Black Forest Hound

33-44 lbs
15-18"
Slovakia
Slovak Hound, Slovakian Hound, Slovenský kopov
The Black Forest Hound, better known as the Slovakian Hound or Slovenský kopov, as it is known locally, unsurprisingly originates from Slovakia and not only stands as the only native scent hound, but is also recognized as the country's national breed. Despite its name, nothing about this breed's development had anything to do with the Black Forest. Many suspect the name was attributed for the purposes of international marketing, although the jury is still out on the success rate, given that the breed is still quite rare anywhere but Slovakia and a few neighboring countries. Unlike many other European scent hounds, which were bred to hunt everything from hare to deer, historically, Black Forest Hounds were selectively bred for hunting wild boar and wild boar only, although they are now sometimes used for other game and other purposes (even the police force) because of their high level of skill and adaptability. Even at only 18 inches tall at the withers and averaging around 40 pounds in total weight, this breed is known to be a tenacious hunter, which may be self-evident when considering that their prey can grow to be nearly four feet tall and weigh up to 200 pounds. They have incredible stamina for their size, possess a nearly undeniable sense of direction, and have some of the best scenting ability in the region. In the home, they are relatively laid-back, loyal, devoted, affectionate and generally good with children and moderately good with other dogs. They are usually wary of strangers but this quality does help make them great watchdogs as well. Their general desirability has increased in recent decades by those seeking both hunting dogs and companions, as their abilities in the field are as sought-after as their character in a family unit.
Purpose
Hunting, Watchdog, Companion
Date of Origin
19th Century
Ancestry
Brandlbracke, Chart Polski, Magyar Agar

Black Forest Hound Health

Average Size
Male Black Forest Hound size stats
Height: 17-20 inches Weight: 33-44 lbs
Female Black Forest Hound size stats
Height: 15-18 inches Weight: 33-44 lbs
Major Concerns
  • Hip Dysplasia
Minor Concerns
  • Patellar Luxation
Occasional Diagnoses
  • Eye Problems
Occasional Tests
  • X-Rays
  • Eye Examination
  • Physical Examination

Black Forest Hound Breed History

Originally developed in the late 19th century, the Black Forest Hound is believed to have been created by mixing the Brandlbracke, Chart Polski, and Magyar Agar, the first being a large black and tan scent hound and the other two being large yet trim sighthounds. While the first dog of the breed to be recognized as it is today was first seen in 1870, it is believed that they extend much further back into history, stemming from a small variety of native European scent hounds. Given the laws of previous eras that prohibited crossbreeding with known purebreds, the bloodline of the Black Forest Hound is thought to have remained largely untouched for much of its latter existence, especially into the early-to-mid 20th century, in which breeding was closely monitored, based on specific genetic selections. Koloman Slimák, a respected cynologist known as the father of the breed, even went so far as to help host a breeding exhibition in 1936, where the most suitable dogs were chosen for breeding. Ten years later, another exhibition was held post-WWII to determine what remained in terms of number and purity and since then, the breed has been on a slow incline in popularity. In 1963, the breed was finally recognized by the FCI. By 1988, another significant breeders club had formed, the "Slovak Hound Breeders Club" and in 2006 the breed was officially recognized by the United Kennel Club.

Black Forest Hound Breed Appearance

The Black Forest Hound is a medium sized dog, standing around 18 inches tall (with females usually being an inch or two shorter) and weighing an average of about 40 pounds. Similar to both the Austrian Black and Tan Hound (Brandlbracke) and the Black and Tan Coonhound, the Black Forest Hound's name is consistent with its coloring, even if it has nothing to do with the German Black Forest region. Their coats are short and dense, being solid black with tan markings, usually around the face, chest, and legs. Their skulls are decently long, slightly domed and possess a relatively abrupt stop before extending into a long, rectangular muzzle capped with a black nose. Their eyes are deep set and dark and their ears are medium to high-set, folded, broad and medium length, hanging right to the edge of the chin. Both their necks and legs are relatively short for their size, giving them a slightly boxy-looking stance overall. Their bodies are a bit longer than they are tall, are relatively muscular, and possess a deep, broad chest that creates a good amount of width between their front legs as well. Their topline is only slightly sloped and their bellies are similarly slightly tucked. Their tails are long and tapered and are usually carried with a curve but generally not above the back.
Eye Color Possibilities
brown Black Forest Hound eyes
Brown
Nose Color Possibilities
black Black Forest Hound nose
Black
Coat Color Possibilities
brown Black Forest Hound coat
Brown
black Black Forest Hound coat
Black
Coat Length
Short Medium Long
Coat Density
Sparse Normal Dense
Coat Texture
Black Forest Hound straight coat texture
Straight Wiry Wavy Curly Corded

