The word “hound” is one that not all dog lovers fully understand, and in some instances, this word is simply used interchangeably with the word “dog.” However, the word “hound” is correctly used to describe a dog or dog breed that is used for work with hunters, to find, trace or track prey.
The Kennel Club divides pedigree dog breeds that are eligible for registration with them into several broader sub-categories of dog breeds that share similar origins or core traits, and the hound group is just one of the Kennel Club’s designated dog type groups.
There are around eighty different individual breeds of hound recognised across the world by different dog breed authority bodies and organisations, which is many more than most people realise – and in the UK, we don’t see all of them very commonly if at all.
There are around 25-30 hound dog breeds that can be found and purchased in the UK, and some of these are naturally a lot more common and popular than others. In this article, we will share some information on the most popular hound breeds in the UK.
If you are trying to pick a breed of dog for your next purchase or are just trying to establish what sort of traits you’re looking for in your next dog, there is a lot of variety and diversity to be found within the hound dog group, providing a lot of potential choices.
Knowing which hound breeds are the most in demand among puppy buyers, how much they change hands for and why they’re in such demand can help people trying to choose their next dog to narrow down their viable options and discount others, as part of researching the right choice of dog to buy.
If you want to know what hound dog breeds are the most popular in the UK, their pros and cons, and how much you might need to spend to buy a dog of the hound type, we will list the most popular hound dog breeds in the UK below, with some insights and guidance on each of them to get you started.
Read on to learn which hound breeds are in greatest demand in the UK.
Let’s start with the basics, and explain in more detail what makes a hound a hound.
The short explanation of a hound is “a dog used by hunters in the pursuit of prey,” but this is a very broad description that requires some further clarification.
Hounds are working dogs first and foremost, and this is a working dog breed grouping. However, whether or not any dog is considered to be a hound depends on their breeding and ancestry, rather than their own performance within any given working role.
A dog that has never been used for hunting and whose recent ancestors were never used for working roles either is still considered to be a hound if they come from a breed that is or was originally bred and developed for hunting. On the flip side, theoretically any type of dog could or might display the type of skills required for hunting and be used in such roles; however, if they are not from a breed that is formally classed as a hound, they are not counted as hounds either.
It is also worth mentioning the difference between hounds and gun dogs, as these two dog type groupings sometimes work together or appear to perform similar roles at a glance. Gun dogs also work with hunters, but they do not pursue live prey. They might flush out prey or “point” for it, and recover downed game birds and small prey to carry back to their handlers, but they never pursue or attempt to catch fresh prey themselves.
A working hound’s duties and roles can be highly varied, and designed to enhance or utilise specific skills the dog possesses, which can apply in practice in various different ways. The hound group itself is further divided up into three sub-categories, each of which possess their own unique combination of skills and core traits. These sub-categories are:
Sighthound dog breeds are able to catch prey thanks to their incredibly fast sprinting speed and ability to take off from a standstill at high speed, and the fastest-running dog breeds of them all are all sighthound breeds.
The dog breeds with the very best senses of smell in the canine world are scenthounds.
In terms of the types of prey that hounds might pursue, this can be quite variable, and not all hound roles are tasked with catching and killing prey either. Everything from small prey like rabbits to large game animals like deer and elk can be hunted with hounds, and fox hunters hunt with hounds, but there are a number of other working roles that some hounds are adept at performing too.
Greyhound racing, for instance, harnesses the sighthound’s core traits to pursue a fake rabbit around a track to identify the fastest dog, even though there is no live prey involved. Drag hunting and other forms of following a deliberately lain false scent trail is another application for hound work as well. Search and rescue dogs that look for missing persons, evidence, or fugitives are often scenthounds seeking prey, but not to kill it!
Hounds can and often do work as sniffer dogs and detection dogs, searching for things like crime scene evidence, buried bodies, missing persons and fugitives, and even potentially working with the police and military to sniff out things like drugs, weapons, bombs, and trafficked persons.
The full range of applications for hounds of all types are diverse and varied, and given the number of hound breeds there are in the UK and their various different skill sets, lots of options available to choose from.
Remember, it is a dog’s type and breed that dictates whether or not they are classed as a hound – not whether or not any individual dog has ever worked in a hound-type role.
