German Hound: Breed Characteristics, Training, Care & Nutrition

The Deutsche Bracke is a German hunting and scent hound primarily used as a scent hound by hunters and gamekeepers. Due to its good nose, the German Hound is also very popular with rescue services as a search and rescue dog. In the FCI, the German Hound can be found under the FCI standard group 6 (“Scent hounds, scent hounds, and related breeds”), in Section 1.3 (“Small scent hounds, with working test”) and the standard number 299.

German Hound Dog Breed Information

Size: 40-53cm
Weight: 10-18kg
FCI Group: 6: Hounds, scent hounds, and related breeds
Section: 1.3: Scenthounds and Related Breeds
Country of origin: Germany
Colors: Red to yellow color
Life expectancy: 10-12 years
Suitable as: hunting and companion dog
Sports: dummy training, retrieval
Temperament: Elegant, Noble, Strong, Bright, Affectionate, Sensitive, Faithful, Alert
Leaving requirements: high
Drooling Potential: –
The thickness of hair: –
Maintenance effort: low
Coat structure: dense, hard, almost foxing
Child friendly: yes
Family dog: rather yes
Social: –

Origin and Breed History

The German Bracke is one of the oldest dog breeds in Germany and is considered an ancient German hunting dog breed. Their ancestors were probably already used by the Germans to hunt wild boar and deer. Due to its good nose and its reliable loyalty to the owner, the Hound quickly became known in other areas. Initially only found among hunters, it found its way to Scandinavia and the Alps. As middle-class interest increased, the breed was even taken overseas. At that time, each area had its own breed of hound, such as the Westphalian hound.

But as fattening farms increased and hunters became fewer, interest in such highly specialized hunting dogs as the Bracken also dwindled. Soon there were only a few breeds of Bracken, including a few local ones. The most important Bracken line was the Sauerland Holzbracke, which was crossed with a Steinbracke and became the German Bracke as we know it today. The German Hound was not officially known until 1900 under the name Deutsche Bracke.

Nature & Temperament of the German Bracke

The German Bracke is a particularly persistent dog with an enormous sense of smell, which should be encouraged by the owner, otherwise, the active dog is quickly under-challenged. In addition to its passion for tracking, the German Hound has an affectionate nature and bonds strongly with its owner. She has a high will-to-please and is easily trained by her owner. The four-legged friend is an active and sensitive dog that is very good at reading the facial expressions of its owner.

He is very stable and has a calm basic character, which makes him a very pleasant house dog. The German Hound is patient and open-minded towards children, but care must be taken with other pets to ensure that the German Hound’s hunting instinct does not break out. With other dogs, the hound usually responds in a friendly manner if socialized early on, otherwise, it may tend to be reserved or even anxious. Due to its original use as a hunting dog, the German Hound has a high drive to move. Daily walks and mental exercise are essential to keeping these dogs healthy and happy.

Very characteristic of the German Hound is their fine nose and innate hunting instinct. Although the German Hound is a calm and easy-going dog indoors, they need good training and should be owned by people who are experienced with dogs. Ideally, there is also experienced in dealing with hunting dogs.

Is German Hound Dangerous?

No. The German Hound has no aggressiveness whatsoever. It can be dangerous for wild animals if the owners do not have sufficient control over the German Hound. But the dog itself poses no danger to humans or other dogs.

The Appearance of the German Hound

The German Hound is a medium-sized hunting dog. With a shoulder height of 40 to 53 cm and a weight of 20 to 25 kg, it is a sporty companion with a strong but not exaggerated physique. In appearance, the German Hound resembles other hunting dog breeds, not least because of the optimization of the breed for its environment.

Nevertheless, the German Hound has some characteristics that are typical of the breed. The head of the German Hound is elongated and has long upright legs. Overall, he has a harmonious appearance with a strikingly thick tail. The dog’s entire body is covered with a very dense and hard coat, the coat is short-haired, but in some dogs, it can be slightly longer. The color of the coat is distinctive for the German Hound. By default, the German Hound is tri-colored with a red or yellow coat and a black saddle.

In addition, the coat has a continuous blaze with a white muzzle and a white chest. The tip of the tail is also white and so are the legs. Deviations from the pattern are allowed to a certain extent in breeding. The German Hound has a light gait with strong hind legs and a light trotting step. Overweight or a thin line is undesirable in breeding.

How Big is a German Hound?

Normally, the German Hound is between 40 and 53 cm tall. In the breed standard, an average of these two values is considered the highest. There is not a big difference between females and males, it can happen that the females are even larger than their male counterparts. Normally, however, the female is slightly smaller than the male.

Training and Husbandry of the German Hound – This is Important to Note

Since the German Hound is a passionate hunting dog, it is very important to control the dog’s hunting behavior during training. If this is not possible, the German Hound may only run freely in fenced areas. Otherwise, it represents too great a danger for the local wildlife. Early training and imprinting on the owner are therefore essential so that the working dog becomes a good companion for everyday life.

It is still actively used for hunting and breeding, but the German Hound can still make a good family dog. It is particularly important that the dog gets enough exercise and something to do. Dummy work, retrieving, and above all search games, track work, and all other activities where the nose is used are ideal for the German Hound.

When training, it is important to have a clear line and to radiate self-confidence and calmness for the dog. Because especially in the phase of puppyhood and the young dog phase, the German Hound is very impulsive and excited. Good rest training helps the dog to remain relaxed and composed later, even in stressful situations. Otherwise, positive reinforcement can be used. Treats or your favorite toy as an incentive for obedience is the easiest way to a well-behaved dog.

