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15 Serbian Hound Temperament Traits: He’s Rare but Worth the Effort

The Serbian Hound temperament is nearly perfect for an active family. He is a scenthound from the Balkans area of Europe who is a skilled hunter and a wonderful family dog.

The Serbian Hound is rare in North America. But to anyone lucky enough to find one, he’s a great addition to the family.

Serbian Hound Temperament and Personality

1. Intelligent

Like most hunting dogs, the Serbian Hound is very smart. He learns quickly.

2. Eager to Please

With the right training, the Serbian Hound temperament is obedient and eager to please.

3. Independent

Again, like most hunting breeds, this dog can be quite independent. He needs that quality in order to do his job well.

However, this Serbian Hound temperament trait can present a training challenge for the inexperienced dog owner.

4. Gentle

The Serbian Hound temperament is docile and kind. He is a very sweet dog who is great with children.

5. Affectionate

This is a very loving breed. They enjoy showing affection to family members and will take all they can get in return.

6. Loyal

Loyalty is a very strong Serbian Hound temperament trait. He is devoted to his family members, especially his trainer. He forms strong bonds with his people.

7. Easygoing

When he’s not working, the Serbian Hound has a calm and relaxed disposition. When he gets enough exercise, he is an ideal family companion.

8. Lively

The Serbian Hound temperament is happy and playful. He is a wonderful companion for the kids.

If you have active children, playing with them would be great exercise for your Serbian Hound.

9. Friendly

Though he can be stranger-wary, the Serbian Hound is very friendly to people he knows.

10. Social

The Serbian Hound temperament is very sociable. As a pack hunter, he gets along well with other dogs.

11. Energetic

This breed has a high energy level. The key to successfully adding this dog to your family is to see that he gets plenty of exercise.

The Serbian Hound temperament is best suited to hunting or very active outdoor families.

12. Prey-driven

Hunting breeds have high prey drives, and the Serbian Hound is no exception. He can probably be taught to leave household cats alone if he is raised with them.

But he probably will not be trustworthy with other small household pets (or the neighbors’ cats.)

13. Hard-working

The Serbian Hound has an intense work ethic. You could even say that he lives to work. This dog will definitely be happiest in a home where he has a job to do.

If your family does not hunt, you could substitute training and participating in dog sporting events. Obedience, agility, and rally would all be great choices.

Hunting trials and nose work would also be good activities to keep this guy busy.

14. Hardy

The Serbian Hound is a robust breed. They are strong and tenacious and have excellent stamina. They are determined to do their job in any weather conditions or on any terrain.

15. Alert

He is always alert to his surroundings and stranger-wary. He makes a good watchdog.

Serbian Hound History

The Serbian Hound is an ancient breed who was originally known as the Balkan Hound. It’s a popular scenthound in Serbia, Montenegro, and other Balkan regions.

Its origins are uncertain. Some historians believe that the breed goes back to 1000 BC.

It may have been the result of ancient ancestors breeding with Egyptian dogs brought to the Balkans by the Phoenicians.

Others think the 14th or even 16th century is more likely. Unfortunately, there is no written record or early artwork to support any of the theories.

The breed has been popular in the Balkans for centuries. They are scenthounds that are prized for their excellent noses and work ethic.

Hunters also appreciate the Serbian Hound temperament, which makes them ideal family dogs as well as hunting partners.

The Federation Cynologique Internationale (FCI) recognized this breed as the Balkan Hound in 1940. The United Kennel Club (UKC) did so in 2006. The American Kennel Club (AKC) has not yet recognized the breed.

In 1996, the FCI changed the name, and the breed became known as the Serbian Hound.

This dog still works as a hunting dog of fox, deer, and rabbit, but it is also kept as a family pet.

Serbian Hound Training

He Needs to Know Who’s in Charge

Because the Serbian Hound is a hunting breed, you can expect a certain amount of independence. These dogs need to be able to make decisions in the field when their hunters are not close by.

This Serbian Hound trait makes them very effective hunting partners. But it can make training more challenging than with some other breeds.

The best way to control this is to train with firmness and consistency. They need to understand that you have the upper hand. When they do, they are obedient dogs who are easy to train.

Take advantage of the fact that this breed loves human attention. He will work hard with positive reinforcement.

This is a social and lovable breed. Rewards such as lavish praise and play time with you should work wonders with your Serbian Hound.

You would also do well to keep training sessions short and fun. Intelligent breeds like the Serbian Hound get bored easily.

Exercise is Critical

When training this breed, it’s critical to remember that meeting his exercise need will make training much easier.

If he isn’t getting enough, you may have a hard time controlling his behavior.

Socialization is also important when you’re training a Serbian Hound. He’s naturally good with children, but he should still be exposed to them early.

All dogs are individuals, so safeguarding is important when it comes to kids.

Serbian Hound puppies also need to be socialized to strangers. They can be a bit aloof with them.

They also have instinctive watchdog ability. You will want your dog to stand down when you ask him to.

He will also need to be socialized to other household pets. Even if he is good with the family cat, he will need to learn that the neighbor’s cats are off-limits, too.

