The Small Swiss Hound, also known as the Schweizer Laufhund, is a remarkable breed originating from Switzerland. The Small Swiss Hound traces its origins back to Switzerland in the Middle Ages, where it was primarily used for hunting purposes due to its exceptional trailing ability. It is believed to have been developed from a mixture of Bloodhounds, French Laufhunds, and various local Swiss hounds. The breed's history is intertwined with the cultural and historical development of Switzerland itself, being a favorite breed of both peasants and nobility due to its versatility and strength. The Swiss Kennel Club first recognized the breed in the late 19th century, and it was officially recognized by the Fédération Cynologique Internationale (FCI) in the early 20th century.
Small Swiss Hounds are generally healthy, but can prone to ear infections and can suffer from elbow and hip dysplasia.
Known for their energetic and friendly nature, the Small Swiss Hound makes a great companion for those who lead an active lifestyle. They are intelligent, eager to please, and known to form strong bonds with their human companions. The breed is also known for its loud and melodic voice, which it was originally bred to use while hunting. Despite its hunting origins, the breed tends to be good with other dogs and can be socialized to live peacefully with other pets. They can be a bit reserved with strangers but are not generally aggressive or overly shy.
The Small Swiss Hound's coat is short, dense, and lies flat against the body. The breed comes in four different color types, each one corresponding to a slightly different variant of the breed: the Bernese Hound, the Jura Hound, the Lucerne Hound, and the Schwyz Hound.
The Small Swiss Hound is considered a national treasure in Switzerland and is often seen in Swiss art and culture.
Despite the breed's small size, they have a powerful voice and were originally bred to hunt in packs, using their loud bark to alert hunters to their location and the location of the prey.
While they're not currently recognized by the AKC, they are popular in Europe, especially in their native Switzerland.