Other names: Deutsche Bracke
Known mostly by her German name in the UK, the Deutsche Bracke or German Hound is a three-coloured, medium-sized hunting dog. While she still finds work as a hunting dog (her pointer heritage seems to suggest dalliances with beagles, greyhounds, and bloodhounds along the way) she also makes a sturdy family pet. It is to be noted that neither the UK nor US Kennel Clubs recognise this breed.
Key facts about the German Hound
Life expectancy :
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Origins and history
First described by German artists and scholars in the 18th century, it is believed the ‘German Hound’ existed for some time before that. She was apparently brought into existence by ongoing experimentation to create a ‘utility’ hunting dog capable of multiple tasks in multiple conditions in the field. The beagle, English pointer, and bits of different foxhounds may have been thrown in the pot, along with the greyhound and the bloodhound. Although she hails from the Sauerland and Westphalia regions of Germany, she has become popular across that country as both a hunting and a family dog, but has struggled to make a name for herself outside of her homeland and especially beyond mainland Europe.
FCI breed nomenclature
Group 6 - Scent hounds and related breeds
Section 1 : Scent hounds
Physical characteristics of the German Hound
Female : Between 16 and 21 in
Male : Between 16 and 21 in
Female : Between 42 and 44 lb
Male : Between 42 and 44 lb
Red-yellow, black, and white.
Type of coat
The German Hound's hair is short and dense.
The German Hound's eyes are brown.
Light and nimble yet noble and strong, the Bracke looks something like a svelte beagle. She has a long, arched body, deep chest, and long slender snout. Her long, silky, rounded ears pair with soulful eyes to give the Bracke a deluxe look, even if she is well-suited to outdoors adventures and hard work. Her three-coloured fur is formed from a reddish-yellow, over which appears to be thrown a black ‘blanket’ or ‘saddle.’ The look is completed by white ‘bracken’ marks on her chest, legs, brow, and the tip of her tail. The splash of flesh-colour on her snout is her trademark.
Good to know
She is not currently recognised by the UK Kennel Club and her number is low across these cursed isles.
The Bracke is a loyal and human-oriented creature. She needs plenty of company from those she holds dearest, although outsiders won’t get the same treatment. Kind and eager to please, she will tolerate children – although she should be carefully trained to do so from her youth.
She is a ‘working’ dog for whom work and play are each exciting challenges. And she has bags of energy. Thus, time spent playing with a Bracke or teaching her tricks and games will not go unappreciated.
If given the attention and company she needs, the Bracke will remain a calm, if energetic, soul. That said, those energy levels can be disruptive or dangerous if expressed wayfully in the presence of small, fragile humans.
This dog has the potential to maintain a moderately impressive intellect if trained with firmness and consistency from a young age. Her attention span can be brief, particularly in the proximity of fast-moving small furry creatures.
Developed as a scent hound, the Deutsche Brack is still considered an excellent hunting dog today. Her well-developed nasal faculties are her super-power, able as they are to pick up the slightest whiff against the strongest breeze. Her hearty bark means that the quarry will never get far without your notice, be they man, beast, or ghoul.
Fearful / wary of strangers
She can be wary about strangers, responding with vigilance or indifference depending on the perceived threat level. But she is happy to get to know new people once introductions are out of the way. This is why she may be better suited as a guard dog who can alert you intruders, rather than a security hound who will disable and disarm crooks.
While basically a loyal and attentive presence, this model does come with a dash of independence that can catch her companions off-guard – especially if they did not teach her the proper way of doing things when she was a pup.
Behaviour of the German Hound
The German Hound may not be the most extroverted of souls but she will maintain an interest in what her closest friends are up to and appreciate your company. And she may become neurotic and/or destructive if left alone.
Easy to train / obedience
The Bracke’s seed of independence will be nourished by neglect ; she requires firm, confident training to develop into a sensible and reliable adult and potential hunting companion. But she is eager to learn, when engaged from a young age, and responds well to treats and encouragement – just beware, unannounced smells and foolhardy cats and squirrels can disrupt the classroom atmosphere in a blink.
