Though hunters by nature, Russian Hounds are companion dogs at heart. These intelligent, alert, active pups excel at tracking and love being surrounded by their people.
Russian Hound Traits
Russian Hounds have a slightly wolfish appearance and a sweet face reminiscent of the much smaller Beagle.
Coat and Coloring
This breed has a moderately short, dense overcoat and thick, soft undercoat. Russian Hounds are usually yellowish with overtones of red and black.
Distinctive Physical Traits
The Russian Hound has a strong, broad head and small, triangular, drop-style ears.
Russian Hound Temperament
Russian Hounds are intelligent, alert, and active dogs. They are excellent hunters and loyal family pets. These friendly pups enjoy being surrounded by their people and generally get along well with other dogs. Though intense when working, they are calm and balanced when at home (as long as they get enough exercise).
This breed has a keen nose and can't resist following a scent. So, it's best to keep your Russian Hound in an enclosed area when they're off-leash to prevent them from wandering off.
Russian Hound History
The Russian Hound originated in its namesake country and has been around since the late 18th century. These scent hounds often worked together with Borzoi sighthounds. The Russian Hound would locate and flush game into the open, where the Borzoi would then take chase.
Selective breeding in the early 20th century led to the standardization of the breed in 1925.
Russian Hound Care
Russian Hounds thrive on a high-quality diet formulated for their activity level, breed size, and life stage (e.g., puppy, adult, senior). To help them maintain a healthy weight, keep a careful eye on their food intake—including treats. As a rule, treats should make up no more than 10% of their calories.
The Russian Hound's grooming needs are relatively minimal. The breed's short coat needs brushing once or twice a week to remove loose or dead hair. Ear cleanings, nails trims, and regular teeth brushing are also essential elements of any dog's home-care routine.
Russian Hounds are active and energetic dogs, and they should get at least an hour of exercise a day. Besides long walks and hikes, this breed likes to run and play with family or other dogs in a fenced back yard.
Like many hounds, the Russian Hound is an intelligent dog that can have a stubborn streak. As such, the breed responds best to positive reinforcement using treats or favorite toys as rewards. It also helps to keep training sessions short and fun to prevent your Russian Hound from getting bored.
The most common ancestral trait of this group is being used for hunting. Some use acute powers of scent to follow a trail while others demonstrate the gift of stamina as they run down a quarry. Beyond these two common traits, however, generalizations about hounds are hard to come by as the group is comprised of a very diverse lot of breeds.
Reviewed September 5, 2020 by Annette Louviere, DVM