Updated at: 19-09-2023 - By: petstutorial

Hound breeds are known for their incredible sense of smell and their ability to hunt. However, some hound breeds are also known for their sheer size.

In this article, we will discuss the top 7 largest hound breeds. From the Irish Wolfhound to the Borzoi, these majestic canines are sure to leave a lasting impression with their towering stature.

Despite their size, these breeds are known for their gentle and affectionate nature, making them fantastic companions for both families and individuals alike.


Top 7 Largest Hound Breeds

Irish Wolfhound


The Irish Wolfhound is a breed of large sighthound that originated in Ireland. It is among the largest of all breeds of dog, with males reaching up to 32-34 inches tall at the shoulder and weighing up to 120 pounds.

The breed was developed in the late 19th century by G.A. Graham, whose aim was to recreate the old wolfhounds of Ireland, which were believed to be extinct.

The Irish Wolfhound is known for its imposing stature and calm demeanor, making it a wonderful companion for families and individuals alike. They are sweet-tempered, patient, kind, thoughtful, and very intelligent.

Despite their size, they are rarely found to be destructive in the house or boisterous, as they are generally introverted, intelligent, and reserved in character.

Scottish Deerhound


The Scottish Deerhound is a large breed of sighthound that was originally bred to hunt red deer by coursing. It is similar in appearance to the Greyhound, but larger and more heavily boned with a rough coat.

The minimum desirable height at the withers of males is 30 inches or more, and the weight ranges from 85 to 110 pounds. Females are slightly smaller, with a height of 28 inches or more and a weight of 75 to 95 pounds.

The Scottish Deerhound is one of the tallest sighthounds, with a harsh 3-4 inch long coat and mane, somewhat softer beard and mustache, and softer hair on the breast and belly.

This breed is gentle, extremely friendly, and docile, with a bearing of gentle dignity. They are known for being affectionate toward everyone, including family, friends, and strangers, and they usually do well with other dogs, although the larger the better.

With their long legs, they enjoy a nice jog with a human companion, but afterward, they are happy to laze around on the sofa and snooze in a sunny spot.


The Greyhound is a breed of dog that is known for its speed and grace. However, the term “Greyhound” can also refer to the intercity bus service in North America operated by Greyhound Lines, Inc..

Here are some interesting facts about Greyhounds:

– The Greyhound is the fastest breed of dog, capable of reaching speeds of up to 45 miles per hour.
– Despite their speed, Greyhounds are known for being gentle, noble, and sweet-tempered companions with an independent spirit.
– Greyhounds have been used for hunting and racing for thousands of years.
– In recent years, Greyhounds have become popular as pets due to their affectionate nature and low-maintenance grooming requirements.
– The Greyhound is recognized by the American Kennel Club and is classified as a member of the Hound group.
– In 2020, a World War II naval drama film titled “Greyhound” was released, starring Tom Hanks as a Navy veteran and first-time captain.

Whether you are referring to the breed of dog or the bus service, Greyhounds are fascinating and beloved by many.

Afghan Hound

The Afghan Hound is a breed of hound that is distinguished by its thick, fine, silky coat, and a tail with a ring curl at the end. The breed is selectively bred for its unique features in the cold mountains of Afghanistan, where it was originally used for hunting large prey in both the deserts and in the mountains.

The Afghan Hound is considered an aristocratic sighthound, with a long, narrow, refined head, silky topknot, and powerful jaws. The breed is known for its independence, intelligence, and loyalty, and is a very elegant, ancient dog, native to Sinai, and mentioned several times in Egyptian papyruses as well as pictured in the caves of northern Afghanistan more than 4000 years ago.

Despite their regal appearance, the Afghan possesses an “endearing streak of silliness and a profound loyalty”. However, their long, fine-textured coat requires considerable care and grooming, and only those who really enjoy grooming or are willing to pay a professional groomer to do it should consider an Afghan Hound.

Rhodesian Ridgeback

The Rhodesian Ridgeback is a large breed of dog that was originally bred in Southern Africa for hunting lions. Its forebears can be traced to the semi-domesticated ridged hunting and guardian dogs of the Khoikhoi, which were interbred with European dogs by the early colonists of the Cape Colony.

Here are some interesting facts about the Rhodesian Ridgeback:

– The Rhodesian Ridgeback is a large, athletic dog with a short, glossy coat that ranges in color from light wheaten to red wheaten.
– The breed is characterized by a narrow band of hair that grows forward along its back, against the direction of the rest of the coat, which gives it its name.
– The Rhodesian Ridgeback stands 24 to 27 inches tall at the shoulder and weighs 70 to 85 pounds.

