The Drever Dog Breed: Everything You Need to Know

If you’re a dog lover, you might have heard of the Drever dog breed. While not as well-known as other members of the dogdom, this fearless little hound from Sweden has a lot to offer.

In this article, we’ll cover everything you need to know about the Drever dog breed, from its origins and physical characteristics to its personality and health. Keep reading. 

A Brief History of the Drever Dog Breed

Origins in Sweden

The Drever is a Swedish hound breed that was developed in the early 20th century. The name “Drever” comes from the Swedish word “drev,” which means “to drive” or “to hunt.”

The breed was created by crossing the Westphalian Dachsbracke with other Swedish hounds, with the goal of creating a dog that was well-suited to hunting in Sweden’s forests.

The Drever was specifically bred to hunt game over long distances and in difficult terrain. The breed’s short legs allowed it to move quickly through the underbrush, while its strong nose and tenacious spirit made it an excellent tracker.

The Drever’s Ancestry: Westphalian Dachsbracke

The Westphalian Dachsbracke is a German breed that was developed for hunting rabbits and hares. This breed is known for its short legs and long body, which gives it great agility in the field. The Drever takes after its Westphalian Dachsbracke ancestors and is also a short-legged but muscular dog.

Recognition by Kennel Clubs

The Drever was recognized by the Swedish Kennel Club in 1947, and later by the FCI (Fédération Cynologique Internationale) in 1953. The breed is also accepted into the American Kennel Club’s Foundation Stock Service. 

Today, the Drever is a popular breed in Sweden and other Scandinavian countries, where it is still primarily used for hunting. However, the breed is less known in other parts of the world. 

Physical Characteristics of the Drever

Size and Weight

The Drever is a small to medium-sized dog, weighing between 35 to 40 pounds and standing between 12 to 15 inches tall at the shoulders. It has a sturdy build, short legs, and a deep chest. The Drever’s size and weight make it well-suited to hunting in dense forests.

Coat and Colors

The Drever has a short, dense coat that comes in a variety of colors, including red, fawn, black, and tan. The breed’s coat is relatively easy to maintain and requires just occasional brushing to keep it looking healthy and shiny.

Distinctive Features

One of the Drever’s most distinctive features is its long ears, which hang down to its shoulders. The breed also has a strong and muscular body, with a broad head and dark, expressive eyes.

Personality and Temperament

The Drever is more than just a hunting dog – it is also friendly with an affectionate personality. This breed is highly social and loves to be around its family members. It is great with children and makes a wonderful family pet.

The Drever’s Hunting Instincts

The Drever’s hunting instincts are deeply ingrained in its DNA. This breed was developed to hunt small game like rabbits and hares, and they are highly skilled at tracking and pursuing their prey.

The strong sense of smell and tenacious spirit make the breed a force to be reckoned with in the field. While the Drever is often used for hunting small game, it is also capable of taking down larger game like deer. 

Family Life and Companionship

The Drever’s friendly and affectionate nature makes them an excellent choice for families. They thrive on attention and love to spend time with their human companions. They are loyal and will go to great lengths to protect their family members.

In addition to being great with children, the Drever also gets along well with other dogs and even cats. They are highly social animals and enjoy being part of a pack. However, socialization is important due to the risk of high prey drive. 

Socialization and Training

The Drever is an intelligent and eager-to-please breed, making it relatively easy to train. The breed responds well to positive reinforcement and enjoys learning new things.

Socialization will help ensure that the Drever is comfortable around other people and animals, while training will help you establish a strong mutual bond and teach them basic commands and good behavior.

Health and Lifespan

Common Health Issues

The Drever is prone to several health issues, including: 

  • Hip Dysplasia: A genetic, orthopedic condition in which the hip joint doesn’t develop properly, leading to arthritis, pain, and impaired mobility 
  • Ear Infections: The breed’s long, droopy ears can trap moisture and debris, which increases the risk of infections of the outer and middle ear
  • Eye Problems: The breed is prone to cataracts and progressive retinal atrophy (PRA), which can lead to vision impairment and blindness 
  • Allergies: Breed members can be allergic to food, pollen, dust, and other environmental factors and develop itching, redness, and skin irritation

Preventative Care and Regular Checkups

Good preventive care is essential to keeping your Drever healthy and happy. This includes feeding a well-balanced diet, providing exercise, and keeping up with vaccinations and parasite prevention.

Regular checkups with a veterinarian are also important to catch any health issues early. During these checkups, the vet will examine your Drever from head to tail, checking for any signs of illness or disease. 

Expected Lifespan

The Drever has a relatively long lifespan for a medium-sized dog, typically around 15 years. With good care and attention to their health needs, your Drever can be a loyal and loving companion for many years to come.


In conclusion, the Drever is a highly versatile breed that makes a great choice for hunters, outdoor enthusiasts, and families alike. Their historic background as hunting dogs has given them an innate instinct for tracking and hunting game.

Despite its hunting heritage, the Drever is known for its calm and gentle temperament, making it a great family pet. The breed is also highly trainable and eager to please, making it a popular choice for obedience competitions and other dog sports.

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