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Bavarian Mountain Scent Hound | Dog Breed Info: Pictures, Traits & Facts

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By Nicole Cosgrove

Bavarian Mountain Hound

Height: 17 – 20 inches
Weight: 44 – 55 pounds
Lifespan: 12 – 14 years
Colors: Tan, brindle, red-brown
Suitable for: Active families or individuals looking for a calm and well-balanced dog
Temperament: Active, loyal, reserved, intelligent, and self-assured

The Bavarian Mountain Scent Hound is a little-known dog that was originally bred as a hunting dog in the Bavarian region of Germany. Renowned for their outstanding “cold nose” tracking, the Bavarian Mountain Scent Hound also has the ability to track an individual wounded animal while ignoring the scents of other animals of the same species in the area.

Typically reserved with strangers, the Bavarian Mountain Scent Hound develops a close and loyal bond with their owner with whom they will want to spend all their time. They are not dogs that do well in the city, and to this day, most Bavarian Mountain Scent Hounds are owned by game wardens and people living and working in rural forest areas.

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Bavarian Mountain Scent Hound Puppies

Bavarian mountain hound puppy_bartek lichocki_shutterstock
Credit: Bartek Lichocki, Shutterstock

The Bavarian Mountain Scent Dog is still quite rare outside of Europe, and there are currently only a small number of breeders in the United States. As a result, you may find it difficult to get information about local breeders.

Since this dog is a rare breed, you should expect that most, if not all, U.S. breeders will have waiting lists for their puppies. If you are looking for a calm dog, you may find this loyal and reserved breed worth waiting for.

3 Little-Known Facts About the Bavarian Mountain Scent Hound

1. The Bavarian Mountain Scent Hound was specifically bred to hunt in the mountains

Tradition German hunting philosophy required that the hunter must harvest any animal injured in the hunt. This approach aimed to prevent injured animals from being left to suffer slow, agonizing deaths. This approach was often hard to achieve because early hunting techniques and equipment were quite basic and a quick, clean kill was not always easy to obtain.

For this reason, in the 1600s, German hunters developed the Hanoverian Scent Hound, a large and heavy-boned scent hound that was an excellent blood tracker and could lead the hunter to the injured animal.

Fast forward to the 19th century, and firearms started to have a large impact on hunting techniques, allowing German hunters started going after game in the mountains where a lighter and more agile dog was needed. During the mid-1870s, Baron Karg-Bebenburg Reichenhall crossed the Hanoverian Scent Hound with smaller Alpine Hound breeds to produce the Bavarian Mountain Scent Hound, a dog bred specifically to find injured game in the mountainous regions of southern Germany.

2. Despite having been developed in the 1870s, the Bavarian Mountain Scent Hound was not recognized in the United States until 1996.

The Bavarian Mountain Scent Hound had been bred successfully in both Germany and Austria for over 100 years before they were recognized as a breed for registration by the United Kennel Club in 1996. It would be a further 20 years until the breed was recognized by the American Kennel Club in their foundation stock program.

3. The Bavarian Mountain Scent Dog is starting to make a name for themselves in areas other than hunting.

While bred specifically for their ability to locate wounded game, the Bavarian Mountain Scent Dog is now being employed in other highly-skilled roles, including undertaking law enforcement scent work, search and rescue, person-trailing, and medical alert roles, and they are also being used as therapy dogs.

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Temperament & Intelligence of the Bavarian Mountain Scent Hound 🧠

The Bavarian Mountain Scent Hound is an intelligent and loyal dog. They are often wary of strangers but will develop a close bond with all members of their family. The breed responds well to positive reinforcement, and they are a sound and self-assured dog that is neither shy nor aggressive.

Dogs that are going to be used for hunting will require specialized training from quite a young age, and you will most likely find that if you have expressed an interest in using your Bavarian Mountain Scent Hound as a hunting dog, your breeder may already have started this training for you before you even pick up your puppy.

Are Bavarian Mountain Scent Hounds Good for Families? 🏡

Yes, these dogs can be great family dogs, provided that you and your family don’t live in the city or an apartment. Bavarian Mountain Scent Hounds tend to bond quite well with all members of their family and are particularly fond of children.

Do Bavarian Mountain Scent Hounds Get Along with Other Pets? 🐶 😽

The Bavarian Mountain Scent Hound has a highly developed prey drive and is not the best dog for families with other small animals unless your Bavarian Mountain Scent Hound is trained to accept them as a puppy. However, you likely won’t have any issues introducing another medium or large dog into the household.

