Let's talk Slovakian Hounds

The Slovakian Hound has a lot of canine heart and, let’s admit it, an even bigger bark. Playful and cheerful, these dogs are devoted to their human families. They can be very affectionate, and they do well around children, once trained. However, this breed may be a bit too energetic for a family with small children, as they can get over excited and knock them over, inadvertently. Despite their independent nature, Slovakian Hounds are obedient and will go along with their owner's wishes as they thrive on approval from their favourite human family.

Official name: Slovakian Hound


Origins: Slovakia

Black and white portrait of a Slovakian Hound
Drooling tendencies Low Warm weather? Low
Shedding level Medium Suited to apartment living? Low
*Energy Level moderate *Friendly pet? Medium
Compatibility with other pets Medium *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.

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 Slovakian Hound
45 - 50 cm translations.feature.breeds.height
15 - 20 kg translations.feature.breeds.weight
40 - 45 cm translations.feature.breeds.height
15 - 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

Slovakian Hound walking through dried grass


Get to know the Slovakian Hound

All you need to know about the breed

With their piercing puppy dog eyes and floppy ears, the Slovakian Hound is a sight to behold – and you will have many opportunities to do so, as this is a dog in perpetual motion. They are also vocal and make excellent guard dogs who will alert you to any strangers approaching your home. The neighbours might not appreciate it, but it’s just their protective nature. It takes them a while to warm up but, once they do, they are very loyal. It's important to socialise them at an early age, in order to get them used to different people, dogs and surroundings. Well-suited for country life, Slovakian Hounds could do well in cities, provided they're kept in a big house with a garden or fenced yard.

Known for their self-reliance, boundless energy and vigour, these dogs are usually not recommended for first-time owners or inactive households. Slovakian Hounds were bred to work and nothing pleases them more than carrying out and fulfilling tasks. They do best with families who can take them on hikes, jogs – or let them run along on bike rides – for at least an hour a day. But physical exercise is not enough for these bright dogs. Your Slovakian Hound also needs to be mentally stimulated in order to prevent them from barking excessively.

Slovakian Hound running out of water with its coat wet


2 facts about Slovakian Hounds

1. Keeping it pure

In 1770, Slovakia introduced a ban that forbade breeders to cross-breed any hunting breed from other countries with the Slovakian Hound, in order to keep the breed as pure as possible – and this tradition has remained.

2. Shared similarities, celebrated differences

Though they are often confused with the American Black and Tan Coonhound, due to their close resemblance, the Slovakian Hound is actually smaller and more solidly built. When seen internationally, this breed is also sometimes referred to as the Black Forest Dog – a misnomer, as they're not native to that region.


History of the breed

Some fans of these dogs claim that the ancestry of Slovakian Hounds can be traced all the way back to the Dark Ages. Most researchers, however, believe they have been in existence within central Europe for many hundreds of years and are descendants of the Magyar Agar (Hungarian Greyhound), the Brandbracke (Austrian Black and Tan Hound) and the Chart Polski (Polish Greyhound). Perhaps this explains the Slovakian Hound's unsurpassed stamina and scenting abilities.

Like many breeds, by World War II the Slovakian Hound was almost extinct. In 1936, Slovakian breeder Koloman Slimak began a program to increase the number of Slovakian HoundsThey became so popular within Slovakia, and respected for their tracking abilities, that they were named the country’s national breed.

The Fédération Cynologique Internationale officially recognised the breed (as a scent hound) in 1963. In 1988, the first Slovakian Hound club was established in Slovakia. The breed was acknowledged by the United Kennel Club under the name Black Forest Hound in 2006.

Black and white portrait of a Slovakian Hound


From head to tail

Physical characteristics of Slovakian Hounds

1. Coat

Solid black dense coat with mahogany or tan markings on cheeks, eyebrows, legs and chest.

2. Ears

Black eyelids, large triangular hanging ears.

3. Body

Long body, athletic build, long tail.

Close-up of a Slovakian Hound while snow is falling


Things to look out for

From specific breed traits to a general health overview, here are some interesting facts about your Slovakian Hound
Slovakian Hound caught mid-air bounding through the snow


Caring for your Slovakian Hound

Grooming, training and exercise tips

Thanks to their short dense coats, Slovakian Hounds don’t require extensive grooming. It's enough to brush their coat once a week, though you can increase the frequency during shedding season. Since they have hanging ears, make sure you check them weekly and clean and dry them as recommended by your vet when needed, in order to prevent dirt and debris building up, and possible ear infections. Nails should be trimmed regularly and teeth brushed often – preferably daily – to avoid dental problems. As the Slovakian Hound possesses a strong character, training should begin when they are young. Make sure it's encouraging and doesn't feel like too much work, or your Slovakian Hound may just display some of that stubborn streak. Socialise them early with both other animals and humans to ensure they don't become overly reserved or fearful of strangers. Thanks to their intellect, Slovakian Hounds are known to be quick and adaptable learners, and experienced trainers shouldn't have any real difficulties with them.


All about Slovakian Hounds

These dogs are good with children, once trained – especially those they've grown up with. No matter how affectionate a dog is, however, they should not be left alone with a child, but always be supervised by an adult.

Slovakian Hounds are not aggressive – unless someone is provoking them. They are affectionate to those they know, but they are also a protective breed that will guard their human family.



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/