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Estonian Hound
Estonia FCI 366 - Medium-sized Hounds

Estonian Hound

The Estonian Hound they are extremely hardy hunting dogs accustomed to long days in the forest



The history of Estonian Hound (or Eesti Hagijas in the language of your country of origin) begins at the beginning of the 20th century in Estonia, when the crossing of english hounds, Poles and Finns used by local hunters gave rise to a large dog unofficially considered regional and ancestor of the current Eesti Hagijas.

Given the sharp decline in the population of large game and in order to reestablish it, in 1937 A law was passed prohibiting hunting with dogs over 45 cm to the cross, which in fact caused a change of orientation towards smaller animals, like foxes and hares. Therefore, Estonian hunters and breeders had to breed smaller dogs than they had then, so they were introduced in the breeding program the Beagles, the Dachshund and Swiss Hounds.

This law was amended three years later, in 1940: the maximum size was increased to 55 cm., and breeders stopped their efforts to miniaturize local hunting dogs.

In 1947, when Estonia was part of the USSR, the Soviet Ministry of Agriculture decided that all “republics” that made up Estonia had to have a local breed of dog. The Estonian hunting dog population was then estimated at around 900, and intense selection helped stabilize the characteristics of the breed that would become the Estonian Hound.

In 1954, the Ministry of Agriculture sent a specialized commission to Estonia to study the 648 specimens submitted by local breeders, and were clearly convinced: the first breed standard was approved by the Ministry a few months later. This year marked the official introduction of the Estonian Hound like a race, whose stamina and formidable nose were immediately emphasized.

After the collapse of the Soviet regime, Estonia gained independence and in 1998 la Estonian Kennel Club, the main canine association in the country, recognized race. Being the only native of the country, it was not surprising that it was granted national dog status.

The organization set out to make the breed known and recognized internationally. His efforts were crowned with success in 2019, cuando the International Cynological Federation (FCI) provisionally accepted the breed and published a standard. Having said that, there is still a long way to go, since it is not recognized, for example, by the prestigious British Kennel Club, nor by American reference organizations such as the United Kennel Club (UKC) o el American Kennel Club (AKC).

The Estonian Hound is popular in an area encompassing Estonia and nearby Russian regions, and its population is estimated at about 1200 individuals. It is still used there as a hunting dog and has also made a place for itself in many homes as a pet.. But, hasn't conquered the rest of the world yet. Rare in europe, even in Estonia's neighboring countries, is practically absent from the North American continent.

Photo: Estonian Hound by Marcin Błaszkowski, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons

Physical characteristics

Estonian Hound

The Estonian Hound They are medium-sized hunting dogs that can easily be mistaken for the Beagle, one of the races that helped create them. But, they are bigger than the Beagle and they have a more pointed snout.

His powerful and muscular body is very long. Its solid bone legs are straight and almost half the size at the withers.. Saber-shaped tail flicks when in motion and remains fairly low, no higher than back level.

The head is quite wide at the level of the skull and the long muzzle ends in a very black nose. His slightly oblique eyes are more or less dark brown, while her long, thin ears fall along her cheeks.

The coat of the Estonian Hound is short, rough and shiny, with a moderately dense undercoat. Their fur is usually tricolor, with black spots with more or less wide red edges on a white background. But, the standard accepts bicolor individuals with completely red spots, without any trace of black. In all cases, the tips of the legs and tail should be white, as well as the throat and chest.

Sexual dimorphism is marked, the female being slightly longer than the male, which is taller in the legs and wider.

Physical characteristics

Estonian Hound
Estonian Hound

The Estonian Hound he is particularly devoted to his family, who likes to spend time with. They are a breed of dog especially recommended for children: they love to interact with them and are very patient with them, they even accept having their tails or ears pulled. But, you should remember that interactions between a young child and a dog of any breed must be under the supervision of an adult.

This strong attachment to his family makes him not like loneliness, which can lead to separation anxiety. If you are often left home alone for long periods of time, not surprisingly you may experience destructive behavior.

One solution for a caregiver who is regularly absent during the day may be to provide a playmate. Made to hunt in a pack, the Estonian Hound they enjoy the company of other dogs. If they are used to its presence from an early age, They can also make friends with any feline in the house. On the other hand, as they have a strong hunting instinct, should not live with rabbits or other rodents.

Rather shy and not fond of novelty, the Estonian Hound they tend to bark at strangers and then observe their master's behavior from a distance. If he invites the newcomer to the house, comes to greet you politely, but stay reserved.

Extremely hardy hunting dogs used to long days in the woods, they need a lot of exercise to expend their great energy: a daily walk of one hour is a minimum for them. It is recommended to always keep it tied during these outings, as your excellent sense of smell often allows you to find an interesting track that you are likely to want to follow for hours, ignoring withdrawal orders. A dog owner who still wants to let him walk freely right now should equip him with a GPS dog collar, so you can easily get your hands back on it if it disappears.

The Estonian Hound you can live in an apartment as long as you are outdoors often enough to satisfy your need for exercise, but he is much happier when he has a garden where he can patrol and play. But, this outdoor space must be well fenced to eliminate the risk of escape if you see potential prey to pursue.

A peculiarity of this dog is its need for routine and its aversion to novelty, which makes their behavior sometimes compared to that of domestic cats. This is not at all an appropriate choice for a master who wants to take their dog on vacation.: he is a poor traveler, you get stressed out when you get in the car and you don't like spending time in a place you don't know at all.

