Serbian Hound

Other names: Balkan Hound, Srpski gonič, Balkanski gonič

Serbian Hound

The Serbian Hound is often also called the Balkan Hound. These dogs are used as scent hounds in Montenegro and Serbia. The medium-sized, prized hunting dog has a loyal, kind and willing nature. They thrive in the hunting field and they also make wonderful companion pets for the home. Not only are they very trustworthy, but they are excellent playmates for children. 

Key facts about the Serbian Hound

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Temperament :


Size :

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Origins and history

This ancient breed of hound dates back to the 11th century. Serbian Hounds have always  been used as hunting and scenting dogs. History claims that the breed has canine relatives from Asia Minor, or even from Egypt, as Phoenician traders were thought to own Balkan Hounds around 1000BC. Previously called the Balkan Hound, the name was changed to the Serbian Hound in 1996 by the FCI. Today, this breed is very rarely seen outside of Montenegro, Serbia and other Balkan regions and almost never in the United Kingdom.

FCI breed nomenclature

FCI Group

Group 6 - Scent hounds and related breeds


Section 1 : Scent hounds

Physical characteristics of the Serbian Hound

Adult size

Female : Between 17 and 21 in

Male : Between 18 and 22 in


Female : Between 44 and 49 lb

Male : Between 44 and 49 lb

Coat colour

Type of coat

Eye colour



It’s noticeable with this breed, that the males are a larger size than the females. The Serbian Hound is an attractive dog, well-muscled with an athletic build. His head appears slightly rounded in shape, with medium length ears that are set high, with oval tips. They hang down, close to the dog’s cheeks. This hound holds his neck in an arched position which only improves his athletic appearance. The dog has powerful, muscled hind-quarters and a tail that is held raised, but not too high.

Good to know

This vigorous hunting dog, who is also known for his lively and gentle nature, also makes a marvellous companion dog. Although he is quite common in his native homeland, it is very rare to see a Serbian Hound in other locations. It can be quite difficult to locate a breeder and because of this, there can be a long waiting list to become an owner.


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    These canines are generally easy-going and laid back and will form a great affinity and affection with their master and any children in the home.

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    The Serbian Hound is a friendly dog with a relaxed and cheerful personality. Provided he gets sufficient exercise, he will be an excellent family pet enjoying playtime with and attention from children.

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    This dog has a very docile, laid back attitude in the home.

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    These hounds are fiercely loyal, intelligent and lively and enjoy both hunting and being a family pet.

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    The Serbian Hound is known for his hunting skills and is tireless and totally dedicated to his task when tracking foxes, rabbits, deer and other prey. 

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    Fearful / wary of strangers

    It is important that this hound is socialised from an early age to accept and greet strangers. This will ensure that he is friendly towards visitors to the home.

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    Very often an independent thinker, but provided he understands what is required of him and who is the leader in his household, he will conform to your requests.

    Behaviour of the Serbian Hound

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      Tolerates solitude

      This breed is very people-friendly and loves to be around the family and involved in their activities. The Serbian Hound may not be too happy to be left alone for long periods of time. 

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      Easy to train / obedience

      This hound will form ties with his master and adores this one-to-one attention. They really are a joy to train. The Serbian Hound is always eager to please, especially if it involves new routines. 

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      As a hunting dog with a deep, wide chest, he will bark and bellow quite a lot.

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      Tendency to run away

      As this hound has a strong hunting instinct, he only needs to discover an interesting scent and he will attempt to give chase. A secure, fenced in yard is a must.

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      A bored Serbian Hound is a destructive canine. He needs steady guidance to prevent any unwanted behaviour.

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      Greedy / Gluttony

      Not a greedy dog, but always happy to take a dog treat as a reward.

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      Guard dog

      The Serbian Hound will make a dependable watchdog, as well as a family companion. He will certainly alert you to any intruders and be quite intimidating.

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      First dog

      These well-mannered, friendly dogs are a good choice as a first-time dog for any novice owners. This is, of course, providing he is trained and handled according to his specific breed needs.

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        Serbian Hound in a flat

        As a hunting dog with a high exercise requirement, this dog isn’t best suited to living in a small flat or house. If he is kept in an urban setting, plenty of regular walks to the park are a necessity. 

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        Need for exercise / Sporty

        This energetic, lively dog needs a tremendous amount of exercise on a daily basis. In addition, activities that engage mental stimulation are also advised.

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        Travelling / easy to transport

        This hound should be quite docile when travelling in the rear of a vehicle. It’s not recommended to take the Serbian Hound onto public transport.


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          Serbian Hound and cats

          Providing the Serbian Hound has grown up with cats and other small pets in the same household, he will get along without any problems. He is quite a social and gregarious dog by nature.

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          Serbian Hound and dogs

          A sociable breed, who often tends to hunt in packs with other dogs without issues.

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          Serbian Hound and children

          As the Serbian Hound just loves any attention, living and playing with well-behaved children will not cause any problems.

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          Serbian Hound and the elderly

          As these are hunting dogs, they have an enormous need for exercise. They are best suited to families who are very active.



          The initial cost to purchase a Serbian Hound puppy will be between £400 and £600. In addition, a monthly budget of £80 to £120 will be needed to cover food, vet’s bills, and pet insurance


          This dog is quite low maintenance when it comes to grooming routines, even though he sheds hair steadily through the seasons.


          Moderate shedder.

          Nutrition of the Serbian Hound

          This medium-sized dog needs a high-quality feed to suit his dietary requirements. If he is used for hunting purposes, a formula specifically made for working dogs is required. 

          Health of the Serbian Hound

          Life expectancy

          Generally, the Serbian Hound is a robust and healthy scent hound. Its average life expectancy is 11 to 13 years.

          Strong / robust

          These canines have a strong work ethic and ongoing stamina, especially when hunting.

          Withstand heat

          No problems when working or living in warmer climates for this dog.

          Withstand cold

          When scenting for his prey, this hound will have no issues over difficult terrains or in cooler weather conditions.

          Tendency to put on weight

          Just as with many other breeds of working dogs, when they cease work, or have been neutered or spayed, they tend to gain weight.

          Common illnesses

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