Estonian Hound: The Ultimate Dog Guide

Estonian Hound


Estonian Hound is a breed that strikes a balance between beauty and function. Known for their endearing looks, balanced temperament, and robust health, these dogs serve as excellent companions for those who appreciate their uniqueness. The breed’s fascinating history is intricately tied to the sociopolitical events of Estonia, making it a symbol of the nation’s dog-breeding culture.

Attribute Details
Breed Origin Estonia, 20th century
Size Medium
Weight 15-20 kg
Height Up to 52 cm
Coat Dense and smooth, often black patches over a lighter base
Temperament Friendly, energetic, intelligent
Lifespan 12-15 years
Diet Omnivore
Exercise Needs High
Training Needs Early socialization, positive reinforcement
Common Health Issues Generally healthy, occasional hip dysplasia and ear infections

History and Origin of the Estonian Hound

Origins in Estonia

The Estonian Hound’s origins trace back to the 20th century when the country was under Soviet rule. During this period, the ruling power enforced strict regulations on dog sizes, driving breeders to develop a smaller-sized hunting dog that became the Estonian Hound.

Influence of Soviet breed regulations

The Soviet mandate which capped dog height significantly influenced the breed’s development. Breeders, in their quest to meet the new regulations, crossed local hunting dogs with smaller breeds like the Beagle and Dachshund, eventually giving birth to the Estonian Hound.

Modern recognition of the breed

The Estonian Hound was officially recognized as a breed in 1954. Today, it stands as the only breed officially recognized and celebrated as native to Estonia.

Physical Characteristics of the Estonian Hound

Size and weight

Typically, an adult Estonian Hound measures up to 52 centimeters in height and weighs between 15-20 kilograms, fitting into the medium-sized category of dogs.

Coat color and texture

The Estonian Hound boasts a dense and smooth coat that comes in a variety of colors, the most common being black patches over a lighter base.

Distinctive physical features

Apart from their attractive coat, the breed is known for its muscular build, energetic expression, and long, slightly curved tail, which altogether create a picture of a lively and sturdy dog.

Personality and Temperament of the Estonian Hound

Typical behavioral traits

Estonian Hounds are characterized by their friendliness, energy, and intelligence. They are active dogs that love to engage in physical activities and mental challenges.

Interaction with humans

They bond well with humans, displaying a gentle nature towards their family members. However, they may be slightly reserved around strangers but warm up quickly once they feel comfortable.

Interaction with other pets

With early socialization, Estonian Hounds can get along well with other pets, displaying a playful yet non-aggressive demeanor.

Health and Lifespan of the Estonian Hound

Typical health issues and genetic disorders

Estonian Hounds are generally healthy dogs. However, like all breeds, they may be prone to certain genetic health conditions such as hip dysplasia and ear infections.

Average lifespan

With good care, the breed can enjoy a lifespan of 12-15 years, serving as a long-term companion for their owners.

Importance of regular veterinary care

Regular vet checks are crucial to monitor their health and early detection of potential issues, ensuring that your Estonian Hound lives a healthy, fulfilling life.

Care and Maintenance of the Estonian Hound

Dietary needs

The breed requires a balanced diet rich in proteins, fats, and carbohydrates to support their active lifestyle. Proper portion control is important to prevent obesity.

Exercise requirements

Being an active and energetic breed, they need daily exercise to keep them physically and mentally stimulated. Regular walks, play sessions, and even agility training are great for this breed.

Grooming and hygiene

Despite their short coat, Estonian Hounds require regular grooming to keep their coat healthy and shiny. Regular baths, ear cleaning, and nail trims should be part of their grooming routine.

Training and Discipline of the Estonian Hound

Importance of early socialization

Early socialization is key to raising a well-behaved Estonian Hound. Exposure to different environments, people, and animals at a young age help them become well-rounded adults.

Training tips and techniques

The breed responds well to positive reinforcement training methods. Consistency, patience, and reward-based techniques can yield excellent results in their training.

Common behavioral issues and solutions

Common issues such as excessive barking or digging can be managed with proper training and ensuring they have enough physical and mental stimulation.

The Estonian Hound as a Hunting Dog

History as a hunting breed

The breed’s roots lie in hunting, with their keen sense of smell and high energy levels making them excellent hunting companions.

Hunting abilities and skills

Estonian Hounds are versatile hunters capable of tracking and retrieving small game, thanks to their agility, speed, and endurance.

Suitability for various types of hunting

While traditionally used for fox and hare hunting, they can adapt to various hunting styles, making them a versatile choice for hunters.

The Estonian Hound as a Family Pet

Suitability for families with children

With their friendly and tolerant nature, Estonian Hounds make wonderful family pets. They get along well with children, often participating in their games with gusto.

Compatibility with other pets

Their good-natured temperament extends to other pets as well. Early socialization helps in fostering a peaceful coexistence with other household pets.

Considerations for first-time dog owners

For first-time dog owners, the Estonian Hound’s trainable nature and friendly demeanor make them a good choice. However, their exercise needs and active nature should be taken into account.

Adopting an Estonian Hound

Considerations before adoption

Potential adopters should consider factors such as living space, time commitment, and ability to meet the breed’s physical and mental stimulation needs before deciding to adopt an Estonian Hound.

Finding reputable breeders or adoption centers

One should ensure to source dogs from reputable breeders or adoption centers that prioritize the animals’ health and well-being.

What to expect when bringing an Estonian Hound home

Bringing an Estonian Hound home means welcoming a bundle of energy. One can expect to engage in lots of activities and witness their warm affection.


In summary, the Estonian Hound is a breed that boasts of a rich history, endearing physical traits, and an amicable personality that makes it a well-rounded dog. Understanding the breed fully before an adoption is paramount, as it helps to set the right expectations and prepares the potential owner for the responsibilities ahead. Owning an Estonian Hound comes with its own set of joys and responsibilities. With proper care, training, and love, they will not fail to reward you with their loyalty and companionship.


Sergey Uhanov, a certified veterinarian, has authored all of the content here. With over 20 years of experience in dog care and breeding three dogs of his own, he has a deep passion for these furry friends. Sergey owns a pet clinic in Israel where he provides care and treatment to dogs. He enjoys sharing his expertise and knowledge to assist others in caring for their dogs.

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