Other names: Westphalian Hound
The Westphalian Dachsbracke is a rare breed from Germany. It is nowadays mostly bred in Scandinavian countries and used for the control of pests and game. It came about due to a need of a hunting dog that was small enough to follow badgers and foxes into their burrows. ‘Dachs’ is the Germanic word meaning ‘badger’, and ‘Bracke’ is the plural word meaning ‘scent hounds’.
Key facts about the Westphalian Dachsbracke
Origins and history
The Westphalian Dachsbracke was first described in 1886. It is thought to have been bred from a crossing of the Swedish scenthound with a dog such as a Dachshund, but such a claim is unverified. It is not a registered pedigree of the UK’s Kennel Club but may appear from time to time in the groups of the lesser scent hounds.
FCI breed nomenclature
Group 6 - Scent hounds and related breeds
Section 1 : Scent hounds
Physical characteristics of the Westphalian Dachsbracke
Female : Between 12 and 15 in
Male : Between 12 and 15 in
Female : Between 31 and 33 lb
Male : Between 31 and 33 lb
Usually white fur on the chest, collar, muzzle and legs; the rest of the body is usually coloured red and yellow or black and white.
Type of coat
Long over the back; short elsewhere
Coarse, short-haired, single coat.
A short-legged dog of a dignified appearance; the Westphalian is a stocky, compact and powerful dog. The tail is carried as a ‘sabre’: slightly upwards when the dog is active. The back of the dog is slightly arched leading to a long and slender neck. Ears are high and broad and hang close to the cheek.
Good to know
To socialise a young Westphalian is worthwhile. Dogs that have been introduced to other dogs and other animals are less likely to exhibit behaviour that is antisocial or unwanted.
Despite being bred to hunt in alpine climes, in other parts of the world this dog has comfortably transitioned to the role of ‘affectionate companion’. The well-adjusted Westphalian is not quick to anger and makes a loyal friend.
An active dog that likes to play and interact; the Westphalian can be mischievous.
A stable and confident dog, the Westphalian needs to be kept busy to prevent its behaviour from becoming antisocial. This dog sleeps on average 14 hours a day.
The Westphalian is reasonably intelligent. It is happiest and most responsive when it knows it is in favour with its owner.
This dog desires to chase other animals. Once ‘locked’ on a scent it becomes a skilful and tenacious hunter.
Fearful / wary of strangers
The Westphalian tends to be very welcoming of new people and is renowned for its friendliness.
These dogs are still bred by hunters to hunt. They work as a pack and are dependent on each other and their masters.
Behaviour of the Westphalian Dachsbracke
This dog will tolerate a short period of solitude.
Easy to train / obedience
To train the Westphalian Dachsbracke requires the owner to deliver consistent and confident training. This is a dog that is easily distracted and quick to boredom.
This dog has a tendency to bark to excess; training and socialisation may stem the dog’s habit of barking.