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The Alpine Dachsbracke

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 Alpine Dachsbracke

The Alpine Dachsbracke is a medium sized purebred from Austria also called the Alpenlandischer, Dachsbracke, Basset des Alpes, Alpenlandische Dachsbracke and Alpine Basset Hound. It is a scent hound and was bred sometime in the 1800s to help hunt hare, deer, fox and boar and to be a good companion. It had a specific role though, the Alpine Dachsbracke was developed to be excellent at tracking its game long after the trail is cold through various difficult terrains like brush. It was developed using the Dachshund and other larger dogs so often people see it and at first it seems likes its legs are too short and its body too long. Today it a rare breed and while still used by some fanciers and clubs it is more a family companion.

The Alpine Dachsbracke at A Glance
Name Alpine Dachsbracke
Other names Alpenlandischer, Dachsbracke, Basset des Alpes, Alpenlandische Dachsbracke, Alpine Basset Hound
Nicknames Alpine
Origin Austria
Average size Medium
Average weight 32 to 40 pounds
Average height 14 to 17 inches
Life span 10 to 12 years
Coat type Dense, smooth, short
Hypoallergenic No
Color Black, red and brown
Popularity Not a registered member of the AKC
Intelligence Quite intelligent – can learn fairly quickly
Tolerance to heat Very good to excellent – can live in hot conditions
Tolerance to cold Very good to excellent – can handle cold climates too
Shedding Average – will be some hair around the home to clean up regularly
Drooling Low – not a breed prone to slobber or drool
Obesity High – gains weight easily so food needs to be measured and it needs a good level of exercise daily
Grooming/brushing Low maintenance – regular brushing and routine care is all that is needed
Barking Occasional to frequent – training may be needed to control, and some say its barking is quite loud
Exercise needs Quite active – will need daily physical and mental exercise
Trainability Moderately easy for experienced owners
Friendliness Very good – quite a social dog
Good first dog Good to very good – some experience can help especially if being used to hunt with, but as a companion it is fairly easy
Good family pet Very good with socialization
Good with children Very good with socialization but best not with small children
Good with other dogs Very good with socialization
Good with other pets Moderate to good – socialization needed as it does see small animals as prey to chase
Good with strangers Good to very good with socialization though wary at first
Good apartment dog Good – can adapt to living in an apartment as long as it gets daily exercise but does best with a yard
Handles alone time well Moderate – prefers to not be left alone for log periods
Health issues Fairly healthy but some issues include hip dysplasia, obesity and back problems
Medical expenses $460 a year for basic health care and pet insurance
Food expenses $145 a year for dog treats and a good quality dry dog food
Miscellaneous expenses $245 a year for license, basic training, miscellaneous items and toys
Average annual expenses $850 a year as a starting figure
Cost to purchase $1,500
Rescue organizations None specific to this breed, check local shelters and rescues
Biting Statistics None reported
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The Alpine Dachsbracke's Beginnings

The Alpine Dachsbracke was bred by hunters in the 19th century who wanted a scent hound able to track cold trails through difficult terrains. It needed to be robust and hardy able to deal with mountainous weather and terrain, intelligent, brave and have a good nose but also be a good companion. It was developed to be calm and would find injured prey and if possible even bring it back tot he hunters without causing any more harm or trying to eat it. It is possible it was based on a similar ancient dog that has since become extinct. As mentioned they were developed using the short legged German Dachshund and larger Austrian Hounds.

The Alpine Dachsbracke was especially popular with nobility and royalty. The Crown Prince Rudolf of Habsburg between 1881 and 1885 always had some of this breed with him when he went on his hunting trips. He was also very encouraging about the breeding of them. It was short but larger than the German equivalent, the Westphalian Dachsbracke.

New Lease on Life

In 1932 the Alpine Dachsbracke was identified as the worlds third Austrian Scent Hound. In Austria its name was first the Alpine-Erzgebirgs-Dachsbracke and in 1975 it was given its official name, the Alpenlandische Dachsbracke. The FCI officially recognized the breed and it is more often kept today by gamekeepers and hunters. The only English speaking kennel club to recognize it is the UKC. In the US it is rare and many have not even heard of it.

