hound, classification used by breeders and kennel clubs to designate dogs bred to hunt animals. Most of the dogs in this group hunt by scent, their quarry ranging from such large game as bear or elk to small game and vermin; ground scenters trail slowly with the head low, and air scenters hunt with head breast-high. Also classified as hounds are several long-legged breeds that hunt mainly by sight. A third variety, called treeing hounds, also track by scent; these dogs pursue tree-climbing animals, such as raccoons and opossums. Many scent hounds have a coat characteristically patterned in "hound colors": black, white, and tan. The following hound breeds are registered with the American Kennel Club: Afghan hound, American foxhound, basenji, basset hound, beagle, bloodhound, borzoi, black-and-tan coonhound, dachshund, English foxhound, greyhound, harrier, Irish wolfhound, Norwegian elkhound, otterhound, Rhodesian ridgeback, Scottish deerhound, Saluki, and whippet.
The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.