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Swiss Hounds Breed Description

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Breed Organization

United Kennel Club (UKC)

Native Country

Other Names
Schweizer Laufhund

Life Expectancy
Approximately 10-13 Years

Litter Size
No Litter Information Available

Breed Group

General Description

The Swiss Hounds is of medium size; it has good conformation indicating strength and endurance; it has a lean head and long muzzle with long leathers giving an air of nobility.

Breed Standard

Head: Long, cleanly cut. Narrow, finely chiseled, domed skull. Pronounced stop. Bridge of nose straight or very slightly curved. Narrow, long muzzle. Solid jaws. Cleanly cut cheeks. Well-developed nose.
Ears: Set on low, narrow, pendulous, folded and twisted, rounded at the tip.
Eyes: Slightly oval, a shade of brown.
Body: Longer than it is tall. Long, muscular neck with slight dewlap. Chest deeper than it is wide. Slightly curved ribs. Muscular loin. Slight tuck-up. Compact, straight back. Long, slightly sloping croup.
Tail: Medium in length, tapering to the tip. Hanging naturally at rest. Carried above the topline in action.
Hair: Short, smooth, dense, very fine on the head and ears. The Lucerne Hound always has close-lying hair.
- Bernese Hound: white with black spots or a black saddle, fawn marking above the eyes, on the cheeks, on the inside surface of the ears, and around the anus. - Jura Hound: fawn with a black, sometimes smoky mantle, or black with fawn markings above the eyes, on the cheeks, and on the legs. Sometimes a white spot on the chest.
- Lucerne Hound: blue, resulting from a combination of black and white hairs, strongly flecked, with black spots or a black saddle, fawn markings above the eyes, on the cheeks, chest, legs, and around the anus. Black mantle is allowed.
- Schwyz Hound: white with orangish-fawn spots or an orangish-fawn saddle, sometimes very lightly speckled. Orangish-fawn mantle is allowed.
Size: 30 to 55 cm (11.8-21.7 in).
Weight: 15 to 20 kg (33 to 44 lb).


The Swiss Hound has very ancient origins. He reportedly lived in Helvetia during the Roman Empire, and he has been prized by dog fanciers since the fifteenth century. Unlike French Hounds, Swiss Hounds have no English blood in their veins. In 1882, a standard was established for each of the five forms of Swiss Hound. In 1909, the Thurgovian Hound (from eastern Switzerland) became extinct. In 1933, a single standard was written for the four remaining varieties:- The Bernese Hound (Berner Laufhund);- The Jura Hound (Aargovian Hound);- The Lucerne Hound (Luzerner Laufhund); and- The Schwyz Hound (Schwyzer Laufhund).The ancient Jura Hound, a type similar to the Saint Hubert, has virtually disappeared. Each of the four varieties also comes in a smaller model, the result of crosses between normal-sized Swiss Hounds and bassets.


Swiss Hounds are hardy, vigorous, calm dogs with a great deal of stamina, a discerning nose, and a powerful voice. The hard-driving, gloriously voiced Bernese Hound (the Howler of Jura) is used especially on hare. The Jura Hound, an excellent tracker, is more commonly used on wild boar and deer. The active, enthusiastic Lucerne Hound is similar to the Small Blue Gascony Hound and works on deer. The Schwyz Hound, less popular in France, is reserved for rabbit and hare. Gentle, docile, and very attached to their owner, Swiss Hounds are pleasant companions. Firm training is helpful.

For their well-being, they need space and lots of exercise. They require regular brushing.


Hunting Dog, Companion Dog.


This is a healthy breed with no known major health concerns. The Swiss Hound though is prone to ear infections and as such regular ear cleaning is necessary.

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