Let's talk Posavatz Hounds

Though little known outside their native Croatia, the Posavatz Hound is nonetheless a dream canine companion. While they have traditionally been used as hunting dogs in their homeland, they are very affectionate and friendly animals with an exceptionally gentle temperament. The Posavatz Hound is also fine with children, once trained, and they form deeply strong bonds with their human families. Then there’s those lovely hound-dog features with their big brown eyes, long, droopy ears and smooth, sandy-red coat. Despite being a relatively lively dog, they are generally a pleasure to train too.

Official name: Posavatz Hound

Other names: Posavac Hound

Origins: Croatia

Side view of Posavatz Hound in black and white
Drooling tendencies Low Warm weather? Medium
Shedding level Medium Suited to apartment living? Low
Physical activity needs Moderate (1-3 hours daily) Kid-friendly? High
Compatibility with other pets Low Can stay alone? Low

We advise against leaving pets alone for long stretches. Companionship can prevent emotional distress and destructive behavior. Speak to your veterinarian for recommendations.

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Illustration of Posavatz Hound
50 - 56 cm translations.feature.breeds.height
16 - 20 kg translations.feature.breeds.weight
47 - 54 cm translations.feature.breeds.height
16 - 20 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  From 10 years


Get to know the Posavatz Hound

All you need to know about the breed

One of the 70 or so breeds of hound dog, the Posavatz has been a fixture of the Croatian countryside for many hundreds of years. Rather charmingly, their original name, Posavski Gonič, can be translated to “the scent hound from the Sava Valley” – the Sava being a river that flows through Croatia. They are also known as the Posavac Hound or, sometimes, the “Possie” for short.

Though they have traditionally been used as hunting dogs in their native homeland, the Posavatz Hound is a big softie at heart with a lovely temperament. Dependable and docile in their nature, they also form strong attachments to their human pack. The Posavatz Hound is fairly easy to train, too. They are therefore just as well-suited to being a family pet as they are to life out in the field – though your Posavatz Hound will require plenty of exercise.

In terms of their appearance, these smart scent hounds are sometimes compared to the Beagle, though the Posavatz Hound is larger in size. They certainly have all the typical traits of any hound dog – those large, expressive eyes and long, Snoopy-like ears being particularly endearing features. No wonder these Croatian canines are so popular in their home country.


2 facts about Posavatz Hounds

1. Sweet smell of victory

A dog’s sense of smell is approximately 10,000 to 100,000 times more sensitive than a human’s – and scent hounds are among the leaders in this department. Given that the Beagle, a similar breed, is known to be one of the best, no surprise that your Posavatz Hound will have a super-charged sense of smell too.

2. A brush with fame

Although the precise origins of the Posavatz Hound have been lost to the mists of time, there is evidence that they have been with us for many hundreds of years. In the village of Beram, in the cemetery chapel, there is a fresco dating from 1474 that appears to depict a Posavatz Hound – or one of their ancestors, at the very least.


History of the breed

An ancient breed of hound dog hailing from the former Yugoslavia, the Posavatz is believed to be a descendant of the now extinct Molossian dogs. Although we don’t know their exact history, Posavatz Hounds are thought to have been around since at least the 1300s. Then there is the aforementioned fresco, dating from the 1400s, in which the breed appears to feature.

What we know for certain is that, by the 1800s, the Posavatz Hound had become well established in their native homeland – although, at that stage, they were known under a different name: the Boskini. By 1924, they were participating in dog shows and the first registrations were made five years later. In 1955, the breed was recognised by the Fédération Cynologique Internationale (FCI), though it wasn’t until 1969 that the first standard was published under the name of the Posavatz Hound.

Today, while popular in their home country of Croatia, the Posavatz Hound remains something of a hidden treasure. Little known outside central Europe, the breed has yet to be recognised by either the American or UK Kennel Clubs.

Side view of Posavatz Hound in black and white


From head to tail

Physical characteristics of Posavatz Hounds

1. Head

Domed head with floppy, rounded ears and large brown eyes.

2. Body

Body has level topline with long back and medium-length tail.

3. Coat

Short, smooth coat usually reddish fawn in colour.

Close-up of Posavatz Hound with tongue out


Things to look out for

From specific breed traits to a general health overview, here are some interesting facts about your Posavatz Hound
Posavatz Hound standing on grassy mound


Caring for your Posavatz Hound

Grooming, training and exercise tips

With that short, smooth, coat, the Posavatz Hound is very low-maintenance in terms of grooming. A gentle weekly brush should do the job – though they will need a little more attention at shedding times. However, as the Posavatz Hound does not shed excessively, this can be easily managed. One thing they do need, though, is regular checks of those long, droopy ears to ensure there is no wax, debris or sign of infection, and teeth should be brushed as often as possible (ideally daily). Nails can be trimmed as needed. Given their traditional working role, ferreting through the fields, forest and undergrowth, the Posavatz Hound does need a significant amount of exercise every day. This should include a run but can also be supported by play in the garden and scent games. With their innate intelligence and an eagerness to please, the Posavatz Hound generally responds well to positive training routines. Just be sure they know that you’re the pack leader right from the get-go! They will also benefit from early socialisation with other dogs and humans.


All about Posavatz Hounds

The Posavatz Hound does, indeed, make an excellent family pet. Great people-dogs, they bond well with their human packs. The Posavatz Hound is also good with children, once trained, though it’s best to keep them supervised, just in case either party is a little more boisterous than intended! Be careful around small pets and even cats, too, as the Posavatz Hound can still have a strong prey drive. They also need plenty of exercise.

While the coat of the Posavatz Hound is short and smooth, so very easy to care for, it is also quite dense. This means that during shedding time, they will need some extra brushing, or a gentle rub with a soft towel. Having said that, the Posavatz Hound only sheds an average amount, so it is still very manageable.



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/