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  • Temperament: Friendly, Versatile, Determined
  • Height: 18-21 inches
  • Weight: 40-55 pounds
  • Life Expectancy: 12-14 years
  • Group: Foundation Stock Service

    The AKC has grouped all of the breeds that it registers into seven categories, or groups, roughly based on function and heritage. Breeds are grouped together because they share traits of form and function or a common heritage.

FCI Standard
Deutscher Wachtelhund standing outdoors facing left.
Deutscher Wachtelhund head outdoors in three-quarter view.
Deutscher Wachtelhund sitting in tall green grasses outdoors.
Deutscher Wachtelhund walking through tall green grasses outdoors.
Deutscher Wachtelhund standing on a boulder outdoors.
Deutscher Wachtelhund head with its tongue out in three-quarter view.
A wet Deutscher Wachtelhund knee-deep in a pond.
A wet Deutscher Wachtelhund standing outdoors in long grasses next to a creek.

About the Deutscher Wachtelhund

The Deutscher Wachtelhund is a medium-sized, longhaired, very muscular gun dog with a noble head and strong bone. Their keen hunting desire and ability make it an ideal dog for hunters and because of their innate love of water, they are often used to hunt waterfowl. The Deutscher Wachtelhund’s name, German quail dog, relates to its ability as an upland bird flusher and is also known as the German Spaniel.


Club Contact Details

Name: Bill Wright, Boulder Brook Kennel
Address: PO Box 1, Markham, VA 22643

National Breed Clubs and Rescue

Want to connect with other people who love the same breed as much as you do? We have plenty of opportunities to get involved in your local community, thanks to AKC Breed Clubs located in every state, and more than 450 AKC Rescue Network groups across the country.
Deutscher Wachtelhund puppies sitting side by side outdoors.

Find a Puppy: Deutscher Wachtelhund

AKC Marketplace | PuppyFinder

AKC Marketplace is the only site to exclusively list 100% AKC puppies from AKC-Registered litters and the breeders who have cared for and raised these puppies are required to follow rules and regulations established by the AKC.



You are going to want to feed your Deutscher Wachtelhund a formula that will cater to his unique digestive needs throughout the various phases of his life. Many dog food companies have breed-specific formulas for small, medium, large and extra-large breeds. The German Spaniel is a medium-sized breed.

What you feed your dog is an individual choice, but working with your veterinarian and/or breeder will be the best way to determine frequency of meals as a puppy and the best adult diet to increase his longevity. Clean, fresh water should be available at all times.


The German Spaniel’s coat is short and fine on the head and long on the body, where it is strong, thick, wavy or curly, with enough undercoat to provide protection. It is also well feathered.

Beyond regular weekly grooming, the occasional bath will keep your dog clean and looking their best. Grooming can be a wonderful bonding experience for you and your pet. Their strong, fast-growing nails should be trimmed regularly with a nail clipper or grinder to avoid overgrowth, splitting and cracking. Their ears should be checked regularly to avoid a buildup of wax and debris which can result in an infection. Teeth should be brushed regularly.

Grooming Frequency

Occasional Bath/Brush
Weekly Brushing


Options for exercise include play time in the backyard, preferably fenced, or taken for walks several times a day. Exercise can also come in the form of indoor activities, like hide-and-seek, chasing a ball rolled along the floor, or teaching them new tricks. Certain outdoor activities like swimming, hiking, retrieving balls or flying discs can provide a good outlet for expending energy. Training for dog sports like agility, obedience and rally can also be a great way to give your dog exercise. The German Spaniel is a hunting breed and, therefore, does best with at least a moderate amount of space to run, play, and sniff.

Energy Level

Couch Potato
Needs Lots of Activity
Regular Exercise


In general, the Wachtelhund is a healthy dog with few genetic problems. Working with a responsible breeder, prospective owners can gain the education they need to learn about specific health concerns within the breed.

Deutscher Wachtelhund lying outdoors in grass.
Deutscher Wachtelhund puppy sitting outdoors facing forward.
Deutscher Wachtelhund head in three-quarter view.
Deutscher Wachtelhund puppy walking outdoors facing right.
Deutscher Wachtelhund standing outdoors in tall grasses.


In the 1880s, a group of German hunters decided to recreate the Stober, a versatile breed mentioned as far back in German history as 1719. The Stober was known to have the scent following ability similar to that of a bloodhound. The Germans obtained remnants of that breed found in Bavaria and bred them with other sporting spaniels that had a proven passion for hunting. They produced the Wachtelhund (pronounced ‘Valk-tel-hund’) and the breed was officially recognized in 1903. The German Wachtelhund club is called the Verein fur Deutsche Wachtelhund (VDW). In Germany, only gamekeepers and hunters own this breed, they are not sold to the non-hunting public.

Several Wachtelhunds were brought to the United States in the late 1950s and early 1960s, but were only bred once or twice, producing a total of 17 dogs. None were registered in North America.

In Canada, several individuals, guides and hunting outfitters have owned Wachtelhunds for the past twenty years or so and utilized them as flushers, retrievers and to track and hold wounded black bear at bay. In 1993 and 1994, Dave Pepe imported a pair of Wachtelhunds to the United States and bred them four times producing 38 pups. Since then, several other dogs have been imported and numerous breedings have occurred. Today, there are approximately 100 to 150 dogs in the US and Canada.

Did You Know?

