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Welcome to the Dachshund dog microsite. This page contains detailed information on the breed. From this point you can use the above tabs to navigate to the other Dachshund pages.

- Kitt Killion

Dachshund Breed Information

Country of origin - Germany

Common nicknames - Doxie (US), Dackel or Teckel (GER, FR), wiener dog/hotdog (US), sausage dog (UK/AUS), Teckel (NL), Worshond (S.A.)

Classification and breed standards

FCI:|Group 4 Section 1 #148|Stds
ANKC:|Group 4 - (Hounds)|long-haired smooth-haired wire-haired miniature long-haired miniature smooth-haired miniature wire-haired Stds] CKC:|Group 2 - (Hounds)|Stds
KC (UK):|Hound| smooth-haired wire-haired miniature long-haired miniature smooth-haired miniature wire-haired Stds] NZKC:|Hounds|long-haired smooth-haired wire-haired miniature long-haired miniature smooth-haired miniature wire-haired Stds]
UKC:|Scenthound Breeds|Stds

The dachshund is a short-legged, elongated dog breed of the hound family. The breed's name is German and literally means "badger dog," from (der) Dachs, badger, and (der) Hund, dog. The standard size was developed to scent, chase, and flush badgers and other burrow-dwelling animals, while the miniature was to hunt rabbits. Due to the long, narrow build, they are sometimes referred to as a wiener dog, hot dog, or sausage dog. Notwithstanding the German origin of the dachshund's name, within Germany the breed is known both formally and informally was the Dackel or Teckel.

1. Quick Facts

Dachshund Quick Facts

Toy weight: | 8 pounds (3.5kg.)|
Toy height: | Up to 12 inches (30cm.) |
Miniature weight: | 9 pounds (4kg.) |
Miniature height: | Up to 14 inches (35cm.) |
Standard weight: | 20 pounds (9kg.) |
Standard height: | 14-18 inches (35-45cm.) |
Coat: | Three varieties: short-haired, wired-haired and long-haired
Activity level: | Moderate
Learning rate: | Average (slightly difficult to train)
Temperament: | Lively, affectionate, proud, bold, almost rash, tenacious, willful, clownish, curious, mischievous, very clever, devoted
Guard dog ability: | Low
Watch-dog ability: | High
Litter size: | ?
Life span: | 12-15 years

1. 1. Appearance and Size

Dachshunds come in three sizes. A full-grown standard dachshund averages 16 to 28 pounds. (7 to 12.7 kg), while the miniature variety typically weighs less than 11 lb. The kaninchen weighs 7-9 lb. (5 kg) .

According to kennel club standards, the miniature variety differs from the full-size only by size and weight, thus offspring from miniature parents must never weigh more than the miniature standard to be considered a miniature as well .

H. L. Mencken said that "A dachshund is a half-dog high and a dog-and-a-half long," which is their main claim to fame, although many poems and songs refer to them as "two dogs long." This characteristic has led them to be quite a recognizable breed and featured in many a joke and cartoon, particularly The Far Side by Gary Larson.

1. 2. Coat and color

Dachshunds have a wide range of colouration. Dominant colors and patterns are red and black-and-red (often referred to as black-and-tan). Also occurring are cream, blue, wild boar, chocolate brown, fawn, brindle, piebald, and a lighter "boar" red . The reds range from coppers to deep rusts, with somewhat common black hairs peppered along the back, tail, face, and ear edges, lending much character and an almost burnished appearance; this is often desirable and is referred to among breeders and enthusiasts as a "stag" or an "overlay."

Solid black and solid chocolate-brown dachshunds occur and, even though dogs with such coloration are often considered handsome, the colors are nonstandard - that is, the dogs are disqualified from conformance competitions in the U.S. and Canada. Additionally, according to the Conformation judges of the DCA (Dachshund Club of America), and the AKC (American Kennel Club) assert the Piebald pattern a nonstandard and has voted to dismiss this pattern from competition.

