Meet the Swiss Hound Temperament (Passionate Hunters BUT Docile)

The components of the Swiss Hound temperament make the Swiss Hound a highly successful hunter.



This stunning breed is often described as having a noble appearance. The Swiss Hound comes in a few distinct varieties which will be discussed in more detail later in the article.

If you believe that the Swiss Hound temperament might be the perfect fit for your lifestyle, this article will give you an initial glimpse into the Swiss Hound personality.

It is important to learn as much as you can about Swiss Hound behaviors before you bring one into your home.

5 Common Swiss Hound Temperament Traits Every Potential Owner Should Know

This section will explore the most common components of the Swiss Hound temperament.

However, please keep in mind that all dogs have their own individual personalities.

Therefore, your Swiss Hound might not display all of these behavioral traits.

1. A Lively and Passionate Hunter

The Swiss Hound temperament makes this breed a formidable hunter.

Swiss Hounds are hard working, driven, highly motivated and highly intelligent.

These dogs need to feel like they have a job.

If you do not plan to hunt with your Swiss Hound, you will need to be committed to providing it with adequate physical exercise and mental stimulation.

Swiss Hound exercise can take the form of hiking, jogging, biking, or a canine sport such as nosework or tracking.

These dogs are definitely not going to lounge around all day.

Young Swiss Hounds need at least an hour of vigorous exercise every single day. Without enough exercise, your Swiss Hound might develop unwanted behaviors such as chewing or digging.

If you do not have enough time to devote to exercising a young Swiss Hound, consider adopting an older Swiss Hound. Older dogs often need homes and they are usually calmer than puppies or adolescents.

You can also look into pet sitters and doggie daycares to make sure that you meet your dog’s daily energy needs.

2. Sensitive and Docile at Home

As long as you are providing enough exercise and mental enrichment, the Swiss Hound will settle down and become a docile companion in the home.

The sweet Swiss Hound temperament can make these dogs wonderful family pets.

Socialize them properly and they will do well with children and other pets

Never forget to always supervise young children when they interact with a dog of any breed.

This will keep the interactions safe for both the child and the pet.

Also, make sure to supervise your Swiss Hound anytime he interacts with other animals.

3. Devoted to his Master

The loyal Swiss Hound temperament makes this breed extremely devoted to its master.

The Swiss Hound forms a deep bond with its guardians.

In fact, this breed can be prone to developing separation anxiety.

If you believe your Swiss Hound may be developing separation anxiety, seek advice from your veterinarian and a canine behaviorist right away.

4. Keen Sense of Smell

The Swiss Hound has an extremely powerful nose.

Sometimes this trait can get them into trouble.

Always keep your Swiss Hound on a leash or in a securely fenced yard. If your Swiss Hound catches the odor of a prey animal your dog might bolt after that scent.

This can be an extremely dangerous situation if they run across a busy road or they wander too far from home and get lost.

Teach your dog to always come when called, but remember that even a well-trained dog may not follow this command if they are too distracted.

For this reason, always keep them on a leash or within a fence to be on the safe side.

Make sure your dog is microchipped and wearing an identification tag just in case he ever gets loose.

5. Can Be Vocal

Like most scent hounds, the Swiss Hound was bred to “bay” when it is on the trail of a hunted animal.

“Baying” is a kind of musical, lilting bark.

Many people actually enjoy the sound of a hound baying!

However, it is not for everyone.

There are certain things that you can do to reduce hound barking. For example, you can provide ample amounts of exercise and enrichment. A tired dog is a good dog!

However, if you live in an apartment or you are highly sensitive to noise, a hound is probably not the right kind of dog for you.

A Brief Account of Swiss Hound History

This rare breed from Switzerland also goes by the name of the Schwyz Hound, the Schweizer Laufhund or the Schweizerischer Laufhund.

Although they are uncommon outside of Europe, Swiss Hounds are still used in Switzerland to this day to hunt hare, roe deer, fox, and occasionally wild boar.

The first depiction of a Swiss Hound in ancient artwork dates back to the 15th century.

It is believed that the breed descends from ancient French hunting hounds that were brought back to Switzerland.

In 1882, a breed standard was written for the five varieties of the Swiss Hound.

However, the standard was revised in 1909 when the Thurgovie variety was declared extinct.

Today, there are four distinct varieties: The Bernese Hound, the Jura Hound, the Lucerne Hound, and the Schwyz Hound.

The Swiss Hound was recognized by the United Kennel Club (UKC) in 2006, but it is still not recognized by the American Kennel Club (AKC).

Swiss Hound Size and Appearance

The UKC breed standard describes the Swiss Hound as, “A medium-sized, strong endurance dog with an air of nobility.”

The average Swiss Hound weight range is between 35 lbs and 50 lbs.

The typical Swiss Hound height range is between 18 inches and 23 inches at the withers.

Males are typically larger than females.

Swiss Hound colors differ depending on the variety:

  • Bernese Hound- White with black and tan patches
  • Jura Hound-Tan with a black saddle
  • Lucerne Hound- White with blue and black ticking and patches
  • Schwyz Hound- White with orange patches

The coat of a Swiss Hound is short and smooth.

There is also a variety called the Small Swiss Hound that can be distinguished from the standard Swiss Hound by its smaller stature.

