Scent Hound from the Save Valley (Posavatz Hound, Posavski Gonič)

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all shades of reddish wheaten, but never brown or chocolate; with white markings
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Good with kids:
Pros Cons

  • frisky and out-going

  • attentive watcher

  • excellent hunter

  • requires minimal amount of grooming

  • incompatible with other types of pets

  • extensive exercise need

  • independent-minded and stubborn


The Scent Hound from the Save Valley is a sound yet rare hunting breed from Croatia where it has existed for hundreds of years. This beautiful dog is renowned for its robustness as well as for its loyal nature. But it won’t make a right choice for a novice dog lover because of its strong propensity to independent thinking.


The age of the Posavski Gonič can’t be defined with any degree of certainty but first actual testimonies of its existence date back to the XV century. In particular its images were engraved on the 1474 frescoes in the chapel devoted to Saint Mary in the vicinity of Pazin. This dog is also mentioned in the 1719 chronicle of Bishop of Djakovo Bakic, that is presently found in the Djakovo diocese. Moreover its antiquity is additionally confirmed in the 1859 books and veterinary records of Jose Kristen.

The home country of this graceful hound is Croatia and its descendants are Molossian sporting dogs and Egyptian dogs, which were imported to this region via the Adriatic ports. In the Sava Valley it was nicknamed «boskini» and was considered as a valuable good. Initially the breed varied greatly in size so its conformation eventually stabilised only by the early XVIII century. It was officially recognised as the Posavski Gonič by the Fédération Cynologique Internationale (FCI) in 1955. The dog is also admitted to registration in the United Kennel Club.

The quick legs, compact agile body and excellent nose explain the breed’s popularity in the role of the hunter’s assistant. It thrives on a hard work and can equally effectively hunt small game and deer. The Scent Hound from the Save Valley has short and coarse coat that serves as a good protection against thorns in thick vegetation. Apart from being a zealous hunter, it has also earned the repute of a great companion animal in its native land. However it’s barely known in other parts of the world where it’s reckoned to be a highly rare breed.


The Scent Hound from the Save Valley is a wonderful pet for fitness-minded people since it’s marked by lively and loyal disposition. Independent and somewhat obstinate character of this dog means that it requires vast and early socialisation to learn its place in the family hierarchy. As a rule it treats familiar kids very kindly and enjoys their jolly games. But it’s obligatory to explain your kids that their four-legged friend deserves a careful treatment.

In the most cases the Posavski Gonič keeps alertness in the company of strangers so it’s always ready to spring to action if they show any signs of aggressiveness towards its masters. At the same time the breed member easily makes friends with new people especially if they show affability. The dog makes a fabulous watcher although it has rather average guarding abilities (it lacks a territorial instinct).

If a strange dog doesn’t threaten the masters of the Scent Hound from the Save Valley, it’s usually eager to communicate with it. Its correctly socialised specimen also perceives other canine animals in the household as the part of its pack. Nevertheless the Posavski Gonič is commonly belligerent to small non-canine pets and may suddenly attack even those home cats with which it has been reared since the puppyhood. The dog is also keen on chasing street cats so it should be always securely leashed in public places.

Health Problems

The most common problems for the breed include:

· ear infections.


The Posavski Gonič has smooth short fur that needs very simple grooming. It’s sufficient to brush this dog once a week with a soft bristled brush in order to get rid of loose hair. The master should bathe its pet as rarely as possible because water and dog shampoos may provoke irritation of its skin.

This breed sheds averagely so systematic brushing helps minimising the amount of hair in the house. Examine the dog’s ears regularly and clean them if they look dirty. Good dental hygiene prevents the build-up of tartar and other periodontal diseases.


It’s fairly difficult to properly train the Scent Hound from the Save Valley. Since it got used to hunt independently it also prefers to rely on its own opinions in other situations. The dog will demonstrate obedience to the trainer whose authority it unreservedly accepts.

It’s also worth to know that the Posavski Gonič doesn’t respond well to physical correction and works most diligently if its progress is rewarded with its favourite dog food. Once properly trained, this tough and agile breed excels in agility trials and other competitions that require stamina and surefootedness.


The Posavski Gonič enjoys intensive exercises and will never be fully satisfied with several short daily walks. The dog stays active indoors and feels itself very uncomfortable in a small city apartment. If you don’t intend taking your pet to hunting trips, make sure to offer it some kind of activity, which emulates its hunting duties.

Thanks to its great endurance the Posavski Gonič will make an indefatigable companion for a jogger of bicyclist. Without sizeable amount of physical outlets the dog will eventually pick up the habits to immoderate barking and destructiveness in the house.