Light-colored dachshunds usually sport green or blue eyes, rather than brown. They can also have eyes of two different colors; in rare cases, such as the double-dappled coloration (called merle in other dog breeds ), dachshunds can have a blue and brown eye. Color aside, this eye condition has led to the double-dapple coat being disfavored among breeders and owners.

Dachshunds come in three coat varieties. The most common and associated with the dachshund is the smooth coated dog. The next most recognised is the long coat. The wire-haired dachshund is least common. Many people cannot recognize wire-hairs as dachshunds and can be mistaken as other kinds of dogs .

1. 3. Temperament

Dachshunds are playful, fun dogs, known for their propensity to chase small animals, birds and tennis balls with great determination and ferocity. Many dachshunds are strong-headed or stubborn, making them a challenge to train. In fact, it's been said that you don't train dachshunds, they train you. Dachshunds have been known to have a liking to dig holes in the garden, or chase small animals such as birds, squirrels, or lizards. They have a particularly loud bark, making dachshunds good watchdogs. Dachshunds are known for their devotion and loyalty to their owners, though they can be standoffish towards strangers. If left alone many dachshunds will whine until they have companionship. Some dachshunds are prone to separation anxiety and may chew objects in the house to relieve stress.

According to the American Kennel Club’s breed standards, "the dachshund is clever, lively and courageous to the point of rashness, persevering in above and below ground work, with all the senses well-developed. Any display of shyness is a serious fault."Their temperament and body language give the impression that they do not know or care about their relatively small and comical stature. Like many terriers, they think nothing of challenging a larger dog. Indulged dachshunds may become snappy . Fanciers of the breed often say that "Dachshunds are big dogs in small packages".

The dachshund's temperament may vary greatly from dog to dog. Seemingly most dachshunds do not like unfamiliar people, and will growl or bark in response. Although the dachshund is generally an energetic dog, some are laid back. Due to this dog's behavior, it is not the dog for everyone. A bored dachshund will become destructive. If raised improperly, dachshunds can become aggressive or fearful. They require a caring owner that understands their need to have entertainment and exercise. Some may not be good with children, and they may bite an unfamiliar child. Others are tolerant and loyal to children within their family, but these children should be mindful of the breed's back and not carry them around roughly.

2. Health

The breed is known to have spinal problems, especially intervertebral disk disease (IVDD), due in part to an extremely long spinal column and short rib cage. The risk of injury can be worsened by obesity, which places greater strain on the vertebrae. In order to prevent injury, it is recommended that dachshunds be discouraged from jumping (something many seem to like doing anyway) and taking stairs, and encouraged to instead take the elevator (though some veterinarians say that slow stair-climbing is unlikely to lead to injury). However, according to the same article above, dachshunds that climb stairs regularly may actually be less prone to IVDD, probably because the exercise helps to keep them fitter and healthier, and positive correlations were found between physically fit dogs and a lower incidence of IVDD. Hence the reason why it's important to keep the dog at a good body weight. Holding the dog properly is also important, with both front and rear portions of the body fully supported.

As it has become increasingly apparent that the occurrence and severity of these spinal problems, or intervertebral disk disease, is largely hereditary, responsible breeders are working to eliminate this characteristic in the breed. Treatment consists of various combinations of crate confinement and courses of anti-inflammatory medications (steroids). Serious cases may require surgery to remove the troublesome disk contents. Others may need the aid of cart to get around if paralysis occurs.

In addition to back problems, the breed is also prone to patellar luxation.

Some double dapples have problems with deafness and blindness. Therefore they need an owner who understands a disabled dog's special needs.

Other health problems include hereditary epilepsy, dental issues, Cushings disease, thyroid problems, various allergies and atopies, and various eye conditions (cataracts, glaucoma, progressive retinal atrophy, corneal ulcers, nonucerative corneal disease, sudden acquired retinal degeneration, cherry eye, etc.). It is important to buy from breeders who can guarantee that their stock are free from these genetic problems and whose dogs have been certified for eyes (esp in miniatures).

