Coarse-Haired Styrian Hound (Steirische Rauhhaarbracke)

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red & fawn; with white mark on chest
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Good with kids:
Pros Cons
  • great companion
  • excellent hunter
  • good watchdog
  • stubborn and independent
  • needs a lot of daily exercises
  • training is challenging


The Coarse-Haired Styrian Hound is a persistent, skilful and strong hunting dog native to Austria. It was specifically developed to work in the most adverse climatic conditions and possesses dense all-weather coat. The breed serves almost exclusively for working purposes although it has a potential of becoming an excellent family dog.

Distant forefathers of the Coarse-Haired Styrian Hound arrived to Australia with the Phoenician traders who were constantly engaged in profitable trade with European Celtic tribes during the ancient times. Actually most of European breeds are genetically connected with these early Phoenician hounds. Highland territories of Austria were considered as a hunter’s paradise since they contained impressive diversity of game species. At the same time hunting on this type of terrain was rather difficult because of its extreme climate. Such a challenging condition definitely necessitated the creation of the breed with particularly thick coat, which will be able to operate effectively in severe cold weather.

Unfortunately prior to the XVIII century all attempts to breed such a dog had appeared to be futile. The honour of its creation belongs to Karl Peintingen who initiated a breeding program in Syria, a state situated on the Southeast from Austria. In 1870 he mated the Hanoverian Scent Hound with a Coarse-Haired Istrian Hound, which was noted for its hunting prowess and incredibly rich coat. It required three generation of breeding to invent a stable new breed. Initially it was granted the name of its creator and was referred as the Peintingen Hound. In 1889 it attained official recognition under its current name, the Coarse-Haired Styrian Hound.

The breed was treasured by native hunters predominantly for its ability to unfailingly function in high altitudes of the Austrian Mountains. With its agility, stocky but muscular trunk the dog could easily traverse the most challenging terrain. It was virtually unstoppable once it had caught a scent of the prey and such «trifles» as thirst, hunger or cold couldn’t distract its attention. Thanks to its sensitive nose the Coarse-Haired Styrian Hound was also highly competent in locating the disposition of a wounded game. The breed was usually used in a hunt for rabbits, hares and other small mammals but it was quite capable of hunting a wild boar or other big game.

The Coarse-Haired Styrian Hound was internationally recognised by the Fédération Cynologique Internationale (FCI) in 1995. The United Kennel Club (UKC) gave its official acceptance to the breed in 2006. It can be rarely met outside its homeland where it’s still kept as a purely hunting dog. Today the Coarse-Haired Styrian Hound enjoys its popularity among both Australian and Yugoslavian hunters.

The Coarse-Haired Styrian Hound is first and foremost an effective and extremely talented hunting dog and has all necessary qualities for this role. It’s hard to make any conclusions as far as it concerns its behaviour in the home environment since it’s rarely used exclusively as a pet. However it has been noticed to form tight bonds with its master so it can be trained into a full-fledged member of a human family. The dog is quite all right with children provided it has been introduced to their company early enough.

The Coarse-Haired Styrian Hound usually has a suspicious attitude towards unfamiliar people. Nonetheless it is not prone to demonstrate open aggressiveness unless seriously provoked. The dog is always alert to its surroundings, which makes it a highly capable watchdog. Despite this natural watchfulness it lacks essential ferociousness to effectively confront an intruder so it won’t become a reliable guard dog.

A well-socialised member of the Coarse-Haired Styrian Hound gets along with other dogs and can be introduced into the household with other living dog with minimal problems. It’s inclined to take a dominative position in the company of other canines and won’t hesitate to fight over an alpha status with an unfamiliar dog. Therefore the dog’s owner should closely supervise the initial meeting of two strange dogs. The hunting instinct is deeply ingrained in the breeds’ nature meaning it poses a serious danger for other species of animals. Some individual dogs won’t be able to co-habituate peacefully even with a cat with which they have been brought up from an early age in the same household.

Health Problems
The most common problems for the breed include:

• сancer;
• obesity;
• gastric torsion;
• canine hip dysplasia;
• ear Infections.

The Coarse-Haired Styrian Hound’s grooming will require minimal investment of your time and efforts. It’s quite sufficient to thoroughly brush its coarse shaggy coat once a week. Brushing will be also required after each hunting trip in order to get rid of any dirt and debris that tend to stick to its dense hair.

Likewise, the breeds’ drooping eyes should be inspected and carefully cleaned after the hunt. The Coarse-Haired Styrian Hound needs only a rare bath.

The Coarse-Haired Styrian Hound is a very challenging breed in everything that concerns its training. It’s endowed with typical hound obstinacy and certainly requires obedience training. It’s characterised with moderate desire to please provided the handler constantly demonstrates a calm, consistent and patient attitude while working with this breed.

The Coarse-Haired Styrian Hound responds exclusively to mild encouragement and praise and totally ignores the commands, which are said in harsh voice or prompted by roughhousing. If you plan to keep it as a family pet timely socialisation has an outmost importance for the breed.

The exercise requirements of the Coarse-Haired Styrian Hound are rather extensive because of its sporting background. The great advantage of this breed is that with its dense all-weather coat it can be kept as a yard dog. In this case your dog will take care for its exercise need itself provided the yard is big enough.

Otherwise the Coarse-Haired Styrian Hound should be walked for at least an hour each and every day. Bear in mind that the dog, which can’t satisfy its primal instinct of walking, will feel itself really miserable and frustrated and will manifest it in wilful, destructive, nervous or even aggressive behaviour.