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Polish Hound – General Description
Polish Hound (Ogar Polski) was developed to primarily hunt. This breed has existed since the 13th century and was noted to have been the favored hunting companion of the Polish nobility.
Classification and Standards
- FCI Group 6, Section 1.2, #354
- UKC Scenthound Group
Character & Temperament
Polish Hounds are determined hunters, but are equally good at being companions. They are calm, affectionate and devoted pets that make exceptional companions, playmates with children and they tolerate other dogs and pets. Their large size and resounding voice will deter any intruder. This dog would do well in a rural or urban setting. Polish Hounds do not have a very high exercise requirement. Long walks will keep them healthy.
The Polish Hound is an ancient breed of hunting dog that originates in Poland. Like many other ancient breeds, the origin of the Polish Hound is quite unknown. The breed is native to Poland but there is speculation that it may be related to Austrian and German hunting breeds. They are passionate hunters noted for their keen scenting ability. With Poland covered by game rich forests, the Polish hound is highly valued by Polish hunters for its good resonant voice and for the determination to hunt in varied terrain even under harsh weather conditions.
The breed may be relatively unknown outside the Polish borders but it is quite popular in its country of origin. 14th century records validated the fact that this breed was highly favored by Polish nobility. It has gained a large following and its utility was fully described in the “Myslistwo z agary” (Hunting with hound dog) written by Jam Ostroros in 1616. The writings however, were concentrated on the hunting prowess of the dog and never on the description of the dog’s appearance. The dogs therefore were not distinguished until in the 17th century when two different types of hunting hounds emerged.
Descriptions of the Polish hunting hounds were found in 19th century literature. In 1819, Jan Szytier fully described and differentiated two types of Polish hunting dogs – the Polish scenthound and the Polish Brach. In 1821, W. Kozlowski further described and illustrated both types. These two types of hunting dogs were used in Poland particularly in the difficult and harsh mountainous terrain of Poland’s eastern regions. The strife of the war years has made a great impact on the population of the hunting dogs. The breeds almost became extinct. Fortunately, two colonels have made efforts to revive the breed after the Second World War. Colonel Josef Pawuslewicz (1903 – 1979) developed the breed that is now called Gonczy Polski. This breed is the smaller Polish hound. The larger line that was developed by Colonel Piotr Kartwik was given the name Ogar Polski. However, broth breeds were categorized as Polish Hound by the English. To recreate his line of Polish hound Colonel Kartwil used the dogs imported in the 60s from Nowogrodek, an east of Europe region. After a valid standard for the breed was created the Ogar Polski was officially registered by FCI in November 15, 1966.
Size & Appearance
The Polish Hound is a breed of medium to large scenthound with an impressive muscular body. The subtle stature of a female easily distinguishes it from the rather heavy conformation of a male. On the trail a female can be differentiated from a male because of its higher pitched voice. With the strong bone structure and the compact build it is apparent that this breed has strength and endurance. The Polish Hound has a noble head with a distinctive wrinkled forehead. The elongated and truncated muzzle is neither pointed nor wedge shaped. The muzzle is tipped by the large wide black nose. This dog has strong jaws, thick drooping lips and teeth that meet in a regular bite. Slanted dark brown eyes have a gentle and serene expression. Rather long ears with slightly rounded tips are set low and hang close to the head.
A Polish Hound has a thick powerful and well muscled neck with loose and richly folded dewlap. This breed has a muscled long broad back, wide deep chest, well sprung ribs and capacious belly. The abdomen is slightly tucked up. The thick tail is low set. The lower part of the tail is covered with long hair. The tail is normally raised but not rolled up. On the move and when the dog is alert, the tail is raised but not above the horizontal line of the body.
Polish Hounds have thick medium length hair with dense undercoat. Longer hair covers the dog’s back, the back of the hindquarters and the lower part of the tail. A Polish Hound’s burnt tan coat color is much appreciated by Polish hunters although this breed can have a black or dark grey body, tan legs, head and ears. White hair that forms a star or a blaze that extends to the muzzle and chest gives the dog a distinct appearance.
Polish hounds stand between 22 and 26 inches (56-66 cm) at the withers and weigh between 55 and 71 pounds (25-32 kg).
Health & Maintenance
A Polish Hound is an easy dog to care for. The slightly longer hair protects the dog from harsh weather conditions but it does not need extensive grooming and they do not shed much. Regular brushing will remove dead hair and maintain the coat. Their long ears must be given regular cleaning to prevent ear infections.
Polish hounds have an average life span of 13 to 14 years.