– The Rhodesian Ridgeback is known for being loyal, intelligent, and independent.
– They are typically reserved with strangers, but affectionate and gentle with their family.
– The breed has a strong prey drive and enjoys hunting, but they can also make great family pets with proper training and socialization.

– The Rhodesian Ridgeback was officially recognized by the American Kennel Club in 1955.
– The breed was originally developed in Rhodesia (now Zimbabwe) in the early 20th century by a hunter named Cornelius von Rooyen.
– The Rhodesian Ridgeback was bred to be a versatile hunting dog that could track and hold large game, including lions.

Overall, the Rhodesian Ridgeback is a strong, athletic, and intelligent breed that makes a great companion for the right owner.


The Bloodhound is a large scent hound, originally bred for hunting deer, wild boar, rabbits, and, since the Middle Ages, for tracking people. Here are some interesting facts about the Bloodhound:

– Bloodhounds are large, substantial dogs, standing 23 to 27 inches at the shoulder and weighing up to 110 pounds.
– They have a long, wrinkled face, droopy ears, and a distinctive houndy odor.
– The breed’s eyes are deeply sunk and diamond-shaped, with colors ranging from deep hazel to yellow.

– Bloodhounds are known for their calm, patient, and affectionate nature, making them excellent choices for families and companions.
– They are gentle, good-natured, and excellent with children, often allowing them to climb all over them without complaint.
– The breed can be stubborn and has a strong prey drive, but with the right training and socialization, they can be well-behaved and obedient.

– The Bloodhound’s ancestors were created in medieval France for trailing deer and boar.
– They were prized for their ability to hunt the cold scent of an individual animal, although they did not usually take part in the kill.
– The word “bloodhound” is believed to have originally meant “hound for blood” or “blood-seeking hound,” although later interpretations suggest it means “hound of pure or noble blood”.

– Bloodhounds have a keen sense of smell, which has found them a special place in law enforcement and search and rescue work.
– They are often used to track missing persons, fugitives, and lost animals, as they can follow a scent trail for long distances.
– In addition to their working abilities, Bloodhounds make excellent family pets and companions, bringing joy and laughter to the right family.


The Borzoi, also known as the Russian Hunting Sighthound or Russian Wolfhound, is a large and elegant breed with a rich hunting heritage. Here are some interesting facts about the Borzoi:

– Borzois are considered giant breeds, with adult males standing at least 28 inches and up to 32 inches high at the withers and weighing between 75 and 105 pounds.
– They have a long, slender body, with long, slender legs, and a narrow, slightly domed head.
– The breed’s coat is long, silky, and flat or wavy, coming in a variety of colors.

– Borzois are known for their laid-back and sweet dispositions, making them excellent family dogs.
– They are affectionate with people they know well and are loyal to their families.
– The breed can be trained in obedience, although they are more free-thinking and less willing to please humans than some other breeds.

– The Borzoi originated in 16th-century Russia, developed by crossing Saluki and European sighthounds with thick-coated Russian breeds.
– They were used for hunting in teams of three, going after rabbits, foxes, and even wolves.
– Borzois later became popular as companions for royalty across continental Europe.

– Borzois are sighthounds, hunting using their eyes to find and chase prey, which sets them apart from scenthounds that rely on their noses.
– They can be trained to detect and track scents, despite their primary hunting method being sight-based.


1. What is the largest hound breed?

The Irish Wolfhound is the largest hound breed, standing 30 to 34 inches tall at the shoulder.

2. What is the second-largest hound breed?

The Scottish Deerhound is the second-largest hound breed, standing at least 30 inches tall at the shoulder.

3. Are hound breeds good family pets?

Yes, many hound breeds make excellent family pets due to their gentle and affectionate nature.

4. Do hound breeds require a lot of exercise?

It depends on the breed, but many hound breeds are high-energy and require regular exercise to stay healthy and happy.

5. Are hound breeds good with children?

Yes, many hound breeds are patient and gentle with children, making them great family pets.

6. Do hound breeds shed a lot?

It depends on the breed, but many hound breeds have short, smooth coats that are easy to maintain.

7. Are hound breeds good for apartment living?

It depends on the breed and the individual dog, but many hound breeds are large and active, making them better suited for homes with yards or access to outdoor space.

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