Dog Conformation: The Hound Dog Group

Learn more about the Hound Group’s history, its top dogs, how the breeds are handled in the ring and much more.

Hounds are hunting dogs that vary greatly in appearance (the Dachshund and Irish Wolfhound are both a part of the Hound Group). Hounds are broken up into two types, sighthounds and scenthounds, based on how they hunt. Sighthounds are fast breeds, including Afghan Hounds, Greyhounds and Whippets. Scenthounds, including Basset Hounds, Beagles and Bloodhounds, follow their prey using their large-nostriled noses. Scenthounds will bark or howl when they pick up a scent, while sighthounds remain silent during the hunt.


Top Hounds

Top Dogs of the Hound Group from the present back to the year 2000. For more information about a specific dog (if it is available), click on its name.

2013: American Foxhound GCh. Kiarry’s Pandora’s Box
2012: Harrier GCh. Downhome Hitech Innovator
2011: Whippet Ch. Starline’s Chanel
2010: Whippet Ch. Starline’s Chanel
2009: Petit Basset Griffon Vendeen Ch. Rokeena Carte Blanche
2008: Basset Hound Ch. Topsfield Vision Silver Noodles
2007: 15-inch Beagle Ch. K-Run’s Park Me In First
2006: Basset Hound Ch. Topsfield Beethoven
2005: Petit Basset Griffon Vendeen Ch. Afterglow Woody Woodpecker
2004: Bloodhound Ch. Healthers Knock On Wood
2003: Ibizan Hound Ch. Luxor’s Playmate of the Year
2002: Norwegian Elkhound Ch. Vin-Melca’s Silver Shadow
2001: Basset Hound Ch. Topsfield Bumper Cars
2000: Bloodhound Ch. Ridgerunner Unforgettable

See a breed list with the National Breed Clubs for the Hound Group. Click to continue>>

See the Hound Group Top Sires and Dams of 2011. Click to continue>>

See upcoming All-Breed and Group Shows so you can see the Hound Group breeds in action. Click to continue>>



Westminster Best in Show Winners

2011 Westminster Winner. Scottish Deerhound GCh. Foxcliffe Hickory Wind ‘Hickory’ bested almost 2,600 other dogs at Madison Square Garden in 2011 when judge Paolo Dondina chose him as Best in Show. Paolo Dondina said this of Hickory: “She has a very typical head with a regal expression, and a powerful and elegant long neck. The body shape is what we have seen in very ancient paintings and prints, with an ideal outline and good depth of chest. The correct type of coat for a hound that lives in the country. Ideal angulation. I couldn’t miss her unique movement: flexible, elegant, so balanced and powerful. The smart, great young handler campaigned this wonderful creature to the top. My satisfaction is complete now that I know Hickory, after this great win, will go live on a farm with her breeders, where this beautiful bitch, hopefully, will give birth to lovely puppies in the future.”

For Best in Show, Hickory beat the following Group 1 winners: Black Cocker Spaniel GCh. Casablanca’s Thrilling Seduction in the Sporting Group; Portuguese Water Dog GCh. Aviators Luck Be A Lady in the Working Group; Smooth Fox Terrier GCh. Slyfox Sneak’s A Peek in the Terrier Group; Pekingese GCh. Palacegarden Malachy in the Toy Group (who won BIS in 2012); Chinese Shar Pei GCh. Vaje’s Miss Jayne Hathaway in the Non-Sporting Group; and Bearded Collie GCh. Tolkien Raintree Mister Baggins in the Herding Group.

2008 Westminster Winner. 15″ Beagle Ch. K-Run’s Park Me In First ‘Uno’ was not only the top Hound of 2007, he also was Best in Show at the prestigious Westminster Kennel Club dog show in 2008 (the first time in history a Beagle won BIS there). Best in Show judge Dr. Donald J. Jones said this of Uno: “I felt that this dog was more nearly perfect than any dog I have ever judged. He was correct Beagle type; his locomotion was flawless, his expression in face and eyes was just about perfect, and all of his parts were correct and worked together with precision. He was balanced while moving in any direction, and he stood with confidence and style. His presence and presentation were impressive, and he and his handler were a perfect team, each seeming to anticipate what was expected of the other. His personality was magnetic and infectious, which gave the impression of his wishing to please and go to work with a happy spirit. It was a pleasure to judge him and an honor to choose him for Best in Show.”

For Best in Show, Uno beat the following Group 1 winners: Weimaraner Ch. Colsidex Seabreeze Perfect Fit in the Sporting Group; Akita Ch. Redwitch Reason To Believe in the Working Group; Sealyham Terrier Ch. Efbe’s Hidalgo At Goodspice in the Terrier Group; Toy Poodle Ch. Smash Jp Win A Victory in the Toy Group; Standard Poodle Ch. Brighton Minimoto in the Non-Sporting Group; and Australian Shepherd Ch. Vinelake Collinswood Yablon OA OAJ in the Herding Group.


Grooming Trends Over the Decades

Whenever conformation judges gather to discuss how dog shows have changed over the decades, it doesn’t take long before the subject of “today’s overgroomed dogs” takes center stage. Flip through the magazines of the 1960s and ’70s, and the show photos speak volumes: Whatever the breed, we see sparser head and leg furnishings, a less tailored look and little evidence of the “P” word (product).

So what’s happened? Are exhibitors and handlers feeling less constrained by the individual edicts of breed standards and eager to put their artistry on display? Are judges more accepting of a generic (big coat, big movement, big everything) show dog? Is it the smorgasbord of shampoos, lotions and potions available for purchase at dog-show vendors and online? Probably a combination of all three. Read more about the presentation and grooming changes in the Hound Group>>


Watch Hound Group Breeds in the Ring

Watch the breed judging at the AKC/Eukanuba National Championship. Click on a Hound Group Breed to proceed to the video.

Afghan Hound
American English Coonhound
American Foxhound
Basset Hound
Beagle, 13-inch
Beagle, 15-inch
Black and Tan Coonhound
Bluetick Coonhound
Dachshund, Longhaired
Dachshund, Smooth
Dachshund, Wirehaired
English Foxhound
Ibizan Hound
Irish Wolfhound
Norwegian Elkhound
Petit Basset Griffon Vendeen
Pharaoh Hound
Redbone Coonhound
Rhodesian Ridgeback
Scottish Deerhound
Treeing Walker Coonhound

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