5 Things to Know About Drevers

These affectionate, playful German scent hounds were imported into Sweden in the early 1900s to hunt deer and raccoons, among other animals.

Drever breed profile

1. Key Characteristics

  • AKC Group: Foundation Stock Service (Hound Group)
  • Height: 11–16 inches
  • Weight: 32–34 pounds
  • Life expectancy: Up to 14 years

Drevers are small scent hounds from Sweden with German ancestry.

They have long bodies and short legs and look like a mix between a Basset Hound, a Beagle and a Dachshund.

The black nose sits beneath their dark brown eyes, and the ears, which are medium to long, hang low and have rounded tips.

The tail is thick at the base and hangs down but is not carried over the back.

The coat is short but slightly longer on the neck, back, thighs and underside of the tail. Colors include any color with white markings.

2. Where They Came From

Drevers originated in Sweden in the early to mid-1900s.

The German hound Westphalian Dachsbracke was imported to Sweden in 1910, and people soon revered the breed for its hunting skills with deer, boar, raccoon, hare and fox.

The dogs were reportedly crossed with other local hounds to create a slightly larger dog than their German ancestor.

The new and larger Swedish variety was named Drever in 1947, and the dogs were given official Swedish recognition in 1953.

The breed was added to the Foundation Stock Service of the American Kennel Club (AKC) in 2015.

Drever_NUCh_Tanjo
Drevers are energetic and friendly — but also noisy. By: Per Killingmo (Top photo: svenskamassan)

3. How Friendly Are They?

These versatile dogs enjoy companionship and do well in packs.

They are energetic and friendly but also can be noisy. They like to bark more than other breeds.

Affectionate and playful with family members, these dogs are great with children.

Because they are bred to work in packs, Drevers get along with other dogs fairly easily. Cats will take a little more time, but don’t leave these dogs alone with smaller animals — their hunting instincts might kick in.

Drevers can be stubborn, so thorough socialization and training is highly recommended.

Although many people report that the breed gets along wonderfully with children, others warn that the dogs are more suited to hunting work than family life.

The book Best Dog for Kids: Quick Parents’ Guide on the Most Popular Dog Breeds warns that Drevers “usually do better in environments with consistent discipline…. There can’t be any lax in the training for these [dogs], or they tend to break away from the training they have had.”

4. Is the Drever the Right Dog for You?

Exercise Needs

High

HIGH: Although not the fastest of all dog breeds, Drevers can move quickly and have seemingly endless stamina.

Take your Drever on daily walks and runs, and add more running and physical games to the exercise regimen when possible (such as hunting, tracking and field trials).

The breed is suited to most climates and can do well in apartments with sufficient exercise, so a Drever is a good choice for an active family regardless of location.

You’ll definitely need to exercise your Drever within an enclosed area or on a lead.

Because Drevers are scent hounds, it is not uncommon for them to follow a scent or chase another animal — large or small.

Grooming Needs

Low

LOW: Brush your dog a few times per week to reduce shedding (which is average for this breed) and remove dead hairs.

Because Drevers’ ears are prone to infections, inspect and clean the ears at least once per week. Be sure to clean the teeth and trim the nails, too, but you can do these things easily at home.

Health Problems

Low

LOW: Drevers have a low incidence of health problems. The few notable issues include:

You’re interested in dog breeds? Check out this video of more than 300 breeds!

5. Where to Adopt One

We weren’t able to find any Drevers available for adoption through rescues or shelters throughout the country. In fact, the dogs are rare outside of Sweden, and the breed isn’t listed on many adoption websites.

If your heart is set on getting a Drever soon, you’ll probably need to contact a breeder.

Make sure to ask for health clearances, and always visit the facility to ensure the dogs are happy and healthy. Read our article about puppy mill warning signs.

Additional Resources

Kristine Lacoste

View posts by Kristine Lacoste
Kristine Lacoste, editor in chief of Petful, is an author, poet and pet lover from Louisiana. She is the author of an award-nominated book, One Unforgettable Journey, and was host of a weekly pet news segment on the National K-9 Academy Radio Show. She was the New Orleans coordinator for Dogs on Deployment, a nonprofit that helps military members and their pets, for 3 years. She is also employed as chief operating officer for a large mental health practice in Louisiana. Kristine has a bachelor’s degree in psychology, a bachelor’s degree in English and a Master of Business Administration degree.

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