Other names: Swiss Scent hound, Berner Laufhund, Bernese Hound, Jura Hound, Bruno Jura Laufhund, Lucerne Hound, Lucerner Laufhund, Schwyz Laufhund, Schweizer Laufhund
The Schweizer Laufhund is certainly one of the best hunting dogs in the world. He looks very much like the Bloodhound. While he is a working dog, he’s very rarely kept as a family pet. This dog is a medium-sized hound, with a long body, drooping ears and short fur. There are actually 4 varieties of the Schweizer Laufhund and they are all very similar, other than their hair type. They are the Lucerne Hound, Schwyz Hound, Jura Hound and the Bernese Hound.
Key facts about the Swiss Hound
Origins and history
The Schweizer Laufhund is an ancient breed, native to Switzerland. It is thought to have been developed from Roman hounds, although it wasn’t really popular until the Middle Ages. At this time, these dogs were favoured by European nobility. The Schweizer Laufhund received pedigree status in 1880 and then followed FCI recognition in 1933.
FCI breed nomenclature
Group 6 - Scent hounds and related breeds
Section 1 : Scent hounds
Physical characteristics of the Swiss Hound
Female : Between 19 and 22 in
Male : Between 19 and 23 in
Female : Between 33 and 55 lb
Male : Between 33 and 55 lb
The Jura Hound: Black and Tan (Grey and white markings allowed)
Lucerne Hound: Blue (a mix of black and white fur) with black patches and tan patches on lower legs
Bernese Hound: Tri-colour
Schwyz Hound: White with orange colouring and an orange saddle pattern
Type of coat
All the dogs that come under this breed have short, smooth and harsh hair.
Light or dark brown.
All four of these Schweizer Laufhund dog varieties look extremely similar, apart from their distinctive coat colours. Each of the dog groups also appear in both Standard and Small sizes. These dogs have athletic and muscular bodies and their body shape is longer than it is tall. The dog’s ears are expansive and droopy and his eyes very expressive and pleading. The tail should be curved, while also elegant and slim.
Good to know
There are four varieties of hounds that fall under the banner of Schweizer Laufhund, but for registration purposes, they are all grouped under the same name. The Bernese Hound, Jura Hound, Schwyz Hound and the Lucerne Hound are all very similar apart from their different coat colours. The Thurgovia Hound is also a variation which is now thought to be extinct.
These scent hounds are usually gentle, friendly and affectionate. The majority of these dogs are face-lickers and cuddlers.
The Schweizer Laufhund, despite being mainly a working dog, will form a strong bond with any children in the home. He is gentle and tolerant with them.
A very docile canine, who is quite happy to follow instructions.
This is an intelligent dog, who responds well to training.
Certainly a hunting breed, well respected throughout Europe. He follows scents over long distances, using his nose.
Fearful / wary of strangers
The Schweizer Laufhund will welcome strangers into his home, often after barking to alert his master to their presence.
With a typical hound mentality, this dog can often be rather stubborn and independent.
Behaviour of the Swiss Hound
The Schweizer Laufhund won’t be happy to be left alone for long periods of time, as he has a high need for attention from his master.
Easy to train / obedience
Although this dog isn’t headstrong, he does need an experienced trainer who can show the dog who is in charge. The Jura Hound has no problems learning how to hunt, this comes very naturally to him.
Barking, howling and baying are normal behaviours for this breed.