3. History

Some have theorized that the early roots of the dachshund go back to Ancient Egypt, where engravings were made featuring short-legged hunting dogs . But in its modern incarnation, the dachshund is a creation of European breeders, and includes elements of German, French, and English hounds and terriers. Dachshunds have been kept by royal courts all over Europe, including that of Queen Victoria, who was particularly enamored of the breed.

The first verifiable references to the dachshund, originally named the "Tachs Kriecher" (badger crawler) or "Tachs Krieger" (badger warrior), came from books written in the early 1700s. Prior to that, there exist references to "badger dogs" and "hole dogs", but these likely refer to purposes rather than to specific breeds. The original German dachshunds were larger than the modern full-size variety, weighing between 30 and 40 lb. (14 to 18 kg), and originally came in straight-legged and crook-legged varieties (the modern dachshund is descended from the latter). Though the breed is famous for its use in exterminating badgers and badger-baiting, dachshunds were also commonly used for rabbit and fox hunting, for locating wounded deer, and in packs were known to hunt game as large as wild boar and as fierce as the wolverine.

Double-dapple dachshunds are prone to eye disease and therefore are rare. It is generally believed that the breed was introduced to the United States between 1879 and 1885

3. 1. Symbol of Germany

Dachshunds have traditionally been viewed as a symbol of Germany, despite their pan-European heritage. Political cartoonists commonly used the image of the dachshund to ridicule Germany. The stigma of the association was revived to a lesser extent during World War II, though it was comparatively short-lived. German Field Marshal Erwin Rommel was known for keeping dachshunds.

Due to this association with Germany, the dachshund was chosen to be the first official mascot for the 1972 Summer Olympics, with the name Waldi.

The flap-down ears and famous curved tail of the dachshund have deliberately been bred into the dog. In the case of the ears, this is so that grass seeds, dirt and other matter do not enter into the ear canal. The curved tail is dual-purposed: to be seen more easily in long grass and, in the case of burrowing dachshunds, to help haul the dog out if it becomes stuck in a burrow.

3. 2. Sports

Some people train and enter their dachshund to compete in dachshund racing, such as the Wiener Nationals. Several races across the country routinely draw several thousand attendees, including races in Buda, Texas, Davis, California, Los Alamitos, California, Findlay, Ohio, Oklahoma City, OK, Kansas City, KS, and Shakopee, MN. Despite the popularity of these events, the Dachshund Club of America opposes "wiener racing", as many greyhound tracks use the events to draw large crowds to their facilities. The DCA also is worried about potential injuries to dogs, due to their predisposition to back injuries.

Another favorite sport is earthdog trials, in which dachshunds enter tunnels with dead ends and obstacles attempting to locate an artificial bait or live but caged and protected mice. Dachshunds, being true scent hounds, also compete in scent tracking events, with a national championship sponsored every year by the DCA.

3. 3. Dackel versus Teckel

In Germany dachshunds are widely named as 'Dackel' (both singular and plural). To be classified as a full Teckel, these dogs must undergo Blood Tracking tests. Classically, any dog of dackel heritage is given an official tattoo upon one ear. After suitable training, the dog must then follow a blood trail that is at least 48 hours old successfully to its conclusion. Once this is completed, another tattoo is marked on the other ear to denote full Teckel rank. As 'Teckel' are bred for hunting purposes, teckels tattooed or not, tend to be visibly larger in their chests than their dackel counterparts, though marginally shorter in length.

3. 5. Popularity

Dachshunds are a popular pet in the United States, ranking 6th in the most recent AKC registration statistics.They are popular with urban and apartment dwellers, ranking among the top ten most popular breeds in 39 of 50 major US cities surveyed by the AKC. One will find varying degrees of organized local dachshund clubs in most major American cities, including New York, New Orleans, Los Angeles, and Chicago. American dachshund enthusiasts will enjoy their visits to overseas, as the breed's popularity is legion in places such as Germany, France, Switzerland, Hungary, Poland, Czech Republic, Slovak Republic, and Japan.

