Let's talk Montenegrin Mountain Hounds

If you’re looking for the perfect canine blend of calm and enthusiasm, the Montenegrin Mountain Hound breed may be for you. If you’re a fan of the great outdoors, that is. These good-natured dogs need plenty of exercise, but providing they get it, make easygoing and docile companions at home. They’re beautiful too. Sleek black and tan coats and oversized ears are a winning combination. The only problem might be tracking down one of these lovely hounds – these dogs are rare outside their home region.

Official name: Montenegrin Mountain Hound

Other names: Crnogorski Planinski Gonič

Origins: Montenegro

Side view of Montenegrin Mountain Hound in black and white
 Drooling tendencies:


Warm weather? Medium
 Shedding level:
Suited to apartment living?  Medium
 Physical activity needs (high, low, medium): High Kid-friendly? 
Very high
 Compatibility with other pets: Medium
Can stay alone? Very low

We advise against leaving pets alone for long stretches.
Companionship can prevent emotional distress and destructive behaviour.
Speak to your veterinarian for recommendations.
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Illustration of Montenegrin Mountain Hound
48 - 51 cm translations.feature.breeds.height
20 - 25 kg translations.feature.breeds.weight
48 - 51 cm translations.feature.breeds.height
20 - 25 kg translations.feature.breeds.weight


 Baby age  Birth to 2 months
 Puppy age  2 to 12 months
 Adult age  1 to 7 years
 Mature age  7 to 10 years
 Senior age  10 years onwards


Get to know the Montenegrin Mountain Hound

All you need to know about the breed

The Montenegrin Mountain Dog thrives on activity – this is not the right dog for a family of couch potatoes. Or apartment dwellers. But if you can commit to meeting the breed’s exercise needs (more on that later), you’ll be rewarded with an affectionate and even-tempered canine companion.

Montenegrin Mountain Dogs were originally bred to hunt small game in the mountainous terrain of the former Yugoslavia (the breed used to be called the Yugoslavian Mountain Hound). While they are now known for their laid-back temperaments, they still have a strong prey drive, so are not suitable pets for families with small animals such as hamsters or rabbits. Once trained, Montenegrin Mountain Dogs get on well with children, although like any other breed they should not be left unsupervised with them.

So, about that exercise: these high-octane hounds need plenty of it. Long daily walks, plus plenty of chances to run off the lead in a safely enclosed space (because of that prey drive) will keep your Montenegrin Mountain Hound in great physical and mental shape. They won’t be content without it.


2 facts about Montenegrin Mountain Hounds

1. The hound formerly known as …

The Montenegrin Mountain Hound or Crnogorski Planinski Gonič breed has had several different names. It used to be known officially as the Yugoslavian Mountain Hound. The Fédération Cynologique Internationale (FCI) recognised the new version of its English name in 1997 after the break-up of the former Yugoslavia. The breed has also sometimes been known as the Black Hound.

2. Balkan barker

If the Montenegrin Mountain Dog has a fault (and no breed is perfect, after all), it might be their tendency to bark. While these hounds are responsive to training, don’t expect to fully eradicate their natural urge to communicate. On the flip side, that tendency, combined with their natural slight wariness of strangers, means Montenegrin Mountain Hounds can make good watch dogs. They are especially prone to barking if they don’t get enough physical activity. Did we mention they need a lot of exercise?


History of the breed

The Montenegrin Mountain Hound has been an established breed for roughly a century, though its origins date back much further. The breed has seen its fair share of name changes, partly because of the conflict in its home region that led to the break-up of the former Yugoslavia (it was previously called the Yugoslavian Mountain Hound).

Dynamic and hardy Montenegrin Mountain Hounds are thought to originate from long-ago crosses between fast and athletic Phoenican sighthounds and super-sniffing local Slavic dog breeds. Whatever the precise ingredients, this particular canine recipe has resulted in a speedy, athletic hound with a strong nose and a placid nature.

The first breed standard was published in 1924 and the Montenegrin Mountain Hound was officially recognised by the Fédération Cynologique Internationale (FCI) in 1969.

Side view of Montenegrin Mountain Hound in black and white


From head to tail

Physical characteristics of Montenegrin Mountain Hounds

1. Body

Athletic build with strong legs and long tapered tail.

2. Ears

Medium-length high-set ears, long muzzle.

3. Coat

Glossy black coat with tan markings including on eyebrows, muzzle and lower legs.

Close-up of Montenegrin Mountain Hound with tounge out


Things to look out for

From specific breed traits to a general health overview, here are some interesting facts about your Montenegrin Mountain Hound
Montenegrin Mountain Hound leaning on rock in front of ocean


Caring for your Montenegrin Mountain Hound

Grooming, training and exercise tips

Grooming should be straightforward – just a quick daily brush of your Montenegrin Mountain Hound’s smooth glossy coat will keep them in good order. Regular toothbrushing (ideally daily) and nail clipping are important too. To keep your Montenegrin Mountain Hound in good physical shape, and mentally stimulated, be sure to provide them with plenty of opportunities to exercise. Long walks on the lead can be a part of that, as can off-the-lead runs. These will need to be in a securely enclosed space: otherwise prey drive + super nose + stamina could lead to a stressful experience for everyone involved. Docile and even-tempered Montenegrin Mountain Hounds should not be too hard to train (even if they can sometimes be a little … stubborn … especially if they’ve smelled something interesting and decided to follow it). Just make sure that any food rewards for training come out of their daily kibble allowance to avoid them becoming overweight.


All about Montenegrin Mountain Hounds

Yes – if you’ve set your heart on a Montenegrin Mountain Hound (and why wouldn’t you?) you may be in for a long wait. These dogs are quite popular in their home region but rare outside it.

They do. On condition that you have the time, energy and space to exercise them properly, these gentle-natured and affectionate dogs make lovely pets. Just don’t expect them to be content with the odd stroll around the block.



1 - Veterinary Centers of America https://vcahospitals.com/ 

2 - Royal Canin Dog Encyclopaedia. Ed 2010 and 2020

3 - Banfield Pet Hospital https://www.banfield.com/

4 - Royal Canin BHN Product Book

5 - American Kennel Club https://www.akc.org/