Getting To Know You – Bavarian Mountain Scent Hound

If the looks of a Bavarian Mountain Scent Hound don’t intrigue you, I’m guessing the American Kennel Club’s synopsis of it will…”Hailing from Germany, the Bavarian Mountain Scent Hound is the Bayerischer Gebirgsschweisshund in its native German. The breed’s most notable trait is its outstanding “cold nose” tracking ability. His nose is so acute, he can distinguish between the injured game he is hunting and other animals of the same species. This somewhat lightweight, active, medium-sized breed is devoted to his owner but can be reserved with strangers. He is not a kennel dog and prefers to be around his human family.”  Think about the skill required for a dog to distinguish between injured and uninjured game of the same species.  It boggles the mind.  This skill was imperative in 17th Germany when the hunting philosophy required hunters catch every injured animal. 

While the purpose of the breed is pretty clear, what’s not so clear is which exact breeds were used to develop this exceptional tracker.  The general consensus is that the Hanoverian Scenthound was crossed with smaller Alpine breeds such as the aptly named Alpine Dachsbracke, the Austrian Black and Tan Hound, and the Tyrolean Bracke may have played a part.  While the Bavarian Mountain Scent Hound is by all accounts a relatively healthy breed, restrictive breeding programs in a few European countries, have resulted in some common health issues.  These include epilepsy, hip dysplasia, cancer, eye issues, heart anomalies, and kidney failure. 

The Bavarian Mountain Scent Hound is a good looking breed.  It is balanced with good mobility and is well muscled.  It is medium sized weighing approximately 37 to 66 pounds and measures 17 to 20.5 inches at the withers.  This calm breed comes in a variety of colors; brindle, fawn, red, reddish brown, and tan.  Acceptable markings are a black mask and white markings.  It is a versatile tracker with a loyal, self-assured, biddable temperament.  One must keep in mind that this breed loves to work.  It enjoys the outdoors and needs daily chances to expend its seemingly unending energy.  Besides hunting and tracking, it excels in other tasks that require a high level of skill, such as search and rescue, medical alert and various types of law enforcement work.  It is also a formidable breed when it comes to performance sports as well – namely rally, agility, and competitive obedience.

This is a new breed to the American Kennel Club.  It was accepted into the Foundation Stock Service program less than three years ago, in December of 2016. The Bavarian Mountain Scent Hound Society of America, which is the official parent club, was formed in January of 2017.  For more information on this fascinating breed, go to https://bavarianmountainscenthoundsocietyofamerica.com.