Let's talk Drevers

One of Sweden’s most popular dogs, the Drever is a short-legged scent hound that has traditionally been used out in the field. Robust and strong, with bags of stamina, they were certainly made for the country’s tough terrain. Today, while it is still quite unusual for them to be kept just as pets in their native homeland, they nonetheless make a loyal and docile companion. They’re also surprisingly playful, too, and good with children when trained. What the Drever lacks in size or stature, they more than make up for in personality.

Official name: Drever

Other names: Swedish Dachsbracke

Origins: Sweden

Drever looking at camera in black and white
 Drooling tendencies

Low

Warm weather? Low
 Shedding level Medium
Suited to apartment living?  High
 Energy level * Medium to high Family Pet? *
 Very high
 Compatibility with other pets Medium
Can stay alone?* Low

 * We advise against leaving pets alone for long stretches. Companionship can prevent emotional distress and destructive behaviour. Speak to your veterinarian for recommendations.

Every pet is different, even within a breed; this snapshot of this breed specifics should be taken as an indication.
 
For a happy healthy and well-behaved pet, we recommend educating and socializing your pet as well as covering their basic welfare needs (and their social and behavioral needs).
 
Pets should never be left unsupervised with a child.
 
Contact your breeder or veterinarian for further advice.
 
All domestic pets are sociable and prefer company.  However, they can be taught to cope with solitude from an early age. Seek the advice of your veterinarian or trainer to help you do this.

 
Spider chart of Drever characteristics
Illustration of Drever dog
Male
32 - 38 cm Height
16 - 18 kg Weight
Female
31 - 36 cm Height
16 - 18 kg Weight

 Baby age  Birth to 2 months
 Puppy age  2 to 12 months
 Adult age 1 to 7 years
 Mature age  7 to 10 years
 Senior age  From 10 years

Side view of Drever looking at camera with tongue out

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Get to know the Drever

All you need to know about the breed

Offering the best of both worlds, the Drever has the stamina and determination of a sporting dog and yet the temperament of a loyal and devoted family pet. Forming strong bonds with their human packs, they are highly affectionate animals and enjoy a cuddle with their owners. The Drever is also known for being good with children, with a bit of training, as they don’t have a hint of aggression.

Developed in Sweden during the 1940’s, the Drever was descended originally from the Westphalian Dachsbracke and has been a staple of the Swedish countryside ever since. Looking like a mix between a Basset Hound, a Beagle and a Dachshund, they have long bodies and little legs, but are deceptively strong and sturdy. Their short, dense coat is primarily brindle, fawn, red or tri-coloured, with white or sable markings. Requiring minimal grooming, the Drever is generally an easy dog to take care of all round.

While still little known in Europe outside Scandinavia, the Drever has nonetheless been growing in popularity in the U.S. and Canada. Certainly, if you are fortunate enough to own one of these special scent hounds, the attention they attract is understandable.

Drever standing on mossy mound

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2 facts about Drevers

1. What’s in a name?

When it came to choosing a name for this new breed, it was decided that a newspaper contest would be held. So, in 1947, scent-hound-loving Swedes got their thinking caps and put forward their ideas. In the end, the name Drever was chosen, from the word ‘drev’, which can mean various things but stems originally from the Swedish verb to ‘drive’.  

2. Sounding the alarm

With an alert disposition, and also quite vocal barking-wise, the Drever also makes an excellent watchdog. They’ll be quick to sound the alarm if a stranger approaches or at the first sign of any trouble. This does mean the Drever can be a little bit barky at times, especially when they’re playing, but training can help with this. 

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History of the breed

To understand the history of the Drever, we need to go back to Sweden in the early 1900s. At that time, a breed called the Westphalian Dachsbracke began to be imported from Germany. These smallish scent hounds proved themselves early on as terrific trackers.

Within a few years, the Westphalian Dachsbracke had also been crossed with a local dog breed not unlike the Dachshund, and it all rolled out from there. Officially named in 1947, the Drever, which was slightly larger than the Westphalian Dachsbracke, was recognised as a Swedish breed in 1953.

Today, apart from in their native Sweden, the Drever is mainly found in Norway and Finland, as well as in the U.S. and Canada. The Drever was recognised by the Canadian Kennel Club in 1956, by the United Kennel Club in 1996 and by the American Kennel Club (AKC), as part of its Foundation Stock Service, in 2015.

Extreme close-up of Drever in black and white

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From head to tail

Physical characteristics of Drevers

1. Head

Long, low-set ears, dark-brown eyes and elongated nose.

2. Body

Muscular back with strong, short loins and long tail.

3. Coat

Short, dense coat comes in various colours.

Close-up of Drever looking at camera

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Things to look out for

From specific breed traits to a general health overview, here are some interesting facts about your Drever
Drever leaning over back or red armchair looking at camera

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Caring for your Drever

Grooming, training and exercise tips

With their short, thick coats, and relatively small size, the Drever is fairly low-maintenance in terms of grooming. A weekly brush and the occasional bath should more than suffice. The Drever can shed quite a bit, however, so you may need to up the ante then. They will also want their teeth brushed daily, nails clipped as required and ears checked regularly for any debris, wax or sign of infection. In terms of how much exercise they need, the Drever is an energetic dog breed that is used to a busy and active lifestyle. As such, they will require at least one to three hours every day. They make great companions for outdoor pursuits, such as walking or hiking, and as they are quite playful, they will enjoy games in the garden. Training-wise, though Drevers are intelligent and resourceful, they can sometimes have a slight stubborn streak. Taking your Drever to puppy training classes should do the trick, along with plenty of encouragement and positive reinforcement. This should also be supported by early socialisation.

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All about Drevers

Although common in their native Sweden, and also known in Norway and Finland, the Drever breed is not often found elsewhere. As such, they are pretty hard to come by outside their homeland. While it’s true that they are present in the U.S. and Canada, the Drever is generally recognised there as a rare breed.

In short, yes, the Drever is regarded as being excellent with children once they’ve had some training. Playful, gentle and affectionate to all around them, they are ideally suited to family life. As always, just be careful with any very little ones, and children should also be taught how to play gently and respectfully with a dog. 

Other breeds that might interest you.

Sources

1 - Veterinary Centers of America https://vcahospitals.com/ 

2 - Royal Canin Dog Encyclopaedia. Ed 2010 and 2020

3 - Banfield Pet Hospital https://www.banfield.com/

4 - Royal Canin BHN Product Book

5 - American Kennel Club https://www.akc.org/