Hounds in Poland has a long history and the Ogar Polski is an old-established breed in this European country. Different hounds similar to Ogar Polski are mentioned in Polish books since the 11th century, but the first real description of Polish Hound is from the year 1779 from the book „The beginnings of the natural history and farming of the national domestic and wild animals“ by Krzysztof Kluk.
Because the breeds history is quite old and not very well documented, no one can be really sure when exactly was the breed developed and what exactly are the breeds ancestors, but one popular theory suggest, that one of the important ancestors are Bloodhounds brought to Poland in Middle Ages and that were crossed with local Polish hunting dogs. Another theory suggest that the Polish Hounds main ancestor is Kostroma Hound.
3) Two types
The Polish Hound almost dissappeared and went extinct during the Second World War. Luckily, there were some breed enthusiasts who tried to revive the breed. The most important breeders were Józef Pawłusiewicz who developed light boned type of Ogar Polski and Piotr Kartawik, who developed heavier boned type. It was the Kartawiks heavier boned dog who was later officially recognized by the FCI in 1966.
The main job and utilization of Polish Hound is of course hunting, which is a purpose for which they were used for most of their history. It is a very good scent hound with incredible sense of smell, higher prey drive, agile and endurant body and with a pure, loud and resonant voice which is ideal for a hunting breed. Today, they are most often hunting wild boars or foxes, but back in the past they were commonly used for hunting hares or deers as well.
Unlike some other hound breeds, the Ogar Polski is not only a skilled hunter, but also a perfect family companion for active people. This breed is known to be very affectionate, quite gentle, very friendly, but also adventurous and playful. These dogs mature relatively slowly and they act puppy like even when they are relatively older. It is also very intelligent breed capable of learning new tricks and commands fairly easily. The Polish Hound typically does not have problems with kids or other dogs in the family, but they can chase other household pets.
The Ogar Polski is a large dog with long muzzle, athletic and muscular body and almond shaped, dark brown eyes with gentle expression. The average height of this breed is between 55-65 cm, which is 21-26 inch and weight is usually between 20-32 kg, which is 44-70 pounds Females are naturally slightly smaller than males.
If you are not from Poland or from neighboring Polish countries, it is almost guaranteed that you did not see this breed on your own eyes. It is because even in Poland, this breed is very rare and it is almost impossible to find them outside Poland. The future of this breed is in hand of the few breeders located in this country who are preserving the breed and luckily, even though very rare, the breed is definitely not on the verge of extinction anymore.
This breed has a short coat, but the coat is very dense and thick and it enables the dog to work outside even when its raining. The coat is kind of weatherproof and definitely very practical for hunting purposes. You can commonly find this dog in combination of brown underside and black on top running from the neck to the tail.
Speaking of the coat, it is important to mention maintenance and grooming as well and luckily, it is not a hard task with this breed! The short coat does not need almost any grooming, but it does shed a little and if you want to minimize the shedding and keep the coat in best possible condition, regular brushing in recommended. No other grooming is necessary. Just like with any other breed, you must regularly check the dogs ears, eyes, nails and teeth and clip them or clean them if needed.
Good fact is, that the Polish Hound is generally quite healthy dog with good lifespan between 13-14 years, which is pretty good for larger dog breeds. Of course, they can suffer from some health issues, which may include hip and elbow dysplasia, some allergies, ear infections or bloating.