German hunters are bound by an honor code to find all shot game – whether dead or wounded. A game wounded by a bullet or an arrow may travel for miles, hide in heavy cover and die a long slow death. Trailing wounded game is seldom done in USA but this sort of hunting is most common in Germany and in other European countries. To find wounded game a schweisshund, a dog that follows the blood trail of a wounded game is needed. The search for the wounded prey could go on for days. A schweisshund or a bloodhound has to have an excellent cold nose and the tenacity to follow the cold trail. There are many breeds of tracking hounds with these qualities but one was acclaimed for following a track that has gone cold for over a week. After several days and after following the trail for more that 30 miles the wounded quarry was found. The outstanding bloodhound is a Hanover Hound!
Persistent, single minded, determined… these are apt descriptions for the Hanover Hound. This breed is not known for being fast; in fact this breed is rather slow on the move. But it does have a superb nose, a trait that is most necessary in blood trailing. A wounded deer would leave few drops of blood every few miles. The Hanover Hound’s very sensitive nose can find the trail. This makes the dog the preferred scenthound of many hunters. This is a tenacious breed. A Hanover Hound will never abandon a search. It was said that this dog is valued more than rubies. No wounded prey should be left to waste in the forest. Finding a wounded game is considered to be an act of kindness to the animal. When other bloodhounds failed to find the wounded prey this specialist will be brought in… to succeed where others have failed. These highly specialized dogs are not for the casual hunter. In Germany, a Hanover Hound is usually kept and utilized by game wardens and foresters where the dog is constantly utilized to follow a trail to further hone their outstanding tracking abilities. These are healthy dogs, with very few genetic health concerns. This breed has a life expectancy of 14 years.
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The Hanoverian Scenthound is a medium sized breed with a powerful well proportioned body. The hallmark of this breed is the large head with a characteristic wrinkled forehead. This handsome dog has a broad skull and a strong muzzle that tapers to a broad large nose with well opened nostrils. Nasal bridge that gradually narrows towards the forehead is more arched in males. The dog’s nose is almost always black. Dark brown noses are quite rare. The pendulous lips are broad and well rounded. Very strong jaws are known to have a maximum weight of 99 pounds. Complete dentition has a pincer or scissor bite. These dogs have dark brown slightly slanting eyes with well fitted eyelids. The eyes have a serious expression. Broad ears with bluntly rounded tips are set on high and hang close to the head.
A Hanover Hound has a long strong neck that can have a slight dewlap. This dog has a strong back, a long slightly overbuilt topline and a slightly arching broad loin. The deep and spacious chest provides sufficient room for the lungs that enables the dog to endure the long strenuous trailing of wounded game. The moderately long set on high tail has a strong base and gradually tapers towards the tip. On the move and when the dog is excited, the tail is carried erect over the back.
This breed has a rather loose skin that forms wrinkles on the forehead. The short shiny coat is coarse. Longer and coarser hair covers the backside of the upper thighs and the underside of the tail. Most people find the distinct light to dark deer-red coat color appealing. Some specimens are masked and some have small white patch on the forechest.
A Hanover Hound is seldom kept solely as a pet. These dogs are considered to be highly specialized trackers of wounded game thus they are usually utilized by foresters and game wardens. The dog is noted for its strong work ethics. When working, the dog exhibits independence and extreme persistence but they are also sensitive to the requirements of the handler making them a most valued breed. A Hanover Hound can be choosey and wary with strangers. The dog’s loyalty, devotion and affection are only given to its handler and to the people that care for them. This breed would love nothing more than to be in the field and to hunt but as they have formed a strong bond with their handler, these dogs can be content, calm and docile at home. A Hanover Hound however, is not your average “lazy” dog that can lie in front of the fire all day. This is a working dog and work it must have. This breed should not be made an apartment dweller as taking the dog for long walks in the park would not be enough to provide for its extensive exercise requirements. This breed would require large spaces that only a home in the rural area can provide. This breed would be an excellent choice for people who love the great outdoors as the dog will be an ideal hiking, camping or jogging companion.
A Hanover Hound has a calm temperament and would do well with children if raised with them or if sufficiently socialized. The dog would tolerate other dogs in the household if socialized well but this breed can be a problem with smaller non-canine pets. The Hanover Hound is an obedient breed however obedience training will still be necessary. As this breed is known for its independence, training can be quite a challenge. Firm and consistent training that is started at a young age will develop this breed into a well rounded even tempered companion.
A Hanover Hound was primarily bred to work. The working abilities of this breed take precedence over the physical appearance. Nonetheless, the dog would still need a grooming regimen. Because of the rather short coat, this breed would not need extensive grooming. Running the brush every so often would maintain the good condition of the coat. A cloth rubbed on the coat would bring out its impressive shine. The ears though would need to be constantly checked. Nails must be regularly trimmed as well.
The Bavarian Mountain Hound and the Hanover Hound are only two of the breeds generically categorized as Schweisshund or bloodhound. These breeds are known for their ability to follow a blood trail gone cold. A game wounded by a badly placed should would usually panic and sprint leaving a few drops of blood every few miles. These tracking specialist are most valued by hunters for their ability to find the wounded game even if it means following a week-old scent for several days.
As the name suggests, the Hanover Hound was developed in the city of Hanover in the central plains of Germany. Progenitors of the Hanover Hound can be traced back to the Liam Hounds and Leash Hounds that existed during the Middle Ages. These hounds are speculated to have descended from the Bracken, the original hunting dog noted for having the finest nose to follow ground scent and a strongly developed determination to follow a trail. The Liam Hounds, hounds that worked on natural cold scents and the Schweisshunds that trails wounded game were bred. For centuries these dogs were used by hunters but the ever changing manner of hunting have lessened the usability of these dogs. When firearms were introduced the dogs no longer need to kill the prey themselves. As the German hunters are bound by an honor code to find all wounded game a need for a type of dog that will follow the game’s blood trail arises.
The Hanover Hound was developed by game keepers from heavy tracking hounds that have existed since the 5th century. The Solling-Leitbracke and other Segusian type of hounds were crossed with Haidbracke and other lighter Celtic Bracken. Hounds from the Harz was added to the gene pool to create the present day Hanover Hound. The Hanover Hound proved to have an excellent ability to track large game. This breed was utilized to assist with live game as well. This breed is noted for its ultra sensitive nose that affords it to always find a wounded game when other breeds failed to do so. This breed’s blood flows in the veins of quite a number of European hunting dogs.
The Hanover Hound’s popularity soared. This specialist tracker is considered to be one of the best if not the best tracker of cloven hoofed game. The Hanover Hound’s calm, confident and even tempered personality as well as the loyalty and affection it gives to its master makes the breed even more popular. This rare breed is truly one of a kind!