Drever

Other names: Swedish Dachsbrake

Drever
Drever

The Drever is a small, short-legged scent hound used for tracking deer and other game. She's closely related to German Hound breeds and was imported into Sweden in 1901. The Drever is almost exclusively kept as a working dog. However, she can make an excellent family pet. This is an alert, self-confident little dog that is neither aggressive or shy. But she is very independent. Owners looking for a companion dog might be disappointed as this dog can be quite aloof. 

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Key facts about the Drever

  • Life expectancy : Between 12 and 14 years
  • Temperament : Intelligent, Hunter
  • Size : Small
  • Type of coat : Short

FCI Group

FCI Group

Group 6 - Scent hounds and related breeds

Section

Section 1 : Scent hounds

Physical characteristics of the Drever

Adult size

Female dog Between 12 and 14 in
Male dog Between 13 and 15 in

Weight

Female dog Between 33 and 37 lb
Male dog Between 33 and 37 lb

Coat colour

White, brown, and black tricolour. 

Type of coat

Short, flat, coarse.

Eye colour

Dark brown.

Description

The Drever has a long massive body and short legs. She has a high head carriage and a very alert posture. Upon closer inspection, she is much more athletic than first appearances may suggest. She has a well-developed, muscular frame, a long muzzle, and short ears that lie flat against the head. The tail is high and relatively long, saber-like when the dog is active.

Temperament

Affectionate

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Owners looking for a companion dog are advised to look at some different breeds. The Drever is a very independent dog that enjoys her own space. If accustomed from a young age, she can become a pleasant companion.

Playful

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While not as playful as some other working dogs, the Drever will enjoy games and activities that stimulate her tracking instincts.

Calm

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She has an ardent, tenacious, and alert character.

Intelligent

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Like most scent hounds, the Drever is a quick learner with a natural desire to impress the pack leader. But intelligent dogs like the Drever can be hard to handle.This dog needs a firm but fair pack leader. 

Hunter

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The Drever was bred to hunt and is an excellent tracker. She has a superb sense of smell, excellent vision, and a determined nature.  

Fearful / wary of strangers

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The Drever isn’t fearful or wary of strangers. She’s just not that interested in them. These dogs prefer to do their own thing instead. 

Independent

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The Drever is a very independent dog that likes to do things her own way. Any owners will need to be firm, consistent, but fair. Passive dog owners will be overwhelmed by this headstrong animal. 

Behaviour of the Drever

Tolerates solitude

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She can stay alone, but always prefers the company of other dogs or her humans.

Easy to train / obedience

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An experienced handler should have no problem training this dog, but the first time owner may have a tough time. Training must be started early, to prevent the puppy becoming too headstrong.

Barking

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She doesn’t bark very often, but this little dog can make a very big noise. So start her training and socialisation as early as possible.

Tendency to run away

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She is designed to follow tracks, and will pursue an interesting smell out of the garden if it is not sufficiently secure.

Destructive

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She needs constant stimulation, and will cause significant destruction if her needs are not met.

Greedy / Gluttony

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The Drever isn’t greedy but it’s really important to manage her food intake. Treats will be useful in holding the attention of this active dog, who can be distracted by the smell of a potential trail.

Guard dog

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Her sociable side makes her a poor guardian.

First dog

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First time dog owners should explore other options. These dogs have very specific needs which the novice handler will struggle to meet.

Lifestyle

Drever in a flat

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In a word, no. Despite being quite small, a Drever still needs lots of exercise. She’s designed for countryside living.

Need for exercise / Sporty

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This dog needs about an hour of exercise every day. This must include plenty of time off the leash. She needs plenty of physical and mental stimulation, and lots of tracking-type activities.

Travelling / easy to transport

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Once they’ve been exercised, the Drever can become quite docile. This makes her a much better travel companion during long car journeys. If you’re thinking about taking her abroad, speak to the airline company directly. The Drever might be a bit too big for some commercial flights.

Compatibility

Drever and cats

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This dog was bred to track and chase furry creatures. She has a strong instinctual prey drive and a high work ethic. It’s best to keep her away from cats.

Drever and dogs

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The Drever loves being around other dogs. It’s also really important for her short and long term mental health. Pack dogs need to be around other dogs.

Drever and children

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Although the Drever is a calm, friendly dog, she is not especially playful. She doesn’t like being the centre of attention. She much prefers her own space, and children should respect this.

Drever and the elderly

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A Drever is a good match for elderly dog owners. Her exercise needs are not too demanding and her relaxed nature is well suited to those who are enjoying their golden years. 

Price

We do not have enough data to set an average price. Looking after a dog of this size typically costs between £70 to £100 a month, including food, medical/insurance, and incidental expenses.
 

Grooming

A Drever requires very little grooming. A quick weekly brush will keep her coat in good shape.

Shedding

Light shedder.  

Nutrition of the Drever

To be certain to meet the needs of this working dog, nothing beats a traditional ration based on raw meat, vegetables, and starchy foods. 

Health of the Drever

Life expectancy

A well-bred and very healthy working dog with an average life expectancy of 13 years.

Strong / robust

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The Drever is small, sturdy dog, who is mentally and physically tough. However, it is important to inspect her after she returns from hunting, as she can get injured.

Withstand heat

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The Drever has a short, coarse coat. She has no difficulties keeping herself cool during warmer times of the year, although care should be taken during heat waves.

Withstand cold

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She can live both indoors and outdoors because she is very resistant to the weather - even snow!

Tendency to put on weight

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Active working dogs tend to stay lean and healthy. Any sudden weight-gain will be related to overfeeding, a lack of exercise, or certain health issues. 

Common illnesses

Good to know

Owners need to be firm and consistent. Otherwise this dog can become very stubborn. While the Drever is very popular in her own country, she is virtually unknown elsewhere.

Origins and history

Little is known about the Drever before the 1930s, when she gained a reputation as an excellent deer tracker. She was then registered in 1947, and in 1953 recognised as a Swedish breed. The Drever is considered the first choice for deer and fox tracking, although she’s also skilled in tracking smaller game. All scenthounds have an excellent sense of smell, but the Drever’s is thought to be one of the very best. Even in her native Sweden, Drevers are rarely kept as pets. This is a real working dog.

Names

Snoopy, Stitch, Terri, Maize

Find out more dog name ideas here

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