A Dunker is a relatively new breed of scent hound that is native to Norway. The breed was developed by crossing scent hounds with Russian Harlequin Hounds, another breed that is rarely seen or heard of in the UK. In their native Norway, the Dunker which is also known as a Norwegian Hound amongst other names and they are highly prized for their tracking abilities. They boast having unusual coat patterns which really do set them apart from other breeds.
As previously mentioned these attractive scent hounds are quite new to the scene as such a lot more is known about their ancestry unlike many of the older breeds. They were created by Captain Wilhelm Conrad Dunker in the early 1800s with an end goal being to develop a scent hound capable of working in adverse conditions which often hits Norway throughout the year which makes working conditions a lot more challenging in many regions of the country even for the hardiest of dogs and their owners.
Dunkers are less well known outside of Norway where they are typically kept as working dogs rather than as pets although more of these handsome dogs are being kept in a domestic environment than ever before in Scandinavia. With this said, there is very little information on how well a Dunker fairs in a home environment but given their kind and tolerant natures, it would be fair to say that if a Dunker is kept in a rural environment and busy working alongside an owner in the great outdoors, they would probably make good pets. Dunkers don't have a nasty bone in their bodies and rarely would one of these dogs show any sort of aggressive behaviour.
They form strong bonds with their owners and are known to be exceptionally devoted and loyal by nature, being particularly good around children. One thing worth noting is that Dunkers like to work in packs and therefore are happiest when they live with other dogs bearing in mind they also boast a high prey drive therefore they should not be trusted around smaller pets and other animals. With this said, if a Dunker has grown up with a cat in the home, they generally get on well together.
Being so intelligent, Dunkers tend to be easy to train although they are better suited to people who are familiar with the specific needs of scent hounds. Like other scent hounds, Dunkers are known to have a bit of a stubborn streak and can be quite independent thinking when the mood takes them which means they need to be well trained and socialised from a young enough age so they understand who is boss and what is expected of them.
They are also known to like the sound of their own voices a little too much, which is a trait that's deeply embedded in a dog's psyche and which needs to be gently, yet firmly curbed when Dunkers are still young although this may still be a problem even in a mature well trained dog. They have a tremendous amount of stamina which means they can track a scent for miles with no trouble at all. As such, Dunkers need to be kept on a lead if they are exercised in areas where other animals are known to roam.
One thing that really makes a Dunker stand out from the crowd is their beautiful patterned coats and lovely black masks. Their coats are dense and hard without being too short and dogs have a black or blue marbled pattern mixed with pale fawn and distinct white markings.
Dunkers need a minimum of vigorous 45 minutes exercise a day bearing in mind that these scent hounds boast having a tremendous amount of stamina. If a dog is not given enough to do, they will quickly get bored and may develop some unwanted behavioural problems. Dunkers make the ideal jogging partners and once tired, they soon settle down to a quiet life indoors.