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Deutsche Bracke – General Description
The Deutsche Bracke (FCI No. 299) is a breed of dog originating in Westphalia, a region of Germany. The Deutsche Bracke is of the scenthound type, used for hunting both large and small game. The breed is normally referred to as the Deutsche Bracke in English, rather than by the translation of the name, German Hound.
Classification and Standards
- FCI Group 6, Section 1.3, #299
- UKC Scenthound Group
Character & Temperament
According to the original German breed club, although it is a hunting dog it is affectionate and benefits from living with the family rather than in a kennel. It is a very persistent tracking dog with a good sense of direction.
The Bracke are an ancient type of hound. Their distinctive narrow heads and long ears set them apart from other types of hounds, and may show influence of the Greyhound or the ancient Celtic hounds. The St. Hubert’s Hound (Bloodhound) may have contributed to the Bracke’s voice, the distinctive call made by the dogs while chasing game. Over a very long period of time Bracke developed into a variety of regional forms.
In 1896 the Deutschen Bracken Club, encompassing all of the local types of Bracke in northwest Germany, was formed in Olpe. The breeds were merged in 1900 as one breed and were officially designated Deutsche Bracke. This breed was formerly called by a variety of old regional names such as “Olpe Bracke”, “Sauerländer Bracke” and “Westphalian Bracke”, and other local types now blended into one breed. The only breeds of Bracke in the area today are the Deutsche Bracke and the Westphalian Dachsbracke. The Westphalian Dachsbracke is a short legged dog, possibly a cross of a Bracke with the Dachshund, the Westphalian Dachsbracke.
Hunting with the Bracke in early times was done in mounted hunts, with hunters on horses following the hounds, as done by the ancient Celts chasing deer, and modern day fox hunters after fox. Another sport was developed in the 16th century, that did not require the expense of horses and big kennels, and made use of firearms, called Brackade. Hounds hunting this way tenaciously follow the game while voicing cries that communicate to the hunter as to where the dog is and what type of game the dog is following. Today, the Deutsche Bracke is usually used to hunt deer, but also rabbits and fox. Often it is hunted singly as a leash hound, in order to hunt on smaller areas. The space needed to hunt a pack of hounds is described by the breed club as a minimum area of 1,000 ha (2471 acres). Related to the hunting with Bracke is the use of horns to communicate with the dogs, a custom that is continued today.
The Deutsche Bracke was recognized by the Verband für das Deutsche Hundewesen (German Kennel Club) through the Deutschen Bracken Club was formed in 1886 and continues today, and oversees breeding and hunt testing, as well as preserving traditions of Bracke hunting. The Deutsche Bracke was the first Bracke to be registered as a distinct breed, in 1900. and by the Fédération Cynologique Internationale as breed number 299 in Group 6 (Scenthounds), Section 1.3 (Small hounds). Of the major kennel clubs in the English-speaking world, only the United Kennel Club in the US recognises the Deutsche Bracke, in its Scenthound Group. The Deutsche Bracke also may be recognised by any of the many minor registries, rare breed groups, hunting clubs, and internet registry businesses under its original name, discarded antique names, translations of the name, or variations on the name. The Deutsche Bracke is strictly a hunting dog, and seldom seen outside its native country. Outside the home country, purchasers of dogs represented as Deutsche Bracke should research the dog’s background, especially if it is registered with one of the minor clubs that require little to no documentation before accepting a dog or litter for registration.
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.
Size & Appearance
The Deutsche Bracke is a small hound, 40 – 53 cm (16 – 21 ins) at the withers, with long drop ears and a long narrow tail. It is distinguished by a long, somewhat narrow head, and a rectangular body, described as “elegant”.
The coat has hard, almost bristly, short fur, usually tricolor (red to yellow with a black mantle), with white markings called Bracken marks – a white muzzle, chest, legs, collar, and tip of the tail, and a blaze on the head.
The Deutsche Bracke is related to the Westfälische Dachsbracke (Westphalian Dachsbracke, FCI No. 254) and the Drever, also called the Swedish Dachsbracke. The Finnenbracke (No. 51) is from Finland. The Alpenländische Dachsbracke (Alpine Dachsbracke, FCI No. 254) is from Tyrol, in Austria, as is the Tiroler Bracke or Tyrol Hound (FCI No. 68).
Health & Maintenance
No specific diseases or claims of extraordinary health have been documented for this breed. According to the original German breed club, although it is a hunting dog it is affectionate and benefits from living with the family rather than in a kennel. It is a very persistent tracking dog with a good sense of direction.
