Bavarian Mountain Hound

History

The Bavarian Mountain Hound originates in Germany. It was the result of a deliberate crossing the Hanover hound and the Bavarian, to produce a strong and trainable scent hound, its chief purpose being to track large injured game across the hilly terrain. Being lighter in frame and smaller in size than other scent hounds, they were very successful in this job.

The breed's first official club was opened in Germany in 1912, by which time their popularity had spread from Germany to the Austro-Hungarian Empire - largely modern day Austria, Hungary and Czechia.

Behaviour

BMHs were bred to chase game, and this 'prey drive' makes them an unsuitable addition to the household if you have, or intend getting, a pet cat. Having said that, they will be fine with a cat that they have been raised with. They are soft-hearted, and will happily transform into oversized lapdogs and cuddle up with you on the sofa.

This is a working breed, so training is pretty straightforward. You need to be firm and consistent, though. By using a variety of methods you will prevent them getting bored, boredom being the man barrier to training. Like all tracking dogs, their main weakness is in recall - i.e. they don't come back when you call. They will happily follow a scent for miles, oblivious to their surroundings. So, unless you are releasing them in a secure area, it's best to keep them on a long leash. They are fast runners, and you stand no chance of catching one if it decides to give chase!

BMHs require plenty of daily exercise, and give the impression that they could keep going forever. This high stamina makes them well suited to a jogging owner. They like having something to do, so scent training and agility is a good way of keeping them physically and mentally active. They soon become stressed if they are bored and/or lonely.

The dog's coat is smooth and dense. This protects them from scratchy undergrowth during tracking, but it means they will need brushing a couple of times a week.

Temperament

BMHs are a devoted and courageous breed. They are calm, devoted family dogs in the home, but once outside with the scent in their nostrils they will follow their powerful nose wherever it takes them. This distraction can make training tricky if you are somewhere with lots of distracting scents.

BMHs are even-tempered, are good with children, and form strong bonds with their human families. They can be shy and cautious with strangers, although seldom aggressive. They will bark when someone knocks at the door, but are not suitable as guard dogs. They do not like being left alone and so are best suited to a household with someone around for much of the day.

This is a robust dog that suffers few ailments. They are hardy and cope stoically with injury and discomfort. This means you have to check on them regularly, as they can hide illness well.

Health Problems

Canine hip dysplasia (CHD), epilepsy, and entropion (inward rolling of the eyelid which can irritate the eyeball) are known problems.

Breed Details

  • Status: Common
  • Life Expectancy: 10 - 12 years
  • Weight: 44 - 55 lb
  • Height: 17 - 20"
  • Rare: No
  • Coat: Short
  • Grooming Requirements: Once a week
  • Town or Country: Country
  • Minimum Home Size: Small House
  • Minimum Garden Size: Small to Medium Garden
  • Breed Type: Hound
  • Size: Medium
  • Energy Level: Medium
  • Exercise Required: Over 2 hours

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