The Schweizer Laufhund, also known as Swiss Hound or Chien Courant Suisse is an enthusiastic hunter and lively, gentle and loving companion dog breed, which exists in four different varieties.
The four varieties are Bernese Hound, Jura Hound, Lucerne Hound and Schwyz Hound. All the four types have the same size, body type, face type or apperance and the only thing that separates them apart is their coat and skin color.
All four types have short, smooth and dense coat, which is fine on head and leathers. The Bernese Hound is white with black spots or black saddle, rarely with light speckles.
The Lucerne Hound has a blue color, which is a result of a combination of black and white hairs, heavily speckled together, with black patches or black saddle.
The Jura Hound is in tan and black coloration, sometimes with small white patch on the chest and rarely with grey or black ticking.
And last, but not least, the Schwyz Hound is, just like the Bernese, white dog, but they have orange patches or orange saddle, instead of black one. Slight speckles are also permissible.
The Swiss Hound has athletic body, which is indicating strength and endurance, lean head, pretty long muzzle and very long majestic ears.
It is important to say, that there is also a dog breed known as Small Swiss Hound, also known as Schweizerischer Niederlaufhund. This breed evolved from the Swiss Hound and it comes in the same four varieties, but the difference is, that it is smaller, „basset“ like version of the Swiss Hound, but other than that, they are extremely similar.
And what about the temperament of the Swiss Hound? Well, it is a hunter, they have extremely good sense of smell and strong passion for hunting and chasing. They are very endurant and they are able to hunt the game for hours without tiring. The breed is described as steady on the trail and hunting with melodious cry. Overall, this is excellent hunter for all kinds of game, such as hare.
But when they are not on the hunt, this is pretty sensitive dog that is attached to its owner and family, and that wants to spend all time with them. It is pretty docile dog, that can easily learn all the basic obedience commands. They can live with other dogs in the family, especially if socialized together from the puppyhood and they can make good playful, lively and gentle partners for kids as well, but of course, you should never leave any dog breed with a very young child unsupervised. Other household pets might be problematic due to the Swiss Hound higher prey drive.
As you can expect from an active and endurant hunting breed, the Swiss Hound requires quite a lot of daily exercise to stay in good shape, both physically and mentally. Daily long walks, jogs, hikes, vigorous playtime or fun training sessions are essential for this dog breed. This is definitely not a coach potatoe, quite the opposite. Without daily exercise, these dogs will become bored and possibly develop some unwanted behaviour, such as excessive barking.
Now lets mention the history of this breed. And it is actually pretty old dog breed with long history. As the official breed standard mentions, the Swiss Hound presence in times of the Roman Helvetia is certified on a mosaics, discovered at Avenches, by the representation of packhounds corresponding to the varieties of Swiss hounds.
The breed was highly valued by Italians as early as the 15th century and French hunters started using this breed in 17th century. It is believed, that it was French mercenaries, who brought this breed to Switzerland and the original line of this breed was most likely influenced by other french scenthounds, like Petit Bleu de Gascogne, Porcelaine and Ariégeois. The official breed standard for Swiss Hound was finally written in 1933.
The last point will be the maintenance and grooming needs of the Swiss Hound. All four varieties sheds some deal of fur all year long, but they are very low maintenance. Brushing the coat once or twice a week is enough, to keep it in great condition, to remove all the loose and dead hair and to residistribute natural oils all over the coat. No other grooming is required.
This dog is known as very clean. They take care of themselves. You should definitely pay attention to the ears and clean them and dry them, so they do not develop any infections. This is very typical for all the long eared dogs. You should also regularly check their eyes, ears and nails and clean them or clip them if needed.