The Southern Hound is an extinct scent hound breed of dogs that lived in Great Britain till the 19th century. One of the oldest British scent hounds, these dogs were used for hunting because they had excellent scenting abilities.

The Southern Hound was a large-sized dog with a deep chest, square head, long ears, and long bony body.

Origin & History

The Southern Hound is believed to have originated in the mid-11th century. Ancestors believe that these dogs were brought to England by the Norman armies in 1066. Furthermore, some theories even claim that the Southern Hounds resulted as the cross between the native hounds of England and the dogs imported from France by the Normans.

Southern Hound is thought to have originated in the 11th century in Great Britain.

It is also said that the Southern Hounds existed in Britain from ancient times in the book ‘The Dog‘ from 1952 written by William Youatt. William states that these dogs might have been native to Britain rather than being brought by the Normans.

They were extremely popular for their nose as they could track trails that were days old. They could follow the trails for many days efficiently without even getting bored. Hence, it is why it happened to be the most preferred scent hound in Britain at that time.

How Did The Southern Hound Get Extinct?

Though the Southern Hound was a diligent scent hound, it was a slow dog that made it unsuitable for hunting foxes and other fast-running animals. So, people started using other dogs for hunting. They crossed these dogs with the North Country Beagle and also with dogs like Bulldogs, Greyhounds, Collies, and Terriers.

After crossing of those breeds, the English Foxhound came up to replace the Southern Hound and North Country Beagle. This led to a decrease in the need and preference of the Southern Hound. Instead of conserving them as a pure breed, people kept on crossing them with other breeds to obtain varieties of breeds. As a result, they started disappearing and became extinct around 1881.

Behavior, Temperament, & Personality

Talking about temperament, the Southern Hounds were loyal, calm, and active dogs. As they were raised as pack dogs, they didn’t have much aggression towards other dogs. Likewise, they were so dedicated that they would enjoy following the scent trails and would wag their tails while tracking.

The Southern Hounds used to be relaxed most of the time and possessed friendly and lovable behavior towards humans. But because of their hunting instincts, they would attack the animals whose trail they have been following.

Was The Southern Hound Child-Friendly?

Yes, the Southern Hound was an affectionate dog that loved being around children. As they admired being around people, they would totally enjoy playing with kids and entertain themselves. However, it was necessary to keep an eye on the dogs as they might easily show off their hunting instincts during play.

Southern Hounds were child-friendly dogs.
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Some Interesting Facts

  • The Southern Hound was also known as English Hound, Old English Hound, and Traditional English Hound.
  • This breed was widely common and favored in the southern part of the River Trent. North Country Beagle or Northern Hound was the popular one in the north.
  • It is one of the oldest British scent hound breeds.


The Southern Hound was found in the following colors:

  • Tricolor
  • Tan
  • White with black or brown markings


The Southern Hound weighed somewhere around 45-90 pounds (20-41 kg) whereas their height ranged between 23-28 inches (58-71 cm).


On average, a mother Southern Hound used to give birth to 4-10 puppies at a time.

Similar Dog Breeds

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