Fédération Cynologique Internationale


FCI-Standard N° 60

Small Swiss Hound

(Schweizer Niederlaufhund)

This illustration does not necessarily show the ideal example of the breed.

The sequence might differ slightly from the original breed standard.


: Switzerland.


: 13.10.2015.


: Scenthound hunting the game by giving tongue. He hunts on his own. He searches and drives the game with great determination, even on difficult terrain. He also excels in tracking wounded game.


Group 6Scent hounds and related breeds
Section 1.3Scenthounds, Small-sized Hounds
With working trial


: Mrs. C. Seidler.


: At the turn of the century, the system of shoots (hunting grounds) was introduced into several Swiss Cantons. As the opinion was that the generally popular medium-sized Swiss Hounds (Schweizer Laufhunde) were too fast for enclosed shoots, it was decided to replace them with smaller short-legged scenthounds. The new smaller breed, bred through planned selection of stock and suitable crossing, was called “Niederlaufhund (“short-legged Scenthound”). It distinguished itself by the following qualities relatively low on leg, with attractive coat colours similar to those of the medium-sized Swiss Hounds (Schweizer Laufhunde), with a melodious cry when hunting and searching and with a very passionate determaination to find game and to do track work.
The Schweizer Niederlaufhund Club, first known by the name “Schweizerischer Dachsbracken Club”, was founded on June 1st 1905.


: “Swiss Hound” type, smaller in proportion than the Schweizer Laufhund, with height at withers from 35-43 cm for dogs and 33-40 cm for bitches; rectangular in shape, moderately long, well built. Medium-sized, clean, noble head with friendly alert facial e Leathers very long, set on low and carried folded. Chest and ribcage broad and deep, giving plenty of heart and lung room. Limbs lean and robust. When moving slowly, the tail is carried hanging down; in action it is curved slightly upwards. There are 4 varieties different in colour Small Bernese Hound, Small Jura Hound, Small Lucerne Hound and Small Schwyz Hound.


: Small, deft, untiring and keen scenthound with excellent nose. Steady on the trail and hunting with melodious cry. Friendly character, not nervous and never aggressive. Temperament calm to lively.


: Noble, clean. Seen from front, rather long and slender, gradually getting broader towards the cheeks.




: Lightly arched, no wrinkle or furrow on forehead. Occiput only slightly prominent. Line from occiput to stop of approximately same length and as nearly parallel as possible to the line from stop to nose.


: Moderately developed.




: Dark colour. Nostrils wide open.


: Strong, fairly long, medium depth, never pointed. Bridge of nose preferably straight or very slightly convex, rather slender.


: Upper flews moderately overlapping, lightly rounded off in front, never pointed. Corner of mouth not visible.


: Very strong, regular and complete scissor bite, the upper row of incisors closely overlapping the lower incisors and teeth set square to the strong jaws. Pincer bite tolerated. Absence of two premolars ( PM1 or PM2) tolerated. Absence of M3 (molars 3) not taken in consideration.


: Only slightly developed.


: Dark, clear, slightly oval, friendly in expression. Neither deep set nor protruding. Lid aperture taut with close fitting lids. Lid rims well pigmented.


: Set on low, not above eye level, and attached narrow; reaching in length at least to tip of nose. Carried well folded, pendulous and close to cheeks; supple, with fine hair. Auricle not protruding.


: Moderately long, light and elegant, yet well muscled. Skin of throat may be loose, but dewlap not desirable.




: Harmonious from set-on of neck to the gently sloping croup.


: Straight, firm, medium length.


: Broad, strong and supple.


: Sloping gently towards the tail. Hip bones should not be visible .


: Broad and deep, reaching at least to the elbows. Point of sternum visible, but not too prominent. Ribs long, moderately rounded. Ribcage reaching well back.

Underline and belly

: Belly line slightly tucked up towards hindquarters. Flanks moderately filled in.


: Set on low in harmonious continuation of croup. Medium length, reaching at least to the hock joint, ending in an elegant point. Well covered with hair, but without plume. In relaxed situations and movement it is carried hanging down with barely any curve. In action and when agitated it is carried slightly upwards, never tilted over the back.




: Strongly muscled, yet not giving a heavy overloaded appearance. Seen from front, forelegs quite straight, vertically placed, with strong bone. Tight feet pointing straight forward.


: With strong muscles. Shoulder blade relatively long and swell laid back, well attached and flat to the chest wall. Angulation of shoulder joint almost rectangular.

Upper Arm

: About same length as shoulder blade, sloping.


: Naturally placed against the body.


: Strong, lean, quite straight, barely shorter than upper arm.


