The Drever is robust and strong rather than elegant and speedy. They have a proud carriage, well-developed muscles and agile appearance. Affectionate, playful, and sweet, the Drever gets along well with most other breeds and is great in groups. The Drever was developed in the early twentieth century in Sweden. Hunting deer was difficult due to terrain and herd locations so hunters soon realized the benefits of using this short-legged, long-bodied dog to drive the deer over long distances and rough terrain right to them. A keen and even-tempered hound, the Drever is never aggressive, nervous or shy. They are content in most living situations, but tend to be vocal when alerting or at play.
The small-sized German hound, the Westphalian Dachsbracke, was imported to Sweden in 1910. The first dogs were registered in 1913, but little else is known about the breed before 1930. It was from then on that it gained a reputation as a very good tracker of deer. Deer had been sparse until then, but as they grew stronger in numbers and spread further north, hunters got to hear about the advantages of the short-legged deer tracking hound. In 1947, the larger Swedish variety of the Bracke was given the name Drever. In 1953, the Drever was recognized as a Swedish breed. The Drever is considered the first choice for deer hunting but it is also a very reliable hound for hunting both hare and fox. In all essence, the Drever should be built as a track hound. It should have the ability to work efficiently in the Swedish terrain and climate. The breed is strictly kept as a hunting dog and hardly ever heard of as just a companion dog.
Temperament: loyal / determined / even-tempered
Height: 12 to 15 inches
Weight: 35 to 40 pounds
Life Expectancy: 15 years
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Some dogs may be faced with health challenges in their lives, but the majority of Drevers are healthy, sound dogs. Working with a responsible breeder, prospective owners can gain the education they need to learn about specific health concerns within the breed.
A Drever’s short, coarse hair is easily maintained. Though they do shed some, this dog is truly a “wash-n-wear” breed. The occasional bath will keep them clean and looking their best. If necessary, nails can be trimmed with a nail clipper or grinder to avoid overgrowth, splitting and cracking. Their ears should be checked to avoid a buildup of wax and debris which can result in an infection. Teeth can be brushed.
Drevers are a very playful breed and love to hang out with their people. As long as they have some stimulating daily activity, they are also content to lay on the couch with you. They are great companions for outdoor activities like walking, biking, and hiking and are happiest with a good balanced routine. Any activity to stimulate their hunting abilities and scent work is greatly enjoyed by the Drever, as they are excellent hunters. Other activities to expend the Drever’s energy could include Barn Hunting, Wounded Animal Recon, Shed Hunting, Lure Coursing, Rally, and Agility.
Drevers are hunters and they will most definitely follow their nose, so training to listen to commands is a must. Though gentle and loving, as a hound, Drevers can still be stubborn, so there must be a commitment to his training
You are going to want to feed your Drever a formula that will cater to his unique digestive needs throughout the various phases of his life. Many dog food companies have breed-specific formulas for small, medium, large and extra-large breeds. The Drever is a medium-sized breed. What you feed your dog is an individual choice, but working with your veterinarian and/or breeder will be the best way to determine frequency of meals as a puppy and the best adult diet to increase his longevity. Clean, fresh water should be available at all times.