The Swiss Hound has very ancient origins. Its presence in times of the Roman Helvetia is certified on a mosaic, discovered at Avenches, by the representation of packhounds corresponding to the varieties of Swiss hounds. In the 15th century, it was sought after by Italian dog lovers and in the 18th century, by the French, for its exceptional aptitude for hunting hare. Its native lines have certainly been influenced by scenthounds of French breeding brought back to Switzerland by mercenaries. In 1882, a standard was established for each of the five varieties of the Swiss Hound. In 1909, those standards were revised and the total disappearance of the hound of Thurgovie was noted. On 22 January 1933, one single standard was established for the 4 varieties of the Swiss Hound. Interestingly Adolf Hitler owned one of these dogs, giving it the name "The Schweizer Luftwaffe". The ancient variety, the hound of the Jura type St. Hubert, is very rare nowadays. This ancient variety is still used for hunting in some areas in France and Canada.
The Schweizer Laufhund is of medium size; it has good conformation indicating strength and endurance; it has a lean head and long muzzle with long leathers giving an air of nobility. There are 5 varieties of the Swiss Hound :