Last, it is a breed of dog that barks often and forcefully. For the peace of the neighborhood, it is necessary to teach him from a young age not to bark for any reason and to shut up when ordered to do so.


Estonian Hound
Estonian Hound

Like all its fellow men, the Estonian Hound must be socialized from an early age. This requires spending as much time with him as possible so that he meets all kinds of people (neighbors, family, friends, strangers…) And animals, but also so that you get used to the situations that you may face later.

This need to become very quickly acquainted with the outside world is all the more pronounced as it is fearful by nature. In particular, to prevent future vet visits from becoming a nightmare to handle, it is recommended to get used to traveling by car as soon as possible.

Addressing the barking issue at an early age is also imperative, so that you understand that it is not necessary to bark for hours at every unfamiliar noise.

It is also important to teach your dog to remember to bark, as you will not hear any more commands once you have sniffed the trail of a game animal and go in pursuit. Hunting instinct is well established in this breed, so it does not require any specific training to be able to follow a trail for hours and be an excellent hunter.

Relatively independent and headstrong, the Estonian Hound require patience to be trained, but they like to please their master and usually end up listening to him. If necessary, be firm to assert your dominant position and show your dog who is the master, traditional training methods should be avoided, at the risk of damaging the relationship of trust. It is preferable to opt for a learning technique based on positive reinforcement.


As the Estonian Hound it is a relatively new breed and not very widespread, there is still no real and in-depth study of their possible health problems. But, looks quite robust, no doubt thanks to a reasoned breeding program that has given priority to the personality and abilities of individuals rather than their appearance.

But, you have probably inherited from Beagle and the Foxhound a certain predisposition to the following diseases:

  • Progressive retinal atrophy, a breakdown of the eye tissue that can eventually lead to blindness;
  • entropion and ectropion, problems with the eyelids that cause itching and / or irritation of the eye, but can be surgically corrected;
  • dislocation of the patella, which affects the kneecap and causes walking difficulties. It can also be responsible for premature arthritis;
  • Elbow or hip dysplasia, that can cause lameness.
  • It also, the Estonian Hound is sensitive to allergies and sinusitis. These ailments are not serious in themselves, but they can cause a certain amount of stress to the dog, as this breed relies heavily on its sense of smell. So, a temporary loss of your sense of smell is likely disorienting you.

    Finally, like most hunting dogs, the Estonian Hound have a ferocious appetite that can lead to overweight or even obesity if they don't get enough exercise.


    Despite her short hair and sparse undercoat, the Estonian Hound require some maintenance. Brushing twice a week is recommended to remove dead hairs and avoid finding them all over the house. This also helps to distribute sebum on the skin to better protect it against infectious agents..

    During moulting periods, in autumn and spring, it is even necessary to opt for a daily frequency, to deal with the large amount of hair you lose during this period.

    On the other hand, it is only necessary to bathe your dog when it is particularly dirty, for example, if he has rolled in the mud.

    Besides keeping your coat, it is recommended to check your teeth once a week to make sure there are no cavities, and cleaning your eyes with a damp cloth to remove any dirt that could cause an infection.

    Weekly ear care is especially important: like any dog ​​with floppy ears, the Estonian Hound have a higher risk of infections and ear infections.

    For sale “Estonian Hound”

    The price of a puppy Estonian Hound is of some 700-800 euros in your country of origin, and there is no price difference between male and female puppies.

    But, hard to find outside of Estonia, but the situation may change rapidly after the breed is recognized by the FCI in 2019.

    Characteristics "Estonian Hound"

    Coexistence is important that you have with your new friend. Before considering the acquisition of a dog of the breed "Estonian Hound" you know certain factors. Not all breeds of dogs are apt to live in an apartment, you must take into account his character, their need for exercise, their interaction with other pets, their care and if you have small children, their level of tolerance towards them.

    Adaptation ⓘ

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    friendly dog ​​ⓘ

    4.0 out of 5 stars (based on 1 review)

    hair loss ⓘ

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    Affection level ⓘ

    4.0 out of 5 stars (based on 1 review)

    Need for exercise ⓘ

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    Social need ⓘ

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    Home ⓘ

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    Toilet ⓘ

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    Friendly with strangers ⓘ

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    barking ⓘ

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    Health ⓘ

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    Territorial ⓘ

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    Cat friendly ⓘ

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    Intelligence ⓘ

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    Versatility ⓘ

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    Child friendly ⓘ

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    Surveillance ⓘ

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    joy ⓘ

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    Videos "Estonian Hound"

    Estonian Hound / 99+1 Dog Breeds
    Estonian Hound / 99+1 Dog Breeds

    Type and recognitions:

    • Group 6: Scent hounds, and related breeds.
    • Section 1.2: Medium-sized hound-type dogs.. With proof of work..


    • FCI – Group 6: Scent hounds, and related breeds. – Section 1.2: Medium-sized Hounds.

    FCI breed standard "Estonian Hound"

    FCIFCI - Estonian Hound

    Alternative names:

    1. (Estonian: eesti hagijas) (English).
    2. eesti hagijas (French).
    3. (estnisch: Eesti hagijas), Estnische Bracke (German).
    4. Eesti hagijas (Portuguese).
    5. Cazador estonio (español).

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