The Dog You See Today

The Alpine Dachsbracke is a medium sized dog weighing 32 to 40 pounds and standing 14 to 17 inches tall. It looks a lot like the Dachshund with its long body and short legs but its legs are a bit larger. It is a very robust dog with a strong structure, stocky and bred to have a lot of endurance. It is firmly muscled with strong shoulders, a deep chest and its tail is thicker at the root and set high. Its legs are straight and strong and its feet are rounded with thick pads. It has a short double coat with an under coat that is soft, thick and warm and an outer coat that is water-resistant, dense and smooth. Common colors are black, red and brown and it often has a white star marking or blaze on its chest. The skull is arched and it and the muzzle are close in length. It has a black nose and its round eyes are dark brown with black eye rims and lids. Its ears are set high and are moderately thick with rounded tips. Hanging down they reach the the lower jaw.

The Inner Alpine Dachsbracke

Temperament

The Alpine Dachsbracke is a loyal and loving dog best with owners who have experience rather than first time dog owners. It has a brave and bold nature and is also protective, it is alert and will bark to let you know of an intruder and it will also act to try and defend you and its family. That barking can range from occasional to frequent though so training to stop it on command may be needed. It is a very intelligent dog and a very active one so will need owners able to commit to meeting those needs. If it gets bored and is left under-exercised it can be destructive, hyperactive, noisy and hard to live with. With the right care and raising though it is friendly, affectionate to its owners, hard working, kind and confident.

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This dog is a great hunting dog but it also can be a great companion in the right home. It has a puppy like personality its whole life, eager, happy, playful and curious. It is very easy to love and it can be entertaining with its antics and also sometimes frustrating! It is trustworthy, lively, social and though reserved with strangers will warm up quickly once it is sure they are not a threat and when they realize this is another person to get attention from!

Living with an Alpine Dachsbracke

What will training look like?

Training this breed can be moderately easy for people with experience, but may be a little harder for the inexperienced, as it does have a some stubborn times and may test your leadership now and then. It is important that its training is consistent and that you maintain your position as the boss at all times. Set rules and stick to them, be firm but still be patient and use positive training techniques. Offer it praise and treats, reward its successes and encourage it to motivate it. Avoid punishments or scoldings. As long as you maintain good communication between yourself and your dog it will be more likely to do what you want of it. It should learn fairly quickly as it is intelligent. Keep training sessions interesting and fun, regular and never too long. It is always better to have several short sessions in a day than one or two longer ones. Along with starting basic obedience training as soon as possible you should also start socialization. Introduce it to different sounds, places, people, animals and situations so it learns how to deal with them. It will grow into a more confident and trustworthy adult.

How active is the Alpine Dachsbracke?

While it is a lively dog it does like its naps so sometimes has to be encouraged to get out, but once out it loves it. The Alpine Dachsbracke can handle even tough weather conditions so can be taken out for exercise at any time. It can adapt to apartment living with daily outings but does best with a yard. It needs at least two long walks a day but remember that this was bred to be a hunting dog so it has a lot of endurance and stamina and can go for longer than you might think! However due to its shorter stature and long body it is not an especially fast dog. Make sure when you are out you keep it on a leash as if it catches a scent it will want to go after it. For the same reason also make sure the yard is well fenced in as it likes to dig and can escape that way. As well as the long walks it should have time off leash to run and explore and to play with you. This is especially important if it is being kept as a companion only and not going out on hunting trips. It needs active owners who are happy to go out with them.

Caring for the Alpine Dachsbracke

Grooming needs

Grooming and maintaining this dog does not take a lot of extra effort, it is low to moderate in needs. Its coat should be brushed with a firm bristled brush once or twice a week and since it is a short and smooth coat that is an easy job to do. The brushing will help remove loose hair and dirt, and also move its natural oils around its body to give it nice healthy shine. It does shed an average amount and that can increase during seasonal shedding times, so around then it may need more brushing. Only give it a bath when it really needs one using a mild dog shampoo only. Anything else will damage those natural oils as will bathing too often. That can then lead to skin problems.