In 1903, a dog registry in Germany formed to issue pedigrees and to manage Deutscher Wachtelhund breeding as a purebred dog.
The breed is a versatile hunter of all types of forest game, furred or feathered, yet is also a gentle, loving family dog.
The Deutscher Wachtelhund has been assigned the Sporting Group designation.
The Deutscher Wachtelhund is considered the last representative of the Stöber category, which has existed for over 300 years in Germany.
Rudolph Friess chose eleven geographically separated Deutscher Wachtelhund as the foundation stock for which he carefully managed the breeding to avoid genetic inbreeding problems.
The Deutscher Wachtelhund has been recorded in the Foundation Stock Service since October 2011.
Wachtelhund is pronounced 'Valk-tel-hund'

The Breed Standard


The German Spaniel is a medium sized, long-haired, very muscular flushing dog with noble head and strong bone. Altogether longer than high, but never looking high on leg.


Skull: Flat, moderately broad, no marked occiput. Stop : Only moderately developed. Nose: Nose leather large and dark with wide open nostrils. Depigmented patches are a fault. Roman nose embellishes the dog. Muzzle : Strong with nasal bridge remaining evenly broad, slightly rounded towards the end. On no account pointed, not shorter than cranial region. Lips: Straight, dry, taut. Pigment according to coat color. Jaws/Teeth: Complete set of 42 teeth. Incisors in upper jaw close in incisor bite in front of those in lower jaw. Pincer bite will be tolerated. Teeth well developed, strong. Cheeks: Dry, skin taut, cheek bones not protruding. Eyes: Medium brown, as dark as possible. Medium size, set in slightly oblique, neither protruding nor deep set with tight fitting lids, not showing any haw. Hair on rims of eyelids. Leathers: Set on high and broad, flat without any twist, hanging directly behind eye. Not thick, fleshy or flabby. Evenly furnished with hair reaching over inner edge. Laid forward, leathers reach nose leather.


Neck: Strong, nape of neck specially well muscled. Merging with withers in a blunt angle. No visible throatiness at beginning and widening towards chest without dewlap. Body: Upper line: Straight in the different parts of the body, merging well into each other. Croup slightly sloping, tail in continuation with topline or carried slightly downwards. Withers: Strong and well defined. Back: Short and firm, without any dip behind withers. Loins: Strongly muscled, therefore broad in appearance. Croup: Slightly sloping, never overbuilt. Slightly below height of withers. Chest: Oval, seen from front. Seen from side, reaching to below elbow joint. Ribcage long, well sprung, neither barrel shaped nor flat. Lower line and belly: Tucked up moderately from last (false) rib to rear. Underside also covered as much as possible by protective hair and undercoat. Tail: In repose, carried straight in continuation of topline or downwards. When alert or excited, carried slightly upwards and wagging vividly. To avoid injury, the tail should be shortened (docked) by not more than a third during the first three days after birth. In countries where docking is not permitted, the tail can be left natural.


General appearance: Seen from front, straight and parallel, seen from side, legs well under body, standing vertical to ground. Good angulations. Shoulder: Strongly muscled. Shoulder blade well laid back. Upper arm: In movement, sliding along close to chest. Elbows: Close to body, turning neither in nor out. Forearm: Straight, connection with joints not rickety. Pastern joint (carpus): Strong. Pastern: Set slightly oblique. Front feet: Spoon shaped. Toes close to each other, cat-or harefoot undesirable. Coarse, resistant, well pigmented pads and strong nails which get well worn down.


General appearance: Seen from side, good angulation in stifle and hock joints. Seen from rear, straight and parallel, neither bow-legged nor cow hocked; strong bone. Upper thigh: Broad and very muscular, good angulation between pelvis and upper thigh. Stifle: Strong with good angulation between upper and lower thigh. Lower thigh: Long, muscular, sinewy. Hock joint: Strong. Hock: Short. Vertical stance. Hind feet: As front feet.


Hair: Strong, close fitting, mostly wavy, sometimes curly (astrakhan) or smooth long coat, with thick undercoat. Hair not too long, much less thin or even silky. On nape, leathers and croup, often curly. Rearside of legs and tail, well feathered. Frequently frill on neck (jabot). Also well coated on belly. Muzzle and cranial region: Hair short but dense. The leathers are covered by curls or dense wavy hair which also reaches beyond their inner edge. Interdigital gaps have dense but not too long hair. Color: The German Spaniel is bred in two colour varieties: Solid brown, and more seldom also red, including all occurring reddish shades (like fox or deer red). Also often with white or ticked markings on chest and toes; Brown roan, more seldom red roan. As basic color, brown or red hair is closely mixed with white hair. Often with the head brown or red, as well as with patches or a saddle over the whole back. To this color variety also belong the pied color patterns with white as basic color and large brown or red patches as well as tiger pattern where the white basic color is in addition sprinkled or ticked with clusters of brown or red hair, even when bred from solid color parents. In both colors, red markings over eyes, on muzzle, legs and round vent can occur.


Colors & Markings


Description Standard Colors Registration Code
Brown Check Mark For Standard Color 061
Red Check Mark For Standard Color 140


Description Standard Markings Registration Code
Black Points Check Mark For Standard Mark 019
Patched and Ticked Check Mark For Standard Mark 068
Ticked Check Mark For Standard Mark 013
White Markings Check Mark For Standard Mark 014
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