You will need to keep in mind that he may never be completely trustworthy with this.

Serbian Hound Appearance

General Appearance

The Serbian Hound is a medium-sized dog with an athletic, muscular build and a deep chest. He is a little stockier than most other European hounds.

His coat is medium-length and dense with straight hair. Serbian Hound color is red with a distinctive black saddle. He may have a small amount of white on the chest.

His head is long and narrow with length greater than width and a slightly rounded skull. The pendulous ears are set high and slightly rounded at the tips.

His eyes are oval in shape and dark, and his nose is black. The muzzle is a little shorter than the skull. He has a level or scissor bite.

The tail is thick at the base and tapered at the tip. It is covered with hair and curls slightly upward.

Serbian Hound Size

The average Serbian Hound height is 18-22 inches for males and 17-21 inches for females. And the Serbian Hound weight averages 40-48 pounds for both.

Serbian Hound Must-Knows

Serbian Hound Lifespan

The life expectancy of the Serbian Hound is 12-15 years.

Other Names

The Serbian Hound is also known as:

  • Balkan Hound.
  • Balkan Hariier.
  • Balkanski Gonič.
  • Srpski Gonič.

Serbian Hound Health Issues

The Serbian Hound has no history of breed-specific or inherited diseases. However, because of their pendulous ears, they can be prone to ear infections.

Very occasionally this breed can also be susceptible to hip dysplasia or eye conditions.

Caring for the Serbian Hound

Serbian Hound Grooming

This breed is quite low-maintenance. He is a moderate shedder. You should brush him once a week to keep his coat sleek and distribute the natural oils.

This breed sheds more in spring and fall. He will need more frequent brushing during those times.

He needs to be bathed only when he gets into something smelly.

As above, he can be susceptible to ear infections. You should check and clean his ears regularly.

Otherwise, like all dogs, he needs his nails trimmed regularly. You should also brush his teeth once a week.

Serbian Hound Diet

This breed has no specific dietary needs. He should do well on any high-quality commercial food.

If he is hunting or playing hard, you may want to feed him an active-formula food. You will want to keep an eye on his weight, though. Be sure he’s burning the extra calories.

Serbian Hound Exercise

As a hunting breed, the Serbian Hound needs a lot of exercise. Forty-five minutes a day would be the bare minimum. Ideally, he should have one to two hours a day of vigorous exercise.

If he’s not getting enough, he will let you know. You may see some negative Serbian Hound behaviors. He can become destructive when he’s bored.

This can include excessive barking, digging, or chewing. He may also “forget” his housebreaking training.

Finding a Serbian Hound

Buying a Serbian Hound from a Breeder

This breed is popular in Serbia, but he’s not well known elsewhere in the world. Finding a Serbian Hound for sale will not be easy.

They were only recognized by the United Kennel Club in 2006 and not at all by the AKC. It’s going to take a while for the breed to catch on outside of its homeland.

At the time of this writing, an Internet search found no Serbian Hound breeders in North America.

If you have your heart set on one, you may want to try searching for online groups and forums for owners and fans of the breed.

Facebook is a good place to find user groups. Other online forums exist for nearly every breed. You may get lucky and find an owner who can tell you where he found his Serbian Hound puppy.

YouTube is another good place to search. Many owners and breeders post videos of their dogs and publish contact information.

Proceed with Caution

If you are able to find a breeder online, ask questions. You will want to be sure you aren’t buying from a puppy mill or so-called “backyard breeder.”

Rare dogs can be moneymakers for puppy mills, particularly as they are just beginning to be known in different parts of the world. You will want to have a trustworthy recommendation before you commit to a breeder.

Buying a dog from a puppy mill would perpetuate a cruel practice. Dogs in these situations often live in inhumane conditions. They are usually kept in cages with no health care. They get little or no exercise.

The mothers are made to breed one litter after another until they wear out.

The dogs are bred with no regard to the genetic health of the breed. They are often inbred.

The puppies produced in this way tend to be poor specimens of the breed. They often have genetic issues that won’t turn up until the dog becomes an adult.

A responsible breeder will breed only healthy animals. They vet their puppies from birth. They are healthy and fully immunized when they’re sold.

A good breeder will guarantee the health of their puppies. They will offer to buy the dog back if you ever need to surrender it.

You will get no guarantees from a backyard breeder.

Serbian Hound Rescue/Adoption

Finding a Serbian Hound for adoption is also going to take a lot of patience. You are very unlikely to find one in your local shelter.

Once again, I would try the sources above. Ask people if they know of any rescues that work with the Serbian Hound. You might also try broadening your search for hound rescues.

Is the Serbian Hound the Right Breed for You?

The Serbian Hound sounds almost too good to be true. If you’re a hunter, you couldn’t do much better.

But even if you’re just looking for a family dog, he would be a great choice for an active family. His high exercise need calls for an owner who can commit time and energy.

If you live an active life and would enjoy an adventure partner with a sweet disposition, the Serbian Hound temperament may be a perfect fit.