TRACKING AND RACING DOG BREEDS
This group includes ancient breeds that haven't really been altered through the years. The Greyhounds for example, are the first known breed of hunting dog in our history.
The history of all the Hounds (Deerhound, Bloodhound, Greyhound, RUSSIAN WOLFHOUND etc.) is related to Celtic's history. The dogs used by the ancient Celtics for hunting extended through Europe accompanying to their new camps. However, the next colonizers were responsible for the extinction of the Celtic culture in some regions and added it to their own culture in many others. In the first case, the modern ancestor of the Hounds disappeared. In the second one, the Celtic dogs got also mixed with the dogs the new inhabitants brought with them. However, the Celtic culture survived in some regions (Ireland, Scotland and Britain) and the old Celtic breeds survived there as well, giving origin to all the Hounds as we now know them. Dog Houses
One common ancestor of many current Hounds was the Saint Hubert Hound, the dog bred by Belgian monks in the VI century in honor of Saint Hubert, their patron saint that converted to Christianity after seeing a deer with a cross in the middle of its antlers. The current Bloodhound, concretely, is the direct descendant of the one bred by the monks.
As the centuries went by, almost all of the European nations bred their own tracker and racing dogs, but it was France were more breeds were developed. Moreover, many of the breeds produced in other regions (as the Devon Staghound and the Welsh Hound, DACHSHOUND, Whippet (for example) were extinguished, while the popularity of many of the French breeds survived until today.
Hunting was one of the favorite pastimes of the noble people in France, so the hunting dogs were more carefully bred. In the XIII century, Louis IX used to plan wars for summer and autumn in order to save the winter and the spring for hunting. Many breeds got exterminated along with the aristocracy after the French Revolution. Others, as the Basset Griffon Vemdeén, were about to get exterminated, but have been recovered in recent periods and they are currently gaining popularity. Others like the IBIZAN HOUND AND PHARAOH HOUND Dogs.
TRACKING AND/OR RACING DOGS
Even when both or them are hunting dogs used to find prey, the way in which they do it –or, more exactly, the sensorial organ they used for this purpose- force us to divide them into two groups: the tracking dogs that use their sense of smell, highly developed, to follow the hunting trace and the racing dogs, that use mainly their sense of sight. They usually complement their incredible sight with their exceptional speed, necessary to reach the preys and pounce on them. On the other hand, the trackers are not necessarily fast since their main strategy is hounding and not persecution.
Different from the show and retriever dogs, these ones pounce on the prey, once they find it and wait for the hunter to come get it. Originally bred to pounce on wolves and wild boar, they are strong and muscular, besides resistant. In later periods, the necessity to hunt wolves and deer favored the appearance of less corpulent breeds, capable to reach higher speeds, sometimes achieved by mixing the tracker with racing dogs. The Basset was specifically bred due to their short paws to hunt in the thickness of forests; hunters that go for food could follow the dogs more comfortably. Besides, they could walk without taking the truffle away from the floor, which allowed them to follow the olfative trace better.
Among these hunters that don't find the prey using their sense of smell, but sense of sight, we can find the Greyhounds and the Lebrels, which unmistakable athlete profile already look very similar to the Persian and Assyrian ceramics from 6000 B.C., which seems to indicate that the origin of these breeds is very prior to trackers' with which they have are related.
These breeds come from not wooded regions of the South Hemisphere, where the lack of tree used to allow to find the prey at simple sight, as long as it was sharp. The sense of smell was not really necessary since neither the gazelles nor the antelopes had a chance to hide behind thickets. It was the need to hunt these really fast preys that turned them into racing dogs. Different from the trackers, that we could consider as long-distance runners due to their resistance because they pounce on the preys by hounding them until getting them really tired, the racing dogs are mostly sprint runners, as shown by their long extremities, their sinewy abdominal cavity and their aerodynamic profile as well as their deep chest, that provides them with a notable pulmonary capacity. When the old racing sport got popularized, the Greyhounds gained popularity because they were considered the fastest ones, even when, to tell the truth, the Irish Hounds, Deerhounds and Afghan Hound are not left behind in terms of chasing a mechanic hare.
LIFE AT HOME
Trackers, bred to hunt in packs, tend to get along well with the other dogs, as long as the social hierarchy is clear among them. When a tracking dog find an olfative trace at the park, its natural instinct for them to lead it following the trace with stubborn insistence, becoming deaf in front of its master, so it is very convenient to train them to come when they are called from a very young age. These dogs bark a lot since they used to use their voice to indicate the hunter they could come over and pick up the prey.
Racing dogs are usually more silent. As they are used to hunting alone instead of in packs, they have an independent spirit. As the tracker they become deaf as soon as they find the prey, so it is also necessary to train them to come when they are called since they are very young. Dog Breeds