Due to the hunting instinct, the German Hound is not suitable for beginners or the owners have to come to terms with not unleashing the dog. Otherwise, the German Hound is a calm and good-natured four-legged friend in the house. He needs a lot of patience and time to turn the young bundle of energy into a self-confident and calm companion. He loves tours and walks with his owner and is a happy dog ​​outdoors, who especially likes to sniff. He explores his surroundings primarily with his nose and this is more pronounced than with many other dogs. He is always available for ball games and searches exercises.

Is a German Hound a Family Dog?

First and foremost, the German Bracke is a hunting dog with a lot of willingness to work, it can also be kept as a family dog. Their character and their high level of tolerance make the German Hound a reliable companion. However, dog experience and good training are necessary to turn the Hound into a family dog.

Diet of the German Hound

The German Hound has a relatively fast metabolism and therefore needs a very high-quality feed. The owner should ensure that the food has a high meat content and covers the entire nutritional range of the dog. Wet food and dry food are both well accepted by the dog, although wet food creates significantly more waste and can be harmful to the dog’s teeth.

When choosing the type of feed, grain should be avoided, as many German Hounds react to grain with intolerance. In general, the German Hound is not prone to allergies, but of course, it can still be the case that an allergy to a certain type of meat or another ingredient in the feed occurs. In such a case, a veterinarian should always be consulted and a change of diet is probably necessary in such a case.

Otherwise, make sure that the dog has a rest after eating. Because the German Hound tends to have stomach twists, similar to the Labrador Retriever and many other hunting dog breeds. Half an hour to an hour after eating, the German Hound should rest before training or going for a walk.

The food should always be adapted to the age of the dog. The German Hound needs puppy food up to the age of 15 months and from the age of 7, it should be switched to senior food. The amount of food should be adjusted to the weight and size of the German Hound because the German Hound can tend to be overweight.

Healthy – Life Expectancy & Common Diseases

The German Hound is a hardy dog ​​that has few health problems and can live to a ripe old age. So Bracken can live up to 14 to 16 years if the owner pays attention to the diet and health of his dog and offers him enough exercise.

Possible diseases in the German Hound are joint problems (which usually appear with age and can be traced back to the puppies exercising too early) and skin diseases. When buying a German Hound puppy, you should always pay attention to the health of the parents and the puppies. Therefore, only purchase from a reputable and registered breeder is recommended.

How Old Do German Hounds Get?

Since the German Hound is a very robust breed, it can grow very old. On average, 14 to 16 years are possible in good health. If the hound is sufficiently moved and busy for a lifetime.

Care of the German Hound

Due to the short and rough coat of the German Hound, the dog is very easy to care for. It is enough to brush the coat briefly once a day to free it from dust and loose hair. On average, the German Hound sheds as much hair as any other short-haired dog breed, with the amount of loose hair increasing during shedding. The owner should pay particular attention to the dog’s ears in the daily care of the dog. Because the Hound’s floppy ears can quickly lead to inflammation if problems in the ear and auditory canal are not noticed in good time.

German Hound – Activities and Training

As a real working dog, the German Bracke needs a lot of exercise and exercise. Ideally, he should also be given a permanent job, like a job as a rescue dog or just an active dog sport. He is not a couch dog and will quickly cause problems in everyday life without a good occupation and plenty of exercises. Since the German Hound is still primarily bred for hunting, the owner should carefully consider before buying whether he will do justice to such a dog and whether he really has the time for training and daily occupation. When given the right amount of attention, the German Hound makes a pleasant family dog ​​who is very quiet around the house.

Good to Know: Special Features of the German Hound

The Hound is still actively used for hunting. Hunters and gamekeepers use the dog’s good nose in particular by using the German Hound for welding work. It is the job of the dog to track down wild animals. Most of the time, these are injured animals that have been hit by cars or have not been fatally hit by the hunter’s shot. Similar to the Bloodhounds, the nose of the German Hound is even more pronounced than that of many other dog breeds.

In addition, there is the innate drive to follow the trail and the game and only stop when successful. This makes the German Bracke an incredibly enduring dog that can run and work actively for several hours at a time. The willingness to work can easily be channeled into the right bans and its enormous loyalty and devotion make it a good companion dog.

How Much Does a German Hound Cost?

As a rule, the price for a German Bracke puppy is around $1200 to $1600. For a fully trained hunting dog, the price can be significantly higher. However, there are also clubs that have specialized in the placement of hunting dogs in distress and that hand over the dogs with a protection contract.

Cons of the German Hound

Probably the biggest disadvantage of the German Bracken for private owners is the hunting instinct of the animals. It can be an enormous challenge to get this under control and especially novice dogs often have to keep the hound on a leash at all times. In addition, the German Hound needs a lot of exercises, short walks are not enough for the active dog in most cases. Nevertheless, he can be left alone and is a quiet partner in the house.

Is the German Hound Right for Me?

Singles and families are equally suitable as new owners for the German Hound if they are active in sports and ideally have some dog experience. However, the German Bracke is not a dog for seniors, who unfortunately often cannot do justice to the high urge to move and the will to perform a task.

The German Bracke is also rather unsuitable for absolute dog beginners, due to the high hunting instinct, their good nature, and their calm nature, they can also be led by inexperienced people with the help of a good dog school. However, it must always be remembered that the German Hound is an active hunting dog. In everyday life, the German Hound feels most comfortable in a house with a large garden. She can also be kept in an apartment if she gets enough exercise. In everyday life, she has strong nerves and doesn’t let stress and hustle and bustle unsettle her. She is strongly oriented towards her people and needs a clear upbringing.

Mary Allen

Written by Mary Allen

Hello, I'm Mary! I've cared for many pet species including dogs, cats, guinea pigs, fish, and bearded dragons. I also have ten pets of my own currently. I've written many topics in this space including how-tos, informational articles, care guides, breed guides, and more.

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