- Clark, Anne Rogers; Andrew H. Brace (1995). The International Encyclopedia of Dogs. Howell Book House. pp. 202. ISBN 0-87605-624-9. – http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anne_Rogers_Clark
- Breed Standard – http://www.fci.be/uploaded_files/299GB97_en.doc
- History, Deutscher Bracken Club (in German) – http://www.deutscher-bracken-club.de/pages/die-bracken/historie.php
- Hunting with Bracke (in German) – http://www.deutscher-bracken-club.de/pages/die-bracken/jagd-mit-der-bracke.php
- The Deutsche Bracke – http://www.deutscher-bracken-club.de/pages/die-bracken/rassestandards.php
- Verband für das Deutsche Hundewesen (in German) – http://www.vdh.de/mitgliedsvereine/mitgliedsverein_open.php?open=38&b=10&rasse1=Deutsche+Bracke
- Fédération Cynologique Internationale Group 6 – http://www.fci.be/nomenclatures_detail.asp?lang=en&file=group6
- Schwarze Brack (in German) – http://www.nordwestreisemagazin.de/brack.htm
- Rumo [CC-BY-SA-2.0 (www.creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons
- W. E. Mason – Dogs of all Nations [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons
Deutsche Bracke (German Hound)
FCI-Standard N° 299 / 15.09.1997 / GB
TRANSLATION : C. Seidler, revised by Dr. Paschoud.
ORIGIN : Germany.
DATE OF PUBLICATION OF THE ORIGINAL VALID STANDARD : 24.06.1997.
F.C.I. CLASSIFICATION :
- Group 6 Scenthounds and related breeds.
- Section 1.3 Small sized hounds.
With working trial.
SHORT HISTORICAL SUMMARY :
From the formerly numerically strong varieties of the Bracken, the only one surviving in Germany is the Westphalian Bracke. Its most significant local variety was the tricolor Sauerländer Holzbracke. Through melting this type with local Steinbracken, one certain type has evolved, which since 1900 has been designated as the Deutsche Bracke (German Bracke / Hound).
IMPORTANT PROPORTIONS :
Length of head in dogs of medium size approximately 21 cm, from muzzle to beween eyes about 9 cm.
GENERAL APPEARANCE :
That of a light, high stationed, elegant, yet strongly made hunting dog with a noble, comparatively fine head, good leathers and a well carried but in respect of the noble general appearance, remarkably thick tail. Slightly tucked up abdomen.
Fine, clean, elongated. Seen from the front, the head appears narrow and long, the skull only little broader than the not sharply protruding cheeks which merge very gradually with the muzzle.
CRANIAL REGION :
Skull : Slightly domed, occiput protrudes but only slightly.
Stop : Minimal.
FACIAL REGION :
Nose : Has a light, almost flesh coloured strip in its middle, while
the wings of the nose have more or less dark pigment.
Bridge of nose : Very slightly convex.
Lips : Moderately pendant, corner of mouth small.
Teeth / Bite : Extremely strong and even. Incisors meet either on top of each other or the inside of the upper incisors touches the outside of the lower incisors. Canines particularly strongly developed.
Eyes : Dark, clear with friendly expression.
Leathers : Long, about 14 cm and broad, about 9 cm, close fitting and
rounded at ends.
Moderate length and rather strong in relation to the head.
Back : Slightly arched.
Croup : Falling away slightly.
Chest : Deep, reaching to below elbows. Flatly rounded with long
Long, not noticeably strong at the root. As a protection
against knocking against tree trunks and branches, it has bushy long
hair and is therefore comparatively thick, yet tapering to a point and
somewhat brush-like. Tail is carried hanging down or upwards in a
High, very well made, lean, fine boned and sinewy.
Elbows : Close fitting.
Thighs broad and full in profile, lower thigh long and not very broad, well angulated.
Longer than cat-feet, coarse, very tight toes.
Long for a short haired dog. Very dense, hard, almost bristly.
Well coated and dense on belly. Generally a little longer on
underside of tail forming a moderate brush. Buttocks (thighs) well
Red to yellow with black saddle or blanket and the white “Bracken” markings : blaze running through, white muzzle with neck ring (closed neck ring should be aimed for), white chest, legs and tip of tail.
Height at withers : 40 to 53 cm.
Moderate departure from these measurements permitted.
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.
- Long cast, low body shape.
- Teckel-like (Dachshund type) head.
- Pointed, folded or short leathers.
- Sickle or ring tail.
- Faulty legs.
- Splayed, incorrect feet.
- Chocolate colour, particolor.
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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