3. 6. Miscellaneous

Having been bred at one point as Wild Boar hounds, the Teckel breed of these dogs have a tendency to roll on their backs. This 'cute behaviour' has rather morbid beginnings. The dog would be sent into the undergrowth, to flush out the boar. The boar would, upon seeing the smaller dog, give chase. The dog would lead the boar towards the huntsman, whereupon it would throw itself upon its back. The boar would then pass over the dog, who would then attempt to either attack the throat or the genitalia of the passing boar, thus wounding the boar sufficiently for the huntsman to kill their prey.

During World War I the dachshunds' numbers declined because they originated in Germany and anything having to do with Germany was disliked. However, the dachshunds' charm brought a resurgence during the Roaring Twenties.

4. Famous and Fictional Dachshunds

* The book Dumpling. Made by Dick-King-Smith.
* Lump, the pet of Pablo Picasso, who was thought to have inspired some of his artwork. (Pronounced: loomp; German for "Rascal") A Dachshund's Odyssey, by David Douglas Duncan
* Stanley and Boodgie, immortalized on canvas by owner David Hockney, and published in the book David Hockney's Dog Days .
* Wadl and Hexl, Kaiser Wilhelm II's famous ferocious pair. Upon arriving at Archduke Franz Ferdinand's country seat, château Konopiste, on a semi-official visit, they promptly proceeded to do away with one of the Austro-Hungarian Crown Prince's priceless golden pheasants, thereby almost causing an international incident
* Senta, Kaiser Wilhelm II's companion during World War I and his exile to Huis Doorn. Senta died in 1927 at age 20 and is buried in the park of Huis Doorn, near the Kaiser's grave.
* Hot Dog in renegade Krypto the Superdog
* Schotzie in That 70s Show
* Itchy Itchiford in All Dogs Go to Heaven
* Boots in Emergency!
* Little Dog in 2 Stupid Dogs
* Slinky in Toy Story and "Toy Story 2"
* Buster in Toy Story 2
* Wiener Dog, the name of Norm Henderson's dachshund on The Norm Show
* Mr. Weenie in Open Season
* Jorge in Clifford's Puppy Days
* Waldi, the mascot of the 1972 Summer Olympics
* Dinah the Dachshund
* Pretzel in Pretzel by H.A. and Margaret Rey
* Hundley in Curious George by H.A. and Margaret Rey
* Weenie, the pet of Oswald the Octopus, Oswald (TV series)
* Oscar, in the comic strip Liberty Meadows.
* Schnitzel von Krumm, in the Hairy Maclary series of children's picture books by Lynley Dodd.
* Odie in Garfield The Movie and Garfield: A Tale of Two Kitties.
* The dogs of The Ugly Dachshund
* Willie from the books by Ezra Jack Keats
* Oliver in the anime series Ginga Nagareboshi Gin
* Bodo in Hausmeister Krause (a German sitcom)
* Origami in Raising Helen
* Rufus "The Red" of (Morehead, Kentucky). Credited for saving 4 children from a burning daycare in Kentucky. Has appeared on many talk shows.
* In the early Mickey Mouse comics, Mickey had a dachshund named Weenie.
* When Cap Toys resurrected Stretch Armstrong in the 1990s, they also created Stretch's dog, a dachshund named Fetch Armstrong.
* Joe, owned by General Claire Lee Chennault and the mascot of Chennault's Flying Tigers of World War II.

Copyright (c) 2008 Kitt Killion Permission is granted to copy, distribute and/or modify this document under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License, Version 1.2 or any later version published by the Free Software Foundation; with no Invariant Sections, no Front-Cover Texts, and no Back-Cover Texts. A copy of the license is included in the section entitled "GNU Free Documentation License".

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