Hanoverian Scenthound breed: the unfaltering tracker

Molnár Enikő

2023. August 15 - Photos: Getty Images Hungary

At first glance, the Hanoverian Scenthound seems determined and capable, who is not afraid of anything and takes obstacles well. This is absolutely true, but there is much more to these dogs than that.


This medium-sized, rugged-looking dog has an excellent sense of smell, is calm yet quite independent, and is a faithful companion for hunters. It is said that a single drop of blood is enough for the Hanoverian Scenthound to track its prey for a long time.

Hanoverian Scenthound puppy.


The history of the Hanoverian Scenthound can be traced back to the Middle Ages, when their ancestors, the Liam hounds, were still around to help hunters. As the first primitive firearms appeared, the dogs’ sense of smell and endurance became even more important. Early firearms were not renowned for their accuracy, so often the wounds inflicted were not fatal. But the hunters’ code of honour did not allow the game to suffer, so the dogs’ noses and stamina were even more important, as the shot animal could run for miles even if wounded.

Why Hanover?

In the 1800s, the Hanoverian hunters also noticed the qualities of the Liam hounds and bred them according to their own needs. The breed thus “created” is not much different from the original dogs, with a less robust build and a more refined sense of smell. The variety was registered in 1894 official breeders club Verein Hirschmann e.V. and since then they have been responsible for the breeding of the breed to a high standard.

Breed standard

Hanoverian Scenthounds are medium to large dogs, around 50-60 cm in height at the withers, and usually weigh 28-35 kg. They have a thick, short coat of various shades of red, brown with a black stripe down the back, or sometimes completely black. Their muzzles are black or brown. They have relatively short legs and long bodies. Their powerful build, broad back and deep, elbow-deep chest give them a stocky appearance, but this does not mean they are sluggish. They have long, muscular necks, relatively large heads and slightly convex skulls. They also have a square cheek, a straight bridge of the nose, and large, scissor-bite teeth, so that the lower incisors close against the inner surface of the upper incisors. Their eyes are dark brown and their ears are large, rounded at the tips, drooping. Their tails are long, mostly held downwards, and their paws are rounded and closed.


They are calm, balanced and loyal dogs who are also brave and persistent. They have a good temperament and are easily habituated to children. Because of their high energy levels, they need daily exercise and mental stimulation to live peacefully together.

They are very intelligent and teachable dogs. In order for a dog to really have the characteristics described above, training must start early, as they are stubborn and independent types and are not necessarily recommended as a first dog. Their predatory instinct is high and therefore difficult to habituate to other pets, but this can be controlled with early training. Although they are not guard dogs, they bark frequently.

Even as a puppy he has a serious look.

Ideal environment

Hanoverian Scenthounds thrive when they have plenty of space and can go out into the yard, so they are best suited to a house with a garden. They are recommended for people who can spend at least half an hour walking them on a daily basis, but it’s best if they can be active and playful together.

They tend to choose someone in the family to be their GOVERNOR, but they will not be closed off from the rest of the family or be abusive towards them.


Because of its short coat, it is relatively easy to groom, and apart from the basic dog-keeping tasks, there is not much to look after. Dogs with floppy ears should be checked frequently for dirt, vermin or even tochlos in their ears, as these are the main sources of discomfort. As with all dogs, the length of the nails should be monitored and oral care is important. Their scissor bite is another reason to keep an eye on their gums and teeth.

Common health problems

As they are rare dogs and not overbred, there are relatively few breed-specific health problems. However, they can be susceptible to diseases common to working dogs and bloodhounds. Because of their floppy ears, ear infections are common, but can be avoided by regular check-ups.

Hanoverian Scenthounds are prone to gastrointestinal problems (bloating) and are easily obese, so good quality and adequate nutrition and regular exercise are very important.

Unfortunately, they can also develop hip dysplasia, as in German Shepherds, and cancer is a common health problem. The former is a genetic problem, so there is nothing we can do about it. Unfortunately, we can’t always avoid the latter, but it can be caught early with regular veterinary check-ups.

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