The Dachshund, also called hot dog or wiener dog, is one of the most popular dog breeds in the United States since the 1950s, but it was originally from Germany where it was called Teckel. The Dachshund was believed to be developed slowly over 600 years ago and was specifically bred to hunt badgers.
The name Dachshund came from the German words “Dachs” which means badger, and “Hund” which means dog, therefore, Dachshund means badger dog. Original Dachshund dogs that were bred in Germany were much larger compared to the Dachshunds we see today and they range from 30 to 40 pounds. They are always willing to go after badgers and even the smallest ones were fearless. In fact, packs of Dachshunds were sometimes used to hunt wild boars as well.
In the 1800s, Dachshunds were bred in Great Britain more as pets than as hunters and their size reduced gradually by about 10 pounds and eventually to even smaller versions. In 1895, the Dachshund Club of America was founded and in the early 1870s, they were bred in the United States.
In the 19th and 20th centuries, because of their pleasing shape and range of expression, a lot of artists, toymakers, and advertising business made different merchandise related to the breed such as figurines, toys, and even pepper shakers. However, during the first World War, the popularity of Dachshunds declined because they were used to depict Germany in many wartime propaganda pieces in the United States, England, and France.
After the World Wars, the Dachshund’s name was temporarily changed to “badger dog”, because people did not want to associate them with Germany. If the first World War was tough on Dachshunds, what came after that was weird because Nazi scientists claimed to have taught them to speak, read, spell, and even communicate telepathically. They believed that they were nearly as intelligent as humans.
A Dachshund named Waldi was the first Olympic mascot because the breed is known for being athletic and courageous, making it perfect for the Olympics. A Dachshund is also Britain’s first cloned dog.
Today, Dachshunds are always part of the top popular breeds in the world. They are one of the best dogs to be kept as pets at home.
The Dachshund belongs to the hound dogs breed group and is one of the few recognized dog breeds to hunt both above and below ground. This is the reason why they have a funny-looking body which is designed to help them achieve their original purpose.
Dachshunds have short legs which allow them to burrow deep into the earth to go after badgers and other earth-dwelling mammals in their dens. They have long and sturdy tails that extend out from their spine which stands as a handle for hunters to retrieve them when they burrow into the earth. They also have large and paddle-shaped paws which help them dig efficiently. They can also identify different odors very well because of their long noses.
Dachshunds are very strong in both bone and muscle and even though they have short legs, they are able to achieve speeds that you would not imagine. They are bred and shown in two sizes such as standard and miniature.
Standard ones usually weigh between 16 to 32 pounds and can grow between 8 inches to 9 inches tall at the shoulder. Miniature ones, or sometimes called Tweenies, on the other hand, weigh 11 pounds and below and can grow 5-6 inches tall. Dachshunds have a lifespan of 12 to 16 years.
They are described as clever, courageous, and lively dogs which are bred for perseverance. They are both entertaining and fearless, and always want to cuddle with their owners. But their personalities can also vary depending on their coat type.
Wirehaired Dachshunds are known to be mischievous troublemakers because they have terrier in their background. Longhairs, on the other hand, are known to be calm and quiet, while smooths have a personality that lies in between.
How to Care for Them
Dachshunds love to take a walk and play outdoors most of the time because they have a lot of stamina and energy. Therefore, taking them on a two half-mile walks a day can be good for them.
They are also not suited to live outdoors or in a kennel because most of them do not tolerate cold weather well. If they will be living indoors, on the other hand, you have to make sure that there are ramps or steps on your furniture because they can injure their backs when they jump off them. You also have to be careful when carrying them and make sure that you support their rear and chest. When training them at home, you should be patient and consistent because they can learn quickly if properly motivated.
When it comes to feeding Dachshunds, the recommended daily amount is ½ to 1 ½ cups of high-quality dry food a day. But this will depend on the size, age, build, metabolism, and activity level of your pet. They are also like people who don’t all need the same amount of food. But it is important that they have a balanced diet because being overweight can seriously injure their back.
The Dachshund is indeed an amazing dog breed. From being a fierce hunting dog breed in the past, they have now become adorable and entertaining pets at home.