The Drever is a marvelous Swedish breed born of the need for a smaller, short-legged hound able to scent track deer on over long distances and rough terrain. Genetically speaking, the breed came out of the Westphalian Dachsbracke brought to Denmark and Sweden from Germany around 1910, and crossbred with other hounds to adapt to local terrain. In Denmark, the dogs were bred to Swedish Hounds to create a Danish dachsbracke (a medium-sized scent hound known for its elongated body and short legs) and when these Danish dogs were brought back to Sweden, they were crossed back again to Westphalian Dachsbracke. The last cross created the breed we know as the Drever, and by the 1940s, there were two distinct sizes to the dog.
However, here the breed’s story, and specifically, the story of its name, has a couple of versions. In one narrative, a newspaper contest was held in 1947 to choose a new name for the slightly larger, Swedish variety. Because of its hunting style, “Drever” was chosen, the Swedish word coming out of the Swedish word “drev,” which means to drive or pursue game towards the hunter. Were it not for the number of sources supporting this idea, we wouldn’t even mention it became it seems hard to believe that in the 40s, a contest would determine the name of a breed recognised by the Swedish Kennel Club in 1947, the Canadian Kennel Club in 1956, and the United Kennel Club in 1996.
A more likely version supported by other sources is that the name, “Drever,” was chosen by Gösta Enander himself, the Swedish breeder who determined to create a scent hound suitable for hunting small game on Nordic terrain.
Some dog books refer to the Drever as the Swedish Beagle, possibly for its hound coloring, but by any name, this is a tough little dog with a loud, musical voice that sounds bigger than the dog actually is. Despite its smaller size (somewhere around 33 pounds), the breed is courageous and will challenge an irate boar by circling and harassing it, barking furiously until hunters arrive. At home, the Drever is affectionate, friendly and has an ever wagging tail.
Image of Drever by © Lerka555 | Dreamstime