Istrian Short-Haired Hound
Istrian Short-Haired Hound – General Description
The Istrian Short-Haired Hound (original name is Istarski Kratkodlaki Gonič) is a breed of dog from Istria in Croatia, descended from a very old type of scenthound. The Istrian Shorthaired Hound is the slightly smaller counterpart to the longer coated Istrian Coarse-haired Hound from the same region.
Classification and Standards
- FCI Group 6, Section 1.2, #151
- UKC Scenthound Group
Character & Temperment
The ideal temperament according to the standard is docile and calm, and lively and enthusiastic when hunting.
There is no actual proof of great antiquity for today’s breed (such as written lineages going back to antiquity), although there is much fanciful conjecture. The type is very old, and the modern breed resembles images seen in frescoes as early as 1497. Writers cited as having mentioned the type include Bishop Bakič of Đakovo in 1719 and the veterinarian Franjo Bertič, also of Đakovo, in 1859. The old type is seen in the Posavaz Hound and the Istrian Coarse-Haired Hound as well. The smooth and coarse-haired hounds were used for hunting in Istria (see the article on Motovun for photographs of the sort of mountainous terrain they were bred to hunt) while the Posavaz Hound is from the Sava Valley. The Istrian hounds are thought to be the oldest of the hound breeds in the Balkan region.
A stud book was established in 1924 to document which hounds were considered of this breed. The FCI accepted the breed in 1949, but it was not until 1973 that the first breed standard was published (the FCI does not write the breed standard, it is written in the breed’s country of origin and published by the FCI to be used internationally, so that other countries will also describe the breed in the same manner as the breed’s home country, and not change it to suit themselves.) It is recognized in the scenthound group 6. It is also recognized in the scenthound group in North America by the United Kennel Club. It also is recognized under its original name, the standard English translations, other translations or combinations of the translation and Croatian name by minor kennel clubs and other organizations. It also may be promoted as a rare breed for those seeking an unusual pet.
The Istrian Short-Haired Hound is still kept in its homeland and in nearby areas for hunting, not as a pet, and is especially valued for hunting fox and rabbit.
Size & Appearance
The Istrian Short-haired Hound has a short, smooth, glossy hard coat, primarily white with sparse patches of orange. The breed has a typical well muscled hound body, with long legs and a long tail. The head is fairly broad and flat (not domed on top) with short (for a hound) triangular drop ears that hang close to the head, a type called typically east European.
The ideal height for an adult dog is 19.5 inches (50 cm) at the withers and weight is about 40 lbs (18 kg), female slightly smaller.
The cry or baying while hunting (important for a scenthound) is described as persistent and sharp.
Health & Maintenance
No specific health problems or claims of extraordinary health have been documented for this breed.
- Clark, Anne Rogers; Andrew H. Brace (1995). The International Encyclopedia of Dogs. Howell Book House. pp. 266. ISBN 0-87605-624-9. – http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anne_Rogers_Clark
- UKC Standard – http://www.ukcdogs.com/WebSite.nsf/Breeds/IstrianShort-HairedHound
- FCI Breed Standard – http://www.fci.be/uploaded_files/151a2002_en.doc
- Author releases the image into the [public domain], via Wikimedia Commons
Istrian Short-Haired Hound (Istarski Kratkodlaki Gonič)
FCI-Standard N° 151 / 10/04/2002 / GB
TRANSLATION : Mrs Pamela Jeans-Brown.
ORIGIN : Croatia.
DATE OF PUBLICATION OF THE ORIGINAL VALID STANDARD : 25.10.2000.
A scent hound par excellence, particularly fitted for hare and fox hunting. It can also be used as a leash hound. Its constitution is ideally suited to the vast open terrain in Istria.
F.C.I. CLASSIFICATION :
- Group 6 Scent hounds and related breeds.
- Section 1.2 Medium sized scent hounds.
With working trial.
BRIEF HISTORICAL SUMMARY :
The origin of this breed of hound, native to Istria, is ancient beyond memory, Frescoes (1474, chapel dedicated to St.Mary at Beram, near Pazin), paintings (e.g. Titian, early 18th century) and chronicles (1719, Bishop Bakič of Djakovo) bear witness to the smooth-haired Istrian Hound’s antiquity. Owing to its excellent hunting qualities, it was exported from Istria to neighbouring regions. The first entries in the stud-book date from 1924. FCI accepted the breed in 1949, but it was not until 1973 that the first standard for the breed was published. Today, the short-haired Istrian Hound is frequently encountered in Istria and neighbouring regions, where hunters still appreciate it highly on account of its outstanding qualities.
GENERAL APPEARANCE :
Noble appearance with its snow-white coat broken by lemon markings. Short fine coat. Long narrow clean head. Supple body. Thin tail carried slightly curved like a sabre. Scent hound with a persistent baying, sharp, sonorous tongue.
IMPORTANT PROPORTIONS :
Body length should be more than 10% greater than height at withers.
BEHAVIOR / TEMPERAMENT :
Gentle, docile, calm and very attached to its owner. Lively and enthusiastic when hunting.
Length of head varies from 20 to 24 cm.
