In Germany, the Wachtelhund is classified as a versatile forest dog bred for finding sparse game over harsh conditions such as mountains, ice and snow. They are basically flushers and will sometimes flash point, but are also noted for going in for the kill. They make excellent bird dogs but will work fur game. Unlike hounds they can be called off a trail and will return to their master. They excel at water work, retrieving, and trailing game; they are aggressive in the hunt, but they are also a loyal and great family dog, and friendly with people. They do best living in the home.
Wachtelhunds originated in Germany where they are still owned and sold almost exclusively to foresters and professional hunters. The average German citizen does not even know the Wachtelhund exists. The Germans classify the Wachtelhund as a Stoberhund, hund meaning dog. In English stober translates to rummage about (if you think about it most dogs started hunting in this manner). The Germans classify all other flushers as Spaniels and separate from from the Stober dog category.
The Stober dog goes back hundreds of years in German history and was used to create the Wachtelhund and various other pointer breeds coming out of Germany. Prior to the German revolution in the 1600s, Royalty and Lords owned all the game and could afford kennels and dog handlers. They developed from hounds and the Stober specialists, pointers, flushers, and hounds; much like we have done today with most hunting breeds. After the revolution the German commoner could hunt, but could not afford to maintain a kennel of specialist dogs. So the Germans developed versatile hunting dogs. Today the Wachtelhund is the only dog remaining in the Stober category. The Germans added the word pointer to the Short Hair, Wire Hair, Long Hair and other German pointer breeds in 1939, when the term pointer came in vogue in England.
Even though some of the German pointers still give tongue at times, Wachtelhunds were bred exclusively to give tongue when trailing game, for employment in deep forest and will do so on feathered game, as a running pheasant, and on fur game. Like all German hunting dogs, the Wachtel was bred to do many hunting tasks such as; finding game; retrieving and recovering game; blood trailing wounded deer, red stag (elk), and boar. In Germany, they are used for hunting feathered game, including waterfowl, and all fur and cloven hoof game from hare, fox, and wild boar. They are not pack hunters but one-on-one hunters and will hold a wounded boar at bay, if necessary.
In Germany, buyers must enter their Wachtels in a juvenile hunt test before they are 18 months old. They also have two other levels of hunt tests applicable to the Wachtelhund and then the German Versatile hunt test. The juvenile hunt test focuses around trailing and giving tongue, steadiness and willingness to work in water and on land. Juvenile Wachtels are measured in ten categories on a scale of one through ten and must obtain a minimum score of five in each category to be entered in the German Wachtelhund Association breeding book. Breeders wanting to breed Wachtels must first request permission from the association and provide x-rays of the sire and dams hips with a Vets certification that they are free of hip dysphasia to breed their Wachtels. The association only resisters pups from dogs who have passed the juvenile hunt test. These are pure hunting dogs tested for breeding the best hunting dogs. Other than pointing game, they will perform any North American hunting task.
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