Hanoverian Scenthound (Hannoverischer Schweisshund)

Country of origin:
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light to dark deer-red, brindled, with or without mask
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Good with kids:
Pros Cons
  • excellent hunter
  • easy to groom
  • great companion for an individual                        
  • devoted friend
  • independent
  • training is challenging
  • requires a lot of daily exercises
  • doesn't suit for living in a small apartment

The Hanoverian Scenthound is an independent and robust hunting dog, which was specifically developed to pinpoint the location of the wounded prey during a hunt. It came to existence in medieval Germany and since then it has been used almost exclusively for tracking purposes. This stout and hardy animal is ill-suited for the life as a family pet since it requires earnest training and lots of space.

The Hanoverian Scenthound owes its creation to German foresters who desperately needed the dog with an exceptionally fine scent. The point is that in the Middle Ages to locate all wounded quarry for the hunters was the matter of honour. In most cases poor animal was wounded mortally and were condemned to slow tormenting death somewhere in the depths of the forest. So it was essential to develop the breed, which would be able to follow the cold trail non-stop for hours on end. This necessity became even more urgent with the introduction of the hunting with guns.

The Hanoverian Scenthound descended from excellent German tracking hounds that have been in the use since the V century. The Lyam Hound and the Leash Hound were among most ancient ancestors of the breed. Both above-mentioned dogs were renowned for their unsurpassed sharp noses and strongly pronounced persistence in pursuit of a wounded game. It’s speculated that the modern day Hanoverian Scenthound represents a carefully thought-out mixture of the Solling-Leitbracke, various Segusian hounds, the Haidbracke and probably other lighter Celtic Bracken. Most likely, the latter addition to the gene pool of the breed were hounds from the Harz. Undoubtedly the breed had already fully shaped by the XVII century.

Further development of the Hanoverian Scenthound continued in the Hanoverian hunting estate in the kingdom of Hannover and its current name was granted to the breed in 1894. The Hanoverian hunting estate concentrated solely on the working qualities of the dog and retaining the effective techniques of its training. Nowadays the breed is regarded as one of the most talented tracker of a big game. It’s used predominantly in this role and it can be rarely seen outside its native Germany. The Hanoverian Scenthound is officially accepted by the Fédération Cynologique Internationale (FCI) and the United Kennel Club (UKC).

The Hanoverian Scenthound possesses temperament of a typical hunting dog, which can be persistent and unflinching during a hunt but docile and calm in a home environment. The dog usually develops extreme devotion to its master and his family and likes to give and receive attention. It has steady and calm demeanour, which makes it quite patient and gentle with children. Nevertheless timely socialisation around them is a must for the breed.

This dog displays aloofness and distrust in the presence of strange people. Of course it can be corrected with proper up-bringing but the Hanoverian Scenthound will never be outgoing and open with unfamiliar people. This breed has a potential of becoming an excellent watchdog considering its alertness and keen scent. Moreover it can be trained in rather capable guard dog, which will defend its master’s possessions at all costs.

The Hanoverian Scenthound is rather accepting of other canine animals but it certainly doesn’t crave to live together with other dog. The initial meeting of strange dogs should be closely supervised because some fight over dominance may arise especially between unneutered males. The breed has major issues with other species of animals and this is no wonder for such an innate hunter as the Hanoverian Scenthound. The dog is usually well-behaved with a home cat if they have been reared together. However some individual dogs will never be able to cope with its hunting drive even in respect of the familiar family pet.

Health Problems
The most common problems for the breed include:

• canine hip dysplasia;
• cancer;
• ingrown nails;
• chronic ear infection;
• sensitivity to anaesthesia;
• obesity;
• gastric torsion.


The Hanoverian Scenthound has rather low grooming requirements. The dog has short coat, which will never require more than couple of brushings per week. It should be bathed as rarely as possible but it will be fairly inevitable after each hunt. The ears of the Hanoverian Scenthound should be regularly checked for the signs of infection or irritation since this breed is highly predisposed to such kind of diseases. Naturally the dog’s nails need regular clipping as well as its teeth should be timely cleaned.

The training of the Hanoverian Scenthound can be quite problematic because of its independent streak. It belongs to the type of dogs, which strongly requires a handler with assured and imposing personality. This smart animal will totally ignore commands from the human who takes inferior position in the pack hierarchy in its view.

The Hanoverian Scenthound instantly grasps everything concerning hunting and therefore won’t need any extensive training in this respect. The key to the successful training of this breed is proper methods, which should be grounded on positive reinforcement and tasty treats.

As an exclusively working dog the Hanoverian Scenthound needs a great amount of vigorous daily physical activity. Without proper physical and mental stimulation it will suffer from sever dissatisfaction, which will most likely lead to some unwelcomed behavioural patterns including destructiveness, nervousness and constant barking. It’s not advisable to acquire this dog as a purely family pet especially if you live in a city. The Hanoverian Hound should be provided with enough space to roam and play. It also has a great stamina and will make a willing hiking, camping or jogging companion.