History of the Dachshund Breed
The name Dachshund is derived from two German words: dachs, meaning badger, and hund, meaning hound. It was in the 16 th century that evidence of this small dog was found in reference to a “low, crooked-legged” dog which was called a “little burrow dog” or a “badger dog.” This breed was known for its hunting abilities, including its tendency to follow its prey into the burrow, then pull it out and kill it. The Dachshund comes in two sizes and three different coats. The original dog featured a smooth coat, and it is believed that it originated from a cross of a miniature French pointer and a pinscher. Others claim that is was developed from the St. Hubert hound in the 1700s. It is believed that the smooth-coated variety was crossed with other breeds, such as the German Stoberhund and spaniels, to create the long-haired Dachshund. Evidence of the wire-haired Dachshund is found as early as the late 1700s, but this variety wasn’t truly bred to create the modern version until the end of the 19 th century. This was done by crossing the smooth coat Dachshund with the Dandie Dinmont terrier and the German wirehaired pinscher. Each variety of the Dachshund was bred to hunt, but under different conditions. This breed proved to be a tough, strong dog that was able to hunt small mammals including badgers, rabbits, and fox. Miniature smooth-coated Dachshunds were eventually specifically bred by crossing the breed with toy terriers or pinschers. The long-haired variety was crossed with the papillon, and the wire-haired type resulted from a cross with the miniature schnauzer. The Dachshund is a popular family pet in America .
Size and Appearance of the Dachshund Breed
With an elongated and muscular body, the Dachshund is a short-legged breed that comes in two sizes (miniature and standard) and three coat varieties (smooth or short-haired, wire-haired, and long-haired). The tapered head features medium, almond-shaped eyes that offer a pleasant, energetic expression. The long ears have rounded tips, frame the face, and are set near the top of the head. The muzzle is finely-formed and slightly arched, featuring a black nose with well open nostrils. The teeth meet in a scissors bite. The neck is long and muscular, slightly arched, and flows smoothly into the shoulders. The trunk is long and muscular. The short front legs are very strong and well muscled. The front feet are compact with well arched toes, thick nails, and tough pads. The thighs are powerful and strong, and the back legs are parallel. The back feet are smaller than the front. The straight tail is set in continuation with the back. The gait of the Dachshund is described as smooth and fluid. The coat of the s mooth or short-haired Dachshund is short and shiny. The coat of the wire-haired Dachshund features a thick, rough outer coat and a softer, shorter undercoat. The coat of the long-haired Dachshund is usually slightly wavy and longer at the neck and the chest. The breed can come in all colors except white.
Adventurous, bold, and curious, the Dachshund enjoys hunting and digging. While it is an independent breed, this dog will also join in on family activities. It is usually good with children in its own family, but care should be taken as some may snap at strange children. It normally gets along well with other pets, but they must be socialized at an early age in order to live with cats. This breed can become jealous and irritable, and they can be quick to bite. The Dachshund is generally reserved around strangers, and some tend to bark. It is said that the longhaired variety is quieter, while the wire coat variety may be more outgoing. Some believe that Miniature Dachshunds are more prone to timidity.
Dachshund Recommended Maintenance
The type and frequency of grooming the Dachshund is dependent upon the coat. A smooth coat is easy to care for and only needs to be brushed occasionally to remove dead hairs. The long coat needs to be brushed or combed one or two times a week and trimmed as needed. The wire coat needs to be brushed or combed once a week and stray hairs should be trimmed as needed. Stripping is recommended twice a year to remove dead hair. This breed is considered to be an average shedder. It should be bathed or dry shampooed only when necessary. Be sure to pay attention to the ears; clean them regularly to prevent mites as well as fungus or bacteria growth. While this breed is quite active, walks on a leash and game playing can easily meet its exercise requirements. The Dachshund is good for apartment dwelling, as they are active indoors, and they do not require a yard. This breed should be discouraged from jumping to help prevent possible spinal damage.
Life span: 12 – 14 years
Major concerns: intervertebral disc disease
Minor concerns: KCS
Occasionally seen: diabetes, epilepsy, patellar luxation, deafness, gastric torsion
Suggested tests: (eye)
Note: Obesity is a major problem for the dachshund. Many dachshunds tend to be overweight, which in turn predisposes them to
intervertebral disc disease.