When a small group of people met on Hubertus Day 1903 to found the Wachtelhundclub, this event marked the end of a multi-year phase of collecting and searching for the remains of any remaining Wachtelhunde. They still existed, these small, persistent and tireless hunting helpers whom many hunters had come to appreciate for their hunting conditions. Friedrich Roberth’s appeal in 1897 had borne fruit. From now on it was a matter of bringing order to these efforts. The lively beginning threatened to crumble again when a great stroke of luck for the breed occurred. Rudolf Frieß, a young forester, had heard of these dogs and from then on took on this breed with great commitment, it can be safely assumed.
Soon there were men in other parts of the country who also took on the matter with passion. Gradually, orderly breeding and systematic testing began. It seems remarkable that initially there was only one usage test. Investment audits, as they are taken for granted today, were only added much later. Perhaps this is also an expression of the exclusive hunting use of these dogs, which has always been the focus of the club’s history. If one looks back at this first period of time today, one must not forget what the conditions were then. Compared to today there were only very modest means of transport. The first World War, which soon began, and the subsequent hardship demanded everything from the people. Not all of them were able to keep a dog during this time, as they hardly had their own families to get by. Nevertheless, the DW spread steadily over the entire area of what was then the German Reich, and a brisk breeding process began. As early as the 1930s, about 500 puppies / year were registered, fluctuating. This number sank drastically to approx. 100 puppies / year in World War II. From 1950 on, around 700 puppies / year (old FRG and GDR) were registered again. The division of Germany after the end of World War II, in addition to the loss of the eastern territories, brought severe restrictions for the people in what was then the GDR. However, passionate hunters and male dogs soon began to rebuild the watchdog breeding here too. Even if, partly due to the requirements of the ruling political system.
The narrow breeding basis that existed at the beginning of the orderly breeding, based on the so-called 10 patriarchs, was further narrowed in the following period due to the start of breeding selection. So it was inevitable that some problems would arise that had to be dealt with. The separate breeding of the two color varieties, which has essentially been practiced to this day, has its origin mainly in the narrow starting point, but also in the originally different characteristics of the two strains. Especially with the old browns, which were obviously different dogs than we know them today, there were problems with the sound. Here, consequently, one helped one another by mating brown molds in order to kill two birds with one stone. Namely, to improve the sound and to “revamp” the browns, which have become almost too short, for hunting. Problems with cryptorchidism appeared in some of the brown lines. Here too, action was taken consistently in terms of health and performance. However, again with the result that further breeding material was lost. The then consistent blocking of such burdened families for breeding has nevertheless proven to be correct, so that this defect no longer plays a role today.
In the following years, like many other breeds, problems with hip dysplasia developed. Again, the heavier browns were particularly hard hit. From 1970 the x-ray examination for breeding dogs was made mandatory. Since much more than just the breeding dogs were x-rayed soon after the introduction of the X-ray obligation, it can be said today that we have reached a level with which we can live well through the selection associated with the examination.
Even after the review process was changed in 2013, continuity will be maintained. With the introduction of a modern breeding value estimation method (dog base) at the end of the 1980s, we have another tool at our disposal which, when used correctly, represents a useful addition to breeding advice. The emphasis is on correct application, because the individual dog with all its strengths and weaknesses, which have to be carefully observed and registered especially in daily hunting but also in ongoing handling, is still the decisive criterion. Anyone who wants to breed dogs according to breeding values without taking the aforementioned criteria into account must inevitably fail.
The examination regulations as an important basis for breeding selection have been continuously developed and adapted to the respective knowledge and requirements. which, when used correctly, is a useful addition to breeding advice. The emphasis is on correct application, because the individual dog with all its strengths and weaknesses, which have to be carefully observed and registered especially in daily hunting but also in ongoing handling, is still the decisive criterion. Anyone who wants to breed dogs according to breeding values without taking the aforementioned criteria into account must inevitably fail.
The Wachtelhund is a medium sized gundog, thick boned, muscular, with long thick wavy hair. Wachtelhund history dates back to the 1700's. It is a versatile breed only owned by hunters, gamekeepers and professional hunters in Germany. It has vibrant and friendly personality, but is an obsessive scentfollower with bloodhound like persistence. The Wachtelhund is easily trained to hunt all type of game (feathered and fur). It is a great retriever for dense undergrowth and makes an excellent companion. He is a vigorous and aggressive hunting dog in the field and a calm family dog in the home.