Other grooming needs include the usual things of nail trimming if they get too long, ear cleaning and of course tooth cleaning. Its nails may get worn down naturally with its level of activity but if not you or a groomer or vet need to trim them when they get too long. Use proper dog nail clippers and take care not to cut into the quick of the nail. There are blood vessels and nerves there that if cut will cause bleeding and pain. Its teeth should be brushed with a dog toothpaste and toothbrush at least two to three times a week. Its ears need to be cleaned once a week either use a damp cloth and wipe the areas you can reach, or use cotton balls and a dog ear cleanser. Do not insert anything into the ear, this could cause damage and pain. At the same time as you clean them check them for sings of infection like soreness, irritation, redness and such.

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Feeding Time

This dog will need to eat about 1 1/2 to 2 1/2 cups of a good quality dry dog food a day, split into at least two meals. The Alpine is very prone to obesity so make sure its food is measured and that it gets enough exercise each day. Also take care with how many treats you give it! How much food exactly can vary from one Alpine to another depending on its size, health, age, rate of metabolism and level of activity. It should also have access to water at all times that is freshened often.

How is the Alpine Dachsbracke with children and other animals?

With good socialization and care the Alpine Dachsbracke is good with children, friendly, playful, energetic and affectionate and loving too. Its puppy like personality make them great playmates and it is gentle with them too. Make sure children are taught how to touch and play with it properly and that sitting on its back or pressing on it is a big no. It does come from a background of hunting so it has a high prey drive. When around small animals and birds that may come out so it may be best not in a home with lots of other small critters. However with good socialization some can learn to live with them fine, then it is the strange animals in the yard that you have to watch out for. Around other dogs it tends to get along well with socialization and is not an especially territorial dog. It is not a push over though, should another dog challenge it or try to bully it, this breed will stand up for itself but it will not try to hurt, just make the other dog submit or leave.

What Might Go Wrong?

Health Concerns

It is has life span of about 10 to 12 years and there are a few health issues to look out for. As mentioned it is prone to obesity and the can make worse its other common health issue, back problems like intervertebral disk disease and back injuries. Care needs to be taken when picking it up and putting it down and on things like jumping off the couch. Other issues might include hip dysplasia, ear infections and eye problems.

Biting Statistics

When looking at reports of dog attacks that did bodily harm against a person over the last 35 years in North America, there is no mention of the Alpine Dachsbracke. But seeing as it is a rare dog there, the chances of it being reported in such an incident are small. However it is not an aggressive dog and is not likely for it to be drawn into something like that, but there is a small chance, as there is with any breed of dog. Make sure you socialize it well, train it, raise it how it needs to be raised with exercise, attention love and care.

Your Pup’s Price Tag

The Alpine Dachsbracke puppy will cost about $1500 from a decent breeder or more even from a top show breeder. They are not easy to find in the US and even in Europe there are not a huge number of dogs. This makes finding one a task that takes time and patience is needed. Avoid being tempted into speeding up the process by turning to less reputable and trustworthy means such as puppy mills, pet stores or back yard breeders. Another worthy option is to look at local rescues and shelters. While finding purebred is not common, and finding a purebred Alpine is even less likely it is possible there is a dog there that catches your attention and grabs your heart. If a companion is what you want it does not have to be a purebred after all. A dog from such a place will cost around $50 to $400 to adopt and will also come with its medical needs taken care of.

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There are initial costs once you have chosen a dog, medical and items you will need. In terms of medical costs you need to have it dewormed, micro chipped, spayed or neutered, blood tested, vaccinated and given a good physical exam. These will cost about $270. The items it needs will cost another $220 or so for a crate, carrier, bowls, collar and leash to start off with.

There are also yearly costs to factor in, its food, health care and other needs like toys, training and such. In total that comes to around $850 a year as a starting figure. $245 of that will cover toys, miscellaneous items, license and basic training. $460 of it will cover pet insurance and basic health care needs like flea and tick prevention, shots and check ups. Finally the last $145 will cover a good quality dry dog food and dog treats.

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  • The Alpine Dachsbracke was bred to hunt on difficult terrain and different weather conditions so is quite a tough, sturdy and bold dog. It is still used to hunt today but it can also be a great companion and family dog in the right home. It is best in a home without small animals if it does not have good socialization as it does have a high prey drive. Care needs to be taken with its back and do not over feed it. With good owners it is loving, loyal, affectionate and fun to have around!

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