Polish Hunting Dog
Other names: Gonczy polski
The Polish Hunting dog is a versatile hunting dog that can be used for hunting deer, as well as hare, fox or wild board. Balanced, gentle and courageous, they are an intelligent and docile breed that can even make good guard dogs.
Key facts about the Polish Hunting Dog
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Origins and history
The history of the Polish Hunting Dog dates back to the 13th century. In Poland, hunting dogs were particularly appreciated, especially by Noblemen as evidenced in chronicles dating from the 14th century. From the 16th century, two Polish breeds stood out: the Polish Brachet (heavier)and the Polish Hunting Dog (lighter) as described on this page. The dog lover Jozef Pawuslewicz that develops the breeding and writes their standard, which will then allow the Cynological Association of Poland to officially recognise the breed.
FCI breed nomenclature
Group 6 - Scent hounds and related breeds
Section 1 : Scent hounds
Physical characteristics of the Polish Hunting Dog
Female : Between 20 and 22 in
Male : Between 22 and 23 in
Female : Between 44 and 66 lb
Male : Between 44 and 66 lb
They can be black and light, brown and light or red with a black, brown or flesh-coloured nose.
Type of coat
Their hair is short.
The hair is coarse and lies on the body with an abundant overcoat, especially in the winter. The hair is softer on the head.
Eyes are dark in black and light dogs and lighter in brown and red dogs.
The Polish Hunting Dog is a medium-size breed, flexible and of a stocky build. Their head is noble, their skull slightly bulging and the stop a little marked. The eyes are of a medium size, slanted and express a certain sweetness. Triangular in shape, their ears are medium in size and drooping. The tail, average length, is covered with fur and hangs fairly low, in saber and slightly exceeds the dog’s back when they are in action.
Good to know
In some countries, the Polish Hunting Dog is used by the police, notably due to their phenomenal sense of smell and their unheard-of sense of direction (utility searching, searching for narcotics etc.)
The Gonczy, as called in their country of origin and by lovers of the breed, is a particularly benevolent dog who are close to their master. Beyond being an excellent utility dog, they also make wonderful companions for the whole family.
Play time can be of great help towards the training of this Polish puppy. In adulthood, the Polish Hunting Dog will remain playful but not excessively.
These dogs, despite their needs to tire themselves out, have a rather calm temperament.
This dog’s intelligence lies in their ability to adapt: they can be hunting, guard, companion or show dogs. They excel at everything they do, having the drive to do well and satisfy their master.
An excellent hunting dog, they are mainly used for wild boar and deer hunting. They have a fantastic flair and brilliant sense of direction, which makes them an ideal choice of dog to assist hunters.
Fearful / wary of strangers
Without being aggressive, the Polish Hunting Dog is, however, rather suspicious of strangers. They need time to analyse and a proper introduction in order to gain their confidence.
Like many hunting dogs, the Polish Hunting Dog knows how to be independent, however, their devotion to their owners does give them a certain sense of dependence, nevertheless, it’s very measured.
Behaviour of the Polish Hunting Dog
Very close to their social group, this hunting dog can withstand being away from their owners, but only if they are used to it from an early age.
Easy to train / obedience
Particularly docile, the Polish Hunting Dog, is very easy to train as they feel the need to satisfy their owners.
Sometimes stubborn, like any hunting dog, good training must therefore begin as soon as the Polish Hunting puppy arrives at their adopted home.
The educational bases should be acquired smoothly and in a positive way.
Recall will be advantageous in order to keep a check on this dog, especially during walks.
When hunting, the Gonczy is renowned for barking. Depending on the gender, the tone varies: it’s more high-pitched in females.
Tendency to run away
Their exceptional sense of smell sometimes compels this hunting dog to follow certain paths without turning back. In a matter of seconds, they can be very far away from their owner. It’s therefore essential to work hard on recall and giving up, allowing the dog to pull back.
