A Small Hunting Dog with an Incessantly Wagging Tail


A Small Hunting Dog with an Incessantly Wagging Tail Resembles the Dachshund but is Rare Outside of Sweden

Bred specifically to produce a small, efficient hunting dog, the Drever is the consummate working dog. Its ancestor is the Westphalian Dachsbracke, a small hound used for tracking game, which was brought to Sweden from Germany around 1910. It was crossbred with other hounds to generate a breed that would be comfortable with Swedish game and terrain. By the 1940s, the Dachsbracke came in two sizes, prompting a contest in 1947 to choose a name for the larger of them. The name Drever was chosen, originating from the Swedish word "drev," which is a type of hunt where game is driven toward the hunter by its participating dogs. Although still one of the most popular hunting dogs in Sweden, this breed is rare outside of its home country.


Long-bodied and low to the ground like a Dachshund, the Drever manifests characteristics of that breed from its more distant ancestry. Its originating breed, the Dachsbrache, was itself produced by crossbreeding the Dachshund with the Bracken. "Bracke," translated from German, refers to scent hounds, and may also be a reference to a Low German, or Dutch, word for "coastal marsh," possibly reflecting the salt-water storm surges that may have occurred there.

In 1956, the Drever was recognized by the Canadian Kennel Club. By 1996, the United Kennel Club along with other small organizations also recognized the Drever. However, it is still not recognized by the American Kennel Club; the Kennel Club of the UK; the Australian National Kennel Council; or the New Zealand Kennel Club.


The Drever gets its long body and short-legged characteristics from the Westphalian Dachsbracke. While it looks similar to a Dachshund, it is only distantly related to it and was not directly interbred with it. Its own parent breed, the Westphalian Dachsbracke, has the Dachshund in its parentage, however. With a smooth, hard, thick coat, the Drever needs very little grooming, with just an occasional wipe down and brushing to remove loose hairs. Coat colors are black; black and tan; or fawn; with white markings on the neck, feet, face, tail tip and chest. Canada permits all colors. Its large, expressive eyes are alert with close-fitting eyelids. Forelegs are parallel and vertical. In adulthood, Drevers stand 11 to 16 inches at the shoulder and weigh 32 to 34 pounds.


Friendly and very alert, the Drever has an endearing and constantly wagging tail. A workaholic, the Drever wants to continue the hunt long after its human masters have called it a day. With a very powerful nose and superior tracking capabilities, its short legs restrict its speed, but it compensates by maneuvering game toward the hunter without the need to chase most of the time. The Drever is used to hunt fox, deer, and hare, but this little dog lacks no courage. Drevers will even fight wild boars if they must. This dog will warn its human master that there's trouble by barking emphatically. Despite its small size, the Drever is a tireless hunter that needs some gentle but stern discipline to clearly define that you are the boss.

Suitability as a pet

As with other small hunting dogs (like the Dachshund), the Drever makes a perfect companion animal and pet for active families. However, this is a dog that needs to work, so if you can't fulfill this requirement, it may be best to get another breed. Although very popular and commonplace in its home country of Sweden, the Drever is still difficult to obtain elsewhere and remains very rare outside of Sweden.

Proper Environment

Although active, your pet can easily tolerate life in an apartment as long as it gets a daily jog or walk with ample mental stimulation as well. Although the Drever commingles well with other dogs, it may be tempted by its ancient hunting instincts to prey on your other small furry pets like hamsters, gerbils, or rabbits, which could result in household tragedy.

Nonetheless, this very affectionate little dog will depend on your companionship and will be very obedient (and happiest) if you provide firm but gentle guidance at all times. It will see you as the alpha dog, and you must act like one, with strong, clear leadership the dog can emulate. While the Drever is perfectly relaxed around small children once it has learned acceptable behavior through formal socialization practices, it is essential that you train this dog using rigid and proven techniques or enroll your pet in professional obedience class. This type of training will teach your pet to respect your rules.

There is relatively little known about the Drever in terms of its health, although it's purported to live between 10 to 12 years with proper care. It can be prone to hereditary pulmonary oedema or hunting oedema, which can be a fatal collection of fluid in the lungs. Make sure the breeder you choose screens for these disorders. Drevers can also have dental problems, so make sure your vet checks your pet's teeth regularly.


Grooming is very simple with the Drever; all your pet needs is a simple rub down with a damp cloth and an occasional brushing. The Drever is an average shedder.



Retrieved March 31, 2013.

Drever (Swedish Dachsbracke).

Retrieved March 31, 2013.


Retrieved March 31, 2013.

Drever / Swedish Dachsbracke.

Retrieved March 31, 2013.


Retrieved March 31, 2013.

Drever Information.

Retrieved March 31, 2013.

Westphalian Dachsbracke.

Retrieved March 31, 2013.

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