Alpine Dachsbracke breed: durable hunting dog with amazing nose
2023. June 13 - Photos: Getty Images Hungary
2023. June 13 - Photos: Getty Images Hungary
Although short, the more hardy the dog, the more tracking is in his blood. Not for nothing, it is mainly kept by hunters. But as it is also friendly with other dogs and children, it can easily find its place in the family. Just like the wounded game in the depths of the forest.
The Alpine Dachsbracke is a robust, hardy and action-oriented tracking hound, most often used by hunters to track wounded wild boar or deer, but also capable of tracking foxes and hares. He is patient with other dogs and pets, but hunting is in his blood. So he is a working dog first and a pet second.
It is thought to date from the mid-19th century, but even in ancient times there were low, dachshund-like tracking hounds. It evolved from a cross between larger hunting dogs, such as Austrian hounds and dachshunds, which is immediately apparent in its appearance. A perfect blend of these breeds. Rudolf of Habsburg-Lorraine was one of the favourite hunting dogs of the Austro-Hungarian heir to the throne, and often took them on hunting trips to Turkey and Egypt. He mentions the breed in his book Eine Orientreise vom Jahres 1881, and they were valuable companions for professional hunters. In 1896 the first international Dachshund Club was founded. In 1908, however, it was disbanded, but two years later the Austrian Dachshund Club was founded.
A total of four hounds originate from Austria: the Alpine Dachsbracke, the Tyrolean Hound, the Styrian Coarse Haired Hound and the Austrian Black and Tan Hound. The dachshunds were for a long time considered to be one breed, but the Westphalian Dachsbracke has separated over time.
During the world wars, its breeding declined significantly. In 1932 it was registered as Alpenländische-Erzgebirgler Dachsbracke by the kennel clubs of Austria. In 1975 the name was changed to Alpenländische Dachsbrackere and the FCI gave Austria as the country of origin and classified it in the bloodstock group. Nowadays, it is mostly known and used as a hunting dog by people in German-speaking areas, but some individuals can also be found in our country. Its speciality is its ability to move quickly over rough terrain and to work at high altitudes.
The Alpine Dachsbracke is a short-legged, long-bodied, slightly dachshund-like tracking hound. Robust, weatherproof, a faithful companion for mountain hunters. Strong bone structure; hardy dog with a dense coat and well developed muscles. The skull is slightly curved, the head is pointed, the nose is black. Her lips are tightly pressed together and black. Jaw with strong, scissor bite. His eyes are dark brown. The feet are high-pinned, broad and drooping, with a medium length. Their ends are rounded. The neck is muscular, not too long. Trunk is strong, well muscled and elongated. The mar is moderately pronounced. The snout is straight, the loin is short and wide. Fara is barely sloping. The chest is deep and broad, the belly slightly raised. Its tail is high and thick at the base, almost reaching the ground. Slightly longer hair on the underside, slightly bristly.
The forelegs are strong and straight, the paws are round and the toes are close fitting. Claws and pads are black. The hind limbs are well angulated and muscular. The coat is double layered, dense and close to the body. Ideal colour is dark deer red with or without black hairs. The head, chest, legs, feet and underside of the tail may be black with light reddish brown. A white patch is allowed on the chest. Body weight approximately 15-18 kg. The ideal height at the withers for males is 37-38 cm, for bitches 36-37 cm, but may be 34-42 cm according to the FCI standard, regardless of sex. Life expectancy is 12-14 years.
The Alpine Dachshund is used primarily as a tracking hunting dog. Its task is to search for game (deer, rabbit, fox, wild boar) that has been shot. It can also be trained to work on water or for retrieving. It is a very brave, determined and fearless dog. Nothing will deter him from his goal. He is an independent and strong-willed dog. However, at home he is patient, calm and lovable, and typically gets on well with other pets and children. He has a strong hunting instinct, however, and his owner should be aware of this. He is very intelligent and friendly, but few people consider him “just” a pet.
It is mainly recommended for hunters, as it is a very hard-working dog, requiring a lot of exercise and is very robust. When he has nothing to do, he can get bored and it is important that he gets plenty of exercise and uses his excellent sense of smell. When he has nothing to do, he likes to rest, but when there is work to be done and he smells it, he will immediately start working. For him, hunting and tracking is recreation, and playing at home is less exciting and distracting. Because he has a strong hunting instinct, he must be kept on a lead at all times when being walked. He gets on well with other dogs and is kind and gentle with children.
The breed is weatherproof, with a dense, double-layered coat that does not require much grooming. It sheds at a medium rate, and its coat, when not muddy or dirty, only needs to be wiped occasionally with a damp cloth to keep it shiny. The claws need to be trimmed occasionally if they become too long, as the soft straw may not abrade them properly. Eyes and ears should always be kept clean.
Overall, it is a healthy breed, provided its exercise and working needs are adequately met. When they work a lot, they need to eat higher calorie foods, but when they work little, their diet should be adapted to avoid obesity. It is important not to do strenuous physical work after eating to avoid stomach upset. Sometimes you may have ear problems, patellofibromas and hip dysplasia.