Let's talk Serbian Hounds

The lively and dependable Serbian Hound is a joy to be around – an even, gentle nature housed in a gorgeously glossy jet black and chestnut brown package. It’s just a shame the breed is not better known outside their home region, where these purposeful and versatile dogs were originally highly prized as hunters’ companions – these determined dogs do thrive on having a mission! That’s not to say they can’t make great pets – an outdoors-loving household and a Serbian Hound could be a perfect match for both parties.

Official name: Serbian Hound

Other names: Srpski Gonič

Origins: Serbia

Black and white portrait of a Serbian Hound
Drooling tendencies Very low Warm weather? Medium
Shedding level Low Suited to apartment living? Very low
*Energy Level moderate *Friendly pet? 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 behavior. Speak to your veterinarian for recommendations.

Every pet is different, even within a breed; this snapshot of this breed specifics should be taken as an indication.

For a happy healthy and well-behaved pet, we recommend educating and socializing your pet as well as covering their basic welfare needs (and their social and behavioral needs).

Pets should never be left unsupervised with a child.

Contact your breeder or veterinarian for further advice.

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Illustration of a Serbian Hound
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46 - 56 cm translations.feature.breeds.height
20 - 23 kg translations.feature.breeds.weight
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43 - 53 cm translations.feature.breeds.height
20 - 23 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

Serbian Hound stood on grass with tongue out

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Get to know the Serbian Hound

All you need to know about the breed

Handsome hounds they may be, but this breed has much more to offer than their glossy good looks. Serbian Hounds are a dog on a mission.

Unsurprisingly, for a scent hound used to the field, Serbian Hounds are known for their impressive energy levels, their stamina and their determination. It follows then, that these dogs aren’t natural apartment or city dwellers.

Serbian Hounds need plenty of outdoor time – long walks and hikes are good as they thrive on one-on-one time with their humans, as well as chances to play and chase off the lead. This must be in an enclosed space as they still have a strong prey drive. And did we mention that stamina?

If all this is starting to sound a little intense, remember that their high-octane side is balanced out by a gentle and affectionate nature. Once trained, Serbian Hounds get on well with children, though like any other breed they should not be left unsupervised with them. They make content and loyal home companions just as long as they also get that afore-mentioned exercise.

Two Serbian Hounds drinking from the edge of a rocky stream

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2 facts about Serbian Hounds

1. Leader of the pack

Serbian Hounds have long been accustomed to living and working as a pack, so they generally get on well with other dogs. Smaller pets such as rabbits and guinea pigs had better watch out, however, as the Serbian Hound’s prey drive is still strong.

2. Saddle up

The distinctive black marking (set against the chestnut background) of a Serbian Hound is a key part of the breed’s standard. It’s known as a saddle and can extend up the dog’s neck and to the sides of their head. Some Serbian Hounds have a white mark on their chest.

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History of the breed

The qualities that make up the breed we know today as the Serbian Hound were first set out in a breed standard in 1924. But these dogs have a much longer back story. Back in the 1920s, this black-and-chestnut beauty was known as the Balkan Hound or Balkan Scent Hound, a name that was first recorded more than 1,000 years before, in 1005. The breed is thought to date its lineage back to the scent hounds of Asia Minor.

The Fédération Cynologique Internationale (FCI) recognised the breed (under another name) in 1940, and, after the break-up of the former Yugoslavia in the 1990s, the breed’s name was changed, becoming the Serbian Hound in 1996. The United Kennel Club recognised them in 2006.

Black and white portrait of a Serbian Hound

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From head to tail

Physical characteristics of Serbian Hounds

1. Ears

Narrow tapered muzzle; large high-set ears.

2. Body

Strong but lean build with long tapering tail.

3. Coat

Glossy, smooth double-layer coat in black and chestnut.

Serbian Hound sat in grass and flowers

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Things to look out for

From specific breed traits to a general health overview, here are some interesting facts about your Serbian Hound
Close-up of a Serbian Hound sat on grass, tongue wagging

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Caring for your Serbian Hound

Grooming, training and exercise tips

Serbian Hounds shed seasonally but their smooth glossy coats don’t require a lot of grooming, just a straightforward brush-through will do the trick. They need regular tooth brushing, to maintain good dental hygiene – ideally daily. Their nails should also be clipped regularly too.
The energetic Serbian Hound needs plenty of exercise. Off-the-lead runs should be in a safely enclosed space: their prey drive is as strong as their noses and you don’t want to find yourself chasing a runaway with as much stamina as these dogs. Fetching and chasing games are a good idea to cover their need for mental as well as physical activity. Early socialisation should ensure that they fit in comfortably with other people and other dogs and feel at ease in everyday situations. Serbian Hounds are intelligent – good news – but they have a reputation for being a little … independent-minded at times. Training will have to be patient and consistent but you’ll get there! Just make sure that any food rewards come out of their daily rations, to avoid them gaining excess weight.

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All about Serbian Hounds

Unfortunately, Serbian Hound dogs are pretty unusual outside their home region – even if perhaps they deserve to be better known! If you set your heart on one, you may be in for a long wait.

They do – as long as we’re talking about a fairly active and outdoorsy family. Serbian Hounds are friendly and affectionate, and great around kids once trained, but they need plenty of exercise: a quick stroll around the block won’t cut it.

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Sources

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/