Tyrolean Hound (Tyroler Bracke)

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red; black & tan; with white markings
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Good with kids:
Pros Cons
  • wonderful companion                     
  • great watchdog
  • excellent hunter
  • requires a lot of daily exercises
  • doesn't suit for living in a small apartment

The Tyrolean Hound is an average sized hunting dog, which was deliberately created to work in the highlands of Austria. This dog craves to have some meaningful occupation and so it will become a reliable assistant for an avid hunter. This breed is fairly common in its homeland but it remains virtually unknown outside its borders.


Austrian breeders are responsible for development of several unique types of dogs three of which are united under the name the Grand Brackes of Australia. The Tyrolean Hound is regarded as an oldest one among these three highly revered dogs. It’s commonly thought that it descended immediately from ancient Celtic Hounds. They were widely spread throughout the Alps and represented popular companion animals for both nobility and warriors during the Dark Ages. The breed derived its name from the region where it was initially invented. Tyrol is an Austrian county, which borders with the Swiss and the Italian Alps. For some time this territory was annexed to the Roman Empire. It’s believed that Maximilian I used resembling hounds with rich double coat as early as in the beginning of the XVI century. In the hunting notes of the emperor he referred to these dogs as the best ones among his pack.

The Tyrolean Hound was invented to hunt specifically in the high altitudes of Australian mountains. It got used to hunt solely and in any weather conditions including icy winters and scorching summers. Its preferable quarries are rabbit and hare but it’s also able to effectively detect the location of wounded or sick deer. This dog is notable for its highly sensible nose and fabulous tracking talents so it’s treasured for its capability to follow even a cold trail. At the same time the Tyrolean Hound possesses amiable and obedient disposition and sometimes serves exclusively as a family dog.

Although the breed existed for quite a while its organised breeding were set up only by 1860. The initial breed standard was developed and acknowledged in 1896 and in this year it participated in the dog show at Innsbruck. The Tyrolean Hound was granted recognition of the Fédération Cynologique Internationale (FCI) in 1908. And it was officially approved by the United Kennel Club (UKC) in 2006.

The Tyrolean Hound is not only ideally suited for work in a field but it’s also quite able to play the role of a frisky and balanced companion dog. It likes to be surrounded by its family with whom it forms very strong bonds. Though this dog needs certain amount of socialisation to learn how to interact properly with other living creatures including children, it greatly enjoys playing with them for countless hours.

The Tyrolean Hound is generally well-behaved with unknown people but it won’t appreciate to be petted by them. Being somewhat reserved in communication with strangers it will never snap without any good reason. The breed is characterised by strongly developed senses and excellent watchfulness so it will make a remarkable watchdog. However it lacks essential aggressiveness to become a good guard dog.

This hunting dog prefers to work alone so it requires timely socialisation with other canines. It can get along quite well with other dogs, which will match it in its vitality. The Tyrolean Hound is too exuberant for toy-type breeds meaning it can hurt them unintentionally while playing. The dogs’ powerful prey drive allows it to be highly effective in performing its hunting responsibilities and at the same time it makes it rather dangerous for all kind of street animals. However it will put up with the existence of a home cat if they have been introduced to each other at an early age.

Health Problems

The most common problems for the breed include:

• parasites;
• canine hip dysplasia.

The Tyrolean Hound is relatively easy to groom but its dense double coat may require special attention. Its undercoat has coarse structure and should be carefully brushed on a weekly basis (preferably two or three times a week). During a hunt it’s prone to pick up a great deal of dirt and debris and sometimes it gets infected with external parasites. So it’s mandatory to examine the dog after every hunting experience in order to detect this problem timely. It will also inevitably require a thorough bathing after every hunt. At the same time the Tyrolean Hound, which is kept only as a family dog, should be bathed infrequently.

The training of the Tyrolean Hound requires average amount of time and efforts. This clever dog is capable of performing various sophisticated tricks but it won’t follow your commands blindly. In its training it’s important to apply firm but somewhat gentle approach and to establish a trust-based relationship with the dog from the first lesson.

The Tyrolean Hound is very sensitive to critiques and works best if stimulated with tasty incentives and praise. Moreover the trainer should possess assertive personality and be unchallengeable leader for the dog.

The vigorous Tyrolean Hound is rather demanding when things concern physical activity. Its owner should take the dog for a long and energetic walk on a daily basis. This breed doesn’t like to be confined in a small apartment all day long so it will do much better in the countryside or in the house with a roomy backyard.

The Tyrolean Hound will become a hardy and high-spirited companion for the person who favours active lifestyle. Remember that without appropriate amount of exercise this dog will most surely manifest such highly unwelcomed behavioural patterns as being destructive, nervous, over-excited and even aggressive.