Small Swiss Hound

18-33 lbs
Smaller Swiss Hound, Schweizerischer Niederlaufhund, Small Bernese Hound, Berner Niederlaufhund, Small Jura Hound, Jura Niederlaufhund, Small Lucerne Hound, Luzerner Niederlaufhund, Small Schwyz Hound, Schwyzer Niederlaufhund, Smaller Bernese, Bernese Swi

The Small Swiss Hound is the perpetual big dog in a small package. They do not see themselves as small and their personality more than makes up for their smaller stature. Their lively disposition can be easily curbed when they get plenty of exercise and attention. The Small Swiss Hound does well as a family companion but they do prefer to be out hunting over different types of terrain, sniffing out small and large game. When not given enough attention, the Small Swiss Hound can become a nuisance and destructive around the home. Overall, they are friendly, intelligent dogs that have great determination making them a little stubborn.

purpose Purpose
history Date of Origin
20th Century
ancestry Ancestry
Swiss Hound, Basset Hound

Small Swiss Hound Health

Average Size
Male Small Swiss Hound size stats
Height: 13-17 inches Weight: 18-33 lbs
Female Small Swiss Hound size stats
Height: 13-17 inches Weight: 18-33 lbs
Major Concerns
  • Ear Infections
  • Elbow Dysplasia
Minor Concerns
  • Hip Dysplasia
Occasional Diagnoses
  • None Known
Occasional Tests
  • X-Rays
  • Ear Examination
  • Yearly Physical Examination
  • OFA on hips and elbows

Small Swiss Hound Breed History

 At the beginning of the 20th century, hunting began to change in Switzerland. Private hunting grounds were introduced and the standard sized Swiss Hound was too fast and enthusiastic to properly hunt within these smaller hunting grounds. Hunters decided to develop a different hunting breed that would be able to hunt efficiently and effectively within the enclosed private hunting grounds. Many people think the Small Swiss Hound is simply a smaller version of the Swiss Hound. While this is partly true, they are a different breed that originated from crossing the Swiss Hound with the Basset Hound. The ultimate goal was to develop a breed that was lower to the ground and smaller in size but also had the same four rich color variants as the Swiss Hound. The resulting dogs were expected to have a strong sense of smell for nose work and a melodious voice to sound the alarm when on the hunt.  The Small Swiss Hound is an outstanding hunter and has the ability to track scents for miles over harsh terrain. The Small Swiss Hound became the go-to hunting dog for people hunting on private grounds. The United Kennel Club recognized the Small Swiss Hound in 2006. The Federal Cynologique Internationale (FCI) accepted them and adopted the official breed standard under the name Schweizer Niederlaufhund in 2015. The Small Swiss Hound is still a popular hunting companion in their native Switzerland; however, they have not gained much popularity in the United States or Canada. Since there are still so few found within the United States, they are not able to be registered by the American Kennel Club.

Small Swiss Hound Breed Appearance

The Small Swiss Hound comes in four different varieties. The only difference between the varieties is the color but each variety has its own unique name. The Jura Niederlaufhund or Small Jura Hound has a smooth coat that is black with tan markings that are located above the eyes. The Small Jura Hound has a single coat and can only have a small amount of white on their body. The Berner Niederlaufhund or Small Bernese Hound has two coat types: the smooth or rough coat. The rough coat has a harsh, single coat and a small beard. The Small Bernese Hound is black and white with tan markings over their eyes; many call this tri-colored. Schwyzer Niederlaufhund or Small Schwyz Hound has a smooth, single coat that is predominantly white with yellow-red patches; orange-red patches are also acceptable. The Luzerner Niederlaufhund or Small Lucerne Hound has a smooth, single coat that is predominantly white but speckled with black or grey giving the illusion of a blue body. They have black patches with tan markings over their eyes. 

Eye Color Possibilities
brown Small Swiss Hound eyes
Nose Color Possibilities
black Small Swiss Hound nose
Coat Color Possibilities
black Small Swiss Hound coat
white Small Swiss Hound coat
pied Small Swiss Hound coat
Coat Length
Short Medium Long
Coat Density
coat density
Sparse Normal Dense
Coat Texture
coat texture
Small Swiss Hound straight coat texture
Straight Wiry Wavy Curly Corded

Small Swiss Hound Breed Maintenance

Since the Small Swiss Hound has a single coat, they are relatively easy to care for and maintain. Even the rough coated Small Bernese Hound does not require extensive grooming. To keep their coat sleek and shiny, brush the Small Swiss Hound weekly using a natural bristle brush or a soft slicker brush. A soft cloth can be used after you have brushed them to wipe the coat down and give their coat a shine. They do not have a strong dog smell and should not need to be bathed often. Plan on bathing them every few months unless they find something smelly to play in; be sure the shampoo being used is appropriate for their coat type. The Small Swiss Hound is very prone to ear infections because their ears hang. Check their ears weekly for any foul smell or irritation; clean them as needed and keep their ears dry and free of dirt.

Brushes for Small Swiss Hound
Slicker Brush
Slicker Brush
Nail Clipper
Nail Clipper
Brushing Frequency
fur daily fur weekly fur monthly
Small Swiss Hound requires weekly brushing
Daily Weekly Monthly

Small Swiss Hound Temperament

The Small Swiss Hound becomes very bonded to their family and is an affectionate dog. They can be difficult to re-home once they have bonded with their family so if adopting an older Small Swiss Hound be prepared to spend a lot of time earning their trust and creating a new bond. They are friendly towards strangers but will not willingly give them their trust or affection. Small Swiss Hounds do well with other dogs and small children. They do have a higher prey drive and should not be left alone with small pets such as ferrets, rats, or bunnies. They do require a strong leader to train them. These dogs do not see themselves as small and can easily become boisterous and difficult to manage without a proper leader. They are still primarily used as a hunting dog in their native Switzerland and they prefer large yards to run and play in rather than apartment living. 

Small Swiss Hound Activity Requirements

Scenthounds take their time when out on walks, smelling everything in their path and trying to determine the different scents. Small Swiss Hounds are no exception, expect to spend more time walking or hiking with them than you would with dogs that are not scenthounds. They must have time every day to run and play or expect to have an unruly dog that refuses to listen. The Small Swiss Hound may be small, but they do require a lot more exercise than the typical small dog. Give them plenty of toys to play with when you cannot spend a lot of time with them; interactive toys are a great way to keep them engaged so they do not become bored. 

Activity Level
low activity medium activity high activity
Low Medium High
Rec. Walk Mileage Per Week
9 miles
walk mileage
Minutes of Activity Per Day
45 minutes
activity minutes

Small Swiss Hound Food Consumption

Cups Per Day
1.5 cups
cup per day cost
Daily Cost
$1.20 - $1.40
food bowls daily cost
Monthly Cost
$34.00 - $45.00
food bag monthly cost

Small Swiss Hound Height & Weight

6 Months
Male Small Swiss Hound size stats at six months
Height: 11.0 inches Weight: 12.0 lbs
Female Small Swiss Hound size stats at six months
Height: 11.0 inches Weight: 12.0 lbs
12 Months
Male Small Swiss Hound size stats at 12 months
Height: 14.0 inches Weight: 20.0 lbs
Female Small Swiss Hound size stats at 12 months
Height: 14.0 inches Weight: 20.0 lbs
18 Months
Male Small Swiss Hound size stats at 18 months
Height: 15.0 inches Weight: 25.5 lbs
Female Small Swiss Hound size stats at 18 months
Height: 15.0 inches Weight: 25.5 lbs

Small Swiss Hound Owner Experiences

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