Dachshund also known as the wiener dog, badger dog, or sausage dog, is a short-legged, long-bodied, hound-type dog breed. They may be smooth, wire, or long-haired. Dachshund—with his unmistakable long-backed body, little legs, and big personality is truly an icon of purebred dog. Dachshunds can be standard-sized (usually 16 to 32 pounds) or miniature (11 pounds or under), and come in one of three coat types: smooth, wirehaired, or longhaired. The standard sized dachshund was developed to scent, chase, and flush out badgers and other burrow-dwelling animals, while the miniature dachshund was bred to hunt small animals such as rabbits and mice. In the Western United States, they have also been used to track wounded deer and hunt prairie dogs.
Dachshunds aren’t built for distance running, leaping, or strenuous swimming, but otherwise these tireless hounds are game for anything. Smart and vigilant, with a big-dog bark, they make fine watchdogs. Bred to be an independent hunter of dangerous prey, they can be brave to the point of rashness, and a bit stubborn, but their endearing nature and unique look has won millions of hearts the world over. .
Dachshunds also participate in conformation shows, field trials and many other events organized through pure-bred dog organizations such as the American Kennel Club (AKC). According to the AKC, the dachshund is ranked 12th in popularity among dog breeds in the United States in 2018. The name dachshund is of German origin and literally means "badger dog," from Dachs ("European badger") and Hund ("hound, dog"). The German word is pronounced [ˈdaks.hʊnt]. Although "dachshund" is a German word, in modern German they are more commonly known by the short name Dackel or Teckel. Because of their long, narrow build, they are often nicknamed wiener dog or sausage dog. .
It is extremely important that a Dachshund not be allowed to become overweight. This is not only because of general health reasons, but also to avoid strain to the Dachshund’s long back, which can lead to slipped or ruptured (herniated) discs. Ignore the pleading eyes, and give only the recommended amount given by the manufacturer of the quality dog food of your choice. Give table scraps very sparingly, if at all, especially avoiding cooked bones and foods with high fat content. Remember that the Dachshund’s nose can get him into trouble, and always keep food well out of his reach.
Dachshunds are moderate shedders, relatively clean, and have little or no body odor. The breed’s grooming needs vary with the three coat types. Smooth-coated Dachshunds are somewhat “wash and wear,” needing little beyond a wipe with a towel or hound glove to look dapper. Longhaired Dachshunds may require more frequent brushing, depending on the thickness of the coat. The Wirehaired coat can be plucked or hand-stripped several times a year to look its best, but beyond that is easy to maintain between groomings with occasional trimming of the beard and eyebrows and brushing or combing once or twice a week. All Dachshunds should have their nails trimmed every month.
Many owners think that because they are so small, Dachshunds don’t require more exercise than just running around the house. However, they do need regular exercise not only to stay fit, but also to build strong muscles to support and protect their back. Two walks every day of moderate length should be sufficient. To avoid injury, never allow your Dachshund to run up and down stairs or jump on or off furniture. Because they are very social, Dachshunds don’t do well as outdoor dogs—they want to be with their humans.
Dachshunds are very intelligent but are also independent and often stubborn, so they can be a challenge to train. They love to give and receive affection and do best with positive, reward-based training. They are sensitive and will not react well to harsh commands or punishment. Patience and consistence are key. Dachshunds have an excellent sense of smell as well as a strong prey drive. Because they were bred to stay focused and follow a trail without distraction, if they are busy with something more interesting they may not always pay attention to you.
“Dachshund” is a German word meaning “badger dog,” and the breed’s German history goes back some 600 years. And, as the breed name suggests, the Dachshund was developed to enthusiastically dig his way into a badger den and dispatch its occupant. The Dachshund’s long, low body was custom-made for this dirty subterranean work.
For a dog of any size, a badger is a formidable adversary, weighing anywhere from 25 to 40 pounds, with razor-sharp teeth and claws. The cleverness, courage, perseverance, and strength that are hallmarks of today’s Dachshund were first bred into his long-ago ancestors to best equip them for battling a deadly foe. The little dog’s surprisingly loud, houndy bark is also a throwback to his working roots: It allowed the Dachshund’s above-ground human hunting partner to mark his hound’s underground location. In addition to the breed’s short, smooth coat, selective breeding produced types with wire coats for work in thorny brier patches, and long coats for cold climates. Dachshunds of various sizes were bred to work on different kinds of quarry. Packs of Dachshunds, according to breed authorities, were often used on wild boar. By the late 1800s, the process of standardizing the breed according to size, coat, and color varieties was well underway.
The Dachshund has long been a national symbol of Germany, so closely associated with the fatherland that during World War I American fanciers took to calling them Liberty Hounds due to anti-German sentiment. Admitted to the AKC Stud Book in 1885, their popularity in America was immediate and enduring.
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 to keep grass seeds, dirt, and other matter from entering 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. The smooth-haired dachshund, the oldest style, may be a cross between the German Shorthaired Pointer, a Pinscher, and a Bracke (a type of bloodhound), or to have been produced by crossing a short Bruno Jura Hound with a pinscher. Others believe it was a cross from a miniature French pointer and a pinscher; others claim that it was developed from the St. Hubert Hound, also a bloodhound, in the 18th century, and still others believe that they were descended from Basset Hounds, based upon their scent abilities and general appearance. Dachshunds can track a scent that is more than a week old.
The exact origins of the dachshund are therefore unknown. According to William Loeffler, from The American Book of the Dog (1891), in the chapter on dachshunds: "The origin of the Dachshund is in doubt, our best authorities disagreeing as to the beginning of the breed."What can be agreed on, however, is that the smooth dachshund gave rise to both the long-haired and the wire-haired varieties.