Bavarian Hound
Image Credit: VladimirSVK, Shutterstock

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Things to Know When Owning a Bavarian Mountain Scent Hound

Food & Diet Requirements 🦴

When it comes to feeding your Bavarian Mountain Scent Hound, we recommend choosing a premium quality dry dog food that has been formulated for medium-sized dogs. There are quite a few different brands available on the market, and you should be guided, at least initially, by the brand and type of food that your breeder has been feeding their dogs. That way, you won’t have to worry about whether your puppy will like the food that you give them.

Of course, over time, you may wish to change the brand or specific formula that you give your dog, and when you do, we recommend following the guidelines outlined on the packet. Start by mixing some of the new food with their old food. Gradually over a couple of weeks, increase the ratio of new to old food until your dog is only eating their new food.

We also recommend purchasing age-specific dog food rather than all-ages food. As dogs go through their different life stages, from puppies to adults and eventually to senior dogs, their diet needs to change. The easiest way to manage this is with a commercially manufactured dog food that has been formulated for the life stages of dogs.

Of course, our advice is just a rough guide, and over time, you will learn what is best for your dog. Together with your vet, you’ll be able to figure out what food your dog should be eating.

Exercise 🐕

Bavarian Mountain Scent Hounds are quite energetic dogs and need a considerable amount of exercise. Unless they are sick or old, you are unlikely to find that one of these dogs wants to spend all day curled up on the couch. Taking them outside for a quick play in the yard won’t be enough either.

Ideally, if you want to own one of these dogs, you should live and work in a rural or forest area and already be spending most of your day outdoors. That way, your Bavarian Mountain Scent Hound can be with you throughout the day and get all the exercise and mental stimulation that they need.

Bavarian mountain hound dogs
Image By: Serova_Ekaterina, Shutterstock

Training 🦮

These dogs are quite intelligent and usually eager to please, and as such, they typically respond well to training. You will likely find that your dog picks up obedience training quickly. If both you and your pet are keen, you may want to try some form of dog sport, such as agility training or scent games.

You should start your pet’s training while they are quite young. Before anything else, your pet needs to undertake basic socialization so they get used to being around other dogs and strange people. Bavarian Mountain Scent Hounds can be quite reserved around strangers and not at all comfortable with other pets if they are not adequately socialized, and this may lead to behavioral problems later. So, for an hour or so a couple of times a week, we suggest taking your puppy to puppy school.

Grooming ✂️

When it comes to grooming, Bavarian Mountain Scent Hounds don’t need much work. Their short, dense coat will need regular brushing about once a week, and their fast-growing nails will need to be trimmed or ground back regularly to ensure that they don’t break or split. It is also a good idea to regularly check your dog’s ears to make sure they are kept clean and free of any buildup. Due to the shape of their ears, these dogs can easily get ear infections.

Health Conditions ❤️

The Bavarian Mountain Scent Hound is generally a healthy dog. However, like most breeds, they are known to be susceptible to several health conditions. These include:

Minor Conditions
  • Eye disease
  • Ear infections
Serious Conditions
  • Idiopathic epilepsy
  • Hip dysplasia
  • Kidney failure
  • Cancer
  • Heart abnormalities

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Male vs. Female

When it comes to buying a dog, some people get hung up on the decision between choosing a male or female puppy. Our advice on this is that unless you have a particular preference or you plan on breeding from your Bavarian Mountain Scent Hound, it doesn’t make a much difference whether your dog is male or female.

There are minor differences between the size and weight of male and female Bavarian Mountain Scent Hounds, with males being slightly larger and heavier than females. There are also slight temperamental differences between “whole” male and female dogs, but as most non-breeding dogs are neutered or spayed, these are largely irrelevant.

Instead, a much better way to choose your new puppy is based on their personality and energy level. Puppies that exhibit low energy levels and prefer to sit around all the time rather than play with their siblings are likely to be quieter and less boisterous adult dogs. In contrast, those that are bundles of energy will likely grow up to be super active dogs that need to be constantly on the go. Those that are somewhere in the middle will still be quite active but won’t always need to be kept busy. Ideally, you should pick a puppy with a personality and activity level that best suits the way that you like to live your life. This way, you can be assured that you’ll be able to give your pet all the love and attention that they need without having to make too many drastic changes to your lifestyle.

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Final Thoughts: Bavarian Mountain Scent Hound

The Bavarian Mountain Scent Dog is not a dog suited to life in an apartment or in fact, life in the city at all. Their ideal owner is somebody who lives in a rural area and spends a great deal of time in the outdoors or somebody who can ensure that their dog gets plenty of daily exercise and mental stimulation.

If this sounds like you, you may want to consider one of these rare German hunting dogs — not only do they have a great nose for tracking down game, they also make for good family pets and companions.

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Featured Image: Pxfuel

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