Istrian Coarse-haired Hound

Istarski Ostrodlaki Gonic

The Istrian Coarse-haired Hound has excellent qualities, a good temperament and a pleasant character. Although less popular than the Istrian Short-haired Hound, he is still excellent an companion dog.

Height 45 to 58 cm
Weight 16 to 24 kg
Life expectancy 12 to 13 years
Home country Croatia

Quick Overview of the Istrian Coarse-haired Hound


  • Affectionate and passionate
  • Quiet and calm
  • Obeying in family
  • Active


  • Strong and sturdy build
  • Severe expression
  • Straight, harsh and spiky coat
  • Big dark eyes


  • No genetic disease
  • No particular pathology
  • Excellent health, rarely ill
  • Long life expectancy

Temperament of the Istrian Coarse-haired Hound

Affectionate, quiet, calm and obedient in family situations, the Istrian Coarse-haired Hound is passionate, active and even stubborn when hunting. His powerful voice and excellent sense of smell make him a extremely popular hunting dog.

He loves everyone and is a pleasant companion. However, he needs a good education.

The Istrian Coarse-haired Hound is a family friendly dog and passionate hunter. He is an excellent hound for both foxes and hares and can also be used for blood trail.

In small packs or in pairs, he does very well on bramble fields or even the most rocky terrain. Vast open terrain holds no secrets for him and hunters appreciate his bark and exceptional flair.

The Istrian Coarse-haired Hound is very adaptable and can be suitable for more than one owner. In the family, he has no problem with children and is very sociable with both humans and other dogs.

Breed Appearance

Istrian wirehaired hound

The Istrian Coarse-haired Hound has strong, robust bones. With a severe expression, he gives the deceptive impression of a dark, taciturn animal. His somewhat shaggy appearance was the cause of his near disappearance, as he is physically repulsive to some because of his rough coat. However, his deceptive appearance hides a wonderful character and very beautiful qualities.


Between 45 and 58 cm (17.72 to 22.83 inches) for the male
Between 45 and 58 cm (17.72 to 22.83 inches) for the female


Between 16 and 24 kg (35.27 to 52.91 pounds) for the male
Between 16 and 24 kg (35.27 to 52.91 pounds) for the female


His coat is white with orange spots, more or less large, on the body and often at the beginning of the tail. His ears are generally orange.


His hair is straight, hard and spiky. It is usually between 5 and 10 cm (2 to 4 inches) long.


His head has a domed skull and a slightly accentuated stop. His large eyes are dark. His slender ears are well set on the cheeks and tend to widen towards the middle. His nose is black. His tail is rather long and reaches the hock.

According to the FCI breeds nomenclature, this breed belongs to group 6, section 1 and is #152

Tips About this breed

He must be properly educated as he has a slight tendency to stubbornness, but early education is not a problem and will allow him to become a good companion.

As he has a superb voice and uses it excessively, city dwellers do not appreciate him too much, but country people, hunters and owners of large estates can take advantage of his beautiful abilities and his pleasant side. Countryside and large fields are his favourite playgrounds.

Health of the Istrian Coarse-haired Hound

This hardy and robust dog does not suffer from any genetic disease or any particular pathology associated with the breed. His health is excellent and he is rarely ill.


His rough appearance requires regular brushing to maintain his coat and ensure good health.

History of this breed

Although his origins are uncertain, the Istrian Coarse-haired Hound is a very old breed of native hound. As early as the 16th century, there are representations proving his existence.

Less popular than his short-haired counterpart, he was threatened with extinction after World War I, as his appearance was less appreciated than its counterpart.

The breed was registered in 1924 in the Croatian Book of Origins, but was only recognized by the FCI (Fédération Cynologique Internationale) in 1948.

His first standard was not registered until 1969. He is still less widespread today than his short-haired counterpart.

Used mainly to hunt foxes and hares, he is well suited to large open areas.  He is also a very pleasant companion dog, compatible with all types of owners.

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