Alpine Dachsbracke (Alpenländische Dachsbracke)
The Alpine Dachsbracke is a small yet sturdy and strong Scent Hound of Austrian ancestry. It can be rarely seen outside its native land where this dog is treasured for its nice nose and well-developed prey drive. Recently this breed has also established reputation of a good companion animal.
It is said that the Alpine Dachsbracke was developed as a separate breed in the midst of the XIX century when Austrian canine fanciers created several types of sporting and tracking dogs. Nonetheless according to ancient pieces of art, for centuries in the Alpina highlands hunters used a hound that showed a striking resemblance in conformation and disposition to the present-day Alpina Dachsbrake.
The common opinion assumes that this dog was bred with the involvement of local Austrian hounds, presumably the Austrian Black and Tan Hound, and also the standard Dachshund. The latter gave the Alpine Dachsbracke its elongated body and short legs. The dog had a rather miniature physique but it was purposefully invented to be somewhat bigger than the Westphalian, its cousin from Germany, to be capable of operating in the harder conditions of a mountainous area.
Alpine hunters esteemed this breed for its exceptional hunting prowess. It could effectively hunt various game including foxes, rabbits and deer. With its excellent sense of smell it easily tracked down the wounded animal even if the trail had already gone cold. The Alpine Dachsbracke enjoyed favour of the Austrian aristocracy and royal families. For example, in 1881 and 1885, Crown Prince Rudolf of Habsburg commanded to his foresters to include its specimens on his hunting expeditions to Turkey and Egypt.
The Austrian top canine organization gave its complete recognition to this breed in 1932 under the name the Alpine-Erzgebirgs-Dachsbracke. It was officially renamed to Alpenlaendische Dachsbracke in 1975 in on initiative of the Fédération Cynologique Internationale (FCI). It received full approval of this organisation only in 1991.
The Alpine Dachsbracke is still primarily perceived as an excellent sporting dog although lately it started to slowly gain popularity as a family dog. Lots of people have already appreciated its adaptability and affectionate nature, which make this breed a great choice for any type of a family.
Although the major passion of the Alpine Dachsbracke is hunting (and it excels at it), this dog is very adjustable to a family life. It retains its puppy-like vigour well into its adulthood and wants to be the part of each and every family event. If this dog receives sufficient amount of socialisation in an early age it will treat kids of all ages with necessary patience and care. Bear in mind though that some of its specimens are notable for too quick temper to be totally trusted around a toddler.
The Alpine Dachsbracke shows moderate friendliness towards strange people. However this dog keenly feels threat to its favourite people and territory and usually responds to it with relevant aggression. Despite its first-rate guarding skills the breed won’t make a good guardian because of its fairly diminutive size. It is predisposed to unreasonable barking and therefore becomes a reliable watcher. Of course, it will be prudent to train your pet to fall silent no a command.
This dog has a mixed reputation as far as it concerns its counterparts. If it has plentiful of opportunities to interact with other dogs since its puppyhood it will get along with them in its maturity as well. Sometimes the Alpine Dachsbracke is described as a quarrelsome breed but in most cases any aggressive behaviour result from the lack of socialisation. It’s also generally fine with individual pets including household cats but tends to chase any small street animal that is too unlucky to cross its path.
The most common problems for the breed include:
· back injuries;
· hip dysplasia;
· ear infections;
· degenerative disk disease;
· patellar luxation;
· dental issues;
· anesthesia sensitivity.
The short-coated Alpine Dachsbracke should receive very primitive care. In most cases it’s sufficient to occasionally groom the dog’s hair with a firm bristle brush in order to get rid of dried up dirt and stuck thorns. Clean the body of your pet with a dry shampoo if needed. It’s recommended to avoid too frequent bathing since it can deprive the dog’s coat of its weatherproof quality.
The Alpine Dachsbracke suffers from ear infections more often than the vast majority of other breeds so make sure to pay sufficient attention to cleaning of its ears. It’s also essential to clip its nails at least every other month and weekly brush its teeth.
The training of the Alpine Dachsbracke is associated with average amount of difficulties. As a rule this dog wants to make the master happy but it can’t be attributed to an obedience champion. Sometimes it may become wilful and resorts to selective listening so lots of good humour and indulgence are required in the work with this breed.
It has been observed that the Alpine Dachsbracke learns the fastest and the most eagerly if the handler treats it firmly but kindly and encourages its interest by its favourite food. This breed is prone to react aggressively to any display of disrespect or physical abuse.
The Alpine Dachsbracke is prised by hunters for its tenacity and working drive so it needs a great deal of both physical and mental stimulation to remain happy and well-behaved. Apart from a long daily walk it should get a periodic chance to explore off-leash in a safely enclosed area.
This dog is comparatively relaxed within the house and can become a first-class four-legged companion for an apartment dweller. It’s worth to remember though that improper amount of physical activity can provoke emergence of such behavioural deviations as predisposition to continuous barking and destructiveness.