The Alpine Dachsbracke: A Mighty Hunter at Heart!

strong alpine dog

Affectionate and friendly, this is the Alpine Dachsbracke, the hound dog with a keen hunting instinct and a larger-than-life personality to boot.

Comfortable both out in the field hunting prey or slothing at home, this wiry and robust dog makes an excellent addition to the family home and is great with children.

The intelligent and sturdy Alpine Dachsbracke is not well known in the English-speaking world and, thus, an extremely rare breed of dog.

This makes it a breed of interest for those looking for a dog that is not only active but also has an affectionate and pleasing personality.

In this article, we look at the lesser-known facts about Alpine Dachsbracke, its people-pleasing behavior that always wins everybody over, and the royal history behind this breed of dog.

Alpine Dachsbracke

About the Breed

alpine dachsbracke

Bred to track and trail the scent of wounded deer and animals such as foxes, rabbits, and even boars back in the 1800s, the Alpine Dachsbracke has to be one of the most fearless little dogs of the canine world.

Not only are they great scent hounds who are known for their excellence at picking up a scent on a trail that’s gone cold they are also nimbler than their long-legged scent canine counterparts when it comes to tracking over rough terrain and at high altitudes.

But it’s not just for their prowess at hunting that this adorable breed is known for.

In fact, this great little dog has a friendly nature, an even temperament, and a keen intelligence that ticks all the boxes of an ideal pet.

Vital Stats

alpine dachsbracke breed

With its very short legs, long back, and similar looks to the Daschund and Basset Hound, here are the vital stats on this sturdy hunting dog.

  • Breed group: Hound Group
  • Weight: Between 30 to 40 pounds
  • Height: Between 13 and 16 inches
  • Lifespan: About 10 to 14 years of age

History of Alpine Dachsbracke

The origins of the Alpine Dachsbracke are very much shrouded in mystery. With some believing that the breed even dates back to ancient times.

But what is known is that the breed made its first appearance in history between 1881 and 1885 as part of Crown Prince Rudolf’s hunting dog kennel and subsequently accompanied him on hunting trips both locally and abroad.

In fact, it is thought only royals or those within the royal court of Habsburg were allowed to own the Alpine Dachsbracke at the time, until the early 1900s. 

What is speculated, however, is that the modern-day Alpine Dachsbracke was developed from crossing the short-legged dachshund with larger dogs such as the Hanoverian Scenthound, Leithund, and Basset Hound.

It is rumored that the Crown Prince ordered his gamekeepers to come up with a dog that was resilient, agile, and tenacious and yet small enough to follow game into burrows if needs be.

But it wasn’t until 1932 that the Alpine Dachsbracke breed became officially recognized and categorized as the third scent hound by canine registries and organizations in Austria.

Classification of Alpine Dachsbracke

The Fédération Cynologique Internationale (FCI), the largest international federation of kennel clubs based in Belgium, first recognized the breed back in 1991, when the Alpine Dachsbracke was admitted to the leash scent hound group.

This was followed shortly in 1996 by the United Kennel Club in the US, where the Alpine Dachsbracke was admitted as a member of the scent hound group.

As such, it was the FCI that first published the breed standard, which the United Kennel Club uses today.

Additionally, a smaller number of hunting clubs and minor registries also recognize the Alpine Dachsbracke breed.

Evolution and Origin

For such a small yet robust dog, the Alpine Dachsbracke has certainly undergone more name changes than most other dogs. 

Initially known asAlpine-Erzebrigs-Dachsbracke during Crown Prince Rudolf’s time back in the 1800s, this dog breed underwent two more name changes.

In 1975, the breed’s origins were officially declared as Austrian by the Federation Cynologique Internationale, and its name changed to Alpenlaedische Dachsbracke.

And then again in 1991, when the breed was finally recognized and admitted into the FCI and renamed the Alpine Dachsbracke, by which it is known today.

Alpine Dachsbracke Facts

strong alpine dog

Here are some interesting facts about this robust dog with a larger-than-life personality:

Alpine Dachsbracke and Small Pets

Simply put, due to its primal nature as a scent hound; this breed is not tolerant of other small animals, such as cats, guinea pigs, and rabbits, even though the dog may have been bought up with them.

