The German Hound temperament is simply delightful. He is everything you could want in a family dog. Being a scenthound, of course, he is also an excellent hunting partner.
The German Hound is a great choice for any family that is active outdoors.
German Hound Temperament
The German Hound is a highly intelligent breed. He learns quickly and is easy to train.
This breed is very obedient and depends on his owner to make decisions. He can be a little stubborn from time to time but far less than most hunting breeds.
Devotion to his humans is one of the many lovely things about the German Hound temperament.
He is happy and outgoing. This guy loves people. The German Hound temperament is not aggressive in any way.
This dog generally loves affection and attention. He also loves to snuggle.
The German Hound temperament is kind and gentle. He is wonderful with children and makes a nearly perfect family dog.
It’s not a good idea to leave your German Hound alone for too long. He wants to be with his people and is prone to separation anxiety.
The German Hound temperament is flexible and easygoing. If he gets enough exercise, he can go from the field to relaxing at home with ease.
He can also adapt to climate. This breed is hardy and nearly weather-proof.
9. Somewhat Protective
He will bark loudly when a stranger approaches. The German Hound temperament is well suited to watchdog duties.
The German Hound is a very eager hunter. He is also an enthusiastic playmate for the kids. He will happily join in any family activities.
As a hunting breed, the German Hound is energetic and needs to be busy. He is happiest when hunting, of course. But he also enjoys playing with the kids or recreational activities with the family.
The German Hound temperament is very inquisitive. He likes to know what’s going on in his environment and likes to explore.
13. Prey Drive
Though he is very gentle with people, he has a strong prey drive. He will chase smaller animals.
German Hound History
The German Hound is a scenthound from the Westphalia region of Germany. Even in North America, he is more commonly called by his German name, the Deutsch Bracke.
His history goes back to at least the 1700s. They descended from more ancient Bracken (hound dogs). They were selectively bred to be hunters.
The result was a hunting dog with excellent scenting skills. They are also known for their loud, distinctive bark. They use it to notify the hunter that they found their prey.
In 1900, all Bracke types were merged into one breed and called Deutsche Bracke.
Today, there are two recognized breeds known as German Hounds—the Deutsch Bracke and the Westphalian Bracke.
The Westphalian is thought to be a cross between the German Hound and the Dachshund. This produced a smaller version of the German Hound.
Hunters saw this an advantage when hunting because the shorter breed was more agile in heavy brush.
The breed is very popular in its native Germany but not well known outside of Europe. They were recognized by the United Kennel Club (UKC) in 1996 and the Federation Cynologique Internationale (FCI) in 1997.
The American Kennel Club has not yet recognized the German Hound.
German Hound Training
The German Hound has a gentle personality. He learns quickly and is generally eager to please. In the right hands, he is exceptionally obedient and easy to train.
However, he can be a little stubborn. He is submissive and expects you to make the rules. If he senses that you are not firm in your expectations, he may refuse to obey.
As a very intelligent breed, he is also easily bored. Training sessions should be kept short and fun.
This is a breed that will not respond well to harsh training methods. He needs gentle positive reinforcement but with a no-nonsense hand.
Proper training is important for this breed, or you will have to deal with some undesirable German Hound behaviors.
Helpful Dog Training Resource:
For help with training your German Hound dog, you should take a look at The Online Dog Trainer by Doggy Dan. Doggy Dan is an expert Dog Trainer based in New Zealand. His online resource contains Hundreds of Excellent Dog Training Videos that will take you step-by-step through the process of developing a healthy, happy well-behaved dog.
German Hound Hunting
The German Hound is a very enthusiastic, high-energy hunter. His role is to track and trail both large and small animals.
These have included large animals like boars and deer as well as foxes and other small animals.
The German Hound is also known for its focus and determination while tracking. They’re unlikely to be distracted when they’re on the trail.
This dog also has a distinctive voice and uses it when he’s excitedly following a trail. Some historians believe that the St. Hubert’s Hound (Bloodhound) may have been an ancestor of the German Hound. It has a very similar voice.
Originally, German Hound hunted in packs with hunters on horseback. The prey was mostly deer.
Later, hunting on foot with guns became popular, as did fox hunting with horns. We still see that in fox hunting to this day. The German Hound adapted.
Today, German Hound are more likely to hunt singly than in packs. They are used mostly for fox and rabbit these days.
German Hound Appearance
The German Hound is a small- to medium-sized dog with a rectangular shape (longer than they are tall). They are described by some as sturdy but elegant.
Their coats are short-haired and wiry. They are usually black with tan and white markings and a white blaze on the forehead.
The German Hound can also be brown, red, or pied in color.
They have a narrow head and pendulous ears. Their eyes are brown or amber and are said to be soulful. The nose is black.
They have long bodies and short legs, though not as short as a dachshund. They are deep-chested with a strong neck.
The muzzle is long and narrow, and they have a level or scissors bite.
They have long, narrow tails that are held low.
German Hound Size
The average German Hound weight is 35-40 pounds and their height averages 16-21 inches.