Whilst hounds were originally bred and developed for working roles, most hound breeds kept in the UK today are kept mainly or wholly as pets and companions rather than as working dogs. Even many dog breeds that were up until very recently in their history kept more or less exclusively as working dogs have made a successful transition to domestic life. However, hounds retain a great number of core traits that reflect their hunting origins, and which manifest in various different ways in domestic hound dogs.
Perhaps the main uniting trait that all hound dog breeds have in common is an incredibly strong prey drive and an instinctive urge to pursue what the dog perceives as prey. This means that the owners of hounds need to take care to protect wild animals and other pets like cats when out and about with their dogs, using close supervision, leads and potentially muzzles when running freely, as well as training the dog to exhibit reliable recall skills.
Before we get to listing the UK’s most popular hound dog breeds, first of all it is a good idea for us to explain how we determined the rankings, and the information that we used to do so.
Pets4Homes is the biggest and busiest pet classifieds website in the UK, hosting more adverts for dogs for sale in the UK than any other website. When people place an advert for dogs for sale here, we collate anonymous information about the adverts themselves to collate statistics on the wider trends happening across the site as a whole.
This includes metrics such as what breed advertised dogs come from, whether they are pedigrees or non-pedigrees, and the asking prices for each dog too, where supplied. This in turn enables us to build up a database of information on what dog breeds are advertised here in the greatest numbers, how many dogs advertised over the course of a year for each breed are pedigrees, and the average asking prices for each dog breed offered for sale.
The information that we share with our readers is compiled from data and statistics collated here on Pets4Homes, and does not take into account dogs for sale advertised on other platforms instead of here. However, as the largest pet classifieds site in the UK, our own data provides a comprehensive snapshot of the wider state of the market, which is as true as possible to an accurate picture of the UK market as a whole as any platform or website would be capable of achieving.
This means that our figures on the number of dogs of each hound type advertised in any year here (and their advertised prices) don’t reflect all dogs in the UK – only the ones showcased here.
The list of the UK’s most popular hound dog breeds that we’ll share below was formulated based on the recognised hound dog breeds that were advertised in the greatest numbers here on Pets4Homes throughout the entire course of 2018, the most recent year for which we have a full set of data to work with.
To expand on the insights that this information provides, we’ve also divided up the pedigree and non-pedigree numbers of our mentioned hound breeds to give an indication of the popularity of pedigree dogs of each breed versus non-pedigrees, based on the information given by advertisers.
In terms of the pricing details we will provide for each hound dog breed, we have provided the averages for 2018 adverts based on the advertised price across the board for dogs of each respective hound breed. Please note that this is the averaged asking or advertised price, rather than the eventual sale price that may be achieved by the breeder.
Not all puppy sellers indicate pricing information within their adverts, and so we have discounted ads with no price given in order to ensure that this does not artificially alter the accuracy of the results. We also discounted dogs that were advertised for sale at less than £100 or more than £8,000 each, again, to ensure that errors, unusual anomalies or the occasional dogs that fall well outside of their breed’s usual pricing norms don’t skew the results.
Finally, the figures that we provide for the number of dogs of each hound type based on their popularity reflects the number of adverts for each breed placed here during the twelve months of 2018, rather than the exact number of individual dogs for sale.
Many breeders use one advert to showcase a whole litter together rather than creating individual adverts for each puppy from within a litter, and so our figures are based on the number of adverts placed during the given time period, and not the precise number of individual dogs.
With this in mind, we’ll now present Pets4Homes’ list of the most popular hound dog breeds in the UK in reverse order, along with some insights into the pricing averages for each breed and a little more information about each of them.
The greyhound is one of the best-known dog breeds in the world, and their distinctive physical appearance ensures that they are easily spotted when out and about. They are also really well established within the UK, largely as pets but also of course for greyhound racing, although the popularity of dog racing in the UK and greyhound racing in particular has been falling for many years now.
Given the fact that the greyhound is perhaps one of the better-known hound dog breeds and that most dog owners know of at least a couple of dogs of the breed living in their local area, it may be something of a surprise to see them at the bottom of our hound popularity list in eighth place. We’ll get into an explanation of the potential causes for this relatively low ranking shortly, but first, let’s look at the figures.
