The Alpine Dachsbracke is categorized under the AKC (American Kennel Club) category of Scenthounds. The Alpine Dachsbracke is also known as the Alpenlandischer Dachsbracke, Alpenländische Dachsbracke, and the Basset des Alpes. An Austrian breed, the Dachsbracke was bred to assist hunters in tracking prey.
Dachsbrackes have a general height range of 13 to 16.5 inches (34 – 42 centimeters), and an average weight range of 33 to 40 pounds (15 – 18 kilograms), depending on the gender. They have an average lifespan of 10-12 years.
The origins of the Dachsbracke can be traced back into ancient times, where a breed that bore striking resemblance to the Dachsbracke was used as a hunting and shooting dog. Over time, around the 19th Century, the Dachsbracke was bred to be a hunting and tracking dog, and is the third scenthound breed in Austria. The Dachsbracke was bred from many different dog breeds for various characteristics – the Dachsbracke drew on the Austrian Black and Tan Hound’s scenting ability and its durability. The Dachsbracke then drew on breeds such as the Tyrolean Hound and the Styrian Coarse-Haired Hound for their ability to survive in Austria’s mountainous areas. The Dachshund provided the Dachsbracke with its stature and determination – the Dachshund is known to be a natural hunter with an incredible prey drive.
The Dachsbracke quickly became popular amongst hunters and royalty for their skills. Although originally bred to be a hunting dog, the Dachsbracke now hunts for sport due to a decline in need for humans to hunt for a living. In addition, the Dachsbracke has been incorporated into family life as they have appealed to many in terms of that role.
The Dachsbracke is a strong, stocky dog with recognizable short legs and a powerful body structure. The ratio of its height to length is determined to be a ratio of 2:3. The Dachsbracke’s skull and muzzle are of almost equal length, with the ratio of muzzle to skull being 9:10. Its skull is lightly arched and its nose bridge is straight. Its ears are set high, they extend downwards when relaxed, and they do not have folds. The Dachsbracke has a muscular neck that is not excessively long as well as a deep chest. Its tail is set high and tapers off.
The Dachsbracke has a double coat, consisting of a very thick topcoat and a close fitting undercoat. Its undercoat covers the whole body. Dachsbrackes’ coats come in a couple of colors, ranging from the most acceptable dark deer red to a black coat with red/brown markings on the head.
The Dachsbracke is fearless, and when that trait is combined with intelligence, its sheer ability as a hunting dog is made well known. On the other hand, the Dachsbracke is also very friendly which makes it a big hit when it comes to families and children. They are able to entertain as a family companion, and with its loyalty and general affection for their owners, they are deemed to be great companions.
Dachsbrackes are alert and very responsive – they will bark at the smallest disturbances, which make them good choices for guard dogs. Affection is key to get a Dachsbracke to warm up to you, as the Dachsbracke is friendly by nature. Dachsbrackes are not aggressive or territorial when it comes to other dogs, but if another dog does try to engage it in a fight, the Dachsbracke will not give in until the other backs down. The Dachsbracke will rarely fight to hurt; it only aims to resolve the problem.
As Dachsbrackes are natural hunters, it is not recommended for a Dachsbracke to be in a home with other animals that can be easily injured by it. Dachsbrackes will need mental and physical stimulation in order to prevent boredom and destructive behavior. They are not overly active dogs and will fare well in an apartment environment as long as it is given plenty of exercise.
General Care & Health
Dachsbrackes are relatively easy to take care of. Their coats should only be brushed when necessary. Brushing will reduce shedding and aid in removing dead hair. Dachsbrackes can be bathed once or twice a month; preferably not more than that as it might strip their coats of essential oils. Dry shampooing can also be done. Their ears should be checked weekly, and the outer ear should be cleaned with a cotton ball and a cleanser obtained through a vet. Teeth should be brushed regularly, and nails should be trimmed once or twice a month. Check for signs of infection whenever grooming occurs, and keep an eye out for redness and inflammation of the skin, eyes, nose and mouth.
The recommended daily amount of food a Dachsbracke should be getting is 1 to 1½ cups of dry food, divided into two or three meals throughout the day. Despite the presence of a guideline, the amounts can be altered if the dog is highly active or otherwise.
As Dachsbrackes are relatively rare worldwide, no known congenital diseases or health defects have been linked to them. Due to them being an elongated breed, however, they may be prone to back injuries. Intervertebral Disk Disease is a common condition – dogs with this condition will have their intervertebral disks damaged, which can lead to paralysis in the long run.
A naturally hardworking dog that perseveres, the Dachsbracke will not let its owner down when it comes to work. In addition, it will also not let its owner down when it comes to being affectionate and loyal towards its family. The Dachsbracke is easy to take care of, and because it doesn’t require a yard, makes for a great indoor family companion.
Photo by Mark Magdon – Public Domain