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a group of breeds of hunting dogs known since antiquity. They are descended from ancient sporting dogs; in Russia, they have been known since the tenth century by the name tiavkushki (yelpers). Hounds use their sense of smell to track animals and chase them barking loudly. During the chase, hounds may travel as much as 120 km in one day of hunting, demonstrating great speed. There are about 40 breeds of hounds in the world.

In the USSR there are three breeds: the Russian hound, the spotted Russian hound, and the Estonian hound. The Russian hound developed as a breed in the 19th century and has been significantly perfected by Soviet dog breeders. Contemporary Russian hounds are large dogs of strong build. The males stand 57–65 cm high at the shoulders and the females 54–62 cm. The head has an elongated muzzle and short, drooping ears; the tail is saber-shaped and usually hangs down. The paws are large. The dog has a dense coat with a thick undercoat. The coloration is light reddish-yellow, pale yellow, or brown with a gray, reddish brown, or black back. This is the most common dog breed in the USSR.

The spotted Russian hound was bred by crossing the Russian hound with the English foxhound and several other western breeds (formerly called the Anglo-Russian hound). It was recognized as a breed in 1925. This dog is not inferior to the Russian hound in height, build, or work capacity. The spotted Russian hound is distinguished by shorter fur, whose coloration is white with black, gray, or reddish-yellow spots. The tail is curved sharply upward. This is the second most popular breed in the USSR.

The Estonian hound was bred in the Estonian SSR by crossing local hounds with English beagles, English foxhounds, and Swiss hounds. The breed was recognized in 1954. The Estonian hound is small. The males stand 42–52 cm high at the shoulders, and the females, 39–49 cm. The head has clearly delineated eyebrow arches. The ears are long and drooping, and the tail is gently curved upward. The fur is black and white with reddish-yellow spots. The breed is found mainly in the Baltic republics. In the Latvian SSR work is being done to develop a Latvian hound.

There are approximately 80,000 hounds in the USSR. Of the many breeds of hounds raised in England, the USA, France, and other countries, the most popular is the English beagle.


References in classic literature ?
For one reason; Farag, the kennel huntsman, in khaki and puttees, would obey nothing under the rank of an Excellency, and the hounds would obey no one but Farag; for another, the best way of estimating crop returns and revenue was by riding straight to hounds; for a third, though Judges down the river issued signed and sealed land-titles to all lawful owners, yet public opinion along the river never held any such title valid till it had been confirmed, according to precedent, by the Governor's hunting crop in the hunting field, above the wilfully neglected earth.
Not in those very words, but if we leave an earth unstopped, it is the same as though we wished to save Abu Hussein from the hounds.
If it's high enough to hide a hound at this time of year, it's all right.
Above all, who remembers the death of Royal, when a certain Sheikh wept above the body of the stainless hound as it might have been his son's--and that day the Hunt rode no more?
The second Melik-meid's mate was Malvolio, the pied hound," said the Inspector.
By Allah," he thundered, "if the afflicted of God come to any harm at your hands, I myself will shoot every hound and every puppy, and the Hunt shall ride no more.
On an emergency he could keep the hound in the out-house at Merripit, but it was always a risk, and it was only on the supreme day, which he regarded as the end of all his efforts, that he dared do it.
He was interrupted by a long, loud, and piteous howl from the hound, which rose on the air of the evening, like the wailing of some spirit of the place, and passed off into the prairie, in cadences that rose and fell, like its own undulating surface.
I will not take upon myself to say what mischief is brewing, nor will I vouch that, even, the hound himself knows so much; but that evil is nigh, and that wisdom invites us to avoid it, I have heard from the mouth of one who never lies.
The trapper, who had called in his hound, and bidden him crouch at his side, now kneeled in the cover also, and kept a keen and watchful eye on the route of the band, soothing the fears of the girl, and restraining the impatience of the youth, in the same breath.
Help Hounds OffHOUNDS Off believes that hunts across Britain are still illegally chasing wild mammals with packs of hounds.
By: Egypt Today staff CAIRO -- 22 November 2017 : The Cairo Hell Hounds men's team destroyed Gazera Thunder 54-0 in their first American football pre-season game on Saturday, November 18.