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Istrian Wire-haired Hound

Other names: Istarski Ostrodlaki Gonic, Istrian Coarse-haired Hound, Istrian Rough-coated Hound

Istrian Wire-haired Hound

The Istrian Coarse-haired Hound originates from the Croatian peninsula of Istria. This breed has been used for hunting game, rabbits and hares over many terrains. He is a medium sized dog, a scent hound, who is thought to be a rare breed. 

Key facts about the Istrian Wire-haired Hound

Life expectancy :





Temperament :

Affectionate Playful Intelligent Hunter

Size :

Origins and history

The French Griffon Vendeen scent hound and the Istrian Short-haired Hound were bred together around the middle of the 19th century. This resulting offspring, a longer haired hunting hound, is one of the oldest Balkan hounds. The Istrian Coarse-haired Hound is not an internationally well-known breed and numbers have dwindled in recent years. It is now considered to be a rare breed with the UK Kennel Club.

FCI breed nomenclature

FCI Group

Group 6 - Scent hounds and related breeds


Section 1 : Scent hounds

Physical characteristics of the Istrian Wire-haired Hound

Adult size

Female : Between 17 and 22 in

Male : Between 17 and 22 in


Female : Between 40 and 44 lb

Male : Between 40 and 44 lb

Coat colour

Type of coat

Eye colour



This breed can be recognised by its rectangular body shape. His head is rounded with a dark, wide nose and his very muscular legs end in “cat like” feet. The Istrian Coarse-haired Hound has a fur moustache over the bridge of his nose and thin ears that hang close to his cheeks. 

Good to know

As is true with many intelligent dog breeds, early training and socialisation is very important. If the dog is to be used for hunting purposes, training routines need to be commenced when the dog is at the puppy stage. Likewise early socialisation is necessary if he is to mix and work with other dogs, or in a home with children or other pets. 


  • 100%


    The Istrian Coarse-haired Hound will form strong attachments with the main person that looks after him, yet over time will show some affection and respect to other family members. 

  • 100%


    As this breed was never intended to be a family companion, he needs plenty of one to one attention with his master. Not really a playful dog. 

  • 66%


    Well-mannered and docile when in the home.

  • 100%


    This dog is of average to high intelligence.

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    The Istrian Coarse-haired Hound has a well-developed sense of smell that permits him to track and hunt down game, including foxes, rabbits and hares.

  • 33%

    Fearful / wary of strangers

    This dog will certainly try to avoid a meeting with strangers if possible. He tends to be wary around them. 

  • 66%


    This dog can be stubborn and strong-willed.

    Behaviour of the Istrian Wire-haired Hound

    • 66%

      Tolerates solitude

      The Istrian Coarse-haired Hound does not like to be alone for long periods of time.

    • 100%

      Easy to train / obedience

      Obedience and good manners don’t come quite as easily to the Istrian Coarse-haired Hound. Certainly quite stubborn at times, he needs an experienced owner who is able to dedicate time to his training, exercise needs, and socialisation.

    • 100%


      There will be some barking, but not consistent.

    • 66%