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A Versatile Specialist

The separate hunting tasks might not be considered specific to the breed, but in spite of its stature a Teckel -if bred for hunting- ranks in all of these aspects close to the individual specialists. The size makes this breed into a manageable hunting dog, but more importantly, the vast adaptability to new situations creates only few limitations to this highly passionate and intelligent hunter.

Frequently a hunting Teckel in Europe is used for the entire hunt, from searching the live game to recovering the game after the shot.  

Den Hunting    (Baujagd)

One of the main hunting purposes of the Teckel is the hunt under ground (Baujagd). The name of the breed indicates what the breed was intended for: "Dachs" meaning badger and "Hund" dog.  In the old days, German foresters used Teckels to reduce the predators (foxes and badgers) of small game the German royalty enjoyed to hunt (pheasants and hares). Teckels are still used to control the fox and badger populations in many European countries.  Lately raccoon dogs (originated from Asia) and raccoons (imported from North America) are added to the list of quarry hunted with Teckels in Europe due to lack of natural enemies.

Searching & Trailing    (Stöbern)

A highly valued trait of a hunting Teckel is the ability to systematically search an area, followed by trailing and flushing out game ("stöbern"). Stöbern is considered an innate trait which cannot be trained.  

In Europe, the Teckel has been utilized in this setting mainly for roe deer and wild boar. The advantage of using a Teckel over larger hounds is that large game will not flee as swiftly and remain tighter on site. In wild boar hunting, smaller dogs are less likely to get fatally injured. 

Being descendants of the Bracken, a required trait for the hunting Teckel is being loud on scent ("spurlaut"). This trait is tested on hares or foxes in Western Europe.

Circling back    (Brackieren)   &

Keeping at bay    (Stellen)

Subsequent to the Stöberarbeit, another trait inherited from the Bracken is to continue the pursuit into circling back the game to the starting point or to the hunter ("brackieren"). It is a testimony for endurance and perseverance.

The Teckel is also very capable of keeping larger game at bay ("stellen), applied mostly to wild boars, but occasionally also to deer. Often it is to keep wounded game at gunpoint in one location.

Retrieving    (Apportieren)

A German hunter usually starts with obedience training before taking his Teckel out on the first hunt. A large portion of the hunt tests therefore consists of hunting-related obedience tasks. Although the Teckel has the reputation of being stubborn and untrainable, many hunting Teckel are fully reliable in retrieving shot quarry out of dens or ducks out of the water. Due to this breed not being a true retriever, however, a soft mouth should not be expected, albeit some Teckels are very skilled retrievers.

Blood tracking    (Schweißarbeit)

Tracking injured game -mostly European roe deer and wild boars- is without a doubt one of the most applied hunting tasks of a European Teckel already through two centuries.

Like all Schweißhunde, Teckels were supposed to indicate the location of the dead deer, by barking continuously upon finding the game (“totverbellen”) or by guiding the hunter toward the game (“totverweisen”). These qualities are considered innate for Bracken, but because dogs in Europe are nowadays kept on leash during the entire game recovery, the traits are not tested or revealed as frequently anymore.

In this country the use of tracking dogs in recovering wounded deer has been progressively more recognized as part of ethical hunting. 


Due to the importance and interest of blood tracking in North America, a separate page is dedicated to this topic in: Game Recovery

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