As such, it cannot shake its tendency to chase smaller non-canine animals and can be tenacious to the point of absurdity in hunting them.

Guard Dog

Known to be vocal when threatened, the Alpine Dachsbracke, although vigilant and alert, is not particularly territorial, so it does not make the best of guard dogs.

Physical Characteristics

alpine dachsbracke

In addition to the Alpine Dachsbracke’s hanging ears, elongated body, and thick tail that barely reaches the ground, here are some other interesting characteristics that go into defining this breed of dog.


Medium sized dog


The dog’s skin should be elastic and strong, without wrinkles


The double coat of the Alpine Dachsbracke consists of a dense undercoat and a short, thick overcoat that is close-fitting and covers the entire body.


According to the FCI guidelines, this breed should have a dark deer red color with or without lightly interspersed black hairs. 

Black is also allowed with clearly defined markings of red-brown on the head, legs, chest, feet, and underside of the tail, while a white star on the chest is also permitted.

Alpine Dachsbracke Temperament and Personality

strong alpine dog

Intelligent, friendly, and lively with a mischievous streak to them, Alpine Dachsbrackes are drawn to people and love nothing better than being in their company.

This is indeed one of those breeds with a big personality for the size of the dog it is. They are energetic and lively when out on the trail hunting but sedate in a home environment.

Rarely aggressive or shy around or towards people, the Alpine Dachsbracke can be singleminded, stubborn, and painstakingly determined if their keen hunting instincts are piqued.

And it is because of their strong prey drive they may chase cats and other family pets, such as rabbits or guinea pigs, for, after all, that is what they were bred to do.

They engage easily with other dogs and, for the most part, are accepting of them if socialized correctly from an early age.

But a word of caution with their people-orientated nature, these dogs, if not given enough human interaction, can get up to mischief and tend to become vocal.

Alpine Dachsbracke as Pets

As such, the Alpine Daschbracke makes for a loyal and excellent family dog with its easygoing and happy temperament.

austrian mountain dog

This breed is known to get on with children and makes a great choice of first dog.

But having said that, due to their hunting instincts, it’s essential to have a secure, fenced-in yard to prevent them from wandering off if they catch a scent.

An Alpine Dachsbracke is an active dog and, as such, requires a daily exercise of about 45 minutes. In addition, they also need tasks or interactive toys to keep them mentally stimulated when their human companions are busy.

And although they make a great family dog, be aware that this is one hound who will use its keen hunting scent skills to its advantage and ferret out any foodstuff within its reach.

Pros and Cons of Keeping Alpine Dachsbracke as a Pet

 Just like every other dog breed, the Alpine Dachsbracke comes with some of its own pros and cons.


  • It makes a good family dog if socialized from young
  • Friendly, affectionate, and intelligent
  • Easy to train


  • Scent-centered so can be single-minded and stubborn
  • Can be given to excess barking
  • Can develop back problems

Alpine Dachsbracke Health Issues

alpine dog

Although bred to be healthy and strong, the Alpine Dachsbracke can suffer from some health ailments, which is well worth knowing if you are considering acquiring an Alpine Dachsbracke puppy.

Hip Dysplasia

This is the dislocation of the hip joint in the Alpine Dachsbracke, which is also common among other dog breeds.


The breed, due to its long body shape and short legs, is prone to obesity. And, although these dogs are highly active, they can also be partial to a sedentary life, which will pile on the pounds.

Intervertebral Disc Disease

With this disease, the vertebral bone padding in the dog’s spine starts to wear away. 

And it is for this reason that it is advised that Alpine Dachsbracke, with their elongated back, don’t jump on and off sofas or other furniture in the house.

Neuronal Ceroid Lipofuscinosis 

This is a group of progressive degenerative diseases of the central nervous system.

Signs in affected dogs usually begin to show at one to two years of age and include symptoms such as constant circling, compulsive behaviors, aggression, and anxiety, amongst others.

Alpine Dachsbracke Food And Diet

The Alpine Dachsbracke is predisposed to obesity, which can not only cause health conditions but place unnecessary pressure on their joints.

It is therefore recommended that an adult dog receive two cups of high-quality dry dog food daily, which can be supplemented with broth or canned meat.