As you can see, the total number of greyhounds advertised here in 2018 was just 53 dogs, which is a very low number, and if you tend to notice which types of dogs you spot most commonly out and about in the UK, you may have expected the figure to have been significantly higher.
As we mentioned in the greyhound’s introduction, this is a dog breed that is popular as a racing dog a well as a pet, which is the cause of some controversy within the breed as a whole because of the welfare implications for racing dogs, and the treatment of dogs used for racing. Retired greyhounds that are no longer considered to be suitable for racing tend to be offered for rehoming rather than kept by their racing owners, although this is of course by no means always the case.
There are a large number of charities and organisations in the UK tasked specifically with rehoming retired racing greyhounds and other ex-racing dogs, and a high number of available greyhounds for adoption at any one time does of course help to ensure that a significant number of people looking to own a greyhound will choose to adopt rather than buy.
Greyhound racing is less popular in the UK today than it was a couple of decades ago, and so the number of racing greyhounds retired each year is lower too – but a lot of racing dogs are imported (often from Ireland) rather than bred here, and so many of the greyhounds within the UK’s whole population will be dogs that were never offered for sale or registered with the Kennel Club in the UK.
This is a very broad, generic picture of course, but might go some way towards explaining the low-ish number of dogs of the breed advertised here in 2018. It also helps to contribute to the relatively competitive average prices commanded by greyhound sellers in the UK, at under £300 for non-pedigree dogs. Even the £600 figure average for pedigree Greyhounds for sale is a fairly low cost for a large dog breed.
Next, let’s talk a little bit more about what type of hounds greyhounds are, and their core traits.
The greyhound is a sighthound, and perhaps the best-known sighthound breed of all of them. The breed is also widely recognised as being the fastest dog breed of them all, which is why they became so popular as racing dogs. Greyhounds are very tall and large dogs, but they are not heavy or stocky. The greyhound build is long, sleek and narrow, with very long, finely built legs. These traits help to enable the greyhound to get up to top speed quickly and achieve running speeds of up to 40mph when going flat out!
However, despite the amazing running speed greyhounds are capable of reaching, this is one breed that has a real reputation for laziness, and greyhounds are some of the most shameless couch potatoes of all dogs! Assuming that the dog has the chance to go for a couple of daily walks and run off the lead to stretch their legs and work off their excess energy, this is a breed that is very calm and quite within the home, and many greyhound owners will tell you that their dogs can rival cats in terms of how long they are willing to sleep for.
However, greyhounds like to have company, either of other dogs or people, and they don’t really like being left alone at home for very long and may become anxious or destructive.
The greyhound coat is easy to care for, not needing a lot of maintenance and not being prone to shedding heavily, which makes them a good choice of pet for domestic homes. They also have a reputation for being laid back and lovely with children, and they are as a whole very loving and affectionate dogs that enjoy spending lots of time with their families.
The breed falls firmly in the middle of the pack in terms of canine intelligence, and this actually makes them quite straightforward to teach basic commands to, and dogs of the breed tend to be obedient and reliable in their reactions. However, like all hounds and particularly sighthounds, greyhounds have an incredibly strong instinctive prey drive, and they can and will pursue all manner of smaller animals when out and about if they are not prevented from doing so.
This means that the greyhound can pose a real threat to pets like cats and also of course wildlife, and it is unusual to be able to train a greyhound for fully reliable recall when they are in pursuit of another animal.
Greyhound owners need to provide opportunities for their dogs to run safely off the lead, and so need to identify local enclosed areas where this can take place, keeping their dogs on the lead in other areas and potentially muzzling their dogs when loose to protect other animals.
In terms of greyhound health, the average lifespan of dogs of the breed is around 9-11 years, which is around the slightly low side of the average range for equivalent dog breeds of a similar size. Whilst greyhounds do tend to be fairly healthy dogs as a whole, their lean builds and fine legs can be vulnerable to damage when the dog runs, and there are also a number of hereditary health issues that can be found in some dogs of the breed too.
Greyhound breeders are strongly advised to undertake pre-breeding health screening for congenital deafness and also neuropathy in their breeding stock, and any greyhound seller you are considering buying a puppy from should be able to advise you at length on their health of their breed lines, and share the results of any health tests they have undertaken on their breeding stock.
