Alpine Dachsbracke – General Description
The Alpine Dachsbracke (German: Alpenländische Dachsbracke) is a small breed of dog of the scenthound type originating in Austria. The Alpine Dachsbracke was bred to track wounded deer as well as boar, hare, and fox. It is highly efficient at following a trail even after it has gone cold.
Names and Etymology
Dachs is German for badger, a term used for hunting dogs with short legs. The name Dachsbracke may reflect that the Dachsbracke dogs were bred down in size by crossbreeding long-legged Bracken with the Dachshund. Historically, the term Bracke was used in German to mean the scenthounds. Brack is an old Low German word for a coastal marsh periodically inundated by storm surges with salt water-the English word brackish. In Europe, scenthounds are usually separated into running hounds (free running packs, which either drive the game back to the hunter, or the hunter follows as they run, or the hunter waits until the dogs’ cries communicate that game has been found and held, and then goes to that spot) or leash hounds (which follow the game or track wounded or dead game while being held on a leash by the hunter.) The Bracke are usually used as running hounds, in packs, to hunt rabbits or foxes in a type of hunt called Brackade. The Dachsbracke are used for hunting today mainly in Scandinavia and in alpine regions.
Classification & Standards
- FCI Group 6, Section 2, #254
- UKC Scenthound Group
Character & Temperament
Used effectively to hunt wounded deer, the Alpine Dachsbracke could work even in harsh terrain and high altitude. It makes a good companion, although it is primarily a hunter and therefore is kept mostly by hunters. It has a fearless, friendly and intelligent personality. Most Alpine Dachsbracke are excellent with children and good with dogs and other pets, though they may exhibit a strong prey drive typical of many scent dogs.
The Alpine Dachsbracke, as with the other Bracke, can be dated back to the middle of the 19th century. The Dachsbracke were bred down in size by crossing the larger dogs with Dachshunds. It once was a favorite of German royalty. During the 1880s, an Alpine Dachsbracke accompanied Crown Prince Rudolf of Habsburg on hunting trips to Egypt and Turkey.
The Fédération Cynologique Internationale recognizes the Alpine Dachsbracke in Group 6 Scenthounds, Section 2 Leash Hounds with the Bavarian Mountain Scenthound (Bayrischer Gebirgsschweisshund, no. 217) and the Hanoverian Scenthound (Hannover’scher Schweisshund, no. 213). The only major kennel club in the English-speaking world to recognize the Alpine Dachsbracke is the United Kennel Club (US) in their Scenthound Group, but they use the Fédération Cynologique Internationale breed standard. The breed is also recognized by a number of minor registries, hunting clubs, and internet-based dog registry businesses.
Size & Appearance
This small dog has a slight resemblance to a Dachshund, with short legs (although longer than a dachshund’s) and a long body. The coat is dense, short but smooth except for the tail and neck. The round eyes have a lively expression. Being very sturdy, the Alpine Dachsbracke is visibly robust and has a big boned structure. 
Preferred colors in competition are dark deer red with or without black hairs lightly interspersed. Black with red-brown markings on the head, chest, legs, feet, and tail are also permitted, as well as a white star on the chest ( according to the American Rare Breed Association). The ideal height for dogs is 37-38 cm, and the ideal height for bitches is 36-37 cm. Strong limbs and feet, with black toenails and tight toes as well as strong elastic skin are features that judges look for in competition. They also look for a trotting gait. The top coat should be very thick, the undercoat dense and both close fitting to the body. 
The Alpine Dachsbracke weighs from 33 to 40 lb (15 to 18 kg) and stands from 13 to 16 in (34 to 42 cm) at the withers. It is often compared with the dachsund, as they are very similar in appearance.
Health & Maintenance
The Alpine Dachsbracke has a high level of stamina and require regular, daily exercise. While it’s ideal to have a yard for an Alpine Dachsbracke, they are still suitable for apartment living as long as their exercise requirements are met. These dogs live for approximately twelve years and have easy-to-maintain coats.
- Fédération Cynologique Internationale Group 6
- United Kennel Club Alpine Dachsbracke
- Pleple2000 (Own work) [GFDL (www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html), CC-BY-SA-3.0 (www.creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/) or CC-BY-SA-2.5-2.0-1.0 (www.creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.5-2.0-1.0)], via Wikimedia Commons
- TheSnake69 at the German Wikipedia project releases image into the [Public Domain], via Wikimedia Commons
- Bracke (eigenes Foto) [CC0], via Wikimedia Commons
Alpine Dachsbracke (Alpenländische Dachsbracke)
FCI-Standard N° 254 / 18. 06. 1996 / GB
TRANSLATION : C. Seidler.
