Bavarian Mountain Hound: Your Faithful and Fun Hunting Companion

A Bavarian Mountain Hound playing on the grass
Wyatt Robinson
Written by Wyatt Robinson

The Bavarian Mountain Hound is a favorite of hunters because of its hunting instinct, which was developed during the middle ages. But did you know that you can welcome the Bavarian Mountain Hound into your life even if you have a family or kids? Even though the breed is not very well known stateside, they are becoming more and more popular among people who are looking for an affectionate and demonstrative breed.

This German breed is known to be calm and devoted to its owner. This breed gets along well with children and other dogs. Although these dogs are wary of strangers, they remain loyal to their human family members. This means that the Bavarian Mountain Hound is a good choice for people who are looking for active and affectionate companions.

A Bavarian Mountain Hound lying on the grass

The best way to know about dogs is by doing a bit of research so that you will know what to expect. In this article, we will talk about the BMH breed, its characteristics, potential health issues, care, and many more. Our relevant information will let you know if this breed is right for you.

Breed Characteristics

  • Adaptability: Below Average; need a lot of space to move around in
  • Trainability: Moderate; may not listen to commands once they get overexcited
  • Health and Grooming: Good
  • All Around Friendliness: Very Good; especially with kids
  • Exercise Needs: Above Average; requires space and regular exercise
Dog GroupHunting Dogs
HeightMale: 19–20 inches (47–52 cm)

Female: 17–19 inches (44–48 cm)
Weight44-55 pounds (20–25 kg)
Lifespan10-12 years

Originally bred as a hunting dog, the Bavarian Mountain Hound is a single-minded tracker. This dog is persistent, courageous, and fast. They are very at ease in rugged terrain and will pursue their quarry until they are located. Like a true hound, these dogs have a powerful nose and powerful hunting instincts especially if trained by an expert.

For people who want a hunting dog, training should be straightforward and done early. These dogs need a firm and consistent training method to prevent boredom.

Bavarian Mountain Hound in a forest

It can be hard to recall them even though they have been bred as hound dogs for centuries. They are fast and agile and can get away from you if allowed to fun freely. They are a very persistent breed and will chase a scent for hours no matter what you do or bribe them with especially if they are left off leash.

See Also: Off-Leash Dog Training

BMHs love exercises and are good companions for people who like to go for walks or runs. They have very high stamina and can walk and jog for a long time. This is probably because they feel like they have a job to do.

They like to smell, follow trails, and keep active. As long as they are outdoors walking, running, and smelling, this dog will be a content and happy family member.

A Bavarian Mountain Hound in a forest

This breed is a devoted member of the pack. They like to show affection, are playful, and like being around their family. They can suffer from separation anxiety if kept alone for too long, so it’s best to have somebody with them or to take them with you if you plan to go out for long periods of time.

They are intelligent dogs that were bred to work. They bond closely with their owners and have a strong work ethic. They get along well with other dogs and pets. They are wary of strangers, quiet, and calm as long as their needs for exercise are constantly met.

Main Highlights

  • Likes work and exercise
  • Likes kids but wary of strangers
  • Their droopy ears make them prone to ear infections
  • A short and glossy coat that sheds moderately
  • Devoted and affectionate
  • Intelligent and a hard worker

Breed History

As the name suggests, this breed has a German background. Hunters in Germany deliberately crossed the Bavarian Hound with the Hanover to produce a talented scent hound that is strong, intelligent, and trainable. They wanted a dog with a great sense of smell, good bone structure, droopy ears, and a steady disposition.

Weapons used by hunters in the past did not kill prey, so they needed dogs to look for animals they had shot. They came up with a reliable medium-sized dog during the 19th century that hunted in the mountains. BMH was used to track game like deer but later gained traction as a family pet.

Close-up of a Bavarian Mountain Hound in a forest

Many people are attracted to their devoted and calm temperament. They are also a quiet breed, which makes them ideal if you have neighbors. The breed was first recognized by the United Kennel Club in 1996. Aside from Germany, there are also BMH clubs in other countries like the United States and the United Kingdom. However, the breed is not recognized by the AKC.


