The Dachshund is a hunting dog that originated in Germany, and was bred for badger hunting. The Dachshund is long and low, which enables him get into the Badgers den to flush it out. Dogs that contributed to the breeds were 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. Some historians believe that the Dachshund existed 4000 years ago in ancient Egypt. There is a portrayal of a dog and a hieroglyphic inscription reading "tekal" on a monument of Thutmose III. The dog, however, does not have the least similarity to a Dachshund, and the translation rests on the false interpretation of the hieroglyphics. The correct meaning leads to the word "tqru," which can be translated into "fiery." Besides this, the word "tekal" has no connection whatsoever to the German word for Dachshund, which is "Teckel." The Daschshund was officially recognized as a breed by the AKC in 1885.
Dachushunds, or as some affectionately call them, Weiner Dogs, are a playful, courageous, lively dog. They are a busy breed that loves to play, or dig in your garden. They are intelligent, but tend to have a stubborn streak and can be a challenge to train. Some Doxies are diffucult to housetrian. Doxies are an alert breed with a surprisingly loud bark, which makes them effective watchdogs. They tend not to like strangers very much and are usually standoffish towards them. Some Doxies also tend to be aggressive towards other dogs and animals, so socializing your Doxie at an early age is a must. Overall, Dachshunds make good family pets, but care must be taken with younger children, since this is a fairly small breed.
The Dachshund is a long, low to the ground, muscular breed that has very short legs. He gives the appearance of a sausage, hence the nickname, The Sausage Dog. Dachshunds come in two sizes, standard and miniature. The standard Dachshunds usually weigh between 18 to 20 pounds and stand 8 to 10 inches at the withers. Miniature Dachshunds weigh under 11 pounds and stand about 5 inches at the withers. Dachshunds also come in three coat varieties, smooth, long-haired and wire-haired. The smooth coated variety is the most commonly seen and has a sleek, smooth coat. The wire-haired variety has a coat that is similar to that of a terrier and the long-haired variety has a long flowing coat. The coloring of the Dachshund can vary and includes black and tan, blue, chocolate, red, red sable, cream, and brindle.
A Long-Haired Dachshund.
A Wire-Haired Dachshund.
The ease of grooming depends of the variety that you have. Smooth Dachshunds need very little grooming and a quick rub down with a damp cloth will suffice. Long-Haired Dachshunds need a twice weekly brushing to keep looking neat and presentable. Wire-Haired Dachshunds need to have their coats hand stripped every few months to keep from getting too shaggy. The smooth variety sheds very little, while the long and wire varieties are medium shedders.
Dachshund Life Expectancy and Health Problems
Dachshunds are notorious from suffering from spinal disorders since they have such a long back and short rib cage. Other diseases commonly seen in this breed are Epilepsy, Cataracts, Glaucoma, Progressive Retinal Atrophy, Thyroid problems and Cushing's Disease, which is an endocrine disorder caused by high levels of cortisol in the blood. The average lifespan of this breed is 12 to 15 years.
Doxies have been present in popular culture and probably the most famous wasa collection of Gary Larson's Far Side cartoons published in the 1990 book called Wiener Dog Art.
Dachshund Pros and Cons
This simplified list may help you decide if a Dachshund might be a good fit for your lifestyle.
Do You Want
- a small dog that is easy to pick up?
- a dog well suited to apartment life?
- a dog that makes an effective watchdog?
- a dog that doesn't need a lot of exercise?
Do You NOT Want
- a dog that is usually aloof and standoffish with strangers?
- a dog that will dig in your garden?
- a dog that can be aggressive towards other dogs?
- a dog that can have a stubborn streak and may be difficult to train?
- a dog that is notorious for serious spinal problems?
Useful Dachshund Links