CRANIAL REGION :
Skull : Seen in profile, the occipital protuberance is pronounced and the frontal bone is slightly rounded. Seen from above, the frontal bone is elongated and rather narrow with an obvious frontal furrow.
Stop : Slight, with no abrupt break.
FACIAL REGION :
Nose : Black or at least dark brown. Wide-open nostrils.
Muzzle : Long, broad at its base, tapering progressively towards the nose. Nasal bridge is straight.
Teeth : Strong, regular and complete scissor bite.
Eyes : Oval, neither sunken into sockets nor prominent. Iris colour as dark as possible. Lids black or brown. Bright eyes, full of expression.
Ears : Thin, broad set-on, a little above the level of the eyes, narrowing towards the tips. They are considered long if, when drawn forward along the muzzle, they reach the canine teeth. They should be at least semi-long, reaching to the superciliary arches.
Strong, slightly arched at the nape. The junction with the head is noticeable at the rear of the occipital protuberance. The neck is powerful and set obliquely into the body.
Length : From the occipital protuberance to the withers, the neck measures between 15 and 20 cm.
Taut, without dewlap or wrinkles.
The topline slopes gently from the withers to the croup.
Back : Level, broad and muscled.
Loin : Short and broad.
Croup : Long and broad, horizontal or very slightly sloping, longer in females than in males. The hips are hardly perceptible. At the top of the croup the height should be about one finger’s breadth less than at the point of the withers.
Chest : Well let-down, it reaches at least to the elbows. Usually its circumference is about 12 cm more than the height at the withers. The ribs are well sprung. The chest is well-developed but the point of the sternum is hardly visible.
Belly and flank : The underline rises gently from the sternum to the groin and so the belly has a slight upsweep.
Strong at the root, tapering towards the tip. The more slender the tail, the more noble the dog appears. Set on high, of medium length and rarely reaching below the hock joint. The tail is slightly curved upwards.
Shoulder blade : Long, sloping, muscled and well-attached to the chest.
Elbow: Close to the body.
Forearm : Perfectly upright, well-muscled.
Carpus (Carpal joint) : Difficult to distinguish from the forearm.
Metacarpus (Pastern) : Straight, short. It can be slightly sloping but the angle with the vertical is never more than 10%.
Front feet : More like cat feet than hare feet, light with tight toes, pads rounded and firm, solid nails.
Seen from behind, the thigh, the leg, the hock tendon and the metatarsus are all on the same vertical axis.
Thigh : Short, broad and muscled.
Stifle : Patella broad and high set.
Lower thigh : Long, sloping and well-muscled.
Hock : Strong.
Metatarsus (Rear pastern) : Short, upright or very slightly sloping, forming an angle of 10-12 degrees with the vertical.
Hind feet : Similar to front feet but slightly longer.
GAIT / MOVEMENT :
Very smooth, even and free.
Supple, close-fitting over all the body, with no folds and no wrinkles on forehead. Pinkish in colour.
Short, fine, dense and glossy. Sometimes longer on the back of the thighs and on the underside of the tail but this is not sought after.
Ground color snow white. Ears are usually orange, color which goes beyond the base of the ears and reaches over both sides of the frontal bone as far as the eyes, giving the head its typical mask. A star is mentioned if there is a small or large mark of the same orange color on the top of the forehead. The ears can also be speckled with orange marks, something which is particularly prized and is seen as an indication of pure breeding. Spots of lemon/orange more or less widespread, in fleckings or in ribbons can be found anywhere on the body but most often in the area at the root of the tail. These spots must never be so numerous as to impinge on the white ground coat. The actual tint of the spots must be pronounced, neither pale nor dark nor even brown, any of which would indicate cross-breeding. The presence of a third color is unacceptable even if there are only a few hairs of this color. The coat can also be totally white with no spots at all.
SIZE AND WEIGHT :
Height at withers : 44-56 cm.
Ideal height for males : 50 cm.
for females : 48 cm.
Weight : c. 18 kg for an adult male.
Any departure from the foregoing points should be considered a fault and the seriousness with which the fault should be regarded should be in exact proportion to its degree and its effect upon the health and welfare of the dog.
MINOR FAULTS :
- Partly pink nose or eyelid, nose with too pale a pigmentation.
- Back arched or slightly swayed.
- Croup too sloping.
- Belly too whippety or too full.
ELIMINATING FAULTS :
- Aggresive or overly shy.
- Disproportion between body length and height at withers.
- Head too short.
- Extensive unpigmented areas or total pink on nose and eyelids.
- Muzzle too short, too pointed or with twisted jaws.
- Undershot or overshot mouth.
- Incorrect bite.
- China eye.
- Very high ear set.
- Tail curled, carried to one side or corkscrew tail; tail too short or docked.
- Out at below.
- Crooked forelegs.
- Metacarpus very oblique.
- Coat too long.
- Any colors present except lemon-orange. Greyish or blackish markings highly undesirable.
- Size above or below the limits indicated in the standard.
Any dog clearly showing physical or behavioral abnormalities shall be disqualified.
N.B. : Male animals should have two apparently normal testicles fully descended into the scrotum.
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