Westphalian Dachsbracke

Other names: Westphalian Hound

Westphalian Dachsbracke

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

Life expectancy :





Temperament :

Affectionate Playful Hunter

Size :

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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

FCI Group

Group 6 - Scent hounds and related breeds


Section 1 : Scent hounds

Physical characteristics of the Westphalian Dachsbracke

Adult size

Female : Between 12 and 15 in

Male : Between 12 and 15 in


Female : Between 31 and 33 lb

Male : Between 31 and 33 lb

Coat colour

Type of coat

Eye colour



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.


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    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.

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    An active dog that likes to play and interact; the Westphalian can be mischievous.

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    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.

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    The Westphalian is reasonably intelligent. It is happiest and most responsive when it knows it is in favour with its owner.

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    This dog desires to chase other animals. Once ‘locked’ on a scent it becomes a skilful and tenacious hunter.

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    Fearful / wary of strangers

    The Westphalian tends to be very welcoming of new people and is renowned for its friendliness.

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    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

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      Tolerates solitude

      This dog will tolerate a short period of solitude.

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      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.

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      This dog has a tendency to bark to excess; training and socialisation may stem the dog’s habit of barking.

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      Tendency to run away

      The Westphalian Dachsbracke is sometimes hard to recall. It may not hear your command if it is focussed on a particularly interesting scent.

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      The Westphalian can be destructive if left on its own for long periods of time.

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      Greedy / Gluttony

      To own an active Westphalian does not preclude someone from administering a strict dog food diet. Westphalians need two meals a day of high-quality dog food.

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      Guard dog

      This dog is alert and vigilant but is not particularly territorial; it is too laid back to make a worthwhile watchdog.

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      First dog

      The Westphalian Dachsbracke is a suitable first dog. However, the inexperienced dog owner should take their time to learn about the breed. This dog does not respond well to harsh criticism and can be stubborn.

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        Westphalian Dachsbracke in a flat

        A well-fenced garden is an excellent provision for this dog. The Westphalian Dachsbracke is content to live in a flat if it is regularly exercised.

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        Need for exercise / Sporty

        The Westphalian needs a good deal of exercise every day (for both its body and mind).

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        Travelling / easy to transport

        Once trained, a Westphalian Dachsbracke is comfortable with travel. To house the dog in a crate is a sensible course of action; make sure the dog is properly crate trained first.


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          Westphalian Dachsbracke and cats

          The Westphalian Dachsbracke is not overly tolerant of other animals, even those with which it has been brought up. It cannot shake its tendency to chase smaller non-canine animals.

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          Westphalian Dachsbracke and dogs

          Generally speaking, the Westphalian gets on with other dogs.

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          Westphalian Dachsbracke and children

          On the whole this breed is good with children and reasonably tolerant of boisterous play.

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          Westphalian Dachsbracke and the elderly

          The Westphalian Dachsbracke is not the right dog for people of senior years; it does not suit a sedentary lifestyle and will become troublesome if not interacted with and exercised regularly.



          We do not have enough data to set an average price for an Westphalian Dachsbracke. You’re also looking at between £120 to £150 per month to care for this dog.


          Brush the Westphalia once or twice a week to prevent its coarse coat from becoming matted and tangled. Do not bath this dog too often; bathe only when necessary. Check beneath the dog’s large ear pinna on a regular basis.


          The Westphalian Dachsbracke sheds moderately.

          Nutrition of the Westphalian Dachsbracke

          It is always worthwhile to feed a Westphalian a high-quality and specially formulated dog food.

          Health of the Westphalian Dachsbracke

          Life expectancy

          11 to 13 years

          Strong / robust

          This is an active and energetic dog that likes nothing better than a day of outdoor exploration.

          Withstand heat

          The Westphalian Dachsbracke is not especially tolerant of hot temperatures.

          Withstand cold

          The Westphalian Dachsbracke will adapt to cold climes. It is a popular choice of dog for alpine hunters.

          Tendency to put on weight

          The Westphalian Dachsbracke is more prone to weight gain than most. If your dog is not exercised as regularly as it should be and is fed too much human or substandard food it will quickly become obese.

          Common illnesses

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