Polish Hound (Ogar Polski)

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dark saddle and tan
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Pros Cons
  • great watchdog
  • wonderful companion                
  • excellent hunter
  • requires a lot of daily exercises
  • doesn't suit for living in a small apartment

The Polish Hound is an excellent working dog, which is specialised in tracking the game by scent. It’s quite an old breed native to Poland, which has been in existence since at least XIII century. The breed hasn’t still acquired much popularity outside its homeland.

The Polish Hound was developed as a hunting dog in XIII century. Some dogs’ specialists suggest that it represents the result of crossing St. Hubert Hounds with indigenous polish dogs. Other point of view proposes that the Ogar Polski descended from several German and Austrian breeds though it remains unclear exactly which breeds took part in its creation.

The Polish Hound was highly valued by polish hunters for its scenting ability and prominent voice. Forests of this land teemed with various kind of game and the hunting was one of the favourite occupations of the polish nobility. Each affluent family used to keep a pack of Polish Hounds and this tradition pressed on from the XIV to the XVIII century.

The working characteristics of hunting dogs were thoroughly described in the «Myslistwo z agary» (Hunting with a hound dog) written by Jam Ostroros in 1616. However he has never referred to the appearance of these dogs and until late XVII century there was no distinction between various hounds in Poland. In the books of the XIX century one can meet the detailed depiction of two native hunting dogs: the Polish Scent Hound and the Polish Brach. These two types of dogs were used especially on challenging terrains of the highlands of Poland’s eastern territories.

In consequence of the Second World War all Polish hunting hounds were nearly wiped out from the face of the earth. Luckily enough, two colonels took interest in the destiny of native hunting dogs. Colonel Josef Pawuslewicz (1903 – 1979) invented the breed, which is now known as Gonczy Polski. It presents the smaller version of the Polish Hound. The more sizable dog was developed by Colonel Piotr Kartwik and he named it the Ogar Polski. In his breeding program he mostly used dogs brought in the 60s of the XX century from Nowogrodek, today is a part of Belorussia. It’s worth to mention that both breeds are referred as the Polish Hound by the English cynologists.

The Fédération Cynologique Internationale (FCI) registered the breed on November 15, 1966. The dog remains practically unknown outside its homeland and this is rather regretful because the Polish Hound has a potential of becoming an outstanding family dog.

The Polish Hound is persistent and relentless in its hunting duties and will become an excellent acquirement for an avid hunter. However it has been noticed that this even-tempered and kind dog successfully plays a role of a faithful and loving family pet. It gets along with well-behaved children and it’s always happy to spend some of its exuberant energy in playing with them.

Strangers will be treated by the Polish Hound with a great deal of distrust and wariness because of its strong protective instinct. The dog will overcome this tendency if it has been exposed to the company of unfamiliar people since its early age. It possesses a beautiful resonant voice, which this alert dog uses only when it detects something suspicious or threatening. This means it will become a fabulous watchdog. It can also be trained into a good guard dog without undesirable inclination to excessive aggressiveness.

The Ogar Polski is rather accepting of the presence of other canine animals since it used to cooperate with dozens of other dogs during the hunt. It will be quite content with the constant company of another dog if they have been introduced to each other in a proper manner. Despite its powerful hunting instinct this breed won’t bother a home cat (or other pet) if they have been living together since its puppyhood. Of course, the Polish Hound requires intensive socialisation and training in order to learn the rules of appropriate behaviour both in human and animal society.

Health Problems
The most common problems for the breed include:

• elbow dysplasia;
• cancer;
• hypothyroidism;
• eyes problems;
• sensitivity to anaesthesia;
• gastric torsion.

The Polish Hound has very moderate grooming requirements. Its master should brush the dog’s coat once or twice a week with a firm bristle brush to maintain it smooth and shiny. The dog needs to be bathed as rarely as possible and in most cases it’s sufficient to wipe it with a damp cloth. Floppy ears of the Ogar Polski should be inspected and cleaned on a regular basis since it’s prone to attract dirt and debris. The breed is an average shedder.

The training of the Polish Hound will become an easy task due to its permanent desire to please and inquisitive mind. The trainer should possess the strong personality in order to earn the full obedience of this dog. The key component of the successful training of this breed is correct methods, which are based on positive reinforcement and tasty treats.

Rude attitude and screaming during training sessions will only induce resentment and even aggression in the Polish Hound. It’s also important to find a proper approach to it from the very first lesson and to form trustful and respectful relationship with the dog.

The Ogar Polski is an exigent breed when things concern exercise. The walk with this dog should last for at least an hour and it also requires plenty opportunities to release its buoyant energy in a securely enclosed territory. This energetic dog will happily accompany you in your walk to the park or in your everyday jogging.

The Polish Hound will feel itself most happy if it performs its original duties of a hunting dog. Without sufficient amount of physical activity it tends to misbehave destroying your stuff, ignoring basic training as housebreaking and barking without any clear reason.