A Guide to Swiss Hound Training

The intelligent Swiss Hound temperament makes this breed an excellent candidate for training.

Swiss Hounds are smart and motivated to work.

Obedience training is a great way to channel their mental energy into a constructive outlet.

If possible, start training your Swiss Hound as early as possible.

If you get your Swiss Hound as a puppy, try to find a local puppy kindergarten class. These types of classes will teach your puppy crucial canine social skills that they can only learn by interacting with other puppies.

If you adopt your Swiss Hound as an adult, it is still a great idea to sign up for a beginner’s obedience class with a local trainer.

Just make sure you do your research and find a trainer that uses positive reinforcement training methods.

Avoid trainers that use punishment or dominance-based training. Never use painful training equipment such as shock collars or choke chains.

Like most dogs, Swiss Hounds respond better to positive, gentle training.

Keep training sessions short to prevent your pup from boredom.

Once you and your Swiss Hound masters the basic training, you can enroll him in advance canine activities such as nosework, agility, tracking, lure coursing, or search and rescue.

Helpful Dog Training Resource:

The Online Dog Trainer by Doggy Dan a world-class Dog Trainer from New Zealand is worth taking a look at. This online resource has hundreds of fun informative dog training videos that can help you learn the basics and more.

A Guide to Swiss Hound Grooming

The Swiss Hound is an easy dog when it comes to grooming.

Their short coats require only minimal care.

In fact, weekly brushing and occasional baths will usually do the trick.

Like all dogs, they need their nails trimmed and their teeth cleaned periodically.

Their long, droopy ears can collect debris, so be sure to clean them frequently and check for signs of infection.

The Swiss Hound is not a hypoallergenic breed. If you are looking for a hypoallergenic dog, please consult this article for a list of possible options.

Staying Healthy: Swiss Hound Health Issues

The Swiss Hound is a hardy working dog and it tends to be a fairly healthy breed.

However, there are a few health conditions that can emerge.

Talk with your vet or your breeder about these conditions before you make the decision to add a Swiss Hound to your family:

Your Swiss Hound should visit a vet at least once per year to get a physical exam and annual vaccinations.

Your Swiss Hound should also be up to date on a monthly flea, tick and heartworm preventative at all times.

Spaying and neutering is can be hugely beneficial for many reasons. Talk with your vet about the ideal time to schedule this procedure.

With good care and a good diet, the Swiss Hound lifespan is generally between 10 and 14 years.

Helpful Dog Health Resource:

Note: Don't let the many issues above scare you. The best way to approach health problems is to prevent them in the first place. The Ultimate Guide to Dog Health is a great place to start. Get a copy to keep at home. It will help you prevent the painful health issues that can plague your lovely Swiss Hound dog from expressing his winning personality and maximizing his life expectancy.

Swiss Hound Rescue and Adoption

If the Swiss Hound temperament sounds like a good match for your lifestyle, the next step is to find one to add to your home.

One wonderful option is adoption.

The Benefits of Adoption

There are numerous benefits to adopting your new best friend.

Most importantly, it provides a second chance to a dog in need of a home.

However, there are other perks as well.

Adopted dogs are generally a little bit older and calmer than puppies. They do not require as much exercise, attention, or constant supervision.

They are usually past that destructive teething stage.

Sometimes they are already potty trained.

It also makes financial sense. The Swiss Hound price from a breeder can be steep, but adoption fees are substantially lower. An average adoption fee is between $100 and $300 and that fee usually includes basic vetting, vaccinations, spay/neuter, and sometimes other services as well.

Where to Find a Swiss Hound for Adoption?

A great place to start your adoption journey is at your local animal shelter or humane society.

Even though Swiss Hounds are rare in American animal shelters, you can fill out an application to be placed on file for the future.

The staff can alert you about other dogs with similar traits and personalities.

The staff at the shelter can also direct you towards more specialized rescue groups such as hound rescue groups.

The internet is also an excellent adoption tool.

Check out national adoption websites such as Petfinder.com, Adoptapet.com and Getyourpet.com.

You can also connect with hound rescue networks on Facebook.

There are thousands of homeless dogs in this country, and one of them could be your new best friend!

Finding a Swiss Hound for Sale from a Reputable Breeder

If you choose to purchase a Swiss Hound puppy from a breeder, it will take time and diligent research to find a good Swiss Hound breeder.

You can contact a national breed club or the American Kennel Club for recommendations of responsible Swiss Hound breeders.

Once you find a potential breeder, make an appointment to visit them in person. This will give you an opportunity to check out the facility and make sure that it is legitimate.

There are plenty of unscrupulous breeders that will try to scam unsuspecting buyers.

Never purchase Swiss Hound puppies over the internet or from a pet store. Always make sure you see the puppies and the parents in person before agreeing to a sale.

Since Swiss Hounds are so rare, there will likely be a waiting list for a puppy. Talk with breeders about the Swiss Hound cost, but be ready to pay a high price tag for such an uncommon breed.

Conclusion: Why the Swiss Hound?

There are many reasons to fall in love with the Swiss Hound temperament.

These dogs are noble, trustworthy, devoted, and intelligent.

They make fantastic working dogs as well as loving family pets.

As long as you have adequate time and space, a Swiss Hound can make an ideal companion for the field and the home.