In the Middle Ages, nimble and hunting beagles were well known throughout Germany and especially in the western part of the country. Most breeds were medium or large in size. Hunters needed short-legged dogs that don't run too fast, so that owner could follow the dog by simply walking. For the first time the Westphalian Dachsbracke was described in 1886, and 49 years later the breed was officially recognized in Germany.
The name of these dogs originated from the Westphalia region in northwestern Germany, where development of the breed begun. It is believed that it was derived as a result of crossing German long legged hounds with short-legged dachshunds, later the blood of other hunting dogs was added, mostly small hounds. The need for dogs with shorter legs occurred when the vast hunting grounds in Germany started dwindling and fast-foot beagles, ideally suited for hunting large spaces began to look less and less useful. New conditions required new four-legged hunting assistants - and the compact Westphalian Dachsbracke appealed to the demanding German hunters.
Visually, the Westphalian Dachsbracke is small, stocky dog with large chest and tight physique. Limbs are short and strong. Height of the dog at a withers is 30 to 38 cm and weighs 16-18 kg. Ithas elongated wedge-shaped head, muscular neck, broad set high hanging ears of medium length, kind eyes with a slightly sad look, high set tail of medium length, tapering towards the end. Coat is short, dense, smooth, and tightly fitting on the head, ears, legs, and it is shorter on the neck, abdomen and back.
Character and behavior
At home the Westphalian Dachsbracke is a nice family dog, which has boundless devotion to its master. But this four-legged hunter needs a wise and experienced owner who, like the dog, does not imagine his life without hunting. This breed is suitable for all kinds of people. By nature, these dogs are quite balanced and are not fussy at all. It is better to walk your pet often and long, if you cannot go hunting with it. If your dog doesn't run and play enough, it will become nervous. But overall this is one extremely lovable and loving friend.
Training and education
This breed is really easy to train. It is obedient and smart. The Westphalian Dachsbracke hunts mostly rabbits, foxes and wild pigs. This dog is not particularly fast, but strong and confident, with a resonant voice. The hunter should only follow its faithful assistant, that will take him to wounded wild animal. The breed has an enviable flair that allows it to sniff the game from quite a distance and is ready to hunt in even the most complex conditions. Due to its small size, this brave dog can penetrate into various underground holes, which is an impossible mission for long legged hounds. The only drawback of this durable dog is when hunting in winter conditions, because of its short legs that don't allow it to run in deep snow.
The Westphalian Dachsbracke is quite a healthy breed. However, some dogs may suffer from teeth problems and heartworms. They live about 10 to 12 years.
Grooming and care
The maintenance of coat is very easy. It is enough to brush it twice a week. Avoid frequent bathing, because this can damage natural protective layer of skin of your pet.
Children and other pets
The Westphalian Dachsbracke loves children and is always ready to play with them. It is reserved with other animals at the beginning, but with time, gets used to other residents. Everything depends on early socialization and what method you use to educate your pet.
At the end of XIX century the breed was imported to Sweden, where it was known under the name "Drever" (Swedish Dachshund Beagle), and today the Swedish version has become even more popular than its ancestor. However, a person who is not a specialist, will hardly be able to distinguish the Drever from the Westphalian Dachsbracke.
Puppies for sale of this breed are very popular in Germany, but outside its borders are really hard to find. Today it is considered quite a rare breed, which is why the German cynologists actively work to increase its population.