Dog Breed Group: Hunting Dog
Life Span: 12-15 years
Weight: Male: 18-20, Female: 16-18
Height: Male: 19-20, Female: 18-19
Origin of Name: The Estonian Hound is a scent hound-like breed which is the only dog breed developed in Estonia.
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The Estonian hound is a very recently developed breed, and its history is very well documented. The history of this breed begins in the early 20th century. Estonia was occupied by various foreign powers since the early Middle Ages, including the Vikings, the Danes, the Teutonic Order, the Svedes, and Russia. Prior to 1914, Estonia's Hunting Dogs were largely descended from English foxheads, various Polish Hunting Dogs, and several Russian hounds, which had been imported into the country since 1700. These dogs were probably crossbred with native Estonian Hunting Dogs, about which nothing is known next, and German Scunthound breeds. During World War I, Estonia fought a successful war of independence against the Soviet forces of Vladimir Lenin and the German forces of Kaiser Wilhelm II. A brief but prosperous period of independence followed. During this period, many Hunting Dogs from Finland, which became independent of Russia in World War I, were imported to Estonia. These Finnish hounds proved to be uniquely suited to work in Estonia and began changing breeds of pre-existing dogs. Prior to World War II, odor wounds were used to hunt all modes of game in Estonia, but large mines such as deer, boar and wolf were preferred. Estonian independence came to an end when the Soviet Union illegally annexed Estonia in 1940, using global prejudice with the Nazi advance over Paris in the Annexe.
In 1947, the Soviet Union issued a decree that all member states must develop at least one unique national dog breed. The reasons behind the act were complex and complex, but included achieving national pride after World War II, impressing upon the population that the Soviet Union was indeed a confederation of states and not a Russian-dominated empire, and dogs There were practical concerns for the need for. Special for local conditions. Although most Soviet countries developed their breeds primarily from local dogs, Estonia did not have pre-existing dog types that were considered suitable. In the years prior to 1947, Estonian large game populations were rapidly declining, and many observers believed that many species were at risk of extinction in the country as a whole. An act was passed, which made it illegal for anyone in Estonia to use Hunting Dogs, which were more than 17 long at the shoulder. It was thought that this height restriction would make it impossible to use dogs to hunt big game. Additionally, hunting was restricted to foxes, rabbits, and small vermin species. Some sources claim that the Soviet Union initiated the development of the Estonian hound in the 1930s, but this is unlikely because Estonia was an independent nation at the time.
These new rules put Estonian dog breeders in a slight dilemma. They were to develop a new dog breed, but it was to be smaller than any existing hunting breeds in Estonia. Breeders began working with the smallest native Hunting Dogs, but it was immediately clear that smaller hunting breeds would need to be imported from other countries. A large number of breeds were imported into Estonia from across Europe to improve the makeup of the newly developing Estonian breed. Due to its small size and excellent hunting abilities, the beagles and the Dakshunds were given great importance. Swiss Lofhunds, particularly Schweizer Löfhund, Luzerner Lufhund, and Berner Lufhund, were not only in favor of their size and hunting skills, but also for their ability to thrive in free climates. Those five breeds formed the basis of the Estonian hound breed, in addition to the smallest examples of pre-existing Estonian Hunting Dogs. It is also possible that some other breeds were also added such as the Drevar, Westphalian Dachtschrack, Alpine Daxbrake and Swedish and Norwegian Schnaud, but this is less clear.