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Historically, these dog breeds have been used for hunting any number of animals. Within this group, you can find scent hounds, such as a Coonhound, and sight hounds, like the Greyhound and Borzoi.
Although some Hounds are mostly silent, like the Basenji, others display ability to produce a unique sound, called baying. Think of a pack of Foxhounds or Beagles on the trail of their prey, and you'll get the idea.
Unlike dogs of the retriever family, which wait for direction from their master, hounds lead the way, chasing down their quarry by sight, sound, and scent.