The Saluki is a lean, lithe and leggy hound breed that falls very firmly within the sighthound group, and which has a very typical sighthound appearance that enables most dog lovers to pinpoint the dog’s type, if not their exact breed. The Saluki is also sometimes known as the gaze hound or gazelle hound.
The first thing you’ve probably noticed when you look at the number of adverts placed and the average Saluki advertised prices in 2018 is that this appears at a glance to be another very cheap breed of dog to buy, with an average cost of just £327 each. However, the huge number of non-pedigree adverts compared to pedigrees is largely responsible for this seemingly low figure, and with just twelve pedigree dogs of the breed advertised in 2018, the inherently lower cost of non-pedigrees and their much larger numbers brings down the average price significantly.
Pedigree Salukis advertised here in 2018 were offered for sale at more than double the cost of non-pedigrees, and they are also a lot scarcer compared to their non-pedigree relatives.
This means that if you want to buy a pedigree Saluki specifically, it may take you some time to find a breeder with a litter for sale or a planned litter that you can express an interest in, and you may need to travel some way to buy them.
Salukis are large dogs, but their size rating comes from their height rather than their build. Salukis are tall, but very lean and lithe with long legs, deep but narrow chests, and a very aerodynamic profile, which helps them to run at top speeds of up to over 40 miles per hour. In fact, whilst the greyhound is the dog breed most widely recognised as the world’s fastest dog, the fastest individual dog ever recorded is credited by the Guinness Book of Records as a Saluki – and these dogs also have more endurance and can run for longer than most other sighthound breeds too.
This means that unlike most other sighthound breeds (which tend to be quite lazy on the whole) the Saluki is a high-energy dog that needs a significant amount of exercise every day to keep them happy, including plenty of time running safely in a secure enclosure off the lead. This is also quite a highly-strung breed that can be prone to anxiety and stress, and which is very intolerant of being left alone at home for any length of time.
Salukis are reputed for being very good with children and often, very affectionate with smaller family members, as well as being loyal, loving, and forming strong bonds with their families as a whole.
The breed is fairly low-maintenance on the grooming front, and they aren’t particularly heavy shedders either, which means that they don’t require a lot of brushing or hours hoovering up shed hair in the home.
They’re around the low to average end of the spectrum in terms of their intelligence, and can be something of a challenge to train, often taking a long while to pick up new commands and not necessarily exhibiting them reliably in all situations, although this can of course be highly variable from dog to dog.
Like all sighthounds, the Saluki has an incredibly high prey drive, and will naturally seek out and hunt prey. This means that the dog’s exercise needs to be planned in order to keep wildlife and smaller pets like cats safe from the dog, and that they should be kept on a lead outside of the home other than when in a safely enclosed area to protect the dog from injury if they run off after prey, and to protect other animals too.
The Saluki has an average lifespan of around 12-14 years, and this is a very ancient dog breed that has not been hugely altered from the breed’s original traits and appearance. However, Salukis have elevated risk factors for a few breed-specific hereditary health issues that can present in individual dogs, including heart problems, and hereditary deafness.
Saluki breeders are advised to undertake heart testing and BAER deafness testing on their breeding stock, and also encouraged to register their dogs in the Saluki DNA database, which monitors and records the breed’s health across the entire population of participating dogs to secure the breed’s future in good health.
Participation in Saluki health schemes is much more common amongst breeders who produce pedigree Salukis, and this is something that anyone considering buying a non-pedigree dog of the breed in particular should bear in mind. However, not all breeders of pedigree Salukis necessarily go through all of the recommended health testing protocols themselves, so ensure that you understand what tests and schemes your breeder of choice participates in before you commit to a purchase.
The Rhodesian ridgeback is a large and quite imposing-looking dog breed from the hound group, which has a lot of presence and self-assurance, as well as a handsome appearance that appeals to many different types of dog lovers.
Rhodesian ridgebacks have a long and distinguished reputation as very fearless hunting dogs, and in their home country of Zimbabwe (formerly Rhodesia), were prized for their ability and willingness to hunt and take on lions and other big game animals that might threaten livestock or even people within the dog’s territory.
The Rhodesian ridgeback breed as a whole is one that is the topic of some debate and discussion in terms of what type of hounds they actually are, and some arguments can be made that they are not hounds in the traditional sense at all, because they don’t share all of the most common and universal hound traits.
