Alpine Dachsbracke

Gemma Gaitskell
Dr Gemma Gaitskell (BVetMed MSc MRCVS, Royal Veterinary College, London)
Photo of adult Alpine Dachsbracke

The Alpine Dachsbracke is a medium sized breed of dog with a characteristic deer red or black coat that belongs to the scent hound group of breeds. The breed originates from Austria and was originally used to track wounded large game, as well as smaller game. It has features in common with the Dachshund, which was one of the breeds that was initially used to form it. The Alpine Dachsbracke has a coat that is thick and insulating but low maintenance in terms of specialist grooming, although it does shed.

The Alpine Dachsbracke has a fearless, loyal character with a big personality but is level headed and sociable and is good with children, making an excellent family dog. The breed also gets on well with other dogs, but its hunting instincts can mean it is prone to chasing small animals if it is not accustomed to them from puppyhood. To be happy it needs an active lifestyle with around an hour and a half of exercise a day and is best suited to a country environment. There are some health problems that can affect the Alpine Dachsbracke so carefully selecting a healthy family line is important when choosing a puppy.

About & History

The Alpine Dachsbracke or Alpenländische Dachsbracke is a medium sized breed of scent hound that originates from Austria. It was developed to track wounded game, such as deer and wild boar, and as a scent hound to track foxes and hares. Its origins can be traced back to the middle of the 1800s. The breed was formed by crossing larger dogs, such as the Austrian Black and Tan Hound with Dachshunds, and the resemblance to this breed is still very much evident. The breed was a particular favorite of Crown Prince Rudolf of Habsburg for hunting. Although long recognised in Austria, the breed was more recently recognised by the United Kennel Club and the Fédération Cynologique Internationale but is not recognised by the UK Kennel Club.

The Alpine Dachsbracke continues to be used as a scent hound and tracking dog and is capable of doing its job at high altitudes and over demanding terrain despite its stature. Other than this, it is now kept as a companion, making a good family dog.


Alpine Dachsbracke Large Photo

The Alpine Dachsbracke should ideally have a dark deer red coloured coat and may or may not have black hairs interspersed throughout the coat. It may also come in black with well-defined red-brown markings found on the head, chest, legs, feet and tail underside. A small white star is permitted in the chest.

The Alpine Dachsbracke should be between 34 to 42 cm high at the withers and this height should be two-thirds of the overall length of the body. Despite its length, the trunk should be strong. The breed should have a muscular, medium length neck leading to long, strong, sloping shoulders and equally sturdy and straight front legs. The breeds elongated body means these appear short in comparison. The chest should be deep, about half the overall height to the withers, but also wide, with a prominent forechest. The back should be straight and there should be a slight curve up to the abdomen after the ribs. The back legs should be robust and straight, and the tail should be high set and is generally carried low.

The breed has a slightly arched head with a clear furrow in the forehead between the eyes. The muzzle should be nine-tenths the length of the length of head and the jaw should be sturdy with a scissor or level bite and white teeth. The eyes should be dark brown and relatively small. The breed should have high set ears that fold over and hang down over the cheeks with rounded ends, nearly reaching the end of the muzzle in length. The Alpine Dachsbracke is a specialist in covering difficult and challenging mountainous terrain and the breed should cover plenty of ground, making it capable of travelling easily over large distances. The breed’s preferred gait is a trot.

Character & Temperament

The Alpine Dachsbracke may be relatively small in size but it has a big personality and is extremely brave and fearless. These little dogs are loyal and intelligent and generally get on well with other dogs as well as children and have a calm, level character. This said, they do have a keen instinct to hunt, so it's important that potential owners socialise them well from the time they are pups, especially if you live in a household with smaller animals like cats.

The breed does not tend to suffer from separation anxiety, although as with any dog, should not be left alone for long periods of time. The Alpine Dachsbracke’s fearless and loyal nature means it can make a good guard dog, however, its size means it is not terribly imposing.


The Alpine Dachsbracke is an intelligent breed of dog and enjoys working, needing plenty of mental stimulation. It is happiest when it has a purpose in life to keep it engaged and attentive and in the right environment is highly trainable. However, if allowed to become bored the breed can become troublesome and disobedient despite initially being quick to pick up on house and recall training. It should also be kept in mind that the Alpine Dachsbracke is a scent hound, so can be prone to picking up scents and following them. This can make off the lead exercise more difficult in city environments where space is limited.


The Alpine Dachsbracke has a life expectancy of around 12 years. There is little published information available about the inherited health problems that can affect the Alpine Dachsbracke, but there are still certain conditions that are likely to affect it. These include:

Hip Dysplasia

This developmental abnormality or combination of developmental abnormalities affects the hip joints and leads to degenerative joint problems in later life. There are both genetic and environmental factors that can influence the development of the condition, but dogs should ideally have their hips radiographed at the age of a year or older and these are then evaluated by experts that assign a score to help evaluate the level of abnormality present. The maximum score is 106, so a low score is preferable, which means there will be fewer signs of hip dysplasia

Intervertebral Disc Disease

The breed has a long back, and this can increase the likelihood of this condition. The discs that provide a type of padding between the vertebral bones herniate and this creates an increased pressure on the spinal cord, affecting the nerves and causing extreme pain as well as damage, which in severe cases, is irreversible, resulting in paralysis. The extent of the damage dictates the treatment options, but ensuring dogs do not become overweight, do not jump off high objects and are walked with a harness can all help to reduce the risk of the condition occurring.


The Alpine Dachsbracke can be prone to obesity. The breed has been developed to work hard over difficult terrain and it is hard to replicate this kind of physical demand in a home environment that means it can be prone to gaining weight. Excess weight can lead to other health issues and make conditions, such as hip dysplasia, worse. It can also increase the risk of intervertebral disk disease and predispose the dog to the development of secondary health conditions, such as diabetes. Appropriate feeding and sufficient exercise are important measures that should be used to maintain an appropriate weight.

Exercise and Activity Levels

The Alpine Dachsbracke is an active breed that requires plenty of exercise as do most hound types. This means that it is happiest in an active family living in a country area. Around an hour and a half of walking per day is necessary to keep the breed physically and mentally happy and as much of this time should be spent running free as possible. This means that the Alpine Dachsbracke is not a breed that is particularly well-suited to city living or apartments.


The Alpine Dachsbracke has a weatherproof, dense coat formed by two distinct layers. It does not require any special care, however, the density and thickness of the coat mean that the breed can shed heavily and therefore weekly brushing is recommended to prevent excessive hair loss around the house, especially during seasonal coat changes.

Famous Alpine Dachsbrackes

In today's popular culture, there aren't really any 'famous' Alpine Dachsbrackes so to speak, however, there are plenty of great examples on Instagram if you search the hashtag #alpinedachsbracke. Additionally, as mentioned in the 'About' section of this guide, Rudolf, the Crown Prince of Austria, was said to admire the breed for its keen hunting skills and would often take the breed out with him on his hunts.


At the time of writing, there are no common cross-breeds formed by the Alpine Dachsbracke.

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