Loud and resonant, the Bracke’s is a business bark. But it should be more useful than troublesome as long as she is well-disciplined from her youth.
Tendency to run away
Although the Bracke is loyal and likes to remain close to her people, she is easily distracted by small, huntable things and may dash away if she forgets herself. She also needs plenty of space to stretch her legs. All in all, a good-sized garden with tall, sturdy fencing is a good idea for this dog.
While not wantonly destructive, this generally-sensible dog may all the same take to dismantling your home if left alone there for too long. During play, she has no real instinct to destroy, but her high energy levels can create chaos if unleashed in an unsuitably small space, such as an apartment or china shop.
Greedy / Gluttony
She’s no glutton, but she’s a dog after all – and, being a deep-chested dog, the Bracke is susceptible to bloating if she overeats or exercises too soon after dining. For these reasons moderate caution should be observed in the presence of indefinite quantities of food.
Her business-like bark and sensitivity against strangers make her a good choice for an early-alarm system, although you shouldn’t rely on the Bracke to neutralise the intruder. If he is smart enough to make friends with her, you may walk in on them taking tea together.
Her need for firm, confident training would suggest that the Deutsche Brack does not make the ideal first dog. But if you’re serious about your responsibilities and quick to learn, there’s no reason why she won’t follow your example.
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German Hound in a flat
Not especially advisable since she thrives on the smells of the garden and needs plenty of space to express her energy.
Need for exercise / Sporty
The Brack is a highly-energetic dog who will explore alternative and potentially destructive means to tire herself if not appropriately exercised by her companions. An hour of serious walking each day should be considered the bare minimum ; supplementary jogging, hiking, and play should be the norm, not the exception.
Travelling / easy to transport
There are no particular concerns to bear in mind in regard to the safe conveyance of this breed.
German Hound and cats
If the Bracke is raised with a cat from puppyhood, few problems should arise. However, in general this breed considers cats (and hamsters, squirrels, canaries etc.) to be ‘fair game’ in the true meaning of the phrase. That is to say, she will get her hunt on at the drop of a cat.
German Hound and dogs
The Bracke is accustomed to teamwork with other dogs and thus should tolerate and even enjoy their company – especially if she is well-socialised from an early age, as indeed all dogs should be. However, individual German Hounds have been known to demonstrate dominant, Alpha-type behaviour among their peers, so you should never drop your guard completely.
German Hound and children
She is careful and tender towards children, and appreciates their predilection for play. However, she should not keep the company of toddlers since her high energy levels can result in toppling.
German Hound and the elderly
An elderly person of good health and fitness may find the Bracke great company on long, long walks, so long as they are as assured as any of us can be that they will be able to provide an hour-plus of vigorous daily exercise throughout their pet’s life.
This breed is very popular in Germany but not in the other countries, therefore it will be difficult to find a German Hound dog. We do not have enough information to establish an average price for this dog.
The Deutsche Bracke can cost around £25-30 per month to feed and maintain.
There are no particular grooming needs for this breed, beyond that which you would expect for the species in general. Regular brushing and nail-clipping are a must, and special attention should be paid to her ears on returning from an adventure across wet or muddy ground. Quite brilliantly, her coat can generally be expected to repel dirt and water.
She does not lose undue amounts of hair.
Nutrition of the German Hound
High quality dry dog food or that formulated especially for active or working breeds are the only particular nutritional needs for this dog.
Health of the German Hound
12 to 14 years.
Strong / robust
The Bracke is both strong and robust despite her elegant appearance. Built for adventure.
There are no special considerations for this breed in hot weather, aside from the general dog rules of providing continuous sources of shade and fresh water.
The Bracke is quite capable of tolerating cold weather when out and about, and may indeed seem invulnerable to anything nature throws at her ; all the same, she should not be made to live outdoors and should instead spend the nights in your home.
Tendency to put on weight
She has a great need to expend her energy, so if you fail to give her the exercise she requires then she may start to pile on the pounds. Other than that, the Bracke does not present any particular concern – although over-fast eating can result in temporary (but painful) bloating.