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Russian Hound


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Minna Väisänen - Russian Hound
Interview by Sabine Middelhaufe

Minna Väisänen grew up with different breeds of hounds. Her father being a keen sportsman and breeder of Swedish Dachsbracke (Drever), Minna came to know and love hunting and hounds very soon. As her father she, too, followed the hare behind Finnish, Swedish and Russian Hounds, eventually settling for the latter as the one to breed in her own kennel.

Since when are you interested in this breed and why did you choose it in the beginning?

We had our first Russian hound 8 years ago. We liked the idea of having a versatile hunting dog which also would have good fur and strong paws to be fit for our hard winter conditions.

Above: Minna Väisänen with one of her Russian Hound pups. Titelphoto: Minna's Bravon Ester, called Teri.

Would you explain the characteristics of the breed for which a potential owner (sportsman) might prefer this breed to others?

Russian hounds are very diverse with game. You can hunt hare, fox, raccoon, lynx or even bear with them. They are always eager to go hunting.

In your opinion, is there any specific characteristic of the breed that sportsmen nowadays don't appreciate enough?



Which characteristics does a „good“ representative of the breed absolutely need to have?

They are calm and easy. The typical Russian hound is peaceful at home and also with strangers and dogs he doesn't know, but gets excited as soon as you release him in the woods. When hunting, they are fast and pressure the game strongly.

How do you see the situation of the breed in your country, and if you had the power, is there something you would like to change in the present day way of breeding?

The situation is quite good. As a breed the Russian hound is fairly healthy and only good hunting dogs are used for reproduction.

In your opinion, are the breed and its characteristics known well enough to potential owners (sportsmen) or is more information and promotion needed?

Their popularity in Finland is growing slowly but steadily. Knowledge of this breed has started spreading when ever more people had seen Russian hounds in dog shows and working trials.

Do you personally find it important to partecipate in dog shows, working trials and club events?

Yes, I do. It's easy to praise your own dog, but only when he has some impartial judgings to show for himself, others can rely on these valuations and compare them with other dogs' ratings. It's also important to let people know more about the breed in shows and trials.

According to your judgement, for what kind of hunting and for which species of game is the breed particularly qualified?

You can use them very effectively in the loud hunt of hare, fox, raccoon dog, lynx and bear.

And, last question: what advice would you give someone who wants to use this breed for hunting for the first time?

Release the Russian hound from his leash, sit down and wait. When the barking starts, you can await the game to pass by you. An adult Russian hound is quite independent but always eager to find the game and keep it on the move for you.

Photos 3-5 Päivi Pesonen; 1, 2, 6 Minna Väisänen.

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