But You Can Call Me Barak

Why say “Bosnian Hunting Hound” when Chien Courant de Bosnie Poil Dur sounds so much more high falutin (that’s the French version). But wait, it gets better. The English translation of the name by which this breed is recognized with the FCI is “Bosnian Broken-Haired Hound – Called Barak.” 

Initially, the breed was registered with the F.C.I. in 1965 under the name of Illyrian Hound (referring to a pre-Slavic people from the area of the breed’s origin).  The current standard created in 1973 changed the name to the Bosnian Broken-Haired Hound – called Barak. The United Kennel Club, which recognized the breed in 2006, also lists the breed as the Barak, but this scenthound of Bosnia and Herzegovina has also been known as the Bosnian Broken-haired Hound, Bosnian Rough-haired Hound, Bosnian Rough-coated Hound, Bosnian Coarse-haired Hound, Bosnian: Bosanski oštrodlaki gonic, and simply as Bosnian Hound.

These days, the name Barak is used more commonly in the English speaking world, Barak being the Turkish term for “rough coated dog.” Indeed, most of the Barak’s English names have alluded to the texture of the breed’s shaggy coat when using jargon such as “broken-haired,” “rough coated,” or “hard.”

In the end, and whatever the name used, all of them refer to a scenthound developed by hunters in the 19th century to hunt boar, fox, and hare. It’s believed that local hounds were crossed with Italian gundogs to create the Barak, but because of its coat, some cynologists think it likely that the Spinone Italiano was also incorporated into the gene pool. The Bosnian Civil War almost destroyed the Barak in the 1990s, but somehow it managed to survive in small numbers. Fans admire its courageous, lively, persistent, and alert personality, but potential owners need to be aware of its high prey drive and “loquaciousness” when on the scent of something that interests them as they were bred to ‘bay’ when tracking game.

Image: Barak dog/DepositPhoto

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