As such, dry dog food should ideally contain meat, vegetables, fruit, and grains without artificial colors, colorings, or fillers.

But there again, a dog that hunts all day and is active will require more calories than one who spends most of the day lounging around the house.

And similarly, an Alpine Dachsbracke puppy should be fed a nutrient-rich diet with a good balance of protein and fat to support its long body and develop strong bones.

Alpine Dachsbracke Care

Like any other dog breed, to get the best out of your canine pal, you need to give them the appropriate care. 

And Alpine Dachsbracke are no different. For despite being hardy hunting dogs, they have grooming, exercise, and training requirements that will not only ensure they thrive but bring out their best attributes.


alpine dachsbracke

The Alpine Dachsbracke is a low-maintenance dog when it comes to grooming requirements. No fancy clips or dog-breed trims for it.

In fact, it is recommended that this breed of dog be brushed at least once or twice a week using a natural bristle brush as this dog’s coat sheds seasonally.

And during seasonal shedding, up the ante to a good daily brush to eliminate all the loose hair, dirt, and lint.

Similarly, the dog should be bathed every six weeks unless out in the field as a hunting dog.

Additionally, round off their care regimen with routine ear cleanings, at-home teeth brushing, and nail trims.


Alpine Dachsbracke is an active breed of dog and, as such, needs plenty of regular exercise.

And while they love hunting and tracking activities, running around the backyard or going for a long walk or hike will similarly help burn off some of that energy.


alpine dog

This is an intelligent breed of dog, but due to their strong prey drive, they can be hard to recall and incredibly reluctant to give up on a scent that has piqued their interest.

For this reason, the Alpine Dachsbracke will require a firm owner who will keep it from developing undesirable behaviors. 

Relatively easy to train, the breed is also known to have a stubborn streak.

The key here is to hold the dog’s attention with short, engaging training sessions using positive reinforcement for desired behaviors. 

Again, just like all other dog breeds, Alpine Dachsbracke dogs benefit from early socialization.

Therefore, introduce an Alpine Dachsbracke puppy to different situations and people from an early age which will help them become a well-adjusted dog.

Famous Alpine Dachsbrackes

The only famous Alpine Dachsbrackes recorded to date are those belonging to the hunting dog kennel of Crown Prince Rudolf of Habsburg.

For it was these hounds who accompanied the Crown prince on hunting trips in the 1800s to Egypt and Turkey.

A fact confirmed by paintings and pictures of the time that depicted this breed on these hunting excursions with the Royal


Is Alpine Dachsbracke Herbivore, Omnivore, or Carnivore?

This dog breed is an omnivore, meaning it eats other animals and plants. 

Why Is It Called a Strong Alpine Dog?

These sturdy, fearless little dogs are renowned for their ability to track scents over rough and harsh terrain and at high altitudes.

What Are the Distinguishing Features of an Alpine Dachsbracke?

They have an elongated robust body with a heavy bone structure, broad chest and head, and short, stocky legs.

How Many Pups Do They Have?

The average litter size of Alpine Dachsbracke puppies is six to eight.

What Is the Scientific Name of Alpine Dachsbracke?

Canis lupus. 

What Is the Cost of Owning an Alpine Dachsbracke?

Costs can range from $1,500 to $2,000

Is an Alpine Dachsbracke Aggressive?

No, an Alpine Dachsbracke is not aggresive. 


As always, if the Alpine Dachsbracke is the breed of dog you have set your heart on, do the necessary research into the breed.

For Alpine Dachsbrache puppies in the US are rare, so the majority of pups must be imported.

But once you get to know more about this great breed of dog, you will be sold on its all-around sound temperament, great personality, and easy-going nature.

Related Guide:
Sue owns three rescues: Sherman, an Olde English Bulldogge cross Boerboel, Maddison, an Africanis, and Boris, an American Staffordshire Terrier. Having owned horses, dogs, cats, and even an African grey parrot over the years, Sue is a passionate advocate for animal rights and welfare, having experienced firsthand the trauma some of her rescues had been exposed to. As a freelance journalist and content writer for over 20 years, her goal has been to craft informative articles on responsible pet ownership and care, both in print and online. When not behind her computer, Sue can be found taking long walks on the beach with her dogs or hanging out in the garden with them.

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