|Other names||Scandinavian hound|
|Foundation stock||Alaskan husky, pointing breeds|
|Dog (domestic dog)|
A Eurohound (also known as a Eurodog or Scandinavian hound) is a type of dog bred for sled dog racing. The Eurohound is typically crossbred from the Alaskan husky group and any of a number of pointing breeds ("pointers").
A Eurohound is a cross between an Alaskan husky and a German Shorthaired Pointer. Scandinavia was the first to use Eurohounds in competitive sled dog racing.[unreliable source] The Eurohound is not purebred and is not a breed of dog, but a crossbreed, its parents being deliberately crossed in order to produce progeny with specific traits. The Eurohound needs cooler weather to run; the European Canicross Championships is held from September to May to avoid the heat.
Rather than inbreeding similar-looking dogs in order to create a new breed with a consistent appearance, Eurohound racers crossbred for specific working traits and health. Crossbreeding includes breeding between two established breeds, with two tightly bred but unrelated gene pools, and breeding the first generation cross back to one of the purebred breeds. Crossbreeding is also done for the purpose of heterosis (hybrid vigor). The dogs most often used for Eurohound crosses are purebred German Shorthaired Pointers (and English Pointers), other pointer breeds and Alaskan huskies (Gareth Wright lines primarily) from tightly bred sprint dog lines used for racing.
A first-generation Eurohound cross (50 percent pointing breed, 50 percent husky) has a short coats, suitable for sprint races, which does not involve resting or sleeping on the trail. When the first-generation cross is crossed again with the Alaskan husky, the resulting generation can have thicker coats, suitable for longer-distance teams. Most distance mushers prefer the pointer genetics to only be 1/8 in a dog for maximum performance. This then reduces the Eurohound influence and these dogs should be termed Alaskan husky crosses or mixed hounds. The Eurohound is sleeker than a husky and can hit speeds of 25 miles per hour.
The term "Eurohound" was coined by Ivana Nolke to distinguish them from the European racing dogs being imported into Alaska. Greyhounds crossed with German Shorthaired Pointers are known as "greysters" and popular for dryland racing and limited-class snow racing.
Appearance and breeds
Fairly common features of 50 percent crosses are half-dropped ears, black with white blazing as shown in the photo, or solid with patches of spots. Some completely spotted dogs appear as well. Once the percentage of pointer drops, the dogs start to look more like Alaskan huskies. The dogs have a similar coat to German Shorthaired Pointer and look like standard hunting dogs.
The Alaskan husky sprint dog has been bred for performance, not appearance. The German Shorthaired Pointer and English Pointer gene pool too were bred for performance, particularly hunting;the Scandinavian pointers from which the first Eurohounds came from had been used historically for sled dog racing and hunting. The Eurohound was good for mushing and became widely used.
Although more accurately and traditionally called "crossbreed", crossbreed dogs are sometimes referred to incorrectly as "hybrid", as a fashionable trend. A hybrid animal most often refers to one with parentage of two separate species or subspecies (but sometimes even genera), differentiating it from crossbreed animals, which have parentage of the same species. All dogs, including crossbreeds, are of the same subspecies (Canis lupus familiaris) and so crossbred dogs are not a hybridization with another species.
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