Istrian Shorthaired Hound

35-40 lbs
Istarski Kratkodlaki Gonińć
The Istrian Shorthaired Hound may not look like a storied breed but it is actually considered one of, if not the oldest hound breed in the Balkan region. They have serious history extending back hundreds of years and for good reason. While they aren't the biggest dogs, they are well known to be exceptional hunters, able to track hares, foxes, and rabbits with their quickness, discerning noses, and considerable endurance. In the home, however, they are calm and generally relaxed but that doesn't necessarily make them the best of pets. They are still kept almost solely as hunters as they are extremely wary of children, are only moderately good with other dogs, and tend to bark when they're disturbed, uncertain or when strangers are present, limiting their potential living situations. They are usually quite affectionate with their owners or trainers but are far from playful compared to other breeds and still require a fair amount of exercise. With all these traits combined, they are still best reserved for hunters instead of solely owned as companion animals.
purpose Purpose
history Date of Origin
Ancient Times
ancestry Ancestry
European Scent Hounds and Phoenician Sighthounds

Istrian Shorthaired Hound Health

Average Size
Male Istrian Shorthaired Hound size stats
Height: 18-20 inches Weight: 35-40 lbs
Female Istrian Shorthaired Hound size stats
Height: 17-19 inches Weight: 35-40 lbs
Major Concerns
  • Usually A Very Healthy Breed
Minor Concerns
  • Hip Dysplasia
Occasional Diagnoses
  • Ear Infections
Occasional Tests
  • X-Rays
  • Physical Examination
  • Ear Examination

Istrian Shorthaired Hound Breed History

While there is limited documentation of the breed's origins, frescos depicting a very similar-looking dog were created as early as the late 15th century and written accounts have been logged from the 18th and 19th century as well, indicating the Istrian Shorthaired Hound may truly be an ancient breed. If true, that would easily make it the oldest hound breed in the region, which it is already largely considered. There is speculation that because of their general build and personality traits, they stemmed from a combination of European scent hounds and the dogs were often traded by the Phoenicians, an ancient civilization that populated much of the Mediterranean coast. Throughout their history, they seem to have been revered for their prized hunting abilities, as that is often the greatest association with the breed in general. Although they may have been used for centuries, the first studbook was not created until 1924, which was still a quarter century from their initial recognition by the FCI in 1949. It took another quarter turn until the first breed standard was published in 1973 and yet another before it was acknowledged by the UKC in 2006. They are still regularly used as hunting dogs in the region but have yet to transition into any kind of of companion animal as their reserved and particular dispositions haven't lent them any favors in the average household.

Istrian Shorthaired Hound Breed Appearance

The Istrian Shorthaired Hound is a medium sized dog, standing at an average of 18 inches tall and weighing right around 40 pounds. They have a short, fine, distinct white coat that is highlighted by patches of tan/lemon. They have a long, narrow head with a rounded skull and similarly long muzzle topped off with a black or dark brown nose, dark oval-shaped eyes, and medium-sized folded ears that start broad at the head and have a reverse bell-shaped taper. Their neck is slightly arched and connects to a gently sloping back and a tapering tail. Their front legs are perfectly straight and mark the depth of the chest with their elbows while the back legs have a slight angle.
Eye Color Possibilities
brown Istrian Shorthaired Hound eyes
Nose Color Possibilities
black Istrian Shorthaired Hound nose
brown Istrian Shorthaired Hound nose
Coat Color Possibilities
fawn Istrian Shorthaired Hound coat
white Istrian Shorthaired Hound coat
Coat Length
Short Medium Long
Coat Density
coat density
Sparse Normal Dense
Coat Texture
coat texture
Istrian Shorthaired Hound straight coat texture
Straight Wiry Wavy Curly Corded

Istrian Shorthaired Hound Breed Maintenance

Istrian Shorthaired Hounds are considered a low maintenance breed. They have short, dense coats that need bushing only a couple times a week, preferably with a firm bristle brush, to keep them clean and their natural oils properly dispersed. They require little bathing unless they get into something with an offensive smell and generally keep themselves pretty clean. Their smaller folded ears aren't particularly prone to moisture buildup and ear infections but should still be monitored regularly, especially when humid, to make sure. Their nails should wear down naturally if they receive enough exercise but should still be checked on a weekly basis to make sure they are not overgrown and causing issues. Like any dog, their teeth should be brushed on a regular basis if possible to help maintain good oral hygiene.
Brushes for Istrian Shorthaired Hound
Pin Brush
Pin Brush
Nail Clipper
Nail Clipper
Brushing Frequency
fur daily fur weekly fur monthly
Istrian Shorthaired Hound requires weekly brushing
Daily Weekly Monthly

Istrian Shorthaired Hound Temperament

While many European scent hounds are well-known for having well-rounded personalities, Istrian Shorthaired Hounds tend to be much more wary and reserved in comparison to their regional counterparts. They are generally not great with children, strangers or other dogs, and although not inherently aggressive, will proceed to bark incessantly if they feel threatened, nervous, or uncomfortable unless thoroughly trained and socialized from a very young age and sometimes will anyway. With their owners, they tend to be much better, as they are loyal, generally calm, and listen well when given orders, even if they're not the most playful or affectionate. They do, however, have quite a presence in the field, quickly showing their tracking ability, determination, and agility when given the chance, making them excellent overall hunters, even if they're not the best candidates for companion animals.

Istrian Shorthaired Hound Activity Requirements

This breed is considered a moderately active dog, as it does need a fair amount of exercise, but compared to other hunting breeds, considerably less. It generally does best in homes with more active owners or those with bigger yards it can run around in and burn off energy. While it doesn't need a ton of daily exercise, it should still receive around 30 to 45 minutes a day minimum or around 14 miles of walking or running.
Activity Level
low activity medium activity high activity
Low Medium High
Rec. Walk Mileage Per Week
14 miles
walk mileage
Minutes of Activity Per Day
40 minutes
activity minutes

Istrian Shorthaired Hound Food Consumption

Cups Per Day
2.5 cups
cup per day cost cup per day cost
Daily Cost
$1.00 - $1.50
food bowls daily cost
Monthly Cost
$30.00 - $45.00
food bag monthly cost

Istrian Shorthaired Hound Height & Weight

6 Months
Male Istrian Shorthaired Hound size stats at six months
Height: 13.5 inches Weight: 26.5 lbs
Female Istrian Shorthaired Hound size stats at six months
Height: 12.5 inches Weight: 26.5 lbs
12 Months
Male Istrian Shorthaired Hound size stats at 12 months
Height: 16.5 inches Weight: 32.0 lbs
Female Istrian Shorthaired Hound size stats at 12 months
Height: 15.5 inches Weight: 32.0 lbs
18 Months
Male Istrian Shorthaired Hound size stats at 18 months
Height: 19.0 inches Weight: 37.5 lbs
Female Istrian Shorthaired Hound size stats at 18 months
Height: 18.0 inches Weight: 37.5 lbs

Istrian Shorthaired Hound Owner Experiences

18 Months
2 People
I really love this dog. He is a real fellow and I can compare him to my beagle that I had for fourteen years. He loves to run and climb hillsides. I could never walk him on a leash because he just loves the freedom
4 years, 4 months ago
1 Year
4 People
The intro text does great injustice to the breed. This is our second istrian shorthaired hound. Our first, Berta, passed away at age of 14 years. Both of girls lived with us in condo. They are almost perfect pets. No grooming needed except during change of season, calm, bright, loving their family, enjoying family’s friends visiting, good companions to kids. Of course they had character but we came to conclusion it is similar to people.
3 years, 4 months ago
Book me a walkiee?
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