The Bavarian is considered a medium-sized breed. The average weight of the BMH is from 44 to 55 pounds (20 to 25 kilograms). They were bred to work on steep mountain slopes and are quick-learning scent hounds that love to sniff and track.

Female Bavarians are shorter than their male counterparts. Females stand approximately 17 to 19 inches (44 to 48 centimeters) tall while male BMHs are between 18.5 and 20.5 inches (47 and 52 centimeters) in height. The UKC considers it a serious fault if members of the breed do not follow the appropriate height regulation.

Bavarian Mountain Hound at the river

The BMH has an elongated head with a broad, dome-shaped skull. Their noses are either dark red or black. They have the typical look of a hound but not the droopy features of a bloodhound. In fact, you can say that this breed looks like a “happier” version of the bloodhound with their dignified expressions.

As with some breeds in the hound family; they have medium-sized ears, long legs, and an elevated posterior. The chest is well-developed, and their medium-sized tail can be in a downward position or level with the ground.

Personality and Character

The hound breed group was originally developed to track prey using their sense of sight or smell. The Bavarian is a true member of the hound group because he is one obsessive tracker.

Leave him off the leash for exploring, and he will quickly become focused on following scents that he finds attractive or important. He is an intelligent and quick learner, especially in the hands of a capable trainer or an owner that is consistent and firm.

As a member of a tracking team, he does well under the direction and care of one leader, which is probably why he is very loyal to just one person in the family but is quick to show his affection for other members as well. He can become deeply attached to his master and family, so it is important that he be shown affection and not relegated to a lonely life.

Bavarian Mountain Hound Dog and Puppy

As a family dog, the Bavarian is one of the sweetest breeds you will ever meet. He is loyal, affectionate, and very dedicated to his family. He likes playing with children and can get along with other family pets especially if socialized early. Even though he is wary around strangers, he will remain curious at a distance but not aggressive.

Due to his hound roots, the BMH needs a considerable amount of exercise. This breed likes being outdoors. He can seemingly walk and run for hours. If you’re an outdoors person or an avid jogger or walker, the BMH is a good companion.

For walks or runs, it’s better to keep him on-leash so that he won’t go tracking on his own and so that you can keep up with him because he is a fast and agile dog.

He is a blood tracking specialist so it is important to have a securely fenced garden because he will very likely follow any interesting scent. The fence will also keep him from being injured while exploring.

See Also: Best Electric Dog Fence

The BMH is free-spirited, courageous, and generally well-behaved and playful around children. He is a calm, level-headed, and quiet housedog. But despite his sharp nose, the BMH makes a dismal guard dog. He will bark if somebody is at your door as a warning but will tend to shy away from strangers.

The Bavarian Mountain Hound is also not recommended for busy people or for novice owners. He needs an owner that does not only understand his need to explore and be outside but also somebody that can keep up with his exercise needs. Ideally, these dogs should be walked for 60 minutes at least twice a day.

Bavarian Mountain Hound Dog looking far away

Like other dog breeds, training should start early and should be consistent. BMHs respond well to mental and physical stimulation mainly due to their need to keep active and work. If training is started early, they are intelligent, respond well to commands, and are social animals especially with other family pets.

BMHs respond well to positive reinforcement. Treats can be given as a reward for a job well done. However, this breed can become obese if they are constantly given treats.

Health and Potential Problems

Treats are often used as positive reinforcement for dogs like the Bavarian Mountain Hound because they respond well to it. However, too much can lead to obesity and other health problems especially if the BMH does not get the exercise he needs.

If you plan to adopt this dog breed, it is best to keep an active lifestyle to keep your dog healthy.

Bavarian Mountain Hound running on the hills

Generally, the BMH does not have any hereditary disorders but can develop hip and elbow dysplasia. They are also prone to ear infections due to their droopy ears. Owners should also watch out for progressive retinal atrophy and entropion.

See Also: Ear Infection in Dogs

Care Features

The BMH is a hardy dog breed that has a life expectancy of around 12 years. There are health issues that are problematic in other dog breeds but don’t seem to be prevalent among the Bavarian.

Aside from watching out for the ailments mentioned above, BMHs also need tick, flea, and heartworm prevention medication regularly. They also need their ears cleaned once weekly to prevent infections. It’s also a good idea to brush their teeth once a week to prevent periodontal disease.

