- Group – Hound
- Height – 5-9 inches at the shoulder
- Weight – 4-9 KG
- Life Span – 12-15 years
The Dachshund (German for ‘badger dog’) is a family favorite. Playful, friendly, and full of charm, he makes a great pet.
The Dachshund probably originated in Germany in the early 1600s. The breed’s streamlined shape and bold attitude were developed and perfected to help them hunt, and eventually to fight, badgers and other mammals deep within their underground dens. The badger was a formidable adversary, especially to a small dog. Badger-dogs needed strength, stamina, keenness and courage, both above and below ground, to be successful. Dachshunds were well-suited to this task. Packs of Dachshunds also were used to hunt wild boar, foxes, deer, ermine, weasel and rabbits.
Dachshunds were recorded in the English stud book as German Badger Hounds in 1874, contributing to the mistaken belief that Dachshunds are hounds rather than terriers. As long ago as 1906, a breed expert commented: “That it is used occasionally as a hound in the sense that it follows rabbits and hares by scent as does a beagle, does not alter the fact that it is essentially a dog that goes to earth and is therefore a terrier.” In 1927, a great dog historian (Edward Ash) commented that a Dachshund is, in fact, a terrier with very crooked legs, but possessing in a very great degree both the appearance and fine nose of the beagle. Some say that the best way to settle the hound-versus-terrier argument is to say that the Dachshund is a hound that became a terrier, and that it displays the best qualities of both.
The Dachshund Club of England was formed in 1881, and the German Deutscher Teckelklub was formed in 1888. The German breed standard was set in 1879. Registration of Dachshunds was included in an all-breed studbook even before the German Dachshund Club was founded. After World War II, management of the breed fell to the German breed clubs, which focused on the dogs’ hunting capabilities rather than conformation, producing a more terrier-like dog.
Eleven Dachshunds were included in the American Kennel Club’s Stud Book in 1885. Dachshunds rapidly gained popularity in America. The Dachshund Club of America was founded in 1895, and by 1914 Dachshunds were among the top ten breeds exhibited at the glamorous Westminster Kennel Club dog show.
Dachshunds are rarely used for hunting in the United States, although they excel in field trials and earth dog tests, demonstrating their keen hunting instincts and using their instinctive go-to-ground abilities. Doxies are small enough to live happily in an apartment, yet sturdy enough to live in the country. Outdoors, they are hardy, vigorous and tireless; indoors, they are affectionate, companionable, eager to please and alert in announcing strangers.
Personality and Temperament
Dachshunds are brave, intelligent, and independent.
This breed is fairly reserved around strangers, but will form a strong bond with its family. They can be somewhat assertive toward other dogs.
Hair, Care and Grooming
Coat can be smooth, long, or wire-haired. The hairs on the Wire-haired Dachshund should lie flat and be as hard as possible. The Dachshund needs occasional brushing to remove dead hairs. The long-haired variety can be prone to tangles, so they may require more grooming. The wire-haired variety should be plucked twice yearly.
This breed is prone to spinal disc problems and can develop heart disease, urinary tract problems, and diabetes.
Training and Activity
This breed can be easy to train (particularly the long-haired variety). However, all varieties require a firm and consistent approach to keep their minds on track.
The Dachshund needs a fair amount of exercise, so long walks are required.
Because the Dachshund is prone to obesity, you should watch its food intake carefully. Don’t let it free feed or over eat. Its best to used dry food lower in calories than canned food (another bonus – it’s better for its teeth, too).