are called. Because they were bred to be persistent hunters, they tend to follow scent trails with single-minded focus. Like all hunting dogs, the Estonian hound is extremely active and tends to develop behavior problems if it does not get regular exercise. Because this dog was bred for stamina, it requires more than an hour of physical activity every day. In addition, since it was bred to bay on the trail, the Estonian hound is a very vocal dog.

Estonian Hound image
Life Span
12 - 15 years
Other Names
The Estonian Scenthound, Estonian Hound

Estonian Hound Build Information

Size
Medium

The Estonian Hound is a medium-sized hunting hound with a muscular build. Standing between 16.5 and 22 inches tall and weighing between 30 and 45 pounds. The dog has a rounded head with a long muzzle, almond-shaped eyes, a large nose and long, drooping ears. It closely resembles the beagle although it is larger.

The Estonian hound has a short, coarse, glossy coat with a poorly developed undercoat.

The coat is tricolor, and most members of the breed are black, tan and white. Some dogs, however, have yellow patches instead of black or tan ones. The tip of the tail is white.

Behaviour and Personality

Kid Friendliness
Affection Level
Activity Level

Known for its sweet temperament, the Estonian hound is loyal, curious and friendly. The dog is very affectionate with family members but tends to be slightly aloof with strangers. Since it was bred as a pack hunter, it gets along very well with other dogs, but its hunting instincts could make it a danger to smaller pets. Early socialization is important for Estonian hounds because they tend to develop anxiety issues, including separation anxiety and fear of strangers, easily. While these dogs are highly intelligent and generally easy to train, it is challenging to teach Estonian hounds to come when they are called.

Because they were bred to be persistent hunters, they tend to follow scent trails with single-minded focus.

Like all hunting dogs, the Estonian hound is extremely active and tends to develop behavior problems if it does not get regular exercise. Because this dog was bred for stamina, it requires more than an hour of physical activity every day. In addition, since it was bred to bay on the trail, the Estonian hound is a very vocal dog.

Appearance

Shedding
Heavy
Grooming
Moderate

The Estonian hound is a profuse shredder, so weekly brushing is important. Regular bathing is unnecessary, but like all dogs with floppy ears, the Estonian hound benefits from regular ear cleaning. Proper dental care is also critical for maintaining good health.

Breed's Talents and Facts

Training
Easy to train
  • National dog of Estonia
  • Medium-sized hunting dog with an excellent nose
  • Sweet tempered but prone to anxiety if not well socialized
  • Extremely vocal
  • Requires considerable exercise

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Common Health Conditions in Estonian Hounds

Since the Estonian hound is a relatively new breed and is uncommon outside of Estonia, no health studies of the breed are currently available.

Estonian Hound Pet Insurance

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