- Polish Hound Information – http://www.thebreedsofdogs.com/POLISH_HOUND.htm
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- Krzysztof Ruta (Own work) [CC-BY-SA-3.0 (www.creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons
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- Ewa Ziemska (Own work) [CC-BY-SA-3.0 (www.creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons
Polish Hound (Ogar Polski)
FCI-Standard N° 52 / 24. 07. 2000 / GB
TRANSLATION : Mrs Peggy Davis.
ORIGIN : Poland.
DATE OF PUBLICATION OF THE ORIGINAL VALID STANDARD : 25.02.1985.
F.C.I. CLASSIFICATION :
- Group 6 Scenthounds and related breeds.
- Section 1.2 Medium sized Hounds.
With working trial.
GENERAL APPEARANCE :
Medium size dog, of strong and compact build, powerful bone-structure and quite massive with legs in proportion. The whole outline is that of power and endurance rather than speed. The voice on the trail is sonorous and pure, of changeable medium pitch, generally higher pitched in the female.
IMPORTANT PROPORTION :
- Skull as long as the muzzle.
Rather heavy, nobly chiseled. In profile looks like a medium length rectangle.
CRANIAL REGION :
Skull : The line of the forehead forms a blunt angle with the topline of the muzzle. Superciliary ridges very developed; forehead very wrinkled. Occipital protuberance well pronounced.
Stop : Well defined.
FACIAL REGION :
Nose : Black, large and wide.
Muzzle : Elongated; truncated at the tip; neither wedge-shaped nor pointed.
Lips : Thick and drooping; corner of bottom lip drooping.
Jaws/Teeth : Strong jaws, sufficiently long, with rectangular bite.
Cheeks : Muscles well developed.
Eyes : Gentle and serene expression; set on the slant, not very deep-set, dark brown; lower lid drooping in older dogs.
Leathers : Set low, quite long, hanging, slightly rounded at the tip. The base of the ear flap is twisted and hangs close to the head.
Remarkably thick at point of insertion with the body, powerful, muscled, of medium length. Dewlap is loose and very richly folded.
Back : Long, broad and muscled.
Croup : Not sloping, broad.
Chest : Thoracic cage is ample, wide and deep in proportion. The sternal region descends to the elbows. Ribs well sprung, long like the whole rib cage, closer to the vertical position than in other breeds.
Belly and flanks : Belly capacious, broad, nearly as deep as the chest. Abdomen not too tucked up. The flank is not hollow, well filled, rounded with a possible hollow below the last ribs.
Rather low set, thick, covered with long hair in its lower part, hangs below the hock, slightly drooping; from half the length of the leg, slightly curved. In normal movement slightly raised but not rolled up. In action, slightly raised, but not above the horizontal.
Shoulder : Shoulder blade oblique, muscled, well developed.
Forearm : Quite well muscled.
Pastern joint : Well defined, prominent, neat, lean, of size corresponding to the pastern.
Forefeet : Of quite a strong bone structure, strong muscles. Toes tight. Nails strong, thick and short in working dogs; they are light colored when the toes are white and black when the toes are fawn.
Upper thigh : Long, strong, with well developed muscles and strong bone structure.
Lower thigh : Sloping, fairly short, well muscled.
Hock : Well defined, lean.
Metatarsal : Slightly inclined.
Hind feet : Toes tight. Nails thick, strong and short. Pads large, covered with thick skin.
GAIT / MOVEMENT :
Normally moves at a slow and heavy short trot. When hunting, he quarters and chases at a heavy gallop.
Medium length hair, thick, with a dense undercoat, a little longer on the back, at the back of the hindquarters and on the lower part of the tail.
Head and ears, except the lateral sides of the skull, of tan color; the ears a little darker than the rest. The legs, sternal region and thighs also tan. Body black or dark grey almost black; in ancient Polish hunting language it was called « podzary » (burnt). The tan color, essentially fawn, has various intensities of that tone up to cinnamon, very much appreciated in the Polish Hound. The white hairs, admitted in shape of a star, forming a blaze reaching to the muzzle, on the chest, the extremities of the legs and of the tail. The black may form a mantle which extends as far as on the head. Distinct tan spots above the eyes. Black which extends as far as the muzzle of the Polish Hound is a case for disqualification.
SIZE AND WEIGHT :
Height at the withers :
Males : 56-65 cm,
Females : 55-60 cm.
Males : 25-32 kg,
Females : 20-26 kg.
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.
- Insufficient musculature.
- Hoarse voice.
- Head with occipital crest not enough pronounced.
- Upper orbital arches not sufficiently defined.
- Muzzle too pointed; black muzzle.
- Defective teeth.
- Eye too light.
- Ears too long or too short, standing away from the head.
- Thoracic cage underdeveloped.
- Tail fine, too short or too long, barely covered with hair, rolled up.
- Down in pastern.
- Flat pads.
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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