Sparkhounds are canine constructs originally bred to hunt down Sparks. However, some Sparks (including the family) enjoyed the novelty of the idea and started making contributions to the breed for their own ends. They first appear in the story proper when Martellus von Blitzengaard, who seems to have an affinity for such (animal-based) constructs, unleashes several to quell a rebellion against him in The Refuge of Storms. When Agatha escapes the Refuge, von Blitzengaard calls on several roaming packs that patrol the nearby area, including the one overseen by Ishtvan, to stop her. While they fail in this task they do go into battle against Wulfenbach Sentinels with a good . Their subsequent fight with Higgs, Bohrlaikha and a Great Sky Wurm does not .
The sparkhounds we've seen all wear goggles.
Given that these creatures were originally intended to hunt down and kill/capture Sparks, one can assume that they have intelligence comparable to other sapient animal constructs, with those created and bred by von Blitzengaard sharing several traits with Krosp such having the ability to be at least somewhat .