Estonian Hound

Breed Rating

family friendly:
Dog friendly:
Watch/guard dog:
Affection / Dependance:
Exercise needed:
Space needed:
Tendency to bark:
Grooming Requirements:
Tendency to bark:
Grooming Requirements:

Breed Attributes


Breed group: Hounding    Type: Pure Breed    Talent: , ,


Size: Medium     Weight: 33-44 lbs     Fur length: Short    Ears: Flappy    Fur type: Straight    Fur Color: 3 Colors, Black & Brown, Black & White, Brown & White


Life Expectancy: 12-15 years    Rarity: Uncommon    Availability: Hard to find    Climate: Good for every climate.

Breed Details


The Estonian Hound is a medium size scent hound originating in Estonia. It is the only breed that was developed in Estonia and is popularly known as Gontchaja Estonskaja in its native country.

The dog is sturdily built with strong bone musculature. It has moderately long and wide skull with strong and straight muzzle. Nose is generally black. Almond shaped eyes are dark brown in colour along with low set, long and dropped ears. Neck is strong and muscular. Body is strong with wide and deep chest and straight, wide and muscular back. Loin is short, muscular and sloped. Tail is sword-shaped and is carried below topline. Shiny coat is rough and short. It comes in blackish-brown, red or saddle-like patch on the dog's back. This dog stands between 17-21 inches and weighs between 33-44 lbs.

The dog was developed in 1947 after Ministry of Economy of USSR decided that every state should have its own dog breed. Several foreign dogs like Beagles, Swiss Hounds (Gewvhnlicher Schweizer Laufhund), Luzern Hounds (Luzerner Laufhund) and Bern Hounds (Dreifarbiger Berner Laufhund) were mixed with local hunting dogs. Mixes of Beagles and Swiss Hounds with local dogs gave rise to a breed that formed the foundation for Estonian Hounds.

This breed is NOT recognized by AKC or any other major club although work is underway on recognition of the breed by FCI.


The dog's coat colour can be blackish-brown, red or saddle-like patch on the dog's back.


The predominantly white base coat colour has black, tan and/or yellow patches of varying sizes. The tail tip is always white.


The Estonian Hound is a very calm, even-tempered and always well mannered dog that forms a strong bond with its master and family. It is very friendly, gentle and playful with children and makes a great playmate for them. Highly appreciated for its intelligence, the dog is lively and energetic when doing its primary job; hunting! but is equally laid back and will love to snuggle beside its owner on the couch. This breed is very pleasant, cheerful and happy and would love to be around its family most of the time. Having ideal characteristics, the dog makes a wonderful addition to the family. This loving and intelligent dog has high prey drive but it can be trained not to chase hoofed animals. It can get along well with other dogs in the family but will need early age socialization to get along with other pets like cats. This dog is naturally silent when indoor and does not bark unnecessarily. It is a wonderful scenthound and can go after an interesting smell if not leashed. This dog makes a very good family pet besides being an avid hunter of hares and foxes.


Short coat of this breed needs minimal grooming. Weekly brushing and a rub down the body with a chamois cloth will keep the coat clean and its natural sheen intact. Bathe only when necessary.


As an intelligent and obedient dog, the Estonian Hound is not difficult to train. It will respond to a firm and confident trainer who can establish himself as dogs' packleader.


This dog is accustomed to working in large open spaces like forests and thus has high demands for physical activities. It will need atleast an hour of exercises daily; whether in the form of daily walks, jog or play in open areas.

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