Hunting is a popular sport in Austria. This is probably the reason why most of the dogs that originate from Austria are hunting hounds. The Alpine Dachbracke, the Styrian coarse-haired Hound, the Tyrolean Hound as well as the Austrian Black and Tan Hound are most valued by German royalty and Austrian hunters. The Austrian Black and Tan Hound together with the Tyrolean Hound and the Styrian coarse-haired Hound are known as the Grand Brackes. Grand Brackes are dogs that were primarily developed to be able to hunt in Austria’s mountainous areas.
The Austrian Black and Tan Hound have a rich history. It was believed that this breed have descended from the Celtic hounds. Because these dogs are extremely courageous and loyal the breed has earned the respect of warriors and royalty. Celtic myths and legends made mention of the bravery, courage and loyalty of this breed. The Brandlbracke or the Brackie as it was affectionately called by the hunters is not well known outside Austria although the breed is already recognized by the Federation Cynologique International (FCI).
In Austria this breed is most commonly known as Brandlbracke. Brand is a German word that means fire. This name was given to the dog because of the little fire red marks all over the dog’s coat. The Austrian Black and Tan Hound is a strong, agile and powerful dog with a stamina and endurance that enables the dog to excel in hunting, tracking as well as in trailing. This dog is most valued by Austrian hunters and not solely kept as a household pet.
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A Brandlbracke is a medium sized dog that weighs approximately 33 to 49 pounds. A male Brackie measures 20 to 22 inches and females measures 19 to 21 inches. This breed has a broad skull, a strong straight muzzle and a black nose. Well pigmented lips are tight fitting. Strong jaws enclose complete strong teeth that meet in a scissor bite. Dark brown eyes are clear without showing any red in the corners. Medium length ears are broad with rounded tips. The ears are set on high and hangs flatly on the sides of the head.
An Austrian Black and Tan Hound has a supple body that gives the appearance of agility and strength. The back is long with a slightly arched loin. The dog’s chest is deep and broad. The long tail tapers gradually slightly bent at the tip and has rough hair on the underside. The dog has straight, strong well developed legs.
A Brackie has a smooth hair that grows approximately 2 cm. The hair that is dense and closely lies against the skin has an attractive sheen. Coat colors are black and tan. Dogs should have fawn markings (vieraugl) above the eyes.
An Austrian black and tan hound was primarily developed to hunt and there is not doubt that this dog can scale the high altitudes of the Austrian mountain to hunt hares and foxes. These scenthounds are commonly kept by hunters who value the dog for its trailing ability and for outstanding capacity to work with cold scents. Years ago this dog was seldom kept solely as a pet. However, hunters found out that this dog is very well mannered. The dog has a good nature that makes it an ideal home companion. This breed is intelligent, affectionate and loyal. Training the dog would never be a problem as a Brackie is known to be obedient. This dog has evolved into a lovable and wonderful pet that is gentle with the children. A Brackie will tolerate other dogs but would need to be socialized at an early age to curb the tendency to chase smaller pets.
An Austrian Black and Tan Hound is accustomed to hard work. This dog hunts and tracks wounded game on the flat country and mountainous areas of Austria. City life is not for this dog. A prospective owner of this breed has to replicate the vigorous exercise the dog is used to. A suitable living arrangement will be one in the rural area where the dog will have ample space to run unrestricted by a leash.
The Brandlebracke is an easy dog to care for. This breed would be most suitable for a pet owner that does not have much time to devote for the grooming of the dog. Unlike long haired breeds that needs to be brushed daily to prevent mat formation, a Brackie owner can get away with a once a week brushing. Rubbing the coat with a chamois cloth will enhance its silky sheen. Nails must be trimmed regularly and ears must be cleaned regularly especially if the dog has been out hunting. This is to avoid the development of ear infection.
The Australian Black and Tan Hound also known as the Brandlbracke originated in Austria. The same with any other ancient breeds of dogs the Brandlbracke’s origin is kind of cloudy given that no record of the authentic history of the breed exists. However it is believed that this Austrian hunting hound has descended from the Keltenbracke or the ancient Celtic Hounds. These Celtic Hounds have a rich history. These ancestors of the Brandlbracke were favored by warrior as they were used as war dogs. These dogs also became the favorite of royalty.
In 1884, the Australian Black and Tan Hound was recognized as a distinct breed. This breed is believed to be closely related to the Begian St. Hubert and the Jura Hounds that originated from Switzerland. The Brandlebracke, named so because of the fire red markings all over the dog’s coat was primarily used to hunt hare and foxes and to trail wounded game in the high altitude of the Austrian Mountains. These dogs are quiet hunters. They would trail a prey stealthily. The Austrian Black and Tan Hound is still considered to be a rare breed, unknown outside its country of origin in spite of the fact that it is already recognized by FCI.