Working dogs must be stimulated on a daily basis, both physically and mentally. For the Gonczy polski, exerting their sense of smell and mental capacity is very important. If they become bored, they would then take matters into their own hands to occupy themselves.
Greedy / Gluttony
Without being a particularly greedy dog, the Gonczy are good eaters.
As well as being a very sought-after hunting dog, they make very good guardians who can quickly analyse the dangerousness of a situation. Also, their characteristic bark allows them to raise warning at any suspicious noise or the slightest intrusion.
This dog possesses many qualities, whether as a pet or a working dog. They can therefore be a pleasure for most owners, even first-timers. However, it’s not advisable to adopt this breed just on a whim: it’s crucial to consider all of the dog’s characteristics, needs and instincts.
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Polish Hunting Dog in a flat
It’s not recommended to have a hunting dog living in a confined space without giving the opportunity to stretch their legs in an open garden.
This dog must live outside; they need space to express their full potential. Walks around the city, a simple park or a neighbourhood simply won’t do.
Need for exercise / Sporty
No much faster than any other but on the hand very durable, this dog is a true athlete within a soul that can excel in many canine disciplines such as cani-cross, agility, dog-dancing, searching, flyball etc.
Clearly, with good training, this dog can quickly reach the podiums of different sports competitions.
Travelling / easy to transport
They must be well socialised to different stimulating environments to be able to accompany their owners when travelling around. Their average size is not necessarily always welcomed on public transport, but their calmness allows them to be transported with discretion.
Polish Hunting Dog and cats
Beware of the preying instinct that is very prevalent in this breed. It’s better if the puppy grows up around a cat so they can live together harmoniously.
Polish Hunting Dog and dogs
Initially, this dog hunted in a pack. Today they often act solo or with two or three other dogs. Early, good-quality socialisation from a young age allows this dog to develop and strengthen their canine conduct.
Polish Hunting Dog and children
With a gentle, soft and kind background, the Gonczy enjoys the company of children, as long as they respect the dog.
Polish Hunting Dog and the elderly
Although working dogs are not particularly recommended for the elderly, they actually have a balanced and settled temperament that can coincide with a calmer lifestyle. On the other hand, their physical capacity should not be overlooked, and the use of a dog-walking service would be absolutely necessary.
The price of a Polish Hunting Dog varies according to their origin, age and sex of the dog. We do not have enough data to set an average price for this dog breed.
Regarding the average budget to meet the needs of a dog this size, it costs approximately £35 a month.
Maintaining this short-haired dog is not particularly difficult but still requires weekly attention to ensure the beauty and protective qualities of their coat are preserved.
Their dangling ears are also to be monitored and cleaned regularly in order to prevent infection.
Hair loss is only moderate but intensifies during moulting as the undercoat thins down in the summer. Brushing the coat daily is suggested during these periods.
Nutrition of the Polish Hunting Dog
This working dog is not difficult to feed but it’s important to ration their food in accordance with their physical activity. Specific industrial products for this particular breed are sold but it’s possible to feed them raw meat, fresh vegetables and cereal.
Veterinary care is essential, especially during the Polish Hunting Dog’s growth.
One meal a day may be enough, preferably in the evening and in peace and quiet to avoid any risk of an upset stomach.
Health of the Polish Hunting Dog
The life expectancy of this breed is estimated at 13 years.
Strong / robust
They are a very strong breed who do not fear much and can work on any terrain and in any weather conditions.
This dog isn’t particularly afraid of the heat, but it’s still essential to spare them from any excessive temperatures, especially as their determination for work will not waver in any condition.
Their dense undercoat, which thickens when winter approaches, gives them good protection against bad weather.
Tendency to put on weight
These active dogs are not subject to being overweight. If it is the case that their weight is not stable, their physical exertion should be seriously considered.
The Polish Running Dog is resistant and does not suffer from any particular hereditary diseases. Beware, however, of the risk of ear infection, which is often seen in dogs with dangling ears.