German Hound Health Issues
Bloat – Bloat (or gastric torsion) is common in breeds with deep chests. This is a medical emergency where the dog’s intestines become twisted and cause a blockage.
Hip Dysplasia – This is a painful degenerative musculoskeletal disease that can lead to lameness, arthritis, and loss of function.
Cryptorchidism – This is better known as an undescended testicle. The one that doesn’t descend is prone to testicular cancer. It should be surgically removed. Dogs with this condition should not be bred.
Eye Diseases – These can include cataracts, glaucoma, and progressive retinal atrophy.
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German Hound Lifespan
The German Hound life expectancy is 10-12 years.
Caring for the German Hound
German Hound Grooming
The German Hound is an easy breed to care for. He needs brushing once or twice a week to remove dead hairs. His short, thin coat makes this an easy task.
He doesn’t need frequent bathing. Most of the time, wiping him down with a damp cloth will be enough.
He will need an occasional bath with a soap made for dogs if he comes home dirty or smelly from the hunt.
You will also need to check and clean his ears regularly, keep his nails clipped, and brush his teeth routinely.
German Hound Diet
The German Hound should do well on any high-quality commercial food. You may want to consider one for medium-sized breeds.
If he hunts or is otherwise very active, he may need an active formula. You will need to keep an eye on his weight, though, to be sure he’s burning the extra calories.
German Hound Exercise
This breed needs to be busy. He will need at least one good walk a day to keep him calm and content at home.
He would also love jogs or running alongside on a bike ride.
They are naturally curious dogs who love to explore new environments. Long, leisurely hikes would satisfy this need beautifully.
Even better, he would appreciate having a job to do. If you don’t hunt, you might consider hunting trials or nose work competition.
The German Hound would not do well living in an apartment or in the city. He needs space to run and explore and loves to be outdoors.
Like many intelligent breeds, this guy needs mental stimulation as well as physical exercise. The German Hound is a great candidate for puzzle toys with food rewards or long sniffing expeditions.
Finding a German Hound
Buying a German Hound from a Breeder
Unfortunately, there are very few German Hounds outside of Germany. If you’re looking for a German Hound for sale, you may have a long wait.
At the time of this writing, a Google search turned up no German Hound breeders in North America. If you have your heart set on a German Hound puppy, you could consider importing one from Germany.
The Deutscher Bracken Club keeps a directory of available German Hound puppies with contact information for the breeders. The web site is in German, but Google does a pretty good job with translating.
You might also search for Facebook for breeder pages and user groups. These can be a great source for breeder information. They can also be a good way to find trustworthy recommendations for good breeders.
Vetting Your Breeder
If you are able to find a breeder and are considering buying a German Hound puppy online, getting a recommendation you trust is critical. You want to be sure you are not buying a dog from a puppy mill or “backyard breeder.”
Rare dogs are moneymakers for these so-called breeders. These are the people you see on television who keep their dogs in inhumane conditions.
They aren’t concerned with the health of the puppies or the parents. They often keep the parents in cages with no health care and barely enough to eat.
These people breed the mother over and over again until she is worn out or dies.
And they don’t give a thought to the genetic soundness of the breed. Responsible breeders will only breed healthy dogs with no inheritable conditions.
A good breeder will also guarantee the health of their pups. They will know the pedigrees and health conditions of the parents. And they will offer to buy the dog back if you ever need to surrender it.
You will get no guarantees at all from a puppy mill. You would also be perpetuating the inhumane breeding practices.
German Hound Rescue/Adoption
If you would prefer to find a German Hound for adoption, unfortunately, this may also be difficult.
You are very unlikely to find a German Hound at your local shelter. There are very few of these dogs outside of Germany.
But here, too, you can look to Germany if you would like to import one. In addition to the litter directory, the Deutscher Bracken Club runs a program for Bracken in need. You may be able to find a German Hound through them.
Adopting an adult dog can be a gratifying experience. You will have the joy of giving a loving home to a dog who needs one.
But you will also benefit from the advantages of starting with an adult dog rather than a puppy.
The dog will probably already be housebroken. Rescues make sure their dogs are healthy and are up to date on immunizations.
The dog will probably have had at least basic obedience training. It may even have some hunting training, which would be great if you plan to hunt your German Hound.
Is the German Hound the Right Breed for You?
There are many reasons to consider sharing your life with a German Hound. Their sweet, loyal dispositions make them ideal family companions and playmates for the kids.
If yours is a hunting family, you will appreciate his outstanding scenting and tracking abilities.
However, If you don’t hunt but have an active lifestyle, this dog will make an enthusiastic participant in all of your family’s outdoor adventures.
If you would like to add a great all-around dog to your family, the German Hound temperament can’t be beat.
Calvin is the co-founder and one of the main contributors to dogtemperament.com. He has been an avid dog lover all his life. He enjoys researching and sharing great ideas on how you can avoid common pitfalls of dog ownership and build the most loving and enjoyable relationship with your dog.