: Pastern joint: Strong.
Pastern: Short. Seen from front in vertical line of the forearm, never turned outwards. Seen from side never quite upright, but slightly oblique to the ground.




: Roundish, firm. Toes short, tight and well knuckled. Pads rough and hard. Strong nails. Fine hair between toes.

Hind feet

: Fairly round, firm. Short, tight toes. Pads rough and hard. Strong nails. Fine hair between toes. No dewclaws, except in those countries where their removal is prohibited by law.


: Very muscular, in good proportion to forequarters. Stifle and hock joints well angulated. Hindlegs parallel, standing neither close nor too wide. In natural stance they should be placed slightly backwards. Bone of hindquarters slightly less strong than in forequarters.


: Of good length and width, strong, well muscled.


: Well bent, neither turned in nor out.

Lower thigh

: Relatively long, sloping.

Hock joint

: Strong, well angulated, set low.


: Short. Seen from behind straight and parallel.


: Preferred natural gait ground covering trot or gallop. Movement when trotting should be free and easy, striding out well in front and with good strong drive behind. Legs move along straight parallel lines. Front action Neither moving close nor paddling; neither toeing in nor out. Hind action Practically parallel with definite drive, neither too close nor too wide. Neither cow-hocked nor bow-legged.


: Well fitting and taut, no folds.




Smooth coat: Short, smooth, close fitting, finer on head and leathers.
Rough coat: Harsh, elastic, close fitting, barely any undercoat, with slight beard.


There are four varieties of colour.
Small Bernese Hound: This variety is bred with a smooth and a rough coat. Always tricolour white, black and tan. Basic colour white with large black patches. A few black mottles permitted. Tan markings (“Brand”) above eyes, on cheeks, on inside and upper part of leathers and round the vent. Black mantle permitted. Skin Black under black coat, slightly black-and-white marbled under white coat.
Small Jura Hound: This variety is usually smooth haired, seldom shows a “double coat” (Stockhaar). Preferably deep black with tan markings (“Brand”) above eyes, on cheeks, on chest and/or on legs. Or alternatively tan with black mantle or saddle. White patch on chest, not too large, tolerated. Skin black under black coat, lighter under tan markings.
Small Lucerne Hound: This variety is smooth-haired. Basic colour white densely grey-white or black-white speckled (giving a “blue” impression), with large dark or black patches. Tan markings (“Brand”) above eyes, on cheeks, on the inside and upper part of leathers and round the vent. Black mantle permitted. Skin black under black coat, lighter under blue speckling.
Small Schwyz Hound: This variety is smooth-haired. Basic colour white with larger or smaller yellowish-red to orange red patches. A few orange mottles permitted; orange mantle permitted. Skin dark grey under orange coat, white-black marbled under white coat.



Height at withers

Dogs 35 – 43 cm.
Bitches 33 – 40 cm.
Tolerance +/- 2 cm.


Any departure from the foregoing points should be considered a fault and the seriousness with which the fault should be regarded should be in exact proportion to its degree and its effect upon the health and welfare of the dog.
Bone too fine or too coarse, lack of substance.
Coarse head lacking in refinement.
Nose partially flesh-coloured.
Eyes too light, hard expression.
Leathers set on high, too short, thick, flat.
Distinct dewlap.
Swayback or roach back.
Croup short, falling away.
Chest lacking in depth; ribs too flat or barrel-shaped; ribcage not smooth (e.g. flange ribs).
Tail carried too high, distinctly bent.
Forelegs crooked, turned in or out.
Shoulder blade steep, upper arm too short, angulation too wide.
Weak carpal joints, down on pastern.
Spread toes, harefeet.
Insufficient angulations of hindquarters; cow-hocked or bow-legged.
Faults of colour and markings: Small Bernese Hound too many black ticks. Small Schwyz Hound too many orange ticks in the white. Black overlay (“soot”) at leathers, set-on of tail and/or in orange patches.
Apprehensive or slightly sharp behaviour.


Overly shy or aggressive.
Lack of breed type in general appearance.
Nose completely flesh-coloured.
Undershot or overshot mouth, wry mouth.
Absence of incisors or canines; faulty position of canines; absence of more than 3 premolars and/or molars.
Entropion, ectropion.
Sternum too short, abrupt tuck-up at end of sternum.
Tail rolled in or kinky.
Colour combinations not according to the standard.
Height at withers for males under 33 cm or over 45cm.
For bitches under 31 cm or over 42cm.
Any dog clearly showing physical or behavioural abnormalities shall be disqualified.

Anatomical Features of the dog


Male animals should have two apparently normal testicles fully descended into the scrotum.