Black Forest Hound Breed Maintenance

Black Forest Hounds are considered low maintenance dogs overall, as their short, dense coats need only to be brushed once or twice a week with a firm bristle brush to keep them free of loose hair and dirt. They are usually good about self-cleaning so unless they get into something particularly dirty or offensive-smelling, they don't need frequent bathing. In fact, over-bathing can be an issue, as it will upset the natural oils on their skin and coat. If they are used for hunting, they should be physically checked after each excursion to ensure they've not brought any external parasites back with them. If they receive enough exercise, either through tracking and hunting or otherwise, their nails will wear down at a much faster rate, but if they are merely exercised to or under general requirements, will need to be checked and trimmed regularly to prevent cracks and breaks. Their folded ears should also be checked to make sure they are not collecting extraneous moisture or wax that could cause infections. Their teeth should be brushed once a week to help maintain good oral health.
Brushes for Black Forest Hound
Slicker Brush
Nail Clipper
Brushing Frequency
Black Forest Hound requires weekly brushing
Daily Weekly Monthly

Black Forest Hound Temperament

While the Black Forest Hound does carry some traditional European scent hound characteristics, it does also stand on its own in some areas. On the hunt, they are tenacious and dedicated, happily and excitedly following scents and trails for hours without tire and taking down prey that are up to nearly four times their size. Over most other tracking characteristics, besides their excellent noses, Slovakian Hounds are best known for their uncanny sense of direction, being able to maintain their orientation within the landscape and between their owner and prey with incredible ability. Although many are raised and trained within the confines of a pack, their acceptance of other dogs is still sometimes questionable, especially with others of the same sex, as they will attempt to assert their dominance with regularity. If raised from an early age and properly socialized, they generally do fairly well and can coexist in peace and cooperate on the hunt. They are known to be gentle and patient with children, but as with any breed, the earlier and more thorough the socialization the better. With strangers, this breed is generally a bit wary and will take to barking as a form of alert to their owners if they feel something is amiss or they or their family are being threatened in any way, making them excellent watch and guard dogs. They are only moderately difficult to train and have been known to be a bit stubborn at times, but should be trainable for a moderately experienced owner as long as they are firm and consistent. With their family, they are dedicated and affectionate, albeit sometimes being known for being a bit impatient, especially if they are under-exercised. They do require a fair but not exhaustive amount of exercise to keep them happy and healthy, but are adaptive enough to live in smaller spaces if their owners are at least relatively active.

Black Forest Hound Activity Requirements

Black Forest Hounds are considered medium to high energy dogs and take a fair amount of daily exercise to keep them behaving well and healthy. It's safe to say they need at least 14 to 16 miles of walking or running per week, around 50 minutes of solid activity a day. Because of their prey drive, they appreciate games in which they can employ their tracking or chasing abilities, especially if they are not regularly used for hunting, so an exhaustive round of fetch can go a long way in keeping them healthy both mentally and physically and keep them from getting frustrated or bored.
Activity Level
Low Medium High
Rec. Walk Mileage Per Week
14 miles
Minutes of Activity Per Day
50 minutes

Black Forest Hound Food Consumption

Cups Per Day
2.5 cups
Daily Cost
$1.00 - $1.50
Monthly Cost
$30.00 - $45.00

Black Forest Hound Height & Weight

6 Months
Male Black Forest Hound size stats at six months
Height: 13 inches Weight: 27 lbs
Female Black Forest Hound size stats at six months
Height: 12 inches Weight: 27 lbs
12 Months
Male Black Forest Hound size stats at 12 months
Height: 16 inches Weight: 33 lbs
Female Black Forest Hound size stats at 12 months
Height: 14 inches Weight: 33 lbs
18 Months
Male Black Forest Hound size stats at 18 months
Height: 18 inches Weight: 38 lbs
Female Black Forest Hound size stats at 18 months
Height: 16 inches Weight: 38 lbs

Black Forest Hound Owner Experiences

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