Schwyz Basset, Schweizerischer Niederlaufhund, Small Swiss Hound
The Schwyzer Niederlaufhund is one of four varieties of Small Swiss Hounds, the other three being the Berner, Jura, and Luzerner. The title ‘Niederlaufhund’ means ‘short-legged scenthound’, and due to their size they are sometimes referred to as dachbrackes or bassets. Each variety specializes in its own hunting grounds, the Schwyzer being used to track small game in mountain valleys.
Schwyzer Niederlaufhund Standards
- FCI (Group 6)
- UKC (Scenthound)
- 18-33 lbs
- small scenthound
- ears are long, pendulous, carried folded
- tail is long, reaches at least the hock
- coat is smooth, short, and close fitting
- orange with yellowish red to orange red patches or mantle
History of the Schwyzer Niederlaufhund
All of the Small Swiss Hounds were the result of specialized breeding programs to reduce the size of their larger cousins. In the early 20th century a new system of hunting preserves was created in different parts of Switzerland that reduced the size of their hunting grounds. The larger dogs were deemed too fast for this type of hunting and so in an effort to “improve” the hunt their legs were gradually shortened. The Schwyzer Niederlaufhund is most commonly found in Schwyz, an eastern region of Switzerland.