Austrian Black and Tan Hound (Brandlbracke)

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black with fawn markings
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Good with kids:
Pros Cons

  • amicable and gentle

  • great with children

  • requires very simple grooming

  • excellent hunter

  • needs lots of vigorous exercise

  • self-willed and can be difficult to train

  • not for a city dweller


The Austrian Black and Tan Hound is a rare average-sized sporting dog native to Austria. This silent hunter specialises in tracking down various types of game with the help of its sharp nose. Despite its loyal and affectionate personality this breed is very infrequently adopted solely for companionship.


The Austrian Black and Tan Hound is a very old canine variety so it’s no wonder that its origin remains somewhat obscure. According to general belief it was developed from the ancient Celtic Hounds. These dogs were held in high regard by both warriors and royalty for their unexampled bravery and loyalty. Thanks to these qualities they deserved multiple mentions in Celtic myths and legends.

Nevertheless there is another version about the breed’s lineage. The Austrian Black and Tan Hound may have been created as the result of breeding efforts of Belgian monks at St. Hubert’s monastery. Anyway it’s reckoned that it has common ancestry with such breeds as the Belgian St. Hubert and the Jura Hound. It’s also quite possible that this dog was produced by repeated crossing between unidentified breeds during the days when the breeding practice was performed in an unsystematic manner.

In its native land the breed is most frequently referred as the Brandlbracke. Brand is translated from German as «fire». This nickname stuck to this canine because of the tiny fire red specks all over its fur. The Brandlbracke was purposefully created for hunting in the Austrian mountainous areas. With its tenacity and strength it can be utilised in hunting both hare and foxes. This dog is attributed to quite hunters as it commonly trails animals furtively.

The awareness level about the Austrian Black and Tan Hound outside Austria is fairly low although it has already received formal acceptance of the Fédération Cynologique Internationale (FCI) and United Kennel Club (UKC). Unlike most modern breeds it still remains predominantly a hunting companion although lots of these dogs combine their hunting duties with the life of family dogs.


The Austrian Black and Tan Hound usually makes a very delightful pet for people who are ready to offer it enough opportunities for physical outlets. Tranquil and peaceable nature of this dog means that it needs minimal socialisation in order to fit into virtually any family. It exercises endless devotion to its masters including children. This breed will never blow a chance to play and run with kids and can tolerate a considerable amount of rough-housing from them.

Mild suspiciousness is a standard reaction of the Brandlbracke to strangers. Nonetheless the correctly socialised specimen of this breed will give houseguests a hearty welcome. Furthermore it will be equally friendly with intruders so it can’t be entrusted with the work of a guardian. This dog also has a comparatively low territorial instinct and barks rather infrequently. There are certainly lots of other breeds that suit the role of a watcher much better than the Austrian Black and Tan Hound.

This dog often has to hunt in the pack of several of its counterparts so it’s notable for a very low canine aggressiveness. Actually it enjoys living with other dogs with identically cheerful and outgoing temperament. This breed can easily mistake a street cat for a prey so it should be always kept securely leashed while outdoors. But it usually gets on relatively well with those individual non-canine pets with which it has had a chance to communicate since an early age.

Health Problems

The most common problems for the breed include:

· arthritis;

· canine hip dysplasia;

· elbow dysplasia;

· ear infections;

· demodicosis.


The Austrian Black and Tan Hound needs very basic maintenance. Its short coat will look well-groomed with weekly brushing only. Moreover, it commonly doesn’t require any professional care. It’s a good idea to occasionally rub the dog’s fur with a soft damp towel instead of bathing.

As this dog is susceptible to ear infections the master should carefully clean its ears at least on a weekly basis. It’s also necessary to regularly trim the dog’s nails and periodically brush its teeth to prevent tartar and bacteria build-up.


The Brandlbracke stands out for an average trainability. This dog is smart enough to cope with very difficult commands but it has penchant for independent thinking and may ignore those orders that it considers to be inconsistent with the situation. The handler should have very patient and calm character to train this breed.

This dog shows the best responsiveness to delicious treats and gentle words and can become deeply offended if you try to impose your will on it forcefully. The Austrian Black and Tan Hound quickly senses any display of weakness in the trainer and takes over the control so it’s very important to treat this dog respectfully but firmly.


The Austrian Black and Tan Hound is a passionate hunter and gets used to very intensive physical activity that also requires enormous stamina. This breed won’t make a perfect pet for a city dweller since it should be provided with a daily opportunity to stretch its legs in a properly enclosed yard.

As a bare minimum this dog should spend an hour a day playing and roaming off-leash. Excessive barking, nervousness and unpredictable aggressiveness are the most common behavioural problems that appear because your Brandlbracke lacks essential physical outlets.