Generally, Rhodesian ridgebacks are considered to be either scent hounds or mixed-use hounds, using both scent and sight to hunt. Ridgebacks don’t share the typical conformation of scent hounds, which tends to be stocky and muscular to provide endurance rather than lean and lithe to provide the type of speed sighthounds need to hunt, and the debate over the proper classification of the breed’s hound status continues today. Additionally, when the Rhodesian ridgeback first began to achieve recognition as a pedigree breed internationally, they were classed as gun dogs in the first instance in many countries before being moved to the hound group.
The Rhodesian ridgeback’s name refers to a very unique trait that most dogs of the breed possess, which is a line of fur along the spine that grows in the opposite direction to the rest of the coat, providing a distinctive ridge along the dog’s profile.
Ridgebacks are large, confident dogs that can be very territorial and wary of strangers, and which require a confident and experienced owner to manage them and provide an appropriate lifestyle for dogs of this type.
They have an extremely high need for exercise and play, and require a lot of walks and varied entertainment every day to keep them happy and fulfilled. This, along with the large size of dogs of the breed, means that they’re not a good fit for all types of homes and owners, and they are not a dog breed to choose lightly.
Rhodesian ridgebacks are around the middle of the pack in terms of their intelligence and working ability, and they have a strong prey drive and watchful nature that means that they will usually spot potential prey before their handlers, and so owners need to take care to keep the dog on the lead where appropriate, muzzle if running loose in unenclosed areas, and/or train the dog for excellent recall ability, where possible.
On the plus side, the Ridgeback coat isn’t particularly heavy shedding, and dogs of this type don’t need a lot of grooming. Rhodesian ridgebacks are also very loyal dogs that form strong bonds with their families and are often very protective over them, and they are very gentle and affectionate with people that they love and trust, which makes them very rewarding to own.
However, they are better suited to families with older children than those with very young ones, as they can be dominant with younger family members.
In terms of Rhodesian ridgeback health, the average lifespan for dogs of the breed is quite variable, ranging between 9-15 years which is quite a large range. There are a collection of hereditary health conditions that can affect Rhodesian ridgebacks too, one of which relates to the breed’s signature ridge of fur along the back. This is called dermoid sinus, and may require surgical correction.
There are also quite a number of other health issues that can be found within the breed, some of which can be tested for prior to breeding any two parent dogs. Kennel Club Assured Breeder Scheme members are required to undertake several health tests to retain their Assured Breeder status, and other ridgeback breeders are strongly encouraged to do the same.
Whether you are considering buying a pedigree or a non-pedigree Rhodesian ridgeback, researching the breed’s health is really important, and you should talk to breeders at great length about the health tests they undertook on their own dogs prior to breeding.
You should also ensure that you understand the breed well enough to make an informed decision on buying one, and being able to manage them and provide an appropriate lifestyle too.
The Basset hound is a medium sized scent hound that was originally bred and developed for hunting hare. Many of us over a certain age know Basset hounds as “Hush Puppies,” after the shoe brand of the same name that used Bassets as their mascots and as part of marketing campaigns.
Whilst they’re not among the most commonly seen dogs in the UK today, their distinctive looks make Basset hounds very memorable, and most dog lovers would recognise the breed on sight.
Basset hounds are scent hounds, and have one of the most acute senses of smell of any dog breed – second only to the bloodhound, the best scenting breed in the world. This makes Bassets very useful for tracking and scenting roles, and they are built for stamina rather than speed, and have masses of endurance to follow a scent all day and over a potentially large distance too.
The Basset hound’s build is quite unusual, as they have muscular, stocky and long bodies paired with very short legs, and this physical trait is caused by a form of canine achondroplasia or dwarfism.
As you can see, a total of less than 300 Basset hound dogs and litters advertised for sale over the last year across the UK is not a huge number of dogs, and even though the Basset is the fifth most popular hound dog breed, they’re not very common. This is reflected in the breed’s average sale prices to an extent, as a limited number of dogs of the breed for sale at any given time serves to keep prices relatively high.
Bassets are something of a hidden gem of a breed when it comes to their suitability as pets, as they are very middle of the road in terms of all of their core traits. They’re medium in size which makes them versatile enough to suit a lot of different types of homes, and their coats need only a moderate amount of grooming and they aren’t a particularly heavy shedding breed.
