A Dachshund is a long-bodied, short legged hound type of a dog breed. They are small type of dogs and are very recognizable because of its short legs and log bodies. These dogs were originally developed as scent and chase dogs. Due to its physical abilities they are capable of flushing out their prey from holes and small places.
Thus in the past they have been used for chasing badgers and rabbits and other burrow-dwelling animals. But they have also been used to hunt wounded deer and prairie dogs as well. Bessie of its unique look, Dachshund are also nicknamed wiener dogs or sausage dogs.
History & Origins
The earliest mention of a Dachshund comes way back in 15th century in Germany. They name of the dog translated from German actually means “badger dog,” as this dog was originally created to hunt badgers. They were specifically bread to go into burrows and fight a badgers to the death if necessary. But they were not used in hunting badgers only. In time, dachshund were used to catch other burrow dwelling creatures, but also bigger animals that live above the ground, like foxes.
During the 18th and 19th century, breeders in Germany tried to develop this breed for their specific need. So they crossbreed the Braque, a French type of a dog, with a Pinscher, a small terrier type, in order to come up with a Dachshund. The result is what we have today and this breed is the only recognized type of dog which is capable of hunting both above and underground.
Dachshund Characteristics & Temperament
Dachshunds are playful dogs but their main focus is hunting. This is why these dogs are prone to running around and sometimes barking but they are relentless when searing and chasing for their pray. They can be quite tireless when and can chase other smaller animals or balls around to house to very high degree. They also rank somewhere in the middle in the level of intelligence. They can be trained, but it can be really difficult to do that.
Even experienced owners had problems in properly training these breeds of hounds. They are prone to burrowing and will easily find spots inside the house to conceal in. They are also prone to barking and can be aggressive at times. They easily form an attachment with their landlord and are not so fond of strangers and are very protective that way. But if left alone for loner period, they can form an anxiety which leads them to chew certain objects around the house. They are very difficult to house train and people usually have problems in doing so. They are not really good with children. Actually, they are good with the owner’s children but if other kids come by which are too lively, they can be disturbed and it can lead them to growl or even bit them. Nevertheless, proper training will make them tolerant and loyal to your kids.
Appearance, Colors, Size
You will most certainly have no trouble in recognizing a Dachshund. It has a long body and is very muscular, with short and stubby legs. You will notice that the front paws are larger than its hind legs are have a paddle like shape. This allows them to dig and burrow into any hole that they can find. The skin is loose enough just to provide them an advantage when tunneling inside deep holes. They also have a deep chest which allows them better lung capacity and a larger stamina as well. The nose is long and allows them to recognize different odors and also gives them an advantage when chasing their prey.
A Dachshund can have three different coat varieties, smooth coat which is essential short hair, longhaired, and wirehaired. Longarid breeds have a silky coat with short featherings on legs and ears. Wirehaired ones are actually the least spread ones. All of them have a wide variety of color patters and the most spread one is red. Single colored ones are the most usual and they are either red or cream. The ones which have two colors usually have a mixture of (black and tan, chocolate and tan, blue and tan, or Isabella and tan).
The weight of an average Dachshund goes somewhere between 16 and 32 pounds. But there are other versions which are called Minnie Dachshunds which weight about 11 to 16 pounds.
Dachshunds can live up to around 12 years. They are usually healthy but the most common problem that they face is intervertebral disk disease due to their long spines. Besides their back they can also have knee problem if they develop patellar luxation. Other conditions that Dachshunds are prone to include hereditary epilepsy, dental issues, granulomatous meningoencephalitis, autoimmune problems, Cushing’s syndrome, and various allergies. But most of them can be treated if you react on time and if you bring the dog to a vet for early treatment.
Grooming & Shedding
Due to their short hair, Dachshund are not large shedders. They are not going to create a mess in your house, if you decide to keep them there, and you need to provide it with a usual standard of grooming. You still need to brush it regularly as the Dachshund needs to look its best. They strip their coat twice or thrice a year and when doing so you need to make sure that you brush them regularly.
Other grooming includes nail clipping and dental hygiene as well. Due to its short legs, you will probably need to put a sweater on your dog during winter or if you live in a cold area as they can easily catch a clod that way.
Dachshund Price and Breeders
It is actually very easy for find a Dachshund. They are spread all over and are the most amount of breeders is probably found in Germany and America. Also, every area where hunting is a popular sport, Dachshund are available. If you want to get one for yourself, a puppy will cost anywhere between 200 and 1,000 dollars.
Rescuing a Dachshund is an option that a lot of people are option for recently. But there are also many shelters and organizations that can help you find one. For instance, look for to adopt a Dachshund at Almost Home Dachshund Rescue Society, Canadian Dachshund Rescue, Central Texas Dachshund Rescue or Coast to Coast Dachshund Rescue.