DATE Of PUBLICATION OF THE ORIGINAL VALID STANDARD: 10.10.1995.
A robust, weather resistant working dog used by the mountain huntsman. The Alpine Dachsbracke is used as a tracking hound for wounded deer and as scenthound for hare and fox.
F.C.I. CLASSIFICATION :
- Group 6 Scenthounds and related breeds.
- Section 2 Leash (scent) hounds.
With working trial.
BRIEF HISTORICAL SUMMARY :
Already in ancient times, a hunting/shooting dog was used which bore a remarkable resemblance in appearance to the Alpine Dachsbracke. Crown Prince Rudolf of Habsburg in 1881 and 1885 made his gamekeepers from Mursteg and Ischl include Alpine Dachsbracken on his hunting trips to Turkey and to Egypt. In 1932 the “Alpine- Erzgebirgs- Dachsbracke” was recognized by the top canine organisations in Austria as the third Scenthound breed. In 1975 the name was altered to “Alpenländische Dachsbracke” and the F.C.I. declared Austria as the country of origin. In 1991 the Alpenländische Dachsbracke was included in Section 2 of Scenthounds in the FCI nomenclature.
GENERAL APPEARANCE :
A short legged, sturdy hunting dog with a robust, strong boned body structure, dense coat, firm muscles.
IMPORTANT PROPORTIONS :
- Relation of height at shoulder to length of body = 2 : 3.
- Relation of facial region to cranial region = 9 : 10.
BEHAVIOR / TEMPERAMENT : Expression intelligent and friendly. Fearless personality.
CRANIAL REGION :
Skull : Lightly arched. Well defined furrow in fore-head, lightly emphasized occiput.
Stop : Pronounced.
FACIAL REGION :
Nose : Black.
Muzzle : Strong.
Lips : Close fitting with black pigment, moderately rounded curve of lips.
Jaws/Teeth : Strong complete teeth with scissor or pincer bite. A complete set with 42 teeth is sought after; the absence of totally two PM1 or PM2 (premolar 1 or 2) is tolerated; the M3 (molar 3) are not taken into account.
Eye : With dark brown iris. Eyelids close fitting to eyeballs with black pigment.
Leathers : Set on high without folds, hanging broad and smooth, medium length (should reach to the canines), well rounded at tips.
NECK: Muscular, not too long.
Trunk strong and well muscled, elongated.
Withers : Moderately emphasized.
Back : Straight.
Loins : Short and broad.
Croup : Barely sloping.
Chest : Deep and broad with pronounced forechest. Depth of chest should be about half the height at shoulder.
Belly : Moderately tucked up.
Set on high, thick at root. Longer hair on underside (brush tail); reaching barely to ground, carried slightly downward.
Front legs are straight and strong; they appear short in relation to the body.
Shoulders : Shoulder blade close fitting, long, sloping and strongly muscled.
Muscular, strong and well angulated. Seen from the rear, the axis of the legs is straight.
Front and hind feet strong, round, toes tight against each other. Strong pads and black nails.
GAIT / MOVEMENT :
Movement is ground covering, not tripping. Preferred gait : Trot.
Elastic and strong, without wrinkles.
The double coat consists of very thick top coat and a dense undercoat, which covers the whole body and is close fitting.
The ideal color is dark deer red with or without black hairs lightly interspersed. Also black with clearly defined red-brown markings on head (Vieräugl), chest, legs, feet and underside of tail. White star on chest permitted.
Height at withers : 34-42 cm.
Ideal height for dogs : 37-38 cm.
Ideal height for bitches : 36-37 cm.
Any departure from the foregoing points should be considered a fault and the seriousness with which the fault should be regarded should be in exact proportion to its degree and its effect upon the health and welfare of the dog.
- Weak bone.
- Lack of muscle.
- Too pointed, too short or too long in muzzle.
- Too light eye, lids not close fitting.
- Short or pointed leathers.
- Loose shoulders.
- Wrong stance of front or hind legs.
- Coat too thin or too short.
- Slight departure from correct color.
- Aggressive or overly shy.
- Any deviation which will hinder ability to hunt.
- Lack of more than two premolars 1 or 2 (the M3 are not taken into account).
- Height at withers less than 34 cm and more than 42 cm.
- Weakness in temperament.
Any dog clearly showing physical or behavioral abnormalities shall be disqualified.
N.B. : Male animals should have two apparently normal testicles fully descended into the scrotum.
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