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Other namesScandinavian hound
Foundation stockAlaskan 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.[1] The Eurohound is typically crossbred from the Alaskan husky group and any of a number of pointing breeds ("pointers").[2]


A Eurohound is a cross between an Alaskan husky and a German Shorthaired Pointer.[3][4] Scandinavia was the first to use Eurohounds in competitive sled dog racing.[5][unreliable source][3] 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.[6]


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.[7] 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.[2]

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.[8] The Eurohound is sleeker than a husky and can hit speeds of 25 miles per hour.[9]

The term "Eurohound" was coined by Ivana Nolke to distinguish them from the European racing dogs being imported into Alaska.[10] Greyhounds crossed with German Shorthaired Pointers are known as "greysters" and popular for dryland racing and limited-class snow racing.[11]

Appearance and breeds[edit]

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.[2]

The Alaskan husky sprint dog has been bred for performance, not appearance.[12] The German Shorthaired Pointer and English Pointer gene pool too were bred for performance, particularly hunting;[13]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.[14]


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.


  1. ^ Smith, Sharon (2018-03-17). "Could you keep up with your dog?". Retrieved 28 December 2019.
  2. ^ a b c Peterson, Jane (22 February 2019). "For a thrilling winter experience, try perfecting the art of dog sledding". The Oakland Press. Retrieved 28 December 2019.
  3. ^ a b Kyra Sundance (1 October 2010). 101 Ways to Do More with Your Dog: Make Your Dog a Superdog with Sports, Games, Exercises, Tricks, Mental Challenges, Crafts, and Bondi. Quarry Books. pp. 49–. ISBN 978-1-61058-070-0.
  4. ^ Airgood, Bryce (9 February 2019). "Sled dog racing, the 'loudest silent sport'". Cadillac News. Retrieved 28 December 2019.
  5. ^ Stephanie Little Wolf, "A Deeper History of the Origins of the Alaskan Husky",
  6. ^ Pritchard, Emma-Louise (2019-06-15). "CaniCross: Everything You Need To Know For Dog And Owner". Retrieved 28 December 2019.
  7. ^ Crossbreeding in cattle Archived 2009-01-17 at the Wayback Machine
  8. ^ Romeo, Jonathan (2017-01-07). "Sled dog racers hope third time is a charm for race". The Journal. Retrieved 28 December 2019.
  9. ^ Lisa Wojna (7 April 2008). Amazing Dog Stories: Stories of Brilliance, Loyalty, Courage & Extraordinary Feats. Folklore Publishing. ISBN 978-1-894864-72-5.
  10. ^ "About Us – Howling Dog Alaska". Retrieved 28 December 2019.
  11. ^ Rune Waaler (April 2019). Dog Sledding in Norway: Multidisciplinary Research Perspectives. LIT Verlag Münster. pp. 33–. ISBN 978-3-643-91097-4.
  12. ^ Гапонів Алекс; Возна Марина Олександрівна. Лінгвокраїнознавство: Англомовні країни. Нова Книга. pp. 254–. ISBN 978-966-382-606-6.
  13. ^ David Gowdey (December 2008). The German Shorthaired Pointer: A Hunter's Guide to the Selection, Care, Training, and Handling of America's Most Popular Pointing Breed. David Gowdey. ISBN 978-0-9822330-0-9.
  14. ^ Friedman, Sam (2017-02-04). "Alaskan huskies bred for all-around sledding performance". Retrieved 29 December 2019.

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