Key Breed Facts
Intelligence / Trainability
Children and Other Pets
Caring for a Bavarian Mountain Hound
Average Cost to keep/care for a Bavarian Mountain Hound
The Bavarian Mountain Hound is a relatively unknown breed here in the UK, but these elegant dogs are still highly prized in many regions of Europe which includes Slovakia, Germany and the Czech Republic. They are frequently referred to as the Bayrischer Gebirgsschweishund and slowly but surely they are gaining in popularity in other parts of the world and for good reason. Not only are these medium sized dogs very handsome, but they boast kind and loyal natures too, just two of the reasons why the Bavarian Mountain Hound is fast finding a place in the hearts and homes of many people.
The Bavarian Mountain Hound as their name suggests were first bred and developed in the mountainous regions of Bavaria in Germany where they were used as scent hounds. They are descendants of hunting dogs that go by the name of "Bracken", but were bred to be lighter which made it easier for these dogs to cover more demanding and steep terrains. They were first developed during the 19th century by crossing heavier Hanovarian Hounds with Red Mountain Hounds and the result was a lighter, more agile dog that would be able to work well as a leashed scenting hound whose job was to track injured and wounded game.
Over the years these hounds have proved themselves to be highly skilled at the job they were bred to do. So much so that they are classed as being the best dogs among not only Bavarian hunters, but gamekeepers too. The breed was first recognised by the Kennel Club in 1996. Although still rarely seen in the UK, these handsome dogs are gaining popularity with people thanks to their charming looks, their tremendous scenting skills and the fact they boast such loyal and kind natures.
Height at the withers: Males 47 – 52 cm, Females 44 – 48 cm
Average Weight: Males 20 – 25 kg, Females 20 – 25 kg
The Bavarian Mountain Hound is a very athletic and elegant, well-balanced dog that for a hound is lightly built yet very powerful looking. They are medium sized hounds that boast being slightly longer in the body than they are tall. Their heads are moderately broad with no distinct occiput, but a well-defined stop. They have quite short and broad muzzles and boast pendulous, moderately thick, well pigmented lips. Their noses can be black or dark red in colour and moderate in size with nice, open nostrils.
Eyes are large, round and medium in size being either dark brown or hazel in colour and dogs always have a keen, alert expression in them. The rims around their eyes are nicely pigmented. Ears are heavy and set moderately high on a dog's head having round tips to them. They hang close to the head lying flat. The BMH has a strong jaw with a perfect scissor bite where their upper teeth neatly overlap their lower ones.
Their necks are moderately long and strong with the skin being a little looser on a dog's throat. Their chests are muscular and nicely boned with dogs having well laid back shoulders and straight well-muscled front legs. The BMH has a strong, supple back with a nice topline that rises slightly from the wither to the croup. Their ribcage is oval, long and deep, reaching far back. Their loins are well-muscled, broad and short with dogs having nice tucked up bellies.
Hindquarters are strong and well-muscled showing a good amount of bone and strong upper thigh with their lower thing being quite long. Back legs are well muscled and strong. Feet are oval in shape with dogs having tight, well-arched toes and well-cushioned, pigmented pads. Nails can either be black or horn in colour. Their tail is set high and is moderately long, tapering to the tip which dogs carry level or slightly lower than their back.
When it comes to their coat, the Bavarian Mountain Hound boasts a dense, thick and close moderately harsh coat with the hair being finer on their heads and on their ears. Accepted breed colours for the BMH include the following:
A dog can have black or brindle hairs interspersed throughout their coats and their back and tail is typically a richer colour with their muzzles and ear leathers also being darker than the rest of their body. Dogs are allowed to have a little patch of lighter hair on their chests.
The Bavarian Mountain Hound is known to be a calm dog and one that becomes devoted to their owner, but a little suspicious and way of strangers. However, these dogs would rarely show any aggressive behaviour towards people they don't know, preferring to keep out of the way. They boast having a natural, scenting ability which is why these dogs are so highly prized in their native Bavaria.
With this said, these hounds have earned themselves a worldwide reputation for being among the best scenting dogs and the fact they boast a tremendous amount of dedication and stamina to the job they were bred to do. They are extremely loyal hounds and as such they are a great choice as family pets as long as owners have enough time to look after them.
Because they form such a strong bond with their owners, these dogs do not like to be left on their own for extended periods of time. As such, they are not the best choice for people who spend most of the day out of the house. However, they are the perfect family or companion for families where one member of the household usually stays at home whenever everyone else is out.
The Bavarian Mountain Hound is not the best choice for first time owners because they need to be correctly handled and trained. Without the right sort of training, these dogs can start to show a more dominant side to their characters which can end up with them being wilful and unruly. It could also lead to a dog developing some destructive behaviours if they are left to their own devices for too long.