They require a moderate amount of exercise and aren’t a breed that tends to be full of beans at all times, and are usually happy with a couple of medium-length walks each day. When properly cared for and given enough exercise, Bassets are also usually perfectly happy to be left alone at home for a few hours at a time.
One particular advantage of the breed for families is that Basset hounds tend to be excellent with children, being laid back, patient and not unpredictable in their actions, getting on well with even younger family members who know how to treat the dog and vitally, when to leave them alone.
The breed is middle of the road in terms of their intelligence and the same when it comes to their receptiveness to training, and they can learn and retain a fairly good range of different skills and commands.
Basset hounds have an average life expectancy of around 11-12 years, and there are a few hereditary health issues that can be found within some dogs of the breed that can affect their longevity and quality of life. Some of these relate to the conformation of the Basset’s eyes, which are large, soulful and drooping, which can cause problems like entropion or ectropion for dogs that exhibit them. Primary glaucoma is another breed-specific issue, but one that can be tested for in breeding stock prior to mating, to ensure that the condition is not passed on to the litter.
If you are considering a Basset hound as your next pet, you might need to travel some distance to find a suitable litter for sale, and you should do plenty of research into the breed as a whole before you make a decision. Ask the breeder about the health of their lines and if any health tests were performed on the parent dogs, and ask to see the results before you make a decision on a purchase.
The whippet is one of the smaller sighthound dog breeds, and the highest ranked sighthound in our hound popularity rankings list.
Whippets are a dog breed that is most widely owned in the UK today as pets, but they can still be found in some households being kept for working roles too, such as lamping or hare coursing. Whippet racing is also a popular sport in some areas too, and one that is much less commonly associated with poor conditions and care for retired racing dogs than greyhound racing is.
Looking at the split in numbers of pedigree versus non-pedigree whippets advertised in 2018, the split is very nearly 50:50, indicating that demand is about evenly split between those seeking a pedigree dog and those who aren’t bothered about pedigree status. Whippets are also quite economical to buy, with dogs of the breed changing hands for under £600 on average for pedigree, and just a touch over £400 for non-pedigrees, which puts the whippet well within the reach of most puppy buyers.
Whippets are a type of sighthound, which identifies and pursues prey visually. They are very adept at picking out even tiny movements from some distance away, and when the whippet does spot potential prey, they take off after it with an explosive burst of speed that can reach up to 35mph at the top end, which is what made them such a popular dog breed for dog racing.
Whippets possess a very typical sighthound build, which enables them to reach their high running speeds – these are very lean and streamlined dogs, with long legs and narrow bodies, which helps to make them aerodynamic.
Given the whippet’s propensity to take off at a run with little warning and the type of speed that they can achieve, you might well assume that this is a dog breed that is very challenging to provide with enough exercise – but this is not really the case.
All whippets need a couple of walks each day to allow them to exercise, run, and work off their excess energy, but within the home, they tend to be very sedentary dogs that can actually be prone to being very lazy, and valuing sleep above all things!
They’re a small breed but not a tiny one, and they’re very affectionate with their families and handlers, liking nothing better than to curl up on the sofa for a snooze whilst the TV is on.
They tend to be good with well-behaved children, but may find young or very boisterous children a little daunting, and the dog’s lean build means that they’re not well designed for a lot of rough and tumble play.
Whippets can usually be left alone at home for a moderate amount of time if they have had a walk without making a fuss, and they are generally considered to be a good choice of dog for people who enjoy sedate, gentle walks rather than lots of hiking or running around.
In terms of whippet health, the breed’s average lifespan is around 12-14 years, and as a very well-established breed with a diverse gene pool, they tend to be fairly healthy. However, all prospective whippet buyers are advised to learn as much as possible about hereditary whippet health conditions that can affect individual dogs of the breed, and ask any breeder they are considering buying from if their parent stock have undergone any health tests.
The beagle is one of the hound breeds that has only really began to gain traction in the UK as a pet rather than a working dog within the last couple of decades, and most of us still think of working dog packs rather than pets when we call beagles to mind.
Beagles are small, lively and very outgoing dogs that retain strong ties to their recent working history, which manifests in many ways in their behaviour and lifestyles even when kept as pets.
