Breed Education
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Istrian Short-Haired Hound
Istrian Short-Haired Hound

Istrian Short-Haired Hound

Istrian Short-Haired Hounds are calm, docile dogs with exceptional hunting abilities. They're also gentle, devoted, and easy to train. No wonder they've been beloved in their native country for centuries!

Weight

35–50 lb

Height

19–21 in

Lifespan

10–12 yr

Breed Group

Sporting

Istrian Short-Haired Hound History

The Istrian Short-Haired Hound originated in Croatia and dates back to the 1300s (at least). The earliest evidence of the breed exists in the Franciscan monastery in Dubrovnik, where four dogs resembling the Istrian Hound appear on the capitol column. The hounds also show up in paintings in cemetery chapels and churches from the late 1400s.

Experts believe the breed descends from an ancient east Adriatic white hound. Historically, people have used the Istrian Short-Haired Hound for hunting rabbits and foxes in the rough, stony mountains of Istria.

The FCI published the first standard for the breed in 1955, and the United Kennel Club recognized it in 2006. Today, Istrians are rare—found primarily in their native land.

Istrian Short-Haired Hound Traits

General Appearance

The Istrian Short-Haired Hound is a medium-sized dog with a strong body and noble appearance.

Coat and Coloring

This breed's coat is short, dense, fine, and glossy. It comes in solid white or white with lemon patches or ticking.

Distinctive Physical Traits

Istrians have a narrow skull, long muzzle, and dark, oval-shaped eyes. Their drop ears lie close to the head and, when pulled forward, should not reach the canine teeth. These dogs also have deep, broad chests, muscular back legs, and a long tail that curves slightly upward.

Istrian Short-Haired Hound Temperament

Istrian Hounds are calm and laid-back at home and lively and enthusiastic when hunting. These gentle pups get very attached to their humans but are often wary of strangers. They are loyal and obedient with a powerful, persistent bark.

Istrian Short-Haired Hound Care

Nutrition

These hounds thrive on a high-quality diet formulated for their life stage (e.g., puppy, adult, senior).

To help your dog maintain a healthy weight, measure their portions to avoid overfeeding, and keep an eye on how many treats you're giving them. As a guideline, treats should make up no more than 10% of a pup's daily calories.

Grooming

Weekly brushing to remove loose fur and dirt and the occasional bath are generally sufficient to keep this breed's coat in tip-top shape. To reduce your dog's chance of ear infections, check their ears regularly and remove any wax build-up or debris.

Nail trims should also be part of every dog's grooming routine. If your pup's nails grow too long, they can cause pain and potentially lead to problems running or walking.

Good dental hygiene is also important for your dog's overall health. Dental disease is one of the most common health conditions in adult dogs. Left untreated, it can contribute to other serious issues. In addition to professional cleanings, establish an at-home dental care program that includes regular teeth brushing and veterinarian-recommended dental chews.

Exercise

This active breed needs daily exercise to stay happy and healthy. Their preferred activity is hunting. But long walks, runs, and ball-chasing are also great ways to keep them active.

Training

Istrian Hounds are devoted, obedient dogs and easy to train. Reward-based training methods with plenty of praise work well for this breed.

Additionally, all dogs benefit from early socialization. Introducing your pup to different people and environments when they're young will help them develop into a confident, well-mannered adult dog.

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