- Dachshunds were bred in Germany over the course of several hundred years for their particular long, low shape to make them good at hunting badgers. The word "dachshund" means "badger hound," or "badger dog."
- Not only did their shape make it easy for them to burrow into a badger hole, the dogs were also bred for their tenacity and strength, essential if one is planning to engage in a fight with so notoriously stubborn an animal as a badger.
- Dachshunds have also been used to hunt other animals such as foxes, rabbits, and even wild boars.
- As most dachshund owners will attest, the dogs retain their feistiness today and may get in quarrels with dogs much larger than they are. As our vet once said, "Dachshunds have no idea that they're smaller than anybody else."
- They are generally chipper, curious, and companionable. They like going for walks very much.
This dachshund is named Kevin. He keeps a blog about dogs in London.
- The first dachshunds were brought to the US in 1887. By 1914, they were in the top 10 most popular entries in the Westminster Kennel Club Show.
- When World War I hit, however, people were suspicious of anything German, and this included dachshunds and dachshund owners. Some dogs were even the victims of stonings. After the War, people came to their senses, fortunately, and the dogs have grown in popularity ever since.
- Dachshunds may have one of three types of fur:
- Smooth coat -- short, sleek fur, most typically pictured on greeting cards and the like
- Longhaired -- soft, silky, wavy at the ends, the fur is longer especially under the body, from the ears, and from the tail. These types of dachshunds are generally considered to be more docile. In my own limited experience, this was the case.
- Wirehaired -- coat is more similar to the smooth coat, except fur is coarser, thicker, and rougher.
- Dachshund fur tends to take one of three color schemes: uniform reddish-brown color, uniform black, or reddish-brown with an overlay of black. Less often, dachshunds may be blue-black, cream, or dappled.
Smooth-haired Dexter, Willy, Pepper and Del, from people's eye view. All were adopted or rescued (see Modern Pooch).
- Dachshunds come in two sizes, Standard and Miniature. Miniature varieties weigh less than 11 pounds, and Standards weigh over that, usually around 20 pounds.
- In Germany, an additional category is used, called Kaninchenteckel, or rabbit dachshund. German breeders measure chest circumference as a means of determining type of dachshund, and this particular type's chest should not exceed 11.8 inches.
- Because of the dachshund's long back, it is important to make sure a dachshund does not get overweight. Extra pounds can create a precarious sag between the stout but far-apart front and back legs. The undue strain on the dachshund's back can lead to back pain, slipped discs, even paralysis.
- For the same reason, it's also important to keep your dachshund from jumping onto high places (which is most furniture, especially for miniatures). And when you pick up a dachshund, be sure to support its back.
- Dachshunds will bond well with people, especially if they are socialized at a young age. They don't yip a lot, though they may have a neighborhood nemesis such as the postal carrier or the garbage collector.
- They're fairly easy to housebreak and to train, or at least it seemed pretty easy for my mom to teach our dogs to do tricks or not to do Other Things.
- Since dachshunds were bred to be hunting dogs, they might want to do things like go investigate Very Interesting Smells, or roll in stinky smells to disguise their own odor, or try to bury toy bones under the extension cords in the house. But in my experience, they don't tend to chew up your stuff or cause other damage to the house, the way some other breeds do.
- Gergweis, Germany, has been dubbed the Dachshund Capital of the World. Here, dachshunds outnumber people 2 to 1. Tourists can rent the dogs by the hour to take them for walks.
- Recently, the popularity of dachshunds has taken on a new form: Dachshund racing. Most breeding clubs oppose these races, due to the breed's predisposition to back problems, and also for fear that the same thing will happen to dachshunds as has happened to greyhounds.
Dachshund Rescue Web Page, Dachshund Information
Steven Michelson, Dachshunds
Breeds of Dogs, Dachshunds
Wikipedia, Dachshund and Dachshund racing