Pet Keen is reader-supported. When you buy via links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission at no cost to you. Learn more.

Home > Dogs > Dog Breeds > Estonian Hound Dog Breed Guide: Info, Pictures, Care & More!

Estonian Hound Dog Breed Guide: Info, Pictures, Care & More!

Estonian hound dog

The Estonian Hound is a medium-sized dog with strong bones and plenty of muscle. It can weigh up to 44 pounds with a short coat that almost resembles a Beagle. If you have recently heard of this relatively new breed and would like to learn more about it, you’re in the right place.

Breed Overview


17 – 21 inches


33 – 44 pounds


12 – 15 years


Black, tan, white

Suitable for:

Active families, large homes, sports enthusiasts


Happy, active, intelligent

We are going to take a deep dive into this Russian dog to help you decide if it’s right for your home. So, keep reading while we discuss food, training, grooming, health, and more to help you make an informed decision.

Estonian Hound Characteristics

High-energy dogs will need a lot of mental and physical stimulation to stay happy and healthy, while low-energy dogs require minimal physical activity. It’s important when choosing a dog to make sure their energy levels match your lifestyle or vice versa.
Easy-to-train dogs are more skilled at learning prompts and actions quickly with minimal training. Dogs that are harder to train will require a bit more patience and practice.
Some dog breeds are prone to certain genetic health problems, and some more than others. This doesn’t mean that every dog will have these issues, but they have an increased risk, so it’s important to understand and prepare for any additional needs they may require.
Some breeds, due to their size or their breeds potential genetic health issues, have shorter lifespans than others. Proper exercise, nutrition, and hygiene also play an important role in the lifespan of your pet.
Some dog breeds are more social than others, both towards humans and other dogs. More social dogs have a tendency to run up to strangers for pets and scratches, while less social dogs shy away and are more cautious, even potentially aggressive. No matter the breed, it’s important to socialize your dog and expose them to lots of different situations.

divider-dog paw

Estonian Hound Puppies

Estonian Hounds puppies have a distinctive appearance, with their long, narrow head, almond-shaped eyes, and droopy ears. They are generally friendly and good-natured, and are known for their loyalty and affection towards their owners. However, they can be somewhat independent and stubborn, and may require firm, consistent training and socialization from an early age.

Unfortunately, since this breed is so new, its popularity hasn’t yet grown to the point where it’s easy to find a breeder, so you might need to do some research to locate one. You may need to pay additional travel expenses to get the dog to your home. Many breeders will charge extra for breeding rights, and if you don’t purchase them, you will likely need to get the dog spayed or neutered as part of your contract.

divider-dog paw

Temperament & Intelligence of the Estonian Hound

Many owners of the Estonian Hound describe it as playful and energetic. However, it prefers a strict routine and could become upset and misbehave if its schedule suddenly changes. It’s very calm and gentle around family members but is wary of strangers until it gets to know them, so it makes an excellent watchdog. These dogs are also highly intelligent, can learn complex tasks, and they enjoy puzzle solving.

Are These Dogs Good for Families? 👪

The Estonian Hound makes a great family pet. It enjoys being around family members and will never be more than a few feet from you. However, it usually stays out of your way and prefers to get your attention by doing something silly instead of getting in your way. It tolerates children well and doesn’t seem to mind getting pushed around. It will even try to entertain the children with antics.

Does This Breed Get Along with Other Pets?

This dog is very friendly and will quickly make friends with other dogs. It has a strong prey drive but quickly learns which animals are off-limits. Prey selection is an important part of its breeding, meant to protect the local wildlife.


Things to Know When Owning an Estonian Hound:

Food & Diet Requirements 🦴

The Estonian Hound has endless energy and will require a high protein diet to keep it that way. You can make sure your dog is getting enough protein by selecting brands that contain real meat as its first ingredient. For example, chicken, turkey, beef, lamb, and salmon, are far better for your pet than corn, soy, or other plant-based products. Corn and soy are little more than empty fillers that can lead to weight gain in your pet.

Choosing brands that contain probiotics can help balance your pet’s digestive system, and omega-3 fats can help reduce inflammation and promote a shiny coat.

Exercise 🐕

Your Estonian Hound will need 30–60 minutes of activity each day to stay happy and healthy. If you have several children in your home who enjoy playing with the dog, you can reduce the time you spend, but you will need to keep a close watch on your dog’s weight to make sure it isn’t gaining weight. Your Estonian Hound will enjoy playing games of fetch and can chase after a ball all day. It also enjoys tug of war and going for long walks.

Training 🎾

Training your Estonian Hound is not difficult because the dog is intelligent and loves to learn. Holding short training sessions each day will help your dog get into a routine that it comes to expect and enjoys. Plenty of positive reinforcement is essential for keeping your dog focused so it can learn new things. It can take several weeks for your dog to learn a new trick and commit it to memory, so be patient, and you will be successful.

Grooming ✂️

Your Estonian Hound has a short coat that is easy to maintain with weekly brushings. However, it will shed a little heavier during the fall and spring, so you may want to brush it more frequently if you notice fur on your furniture and floor. In addition, we recommend brushing your dog’s teeth regularly with pet-safe toothpaste to help slow the progression of dental disease, and you may also need to trim the dog’s nails if you hear them clicking on the floor.

Since the Estonian Hound has floppy ears, you will need to make sure they stay clean and dry to avoid ear infections. The floppy ears tend to hold moisture and dirt, which can allow bacteria to grow.

Health and Conditions 🏥

Minor Conditions
  • Obesity
Serious Conditions
  • Progressive Retinal Atrophy

Obesity: Obesity is one of the most common health issues facing all dog breeds. Some experts suggest that more than 40% of dogs over 5 years old are overweight. Obesity can lead to several health conditions that can shorten the life of your pet, including heart disease and diabetes. The best way to prevent obesity is to pay close attention to the feeding instructions on your food and set aside enough time each day to help your pet get the exercise it needs to stay at a healthy weight.

Progressive Retinal Atrophy: Progressive retinal atrophy is a condition that affects the photoreceptors in the eye that are responsible for seeing light. As the disease progresses, it will get harder for your dog to see in the dark, and you might notice a reluctance to walk into dark rooms or go outside after dark, and your dog may lose the ability to see completely. Unfortunately, there is no cure at the moment.

divider-pawMale vs Female

The male Estonian Hound is usually several inches taller and about 10 pounds heavier than the female, who has softer facial features. However, there is very little difference in temperament between the two sexes.

3 Little-Known Facts About the Estonian Hound

1. Not accepted until 2019

The Estonian Hound breed didn’t get started until 1947 and only started being accepted by kennel clubs in 2019.

2. Created as hunting dogs

Breeders created the Estonian Hound because Russian officials demanded smaller hunting dogs given that the larger ones were eating all the livestock.

3. Soft bark

The Estonian Hound has a softer bark than many other breeds to help with hunting.


Final Thoughts

The Estonian Hound is an amazing dog that makes a wonderful pet. It’s usually happy and loves to entertain family members and children with tricks and crazy antics. It has plenty of energy, so it’s better for large families with several members that can share the burden of keeping it fit. However, if you spend a lot of time involved in outdoor activities, you may not need them. It’s a healthy breed with a long lifespan that forms strong bonds with its owners and is fun to have around.

We hope you have enjoyed reading over our look into this new breed and found the answers you need. If we have helped you choose your next pet, please share this guide to the Estonian Hound on Facebook and Twitter.

See also:

Featured Image Credit: Andrey Grachev, Pixabay

Our vets

Want to talk to a vet online?

Whether you have concerns about your dog, cat, or other pet, trained vets have the answers!

Our vets