Other names: Ogar Polski
Who can resist these large dogs with soft ears like velvet? An ancient scent and hunting dog breed, the Polish Hound dates back many centuries, to ancestors who hunted and roamed the forests of Poland. In more current days, outside of his home country, he is more of a rarity. This gorgeous dog is energetic, gentle, clever and eager to please his owner. He certainly has the potential to make a brilliant family dog.
Key facts about the Polish Hound
Life expectancy :
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Origins and history
During the 13th century, the Polish Hound breed was created purely as a hunting dog. The first canines were produced by crossbreeding indigenous Polish dogs with the St. Hubert’s Hound. Although its exact ancestry isn’t documented, the breed was valued by Polish hunters for its hunting and scenting abilities.
The breed almost became extinct during World War II, but because two colonels revived the breed, the Polish Hound of modern day developed. The Polish Hound, or the Ogar Polski as it’s known in its native country, was given FCI recognition in 1966.
FCI breed nomenclature
Group 6 - Scent hounds and related breeds
Section 1 : Scent hounds
Physical characteristics of the Polish Hound
Female : Between 22 and 24 in
Male : Between 22 and 26 in
Female : Between 44 and 57 lb
Male : Between 55 and 71 lb
Black, tan, or red, plus any colour combinations of these 3 colours. White markings are seen in some dogs.
Type of coat
The Polish Hound sports a short, smooth double coat. With a thick undercoat layer and a waterproof topcoat.
The Polish Hound is a large, athletic dog, with a wide-shaped face. His face has slightly wrinkled skin which actually makes the dog look very curious and appealing. The Polish Hound has a deep chest, waist tucked up and a low and long tail. His ears are heavy, pendulous, and velvety.
Good to know
One of the most notable things about the Polish Hound breed is his stunning, resonant voice. When trailing his quarry through difficult terrains and in harsh weather conditions, he will constantly bark, or sing as he gallops along, giving chase. The female dog can be spotted easily, because of her higher pitched call.
This Hound breed produces canines that are very affectionate, gentle and friendly, especially to members of their family. He just loves attention and will certainly be happy to give you hugs.
The breed was mainly developed as a hunting dog, and although this remains his primary role, he is also excellent as a family pet. With his stable personality and calm nature, he loves playtimes with the children.
The Polish Hound is very reliable and gentle around children, very calm and with an eager attitude. This breed is often used as a therapy dog.
Certainly a very intelligent dog and even though he has a gentle temperament, is also easy and eager to train.
The Polish Hound dog is a determined scent and hunting breed. This is his role above everything else.
Fearful / wary of strangers
This dog is likely to be very territorial and protective of his family. He very rarely shows any aggressive manners but will probably raise the alarm for potential strangers, with a loud bark.
The Polish Hound certainly is a very smart dog, always eager to learn. With rather a stubborn streak, he won’t be forced into any actions he isn’t happy with.
Behaviour of the Polish Hound
As a dog who is quite gentle and calm, he is probably happy to be left on his own for short periods. However, as with most dog breeds, he also needs sufficient exercise and attention to prevent him from becoming bored, when he will display destructive habits.
Easy to train / obedience
The Polish Hound is a very quick and eager pupil. He learns willingly and easily especially if rewards are offered. The trainer needs to be patient and calm and above all, not to raise his voice to the dog during training sessions.
This is probably the one point that lets the breed down. He can be quite persistent when something has annoyed or upset him and he will be easily recognised with his deep barking voice.
Tendency to run away
Of course, as a hunting breed he is going to be keen to follow any possible quarry, even when he isn’t directed to hunt. As he loves to run around outside, the space needs to be secure and fenced to prevent him from running off.
One of his favourite games is chase and fetch, and he loves nothing more than jogging alongside his master. However, without plenty of exercise and activities, the Polish Hound will easily become bored, often with either destructive behaviour, or his intensive barking.
Greedy / Gluttony
Provided that the dog receives a sufficiently nutritious diet to meet his needs, the Polish Hound isn’t necessarily a greedy dog. However, because of his large size, if he spots any food left out on the worktop, he may just help himself.
As a very affectionate and loyal dog, often to the point of being over-protective towards his family, he will serve very well in the role of guard dog.
If you are looking for a dog that is calm, gentle and eager to please, then the Polish Hound might just fit the bill. He does however, love lots of exercise and long rambling walks, but will also adapt to urban living.
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Polish Hound in a flat
This dog is not really suited to small space or apartment living. He much prefers to live in an active household with plenty of outside space where he can exercise and play.
Need for exercise / Sporty
A very active and high-energy breed. The Polish Hound needs a minimum of one hour’s vigorous exercise daily.
Travelling / easy to transport
A large-sized dog that doesn’t travel too well mainly due to his size. He is a calm dog so should be fine travelling in the rear of a vehicle, especially if this means he is on route for a walk.
Polish Hound and cats
Providing the Polish Hound has been socialised and reared with the cat from a young age they will get along well together.
Polish Hound and dogs
This breed gets along well and lives happily with other canines in the same household.
Polish Hound and children
The Polish Hound, although primarily a hunting dog, has a second role as a child’s playmate. Very gentle, calm and affectionate, it is a great choice for a family pet.
Polish Hound and the elderly
Although he has a lovely, loyal personality, the mere fact that he is such a high-energy dog rules him out as a pet for the elderly.
This dog requires very little routine grooming and maintenance. His smooth, thick coat is almost self-cleaning. A weekly brush should collect any hair that the dog sheds.
A moderate shedder.
Nutrition of the Polish Hound
This large dog breed needs a feed specifically manufactured for large, working dogs. A high-quality, dry food type should suffice to meet his dietary and nutritional needs.
Health of the Polish Hound
There are no documented hereditary health issues affecting the Polish Hound. He certainly has a reputation for good health, but even so, because he is a hunting dog, he may come into contact with infectious diseases and parasites. As he is a deep-chested dog, he may be prone to gastric dilatation and volvulus, more commonly known as bloat. The average life expectancy of the breed is 12 to 14 years.
Strong / robust
Just as with the majority of scent hound breeds, this dog is known not only for his strong disposition, but also for his excellent sense of smell and his stamina.
The Polish Hound is very adaptable to all climates, even heat.
The Polish Hound dog can contend with the most difficult weather conditions. He has the advantage of a waterproof coat to offer protection against wet and chilly weather.
Tendency to put on weight
If the recommended feeding instructions are followed, both as a puppy and an adult, the Polish Hound won’t grow too quickly or become obese in later life.