Bulgarian Scenthound

He is not recognized by the F.C.I.

Origin
Bulgaria
Translation
Francis Vandersteen
Bulgaria has two indigenous dog breeds used for hunting. These are the Bulgarian Hound (also known as the Bulgarian Barak) and the Bulgarian Scenthound (also known as the Gonche). Despite a confusingly similar name, these two breeds have distinctive aspects. While the Barak has a curly coat, the Scenthound is covered with a sheen reminiscent of the Rottweiler or Dobermann around it.
The Scenthound is a medium to large dog with a keen sense of smell. It has an enviable reputation for being cooler and less aggressive than the Rottweiler, to which its appearance is sometimes compared.
The Scenthound is one of Bulgaria's most popular native breeds, but little known outside the country. Its alternative name, Gonche, is an affectionate term meaning "tracker", reflecting both its use as a hunting dog and the warmth it engenders in its owner.

The Bulgarian Scenthound is an ancient breed established in the Balkans many centuries ago. However, as is often the case with these older breeds, their precise origins are lost in the mists of time. One theory is that the first Gonche dogs belonged to the ancient Thracians, around 1,500 years ago. These dogs, along with those brought by the Turks from Asia, were bred together in the Balkan region to create the dog known today as the Bulgarian Scenthound.
This is corroborated by specialists who suggest that all Scenthound breeds found in this region originated in Asia. Whatever the truth about this breed's beginnings in life, dogs have certainly had an impact. Remains of artwork and pottery show similar-looking dogs used for hunting by the Celts, Thracians, Illyrians and ancient Greeks.

If the "when" was 1,500 years ago, the "where" was the Balkan peninsula and the "why" as a hunting dog. Their instinct to track and hunt is so deeply rooted that it gave rise to their other affectionate name, Gonche, meaning tracker or pursuer.
Indeed, these early working dogs had to earn the title of "Bulgarian Scenthound" by passing a test. This involved locating a live hare and bringing it back to the hunter. The dog had to do this not once, but three times, successfully, to become a full-fledged tracker. Popular in its native Bulgaria, the Gonche is little known worldwide.
Think of a hunting dog and you'd be forgiven for imagining the impressive, long-eared heaviness of a Bloodhound or Basset Hound, or the stocky robustness of a Beagle. However, the Bulgarian Scenthound breaks this mold in that it is all long-legged elegance.

Indeed, the Bulgarian Gonche has an appearance closer to the fine lines of a greyhound or podenco, rather than a more robust breed. It has a reasonably shaped head with a good length of muzzle so it can run without catching its breath. This deep chest reflects the need for a large lung capacity to allow this speed, while chasing a hare.
Considered a medium-sized dog, the Bulgarian Scenthound has a good length of leg to better cover the ground. And, although it has an elegant silhouette, it has a hint of sturdiness, as befits a dog that can track for hours over rough terrain.
Then there's Scenthound's short, smooth Bulgarian coat. This is where the mention of the Rottweiler comes in, because of the coat coloring. The Gonche is a striking black and beige dog, with a black body, light brown muzzle and points that bear an uncanny resemblance to a Rottie. But that's where the similarities end, because a well-socialized Gonche is a honey, more likely to lick than bite.

The Bulgarian Gonche is first and foremost a hunting dog, which testifies to its love of scent. He loves to work and will become firmly attached to his master. Indeed, professional hunters who work with Gonches often train them to individual commands so that they respond to one and only one person.
The breed has a good temperament and, when properly socialized as a puppy, gets on well with strangers and other dogs. However, like all dogs, this depends on the youngster, who is exposed to a wide variety of sights, sounds and experiences from an early age. This helps to build confidence and reduce anxiety, making a well-adjusted adult dog.
Gonche's good nature means he can make a good family dog as long as his physical activity needs are met. However, once trained to hunt, this animal becomes a poor pet due to the high number of prey. When considering a Gonche as a family companion, it's best to start with a puppy, then raise it at home.

No comments

No comments

Nobody has submitted a comment yet.

Last updated articles

  • Papichon -- Continental Toy Spaniel X Bichon frise

    Papichon He is not recognized by the F.C.I. Origin France and Belgium -> U.S.A. Translation Francis Vandersteen A brief presentation of the Papichon The Papichon is a hybrid dog breed, a cross between the Bichon Frise and the Papillon. Both parent breeds are attractive, the Papillon with its silky fur and large butterfly ears, while the Bichon is...
  • Paperanian -- Continental Toy Spaniel X German Toy Spitz / Pomeranian

    Paperanian He is not recognized by the F.C.I. Origin France and Belgium <> Germany -> U.S.A. Translation Francis Vandersteen This breed is also known as Pomillon A brief presentation of the Paperanian Paperanians are refined little dogs with a sophisticated appearance. Their expression is always cheerful and attentive, their dark, attractive eyes...
  • Norkie -- Norfolk Terrier X Yorkshire Terrier

    Norkie He is not recognized by the F.C.I. Origin Great Britain -> U.S.A. Translation Francis Vandersteen A brief presentation of the Norkie The Norkie is an extremely rare hybrid dog that currently exists in very small numbers internationally. By combining the fiery, inquisitive nature of the Norfolk Terrier with the affectionate personality of the Yorkshire...
  • Newfypoo -- Newfoundland X Poodle

    Newfypoo He is not recognized by the F.C.I. Origin Canada <> France -> U.S.A. Translation Francis Vandersteen This breed is also known as NewdleNewfydoodleNewfoundlandoodle A brief presentation of the Newfypoo A cross between the gentle, giant, larger-than-life Newfoundland and the versatile, good-natured Standard Poodle, the Newfypoo has a lot...
  • Mountain Feist

