Bosnian Coarse-Haired Hound - Barak (Bosanski Ostrodlaki Gonic Barak)

Country of origin:
Bosnia and Herzegovina
Height (cm):
Weight (kg):
Life span (years):
wheaten yellow, reddish yellow, earthy grey or blackish; with white markings; bicolour or tricolour
Hair length:
Recognized by:
FCI code:
Good with kids:
Download standard:
Pros Cons
  • excellent hunter
  • devoted friend
  • great watchdog
  • doesn't require a lot of grooming
  • learn basic commands easily
  • doesn't suit family with small children
  • doesn't like strange people
  • barks a lot
  • chases other animals
  • need a lot of physical activity

The Bosnian Coarse-Haired Hound (Barak) is a skilful and rare hunting dog with its homeland in Bosnia and Herzegovina. It’s the only breed from this country that has been granted an international recognition. The dog has not yet acquired much following in the western world but can potentially become an excellent choice for an avid hunter.

The origin of the Bosnian Coarse-Haired Hound can be traced back to the beginning of the XIX century and its exact lineage is lost in the depth of centuries. It’s a well-established fact that contemporary variety of the breed was created by crossing local scent hounds with Italian gundogs.

The indigenous dogs of Bosnia represented a modified form of the ancient Molossus, which was introduced to this country as early as 411 B.C. These animals were not only fierce warriors but they also provided an indispensable assistance in hunting for local folks. For almost 2500 years the local Bosnian scent hounds honed their hunting skills on the harsh terrains of its native country. Prior to 1878 the Bosnia had been under control of the Ottoman Empire, which sealed the boundaries of the country from any contacts with the western civilisation. For over four centuries the forefathers of the Bosnian Coarse-Haired Hound had no opportunities to interbreed with other foreign canines and they became highly specialized in working in the particular conditions of Bosnian region.

At the end of XIX century the Ottoman Empire released Bosnia from its tight grip and gradually new breeds entered the country. Bosnian hunters started to buy these dogs and mix them with native hounds in order to enhance their quality. The most successful cross was considered to be with the Italian gundog. To this breed the Bosnian Coarse-Haired Hound owes its coarse wire-like hair and prominent size. These traits allowed it to work in the most adverse weather condition and catch up with much larger types of game.

Bosnia and Herzegovina was torn with violent conflicts throughout the XXth century. This strongly affected the number of the Bosnian Coarse-Haired Hounds, which substantially dwindled. Nevertheless the breed continued to thrive in the remote areas of the country hunting different game just as its ancestors had. In 1965 the breed was recognized by the Fédération Cynologique Internationale (FCI), under the name of the Illyrian Hound. The name of the dog was dictated by some political reasoning and in 1973 it was officially changed to the Bosnian Coarse-Haired Hound.

In 2006, the United Kennel Club (UKC) gave the dog its complete acceptance. The club took the FCI breed standard but granted the breed a different name - the Barak (the word has Turkish roots and means rough-coated dog).

The Bosnian Coarse-Haired Hound has been an effective hunter for hundreds of years and has natural predispositions typical to an average scent hound. Since the breed can rarely be seen outside its working surrounding and it had virtually no experience as pure home pet it’s hard to make any concrete generalisation as to it behaviour in a family. The scarce testimonies allege that when correctly socialised the breed is good with considerate children but has low reserve of patience if treated abusively. On the whole the Barak tends to be loyal and loving with its master.

The dog is apt to react with suspicion to appearance of unfamiliar persons in your house. This watchful breed is capable to inform its owner about an approaching newcomer with its loud bellowing voice so it can be turned into an excellent watchdog. By the way the Bosnian Coarse-Haired Hound usually uses its voice very often and this can lead to a conflict with your neighbours.

The Barak is a pack hunter and used to coordinate its actions with several other dogs during the hunting. That’s why it’s quite tolerable towards other canine animals provided it has been socialised with them. Being developed for hunting purposes it’s no wonder this breed exhibits a considerable aggression towards other species of animals. The Bosnian Coarse-Haired Hound can accept a home cat as a part of its family if they have been introduced to each other in the early age but some specimens will never perceive it other than a prey object.
Health Problems
The most common problems for the breed include:

• canine hip dysplasia;
• elbow dysplasia;
• eye problems;
• patellar luxation.

The Bosnian Coarse-Haired Hound requires minimal grooming since it’s almost exclusively a hunting dog. Its wire-like coat should be brushed a few times a week to maintain it tangles-free. The breed is an average shedder and more frequent brushing is recommended during shedding periods.

The rest includes a basic care. Remember to timely trim the dog’s nails and clean its teeth and ears to keep your Barak in an optimal health.

The Bosnian Coarse-Haired Hound needs moderate efforts to train since its eagerness to please in most cases outweighs its somewhat independent character. This breed can quickly learn standard commands and tricks but it’s quite capable to grasp much more sophisticated tasks.

Training sessions should be short and repetitive since systematic approach is a key to an astounding success in working with this dog. The personality of the handler also plays an important role in up-bringing the Barak. His authoritative position and unshakable confidence helps to establish proper relationship with the dog. This breed is responsive only to mild correction and food incentives and ignores commands, which are pronounced in harsh tone of voice or imposed with physical abuse.

It can become a challenge to satisfy the Barak’s need in physical activity since this dog is used to work in rather adverse conditions for long hours. The walk should last at least one hour but this breed would essentially prefer more dynamic activity as free run or various active games.

Be ready to keep your dog on the leash at all times since it poses a lethal danger for stray animals. Taking into account the amount of exercise the Bosnian Coarse-Haired Hound should get it is definitely more appropriate for countryside or the house with spacious yard surrounded by a high fence.