They also need to be given a tremendous amount of daily exercise which has to include a lot of mental stimulation for them to be truly happy, well-rounded, obedient characters. Puppies need to be well socialised from a young age which means introducing them to lots of new situations, people and other animals as soon as they have been fully vaccinated.
The Bavarian Mountain Hounds is very intelligent and likes to please which means in the right hands and when given the right sort of guidance and training, they are easily trained. The key to successfully training one of these hounds is to always be fair and consistent. These hounds are never happier than when they know their place in a pack and when they can look up to someone for direction which is why they are not the best choice for first time owners, but a great choice for people who are familiar with this type of intelligent hound.
The Bavarian Mountain Hound is generally good around children and enjoys living in a family environment. However, just like with other breeds, any interaction between a dog and children should be supervised by an adult to make sure play time does not get too boisterous.
Care has to be taken when one of these hounds is around any smaller pets because their strong hunting instinct might just get the better of them. If well socialised from a young age, these hounds are generally good around other dogs and rarely would one of them show any sort of aggressive behaviour towards them.
For further advice please read our article on Keeping Children Safe around Dogs.
The average life expectancy of a Bavarian Mountain Hound is between 10 and 12 years when properly cared for and fed an appropriate good quality diet to suit their ages.
These hounds are known to be healthy, hardy dogs that don't suffer from the many hereditary and congenital health issues that seem to plague many other pure breeds. With this said, if you are hoping to share your home with one of these elegant and lively hounds, there are a few health concerns that are worth knowing about which includes the following:
As with any other breed, Bavarian Mountain Hounds need to be groomed on a regular basis to make sure their coats and skin are kept in top condition. They also need to be given regular daily exercise to ensure they remain fit and healthy. On top of this, they need to be fed good quality food that meets all their nutritional needs throughout their lives.
These hounds boast lovely short and glossy coats that lie close to their body which in short means they are low maintenance on the grooming front. A weekly brush and a daily wipe over with a mitt is all it takes to keep their coats gleaming and in good condition.
It's also important to keep an eye on a dog's ears and to make sure there is no build up wax which could provide the perfect environment for an infection to take hold. Ear infections can be hard to clear up so prevention is a lot easier than cure.
The Bavarian Mountain Hound is a lively, energetic and intelligent character and as such they require a heap of daily exercise and mental stimulation. They need to be given a minimum of 2 hours a day and this needs to be vigorous exercise that includes a ton of mental stimulation off the lead, ideally playing lots of interactive games. These hounds also enjoy being allowed to roam around a secure back garden as often as they can so they can really let off steam and expend any pent up energy. However, the fencing in a garden has to be very secure to keep these hounds in.
If you get a Bavarian Mountain Hound puppy from a breeder, they would give you a feeding schedule and it's important to stick to the same routine, feeding the same puppy food to avoid any tummy upsets. You can change a puppy's diet, but this needs to be done very gradually always making sure they don't develop any digestive upsets and if they do, it's best to put them back on their original diet and to discuss things with the vet before attempting to change it again.
Older dogs are not known to be fussy or finicky eaters, but this does not mean you can feed them a lower quality diet. It's best to feed a mature dog twice a day, once in the morning and then again in the evening, making sure it's good quality food that meets all their nutritional requirements. It's also important that dogs be given the right amount of exercise so they burn off any excess calories or they might gain too much weight which can lead to all sorts of health issues. Obesity can shorten a dog's life by several years so it's important to keep an eye on their waistline from the word go.
If you are looking to buy a Bavarian Mountain Hound, you may need to accept being put on a very long waiting list if you can find a breeder who has produced any pedigree puppies that is. For the moment it is hard to provide a price guide for a BMH puppy simply because they are so hard to find here in the UK. The cost of insuring a male 3-year-old BMH in northern England would be £71.75 a month for basic cover but for a lifetime policy, this would set you back £130.13 a month (quote as of April 2016). When insurance companies calculate a pet's premium, they factor several things which includes where you live in the UK and a dog's age and whether or not they have been neutered or spayed.
When it comes to food costs, you need to buy the best quality food whether wet or dry, to feed your dog throughout their lives making sure it suits the different stages of their lives. This would set you back between £60 - £70 a month. On top of all of this, you would need to factor in veterinary costs if you want to share your home with a Bavarian Mountain Hound and this includes their initial vaccinations, their annual boosters, the cost of neutering or spaying your dog when the time is right and then their yearly health checks, all of which quickly adds up to over a £1000 a year.
As a rough guide, the average cost to keep and care for a Bavarian Mountain Hound would be between £150 to £190 a month depending on the level of insurance cover you opt to buy for your dog, but this does not include the initial cost of buying a pedigree BMH puppy.
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