A couple of things stand out when you look at the prices and advert numbers for beagles for sale in the UK in 2018 – far more non-pedigree beagles were advertised during the year than registered pedigrees, and also, beagles are not very expensive to buy when compared to the averages across the board for all dog breeds and types.
The large number of non-pedigrees versus pedigrees may reflect the fact that beagles have only begun to become popular as pets in the last couple of decades, and many of them have traceable origins going back to working dog lines within their recent ancestry. Dogs kept and bred for working purposes tend to be more valued for their working prowess than their pedigree paperwork, and this is reflected in the advert figures.
Beagles are a type of scenting hound that within working roles, usually work as part of a large dog pack, or as a pair with another dog. They retain very strong pack dog traits and work well with others, which means that they tend to be highly social with other dogs and keen to make new friends to play with in the dog park.
Beagles have transitioned quite successfully to life as pets, as can be seen by their third place ranking in the hound breeds popularity list, but their long working history and close ties to their roots require consideration on the part of their owners, as these traits tend to manifest very strongly even in pets.
Beagles are very excitable and lively dogs that have a strong prey drive and bags of energy, and this can make catching and keeping their attention and managing their behaviour within a suburban home somewhat challenging for those who don’t do their research.
The beagle has a medium to high need for exercise, but they tend to be very active when they are exercising and so, don’t necessarily need to be walked for hours in order to tire them out. As a breed that historically, is used to having more or less constant companionship from other dogs or people, this is quite a demanding breed in terms of their need for company, and they are not very tolerant of being left alone for too long at a time.
However, having another dog to play with and provide company when the human members of the family are out can help to counteract this to an extent.
The breed tends to be good with children and keen to play with them, and they are generally quite outgoing dogs that want to join in with other dogs or kids who look like they’re having a good time!
As a fairly compact and small dog breed, the beagle is a viable choice of hound for people with smaller homes, as long as the dog’s need for play and exercise can be met as well.
Beagles tend to live for around 12-15 years on average which reflects their well-established working history and the large population of beagles in the UK, but there are several hereditary health issues that can be found within some dogs of the breed. Many of the main conditions that are considered to be a threat to the beagle breed as a whole can be identified in parent stock prior to breeding from them with DNA testing, and beagle breeders are strongly advised to have their stock tested for both neonatal cerebellar cortical degeneration, and Musladin-Lueke syndrome.
If you are considering buying a beagle as your next pet, ensure that you have the knowledge and experience to manage them and provide an appropriate lifestyle for your new dog, and that you find out as much as possible about general beagle health, and whether or not any breeder you are considering buying a puppy from has undertaken health testing on their stock.
The dachshund is known by many as the “sausage dog,” and this is one of the smaller hound breeds commonly seen in the UK. However, dachshunds aren’t tiny dogs, and many people who aren’t familiar with the breed as a whole are surprised by just how long and sturdy their bodies can be, particularly in contrast to their short legs!
As you can see, the dachshund is quite an expensive dog breed to buy given the breed’s size, costing well over £1,000 for a pedigree and over £800 for a non-pedigree. Non-pedigrees are also more common in the UK than registered pedigrees, based on data collated from Pets4Homes adverts. The dachshund is the second most popular hound breed overall in the UK based on our statistics, and most dog lovers will know at least one or two dogs of the breed in their local area.
Additionally, the miniature dachshund, which looks like a regular dachshund but smaller, is also very popular, and those unfamiliar with both breeds and their sizes commonly confuse the two.
Dachshunds were originally used to hunt and flush out badgers, and the breed’s shape and particularly short legs enable them to pursue badgers right down into their setts, where larger dogs would be unable to go. They are generally classed as scent hounds rather than sight hounds, although it could be argued that they fall into the more general third hound grouping, which uses both sight and scenting ability to catch prey.
The short dachshund legs are of course their most defining trait, accompanied by a normal-sized body and head. This trait actually occurs due to a form or partial dwarfism or achondroplasia, which is also seen in corgis too.
Whilst dachshunds today are almost exclusively kept in the UK as pets rather than working dogs, they retain all of the key hound traits, including a strong prey drive, plenty of endurance, and bags of tenacity. They are not lapdogs or toy dogs, and need a reasonable amount of exercise given their size. The dachshund is a particularly good example of a hound breed that has made a successful transition to life as pets, and is actually the 14th most popular dog breed in the UK overall.
