Westphalian Dachsbracke (Westfälische Dachsbracke)

Country of origin:
Germany
Height (cm):
30-38
Weight (kg):
16-18
Life span (years):
10-12
Colour:
red to yellow with black saddle or mantle and white markings
Size:
average
Hair length:
short
Recognized by:
FCI, UKC
FCI code:
100
Intelligence:
Good with kids:
Trainability:
Shedding:
Watchdog:
Adaptability:
Allergy:
No
Pros Cons
  • wonderful companion                
  • excellent hunter
  • robust
  • playful
  • independent-minded
  • requires a lot of daily exercises

Overview
The Westphalian Dachsbracke represents a miniature version of the German Hound, which was invented specifically for a hunting purpose. Thanks to its short legs and long nimble trunk it’s capable of following its prey in its burrows and driving it out. This dog has also reputation of an even-tempered and pleasant family pet.

History
It is a well-established fact that the Westphalian Dachsbracke has inhabited Germany since the XVII century. However resembling dogs can be found on the pictures of European artists during the Dark Ages. This kind of Scent Hound was created in the Westphalia area of Germany, which is situated between the Rhine and Wesser rivers. There are several suggestions as to the ancestry of the Westphalian Dachsbracke. One group of dog experts claims that it evolved gradually from the Deutsche Bracke. Other version proposes that it was intentionally developed by interbreeding the German Hound with the Dachshund. The European breeders invented the Dachshund from various types of German, French and English Hounds and Terriers. Nowadays it is highly revered in its native Germany as a national heritage.

The Westphalian Dachsbracke was designed to perform the hunting duties, which large Brackes were incapable of doing. This short-legged dog is endowed with fabulous nose and hunting prowess. Because of its shortness it can chase a fox and other small animals down their dens and it’s remarkably persistent in its pursuit. Nevertheless this dog is powerful enough to assist the hunter in hunting a wild boar. The breed is an expert in so-called circle hunting. Following the quarry in circles it announces its approach with sonorous voice and constantly tries to direct it to the waiting hunter.

The first mentioning of the Westphalian Dachsbracke as a unique breed appeared in 1886 when it was in detail described by cynologists Ludwig Beckmann and Otto Grashley. The eventual standard for the breed was developed in 1910. At the time these two dog lovers thought up its current official name. In 1987 it was approved internationally by the Fédération Cynologique Internationale (FCI). The United Kennel Club (UKC) recognised the breed in 2006. In its native Germany the Westphalian Dachsbracke is equally treasured both as an outstanding hunter and as a brilliant companion. However it can be rarely seen elsewhere in the world.

Temperament
The Westphalian Dachsbracke can effectively combine the role of an excellent hunting dog and a sweet-tempered companion animal. Its easy-going and playful demeanour makes it a good choice for a moderately active family. It commonly bonds strongly to all family members and loves to feel itself as a part of it. This dog is fairly friendly with a child, who has been taught to treat it respectfully. This patient dog rarely loses its temper and can put up with a great deal of mischievousness from children.

The breed hasn’t been noticed in any kind of human aggression but it still demonstrates reserved and cool behaviour in front of unknown people. The Westphalian Dachsbracke is quite able to alert its master about approaching unfamiliar person so it can make a good watch dog. However its good-naturedness purports that it won’t be effective enough as a guard dog.

The Westphalian Dachsbracke gets along with other canines and vast majority of specimens will be amiably and peacefully co-exist with one or more other dogs. Naturally no one can guarantee this breeds’ problem-free communication with strange dogs unless it hasn’t been properly socialised with them since its puppyhood. The Westphalian Dachsbracke remains a talented hunting dog and represents and actual threat for stray animals. The dog usually perceives other pets as a part of its pack if they have been brought up together since the early age. Nonetheless some specimens will never overcome their hunting drive and they can’t be kept alongside with a home cat.

Health Problems
The most common problems for the breed include:

• teeth problems;
• heartworms.

Grooming
The maintenance of the Westphalian Dachsbracke will take minimal time and efforts from its master. Its short hair should be brushed once or twice a week and it will never require to be groomed professionally. Frequent bathing can wash off natural protective oil from the dog’s skin so it should be avoided.

The rest comprises some usual care practices including ears cleaning, nails trimming and teeth brushing. The breed is an average shedder.

Training
The training of the Westphalian Dachsbracke is a moderately difficult task. This small dog is notable for impressive intelligence but it certainly has a mind of its own and won’t follow the commands of its handler without a second thought. So to say it tends to be a selective listener and this trait can be attributed to its natural obstinacy.

The trainer should base its training methods on gentle encouragement and food incentives to achieve optimal results with this dog. It’s totally unacceptable to treat the Westphalian Dachsbracke rough or unkind since it will excite its natural wilfulness.

Exercise

The Westphalian Dachsbracke is an impressively active dog so it should be provided with enough outlets for its exuberant energy. It needs long and vigorous walk on a daily basis but it will truly appreciate regular opportunities to roam and play freely in a securely fenced area.

This dog possesses excellent endurance, which makes it a tireless and happy participant of various outdoors activities. Without appropriate amount of exercise it’s prone to manifest serious behavioural problems including hyper activity, destructiveness, nervousness.
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