Everything You Need to Know About the Westphalian Dachsbracke Dog Breed

If you’re looking for a loyal and hardworking hunting companion, the Westphalian Dachsbracke is a breed that you should definitely consider. This German-bred breed is known for its determination, intelligence, and eagerness to please. In this article, we’ll delve into everything you need to know about this versatile dog, including their history, physical characteristics, personality and temperament, and health and lifespan.

History of the Westphalian Dachsbracke

The Westphalian Dachsbracke is a small hunting dog that originated in Westphalia, Germany, in the 16th century. These dogs were bred to hunt small game, such as rabbits and foxes, on forested terrain.

Origins in Germany

The Westphalian Dachsbracke was developed by crossing the Bracke, a type of scent hound, with the Dachshund, a small hunting dog with a long body and short legs. The result was a dog that was small enough to fit into burrows and other tight spaces, but still had a strong sense of smell and was able to track game over long distances.

These dogs were originally used by farmers and gamekeepers to control the population of small game on their land. However, as their hunting skills became more refined, they became popular among the nobility for hunting larger game.

Development as a Hunting Dog

Over time, the breed was refined to specifically hunt wild boar. Its strong sense of smell, persistence, and bravery made it a popular choice among hunters. The breed was also used for tracking injured game and was valued for its ability to work closely with its handler.

The Westphalian Dachsbracke is a versatile hunting dog that is able to work in a variety of terrains and weather conditions. Its small size and agility make it well-suited for hunting in dense forests and rugged terrain.

Recognition by Kennel Clubs

The Westphalian Dachsbracke was officially recognized by the Federation Cynologique Internationale (FCI) in 1955. It is also recognized by the German Kennel Club (VDH). The breed has remained relatively unknown outside of its native country, but its popularity is slowly growing worldwide.

Today, the Westphalian Dachsbracke is primarily used as a hunting dog, but it also makes a loyal and affectionate companion for those who are willing to provide it with plenty of exercise and mental stimulation.

Physical Characteristics

Size and Weight

The Westphalian Dachsbracke is a small to medium-sized breed, weighing between 30-40 pounds and standing approximately 14-18 inches tall at the shoulder. This breed is slightly longer than it is tall and has a sturdy build.

Despite their small size, Westphalian Dachsbrackes are known for their endurance and stamina. They were originally bred for hunting, and their compact size allowed them to navigate through dense underbrush and chase after game for hours on end without tiring.

Coat and Colors

The Westphalian Dachsbracke has a short, dense coat that is usually black, tan, or red with white markings on the chest and feet. Some individuals may have a white blaze on the face or white tips on the tail.

These colors are not just for aesthetics – they actually serve a practical purpose. The dark coat helps the dog blend in with its surroundings while hunting, while the white markings make it easier for the hunter to spot the dog in the field.

Distinctive Features

The most distinctive physical feature of the Westphalian Dachsbracke is its long, droopy ears. These ears are an important asset for the breed, as they help to capture scent molecules and funnel them towards the dog’s nose.

In addition to their ears, Westphalian Dachsbrackes have a keen sense of smell that is essential for their hunting abilities. Their nose is so sensitive that they are often used for tracking wounded game, as they can follow even the faintest scent trail.

Personality and Temperament

The Westphalian Dachsbracke is a breed that is known for its friendly and outgoing personality. They are a social breed that loves to be around people and other dogs. They are also known for their loyalty and affection towards their owners, making them great family pets.

However, it’s important to note that the Westphalian Dachsbracke was originally bred for hunting, so they may have a high prey drive. This means that they may not be the best fit for households with small pets, such as cats or rabbits.

Intelligence and Trainability

The Westphalian Dachsbracke is an intelligent breed that is eager to learn. They are quick learners and respond well to positive reinforcement training methods. This breed enjoys being challenged both mentally and physically, so it’s important to provide them with plenty of opportunities to learn and explore.

It’s also important to start their training early and remain consistent. This will help to ensure that they develop good habits and behaviors that will last a lifetime.

Energy Levels and Exercise Needs

The Westphalian Dachsbracke is a high-energy breed that requires plenty of exercise and mental stimulation to stay healthy and happy. Daily walks, hikes, and play sessions are necessary to keep this breed physically and mentally healthy.

It’s important to note that this breed may not be the best fit for apartment living, as they require plenty of space to run and play. A fenced-in yard is ideal for this breed, as it provides them with a safe space to burn off their excess energy.

Socialization and Friendliness

Proper socialization is key when it comes to the Westphalian Dachsbracke. Although they were bred for hunting and may have a high prey drive, they can get along well with other dogs and pets, provided they are socialized properly from a young age.

This breed is also known to develop strong bonds with their owners and make loyal and affectionate companions. They thrive on human interaction and love to be included in all aspects of their owner’s life.

In conclusion, the Westphalian Dachsbracke is a friendly, intelligent, and high-energy breed that requires plenty of exercise and mental stimulation. With proper training and socialization, they can make great family pets and loyal companions.

Health and Lifespan

The Westphalian Dachsbracke is a wonderful breed of dog that is known for its loyalty, intelligence, and hunting abilities. However, like all breeds, they are prone to certain health conditions that can affect their quality of life. It’s important to be aware of these conditions and take preventative measures to ensure your Westphalian Dachsbracke stays healthy and happy throughout their life.

Common Health Issues

One of the most common health issues that Westphalian Dachsbrackes face is hip dysplasia. This is a condition where the hip joint doesn’t develop properly, causing pain and discomfort for the dog. It’s important to monitor your dog’s movement and take them to the vet if you notice any signs of discomfort or difficulty walking.

Another common issue is ear infections. Westphalian Dachsbrackes have long, floppy ears that can trap moisture and bacteria, leading to infections. Regular cleaning and inspection of the ears can help prevent this issue.

Eye problems are also a concern for this breed. They can be prone to cataracts, glaucoma, and other eye conditions that can lead to blindness if left untreated. Regular eye exams can help catch these issues early and prevent them from progressing.

Preventative Care and Regular Checkups

Preventative care is essential for keeping your Westphalian Dachsbracke healthy. This includes regular vaccinations, deworming, and flea and tick prevention. It’s also important to keep their teeth clean to prevent dental issues and provide them with a healthy diet that meets their nutritional needs.

Regular checkups with a veterinarian are crucial for catching any health issues early and treating them before they become more serious. Your vet can also provide guidance on preventative care and nutrition for your Westphalian Dachsbracke.

Expected Lifespan

The Westphalian Dachsbracke has an average lifespan of 12-15 years when they receive proper care and nutrition throughout their life. With regular checkups and preventative care, you can help ensure that your furry friend lives a long and happy life by your side.


If you’re in search of a loyal and determined hunting dog that is equally affectionate and loyal as a family companion, the Westphalian Dachsbracke may be the breed for you. Take the time to learn about their history, characteristics, personality, and health needs to ensure that you are prepared to give them the love and care they deserve.

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