Within the domestic home, the dachshund is fun loving, very affectionate, and often highly entertaining. They bond strongly with their families but don’t tend to be very tolerant of younger children, although older children that know how to handle and respect a dog usually get on with dachshunds very well.
Dachshunds are around average in the intelligence stakes, but they can be challenging to train, often appearing to wilfully ignore or misunderstand commands initially, which means that they require an experienced, calm and responsive trainer to get the best out of them when learning new skills or commands. They will generally be happy if left alone for a few hours at a time with something to do, and tend to be fairly quiet within the home in general, assuming that they get enough exercise and have all of their needs met adequately.
In terms of dachshund health, the average lifespan of dogs of the breed is between 12-13 years, but there is quite a long list of hereditary health conditions that can be found within some individual dachshunds more commonly than within most other dog breeds. Some of these conditions can be screened for in parent stock prior to breeding, and prospective dachshund buyers are strongly advised to learn as much as possible about the breed’s health and specific health conditions before committing to a purchase.
One particular condition of note is called dachshund paralysis, which can affect dogs whose body length to leg length ratio is particularly high.
The miniature dachshund – sometimes known as the miniature sausage dog – is a close relative of the regular dachshund, and was originally developed as a variant of this breed. Not everyone realises that miniature dachshunds are actually a separate breed from the standard dachshund in their own right, but they are significantly smaller than standard dachshunds, as you might expect!
Comparing the number of adverts placed in 2018 for dachshunds compared to miniature dachshunds shows that the miniatures pipped their standard-sized cousins to the top spot by virtue of just six more adverts, and so which of these two breeds falls into the top spot at any given time can change quite rapidly.
The very similar number of advert figures for two such closely related breeds during 2018 indicates that for many puppy buyers, there’s not a lot in the size difference, and both of these small hound types are in great demand in the UK.
However, the miniature dachshund is rather more expensive to buy than the standard dachshund, reflecting their heightened popularity, but once more, pedigrees of the breed are outnumbered by non-pedigrees. This indicates that pedigree paperwork is not necessarily hugely important to most miniature dachshund buyers.
Like the standard dachshund, the miniature dachshund’s origins were as a badger hunting dog, and they are generally considered to be scent hounds, or fall into the general hound dog grouping.
However, people first began deliberately breeding these very small dachshunds in larger numbers to enable them to hunt for hares rather than badgers, as hares have smaller burrows that the average dachshund might struggle to navigate.
The smaller size of the miniature dachshund helps to sway the balance for many people considering buying a dachshund as a pet, and they are of course smaller and more finely built than their standard dachshund cousins, although they are again, not tiny dogs or lap dogs. Miniature dachshunds have been popular as pets in the UK for many decades, and it is very unusual to see a dog of this breed carrying out an active working role in the UK today.
When it comes to their suitability as pets, miniature dachshunds are reputed to be a little smarter than standard dachshunds, but they can still be quite a challenge to train, requiring patience, repetition, and fun to keep the dog interested and engaged. Their exercise requirements are moderate and the dog’s short legs mean that a couple of brisk walks per day is usually sufficient, but the breed is also lively and fun loving, and really enjoys playing with other dogs and people.
However, they are very intolerant of being left alone, and may make a lot of fuss or become destructive within the home if they don’t have someone around to keep them company for the best part of the day.
Like the standard dachshund, miniature dachshunds retain a strong prey drive, despite their domestic lifestyles. They may also be prone to digging or burrowing too, in reflection of their working history.
Miniature dachshunds are rather longer lived on average than their larger cousins, averaging a lifespan of around 14-17 years, which is towards the top end of the spectrum for equivalent dog breeds of a similar size.
However, like the standard dachshund, some dogs of the breed are plagued with health issues relating to their long backs and short legs, and there are also several other hereditary health conditions that can be found within some dogs of the breed too.
If you are considering buying a miniature dachshund, you’re in good company – the miniature dachshund is the most popular hound breed in the UK.
Take your time to learn in detail about the breed’s core traits and health before you make a decision. These are hugely popular little dogs that can be very rewarding to own – as evinced by their position at the top of the hound popularity rankings list – but like any dog breed, they’re not the right fit for everyone!
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