The Polish Hunting Dog, or formerly Polish Scenthound (Polish: Gończy Polski) is a breed of scent hound originating in Poland.
General appearance A lithe dog of compact construction. The bone structure is strong but not heavy. The build implies a great aptitude for mobility and an obvious disposition to resist difficult working conditions in mountainous regions.
Temperament Stable and gentle. This dog is truly courageous and can even demonstrate proof of bravery. He is intelligent and easy to educate. Not aggressive but remaining wary towards strangers. To his qualities as a hunting dog, must be added those of an excellent face.
Hunting with scent hounds was referred to in Polish literature as early as the 13th century. Poland has always been a country covered by deep forests, full of big game where the scent hound was the precious auxiliary of the hunter. Hunting with scent hounds was highly esteemed by Polish nobility as attested by 14th century chronicles. In the 17th century, at least two different types of Polish scent hounds were already well distinguished. Detailed descriptions are found in 19th century hunting literature: in 1819 Jan Szytier (Poradnik Mysliwych) describes the Polish “brach” and the Polish scent hound; in 1821, in the magazine “Sylwan”, W.Kozlowski gives a description and provides illustrations of both types, the Polish “brach” (heavier) and the Polish scent hound (lighter); the very detailed description of Ignacy Bogatynski (1823–1825, Nauka Lowiectwa) could be used as the first breed standard. After the first World War, the Polish scent hound was still used for hunting in Poland; in the eastern regions but especially in the mountains on particularly difficult terrains. In the Podkarpacle region, the famous Polish cynologist, Jozef Pawuslewicz (1903–1979) hunted with Polish scent hounds; he was engaged in the development of breeding this dog. He wrote the first Breed Standard and it is thanks to him that these dogs were officially registered by the Polish Cynological Association.