They are not suited for city life because they need space for running, exercising and exploring. You can take your Bavarian on long walks or jogging. Owners can make-do with a fenced backyard, but you need to provide him with interesting scents and smells to stimulate his physical and mental well-being.


Bavarian Mountain Hound puppy

Tracking is his obvious passion so owners should provide him with exercise and training to allow him to do the job he was bred for. It is also good to note that this dog loves being outdoors and will follow scents and trails to their heart’s content especially when off-leash.

The tracking and sniffing instincts in this breed are strong and they might not respond to your commands or bribes if you want them to stop “working.” It’s best to keep them on-leash when you’re outdoors so that they don’t get carried away with following scents and trails.

See Also: How to Leash Train a Dog

Feeding Schedule

Always feed your dog high-quality dog food. High-quality dog food is needed to ensure that your BMH gets the right amount of vitamins and nutrients he needs to stay strong and healthy.

See Also: Choosing the Best Dog Food

BMHs can also be fed fruits, vegetables, cheese, and eggs, but these foods should never take up more than 10% of their daily diet. Owners should also abstain from giving them “people food” so as not to cause a nutritional imbalance in their dogs.

bavarian-mountain-hound-puppy in a field

The BMH is a high-exercise dog, so it’s best to feed him the correct amount of food based on his age and weight. Feeding schedule varies from owner to owner so you can feed your BMH one meal a day or two light meals twice a day. Some dogs prefer dry or wet depending on what they are used to.

Coat, Color, and Grooming

The Bavarian Mountain Hound breed is known for its deep-red coat, but the coat color of the BMH actually ranges from fawn to deep red and rich black. Many of the dogs are multi-colored. The UKC also accepts BMHs that have white markings on their chest.

Bavarian Mountain Hound sitting on the grass

The coat is shiny, short, thick, and lies close to the dog’s body. It feels finer on the dog’s head and ears but harsher and longer around the legs. The BMH is a shedder. However, these dogs do not require extensive amounts of grooming. A once-weekly brushing will suffice to keep their coat clean and shiny.

Children and Other Pets Compatibility

BMHs are good and well-behaved around children. They are affectionate and playful. They tend to get along with other household pets too—especially if they are socialized early.

However, the BMH will be wary of new kids and pets at first, so it is important to let him get used to the situation. Once he recognizes that the new additions are a part of the pack or family, the BMH will also begin to play with them and recognize them as pack members.

Bavarian Mountain Hound Puppy with his Elephant Cuddly Toy

The bonds they form with their owners and families are strong and lasting, so be prepared for a devoted and affectionate dog when you take them home.

Wrap Up

The BMH is a calm and very poised breed. The BMH was developed to be a hunting dog, which is where they got their loyalty and intelligence from. They are excellent trackers and love searching for their prey to please their masters.

The BMH are affectionate dogs that love to show their feelings with wagging tails and kisses. They are devoted and good with kids. The BMH is a good choice for people who are looking for an affectionate and loyal pet and a jogging or walking partner.

Bavarian Mountain Hounds need a lot of exercises. They are not for owners who want a companion or lapdog. BMHs love the outdoors, exploring, and following interesting scents. Originally bred to trail wounded game, this dog will follow a scent to the ends of the earth if allowed to do so.

Bavarian Mountain Hound playing with a toy

Some people might even refer to them as workaholics since they are the happiest when tasked to do something. They are also a poor choice for city dwellers or for those with tiny or non-existent backyards.

If you live in an apartment, a high level of physical and mental activity is needed. Bavarians that lack physical and mental exercise become destructive, so it is important to take a look at your own lifestyle to see if you are a suitable master for this activity-obsessed pet.

What do you like best about the BMH? Do you think that the Bavarian Mountain Dog is a good choice for you? Tell us by leaving your comments below. If you live in apartments, you might find one of these best dogs for apartments more suited to your lifestyle.

About the author
Wyatt Robinson
Wyatt Robinson

Wyatt Robinson had a great 25-years career as a veterinarian in United Kingdom. He used to be a member of British Veterinary Association and worked in 3 pet hospitals in London and Manchester. He is shining when he sees his pets healthy and full of energy and it is his duty to help other dog owners to keep their best friends full of life.