Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Idioms.
Related to Hounds: Sight hounds
The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.



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.


The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
References in classic literature ?
The Inspector presented his letters in a society where they make much of horses, more of hounds, and are tolerably civil to men who can ride.
He ended: "Ben said I wasn't to trust my own judgment about hounds, but I think there ought to be a special tariff for Empire-makers."
He left three days later with eight couple of the best hounds in England--a free and a friendly and an ample gift from four packs to the Gihon Hunt.
If the guards who follow their hounds happen to discover there is an issue to the grotto, there is no help for us, for on entering they must see both ourselves and our boat.
And at this stage of the run, when the evening is closing in already, no one remarks whether you run a little cunning or not; so you should stick to those crafty hounds who keep edging away to the right, and not follow a prodigal like young Brooke, whose legs are twice as long as yours and of cast- iron, wholly indifferent to one or two miles more or less.
“If I hadn’t fastened the hounds with my own hands, with a fresh leash of green buckskin, I’d take a Bible oath that I heard old Hector ringing his cry on the mountain.”
“Laugh if you will, boy,” said Leather-Stocking, “ the hounds be out, and are hunting a deer, No man can deceive me in such a matter.
These variations in the tones of the hounds passed with amazing rapidity; and, while his eyes were glancing along the margin of the water, a tearing of the branches of the alder and dogwood caught his attention, at a spot near them and at the next moment a noble buck sprang on the shore, and buried himself in the lake.
It was there that he kept his hound and there also he had made preparations so that he might have a refuge.
On the morning after the death of the hound the fog had lifted and we were guided by Mrs.
"Some beast, with a strong scent, has passed between the wind and the hound, father, and it makes him uneasy; or, perhaps, he too is dreaming.
you have run the hound on the track of a wolf, and his nose has a better memory than his master!" said the bee- hunter, laughing.