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Sporting Dogs Part 6 – Large Hounds


Sporting Dogs: Big Hounds


Treeing Walker hound

Treeing Walker hound

As we continue our look at all of the different kinds of sporting dogs, we move into the larger hounds. These are typically separated by sent hounds and sight hounds. While sight hounds are popular in other parts of the world. Scent hounds dominate the scene in the United States in general and in the south in particular.
Of the larger scent hounds, we have a variety of uses. From raccoon hounds, to deer hounds, fox hounds, bear and lion hounds. Granted many of these hounds come from the same species, they definitely come from a different line of these hounds that are bred to chase different animals.

Large hounds are some of the most popular of all dogs both as hunting dogs and as companions. Some of these breeds include; Plott, Treeing Walkers, Redbone, Bluetick, Fox hound, American coon hound, bloodhound. Some of these are more popular than others, and some will see a resurgence from time to time.

It wasn’t long ago when he Redbone and Bluetick dominated coon hunts and Plott and Walker dogs dominated the deer hunting fields. As time has changed these too have changed. Many of the coon hunters today are preferring the treeing walker and Plott over the redbone and Bluetick. This is largely due to breeding and bloodlines. Fox hounds make excellent coon dogs and deer dogs.

The advantage of these ancient breeds is that they are fast and relentless. Once on a trail of a desired animal, they will not stop until their quarry is bayed, treed or killed.

As the popularity of these breeds both as companions and as hunting dogs continues to grow, it’s important to note that these breeds need space to run. They are happiest when chasing something. Most of the larger hounds will top the scales well over sixty pounds, they are excellent tempered and fairly easy to train. Most hunters will train their dogs by running them with more mature dogs and thereby teach them to run the desired species to chase.

Whether your quarry is deer, hogs, bear, coon or fox, these hounds are your best bet for getting your quarry. Like most hunting breeds, check your breeders carefully and do the research. Some lines of these breeds are more hearty and faster than others. Some are better when hunting alone rather than in a pack. This being the case, these are still by and large pack hunters. They work better when in a group.

Large hounds are some of the oldest and most popular breeds in the world. Listening to a pack of hounds running through the woods is classic hunting. If you have never enjoyed the music of hounds chasing game, than you owe it to yourself to spend some time with some houndsmen and enjoy the sounds of hounds chasing. Careful though, you may just come home with a puppy.