Balkan Hound - Serbian Hound
Found throughout the Balkans, but most closely associated with Serbia, the rugged Balkan Hound is one of the oldest established canine breeds, related to ancient Molossian hunting dogs and the progenitor of numerous working breeds of Europe. It has existed in a variety of types in the past, but it was roughly standardized in the 1700's and remained virtually unaltered ever since. The Balkan Hound has traditionally been used in packs to trail large game like deer and boar, but it also makes an excellent single hunter of foxes, hares and rabbits. This tenacious breed is a valued vermin killer and a dedicated farm watchdog, due to its alert personality and famous love of barking. The first Standard was finally written in 1954 and the breed was internationally recognized in 1955, enjoying immense popularity among all Balkan hunters for years, but becoming only moderately common outside its native land. Following the Yugoslavian civil wars, the name was officially changed to Serbian Hound, although it's still commonly referred to as the Balkan Hound worldwide. Some confusion regarding the new name is to be expected, simply because there was another hunting dog called Old Serbian Hound to be found in the past, an ancient greyhound-type breed that is considered to be extinct today.
Resilient, athletic and strong, the Balkan Hound is muscular, broad-chested and well-adapted for work in a wide range of terrains found in its homeland. It is gentle in nature and very intelligent, making an agreeable companion, but this energetic hound requires a fair amount of space and exercise. Proper socialization will ensure that it doesn't get into scraps with other dogs, but its hunting instincts can make the Serbian Hound a threat for small animals, including the neighborhood cats. This breed is better suited for rural environments, but will do fine in the city, if handled and trained correctly.
The short coat is dense and hard, always tan in colour with black "saddle" markings. Average height is around 20 inches.