The Hygen Hound, or Hygenhund, is a medium sized scenthound with athletic, compact and solidly built body. It is a well muscled dog, but not bulky. These dogs look very balanced and their body is just made for endurance and stamina, which they excel at. These dogs have long and deep chest, belly is slightly tucked up and they carry the tail high
The average height of the Hygen Hound is between 19-24 inch, which is 48-61 cm and weight is usually between 44-55 lbs, which is 20-25 kg. Females are naturally slightly smaller than males.
These dogs are tough, but they have striking appearance. Their dark brown eyes gives the dog gentle and calm expression. They have typical scenthound like big ears that are folded down, broad skull and triangular head.
The coat of Hygenhund is pretty short, but thick and dense. The coat is straight, shiny and rough to the touch. You can find these dogs in several colors, including brown, red and yellow with black shades, white or tan markings.
The Hygen Hound was developed to hunt and their temperament is excellent for this purpose. Not only that they are very endurant dogs with great stamina that can hunt all day long, but these dogs also have high prey drive, excellent sense of smell, determination and eagerness for the work and great loyalty to its owner, all very important traits for a hunter.
But of course, these dogs are not only hunters, they are also excellent faithful companion dogs. It is a very cheerful, curious, affectionate and lively companion. They create very strong bond with its family, including kids. But of course, you should never leave any dog breed with a very young child unsupervised.
The Hygenhund is very loyal and affectionate towards its own people, towards its family, but on the other hand, they are suspicious and alert around strangers. Their naturally suspicious temperament makes them very good watchdogs as well and it is a reason why early proper socialization and training is needed. But you can be sure that your Hygen Hound will alert you when they will see or hear anything suspicious around their homes.
It is also important to say, that the Hygen Hound is very very active breed. It is definitely a dog for active people. If they are not used for hunting, daily long walks, jogs, hikes, fun playtime and training sessions are essential to keep the dogs mind and body happy and healthy. These dogs are distance runners and the exercise is absolutely needed. Without daily exercise, these dogs will become bored and they might potentionally develop some unwanted behaviour, such as destruction.
The Hygen Hound will be happiest if they can live in a house with big yard, where they can stretch their legs whenever they want to. But it is important to have properly fenced yard, because their nose could get them into trouble. When they would pick some interesting scent, they would definitely follow it.
The Hygen Hound was developed in 1830s by devoted scent hound breeder Hans Fredrik Hygen. He wanted to develop a hunting dog with excellent stamina and that would be able to cover long distances over harsh arctic terrain without tiring. And he was definitely succesfull in his breeding!
The breed as we know it today was most likely developed by crossing various Scandinavian hunting dogs with the German Holsteiner hounds, probably some other breeds as well.
The Hygenhund quickly became popular among many Norwegian hunters. But eventhough relatively popular in its home country, in Norway, they are almost unknown outside Scandinavia. Today, the breed is recognized by the Norwegian Kennel Club, FCI and United Kennel Club.
Health and grooming
The Hygen Hound is easy to care dog breed. They have denser coat than majority of scent hounds and they do shed some deal of fur all year long, which is why regular brushing is definitely beneficial to minimize the shedding. But it is impossible to stop it. But no other grooming is required. Just like with all dogs, you should regularly check the dogs ears, eyes, nails and teeth and clip them or clean them if needed.
This is usually healthy dog breed and they do not suffer much from any serious health issue. They might occasionally suffer from some joint and bone problems or bloating, but it is not extremely common with this breed.