    Mountain Feist He is not recognized by the F.C.I. Origin U.S.A. Translation Francis Vandersteen A brief presentation of the Mountain Feist The Mountain Feist is one of those slightly confusing breeds. It's a type of dog rather than a specific breed, only to complicate matters, this type has been officially recognized as a breed. Go figure.So,...
  • Yorktese -- Yorkshire Terrier X Maltese

    Yorktese He is not recognized by the F.C.I. Origin Great Britain <> Central Mediterranean -> U.S.A. Translation Francis Vandersteen This breed is also known as MalkieMalkiMaltiyorkMorkieYorkiemaltYortese A brief presentation of the Yorktese A combination of two toy breeds, the Yorkshire Terrier and the Maltese, the Yorktese is a small, designer...
  • Molossos Tis Epirou

    Molossos Tis Epirou He is not recognized by the F.C.I. Origin Greece Translation Francis Vandersteen A brief presentation of the Molossos Tis Epirou A little-known breed despite its impressive stature and remarkable history, the Molossos Tis Epirou is recognized in its home country by the Greek Kennel Club. Even in Greece, there aren't many breed...
  • Mastidoodle -- Mastiff X Poodle

    Mastidoodle He is not recognized by the F.C.I. Origin Great-Britain <> France -> U.S.A. Translation Francis Vandersteen This breed is also known as Mastipoo A brief presentation of the Mastidoodle Crossing the formidable Mastiff with the versatile Poodle was virtually inevitable in the world of specific crossbreeding dogs, and the result was a pleasing...
  • Maltipoo -- Maltese X Poodle

    Maltipoo He is not recognized by the F.C.I. Origin Central Mediterranean Basin <> France -> U.S.A. Translation Francis Vandersteen A brief presentation of the Maltipoo One of the most popular Poodle hybrids to emerge in the last 20 years, the cute and cuddly Maltipoo has captured the hearts of many. The product of a cross between a purebred...
  • Maltipom -- Maltese X German Toy Spitz / Pomeranian

    Maltipom He is not recognized by the F.C.I. Origin Central Mediterranean Basin <> Germany -> U.S.A. Translation Francis Vandersteen A brief presentation of the Maltipom For those who lack the willpower and already have enough pets at home, look away now. The Maltipom is a pretty bundle of fluff that's sure to steal your heart. Inheriting its...
  • Malti-Pug - Maltese X Pug

    Malti-Pug He is not recognized by the F.C.I. Origin Central Mediterranean Basin <> China -> U.S.A. Translation Francis Vandersteen A brief presentation of the Malti-Pug Here's a specific crossbreed dog for those who love all things miniature and fluffy. The Malti-Pug is a little bundle of fur with delightful markings and an affectionate, outgoing...
  • Malchi -- Maltese X Chihuahua

    Malchi He is not recognized by the F.C.I. Origin Central Mediterranean Basin <> Mexico -> U.S.A. Translation Francis Vandersteen This breed is also known as MalachiMaltechi A brief presentation of the Malchi The Malchi is a hybrid dog, the result of crossing a Maltese with a Chihuahua. They are also known as Malachi or Maltechi. The resulting dog...
  • Alaskan Malador -- Alaskan Malamute X Labrador Retriever

    Alaskan Malador He is not recognized by the F.C.I. Origin U.S.A. <> Canada -> U.S.A. Translation Francis Vandersteen This breed is also known as Alaskan Lab A brief presentation of the Alaskan Malador Alaskan Maladors are active, affectionate pets that get along with almost everyone. They require a little exercise, attention and maintenance. In...
  • Majorcan Pointer

    Majorcan Pointer He is not recognized by the F.C.I. Origin Spain Translation Francis Vandersteen A brief presentation of the Majorcan Pointer The Majorcan Pointer is little known outside their native Majorca. These Pointer-type dogs are used by local sportsmen to hunt game. Considered a rare breed, they were once thought to be extinct until small...
  • Lurcher

    Lurcher He is not recognized by the F.C.I. Origin Great Britain Translation Francis Vandersteen A brief presentation of the Lurcher A bit of a mongrel, the Lurcher is not only a crossbreed, it can also be made up of a variety of different breeds, meaning that Lurchers are one of the most diverse types of dog. Most will be athletically built with...
  • Labrottie -- Labrador Retriever X Rottweiler

    Labrottie He is not recognized by the F.C.I. Origin Canada <> Germany -> U.S.A. Translation Francis Vandersteen This breed is also known as Rottwador A brief presentation of the Labrottie A relatively popular hybrid, this Labrador-Rottweiler cross is now widely seen around the world. The Labrottie is a large, robust dog with a dense double coat...
  • Labrala -- Labrador Retriever X Hungarian short haired pointer

    Labrala He is not recognized by the F.C.I. Origin Canada <> Hungary -> U.S.A. Translation Francis Vandersteen This breed is also known as VizsladorRetizsla A brief presentation of the Labrala An undeniably attractive mix, the Labrala is a combination of the happy Labrador Retriever and the devoted Hungarian Shorthaired Pointer. They have...
  • Labraheeler-- Labrador Retriever X Australian Cattle Dog

    Labraheeler He is not recognized by the F.C.I. Origin Canada <> Australia -> U.S.A. Translation Francis Vandersteen A brief presentation of the Labraheeler A cross between the docile, easy-going Labrador Retriever and the intelligent, hard-working Australian Cattle Dog, the Labraheeler is a fine pet for an active household. They benefit from good...