Dachshund breed: the long-bodied, short-legged self-consciousness
László Enikő, 2020. August 31 - Photos: Getty Images Hungary
The Dachshund is one of the best known dog breeds in the world. His enormous self-awareness, attitude and charming character captivates the hearts of millions.
Besides his charming nature, his unique appearance is just icing on the cake. His short, muscular legs combined with his long body make him really cute, but also great for hunting. And his courage and boldness are exemplary.
Even in Ancient Egypt, finds have been found of dogs with short legs and a long body. The real evolution of the Dachshund dates back to the 15th century. It was bred in Germany, probably from French hunting dogs, pinschers, schnauzers. There are several versions. Long-haired Dachshunds were shaped to their present form with the help of setters and spaniels, and wire-haired Sachshunds were crossed with terriers. It was originally used for badger and fox hunting, hence its German name: Dachshund, or badger dog. Its special body structure and excellent sense of smell have served it well for centuries, although in the past hunting with the Dachshund was the privilege of the nobility. First described in 1879, it has been officially recognised in Germany since 1889.
Napoleon Bonaparte was very fond of Dachshunds, and several paintings of him and his pets were made. He named one of his four-legged friends Napoleon, and his last pets are buried next to him. Perhaps it was their similarity of character that made him love them so much, for the nature of Dachshunds is often Napoleon-like. Over the years, many prominent people and celebrities have owned a Dachshund. Among others, Albert Einstein, II. Queen Elizabeth, Andy Warhol, Clint Eastwood and Brigitte Bardot were all fans of the tiny-legged hunters.
The Germans are very proud of the breed. After the world wars, however, people turned away from almost everything associated with this nation, and the Dachshund’s popularity declined. So much so that the original Dachshund for the film The Wizard of Oz was replaced by a different kind of dog. But the mascot of the 1972 Munich Olympics was a Dachshund named Waldi. By this time, the breed was no longer just the privilege of the elite, but had regained enormous popularity. However, today we see fewer and fewer of them in Germany. In other countries,for example in England or the United States, there are often Dachshund races or parades specifically for fans and representatives of the breed. For decades, the Dachshund has been one of the most popular dog breeds worldwide.
Three sizes and three coat varieties are officially accepted for the Dachshund. The Smooth-Haired Dachshund’s coat is smooth and silky to the touch. The Wire-Haired is coarse, the Long-Haired are soft and shiny. The colour of the coat varies, it can be black, yellow, tan, red or a combination of several colours. Never completely white. So-called Harlequin Dachshunds are very fashionable these days. They are characterised by their spotted, mottled fur.
Standard-sized individuals weigh on average 9-10 kg, Miniature Dachshunds about 5 kg, while Rabbit Dachshunds weigh up to 3 kg. Their height at the tip is between 16 and 26 cm, depending on the size. There is a significant difference in the size of their chest, the smallest being up to 30 cm, the Miniature Dachshund 30-35 cm.
The Dachshund’s head is elongated, thin. The nose is elongated, the colour depends on the coat. Jaw strong, with scissor bite. The ears are close to the head, relatively large and hang down in a V shape. Eyes oval, medium large. He has a friendly, energetic look. The body is elongated, muscular, the chest is convex, the belly is tucked up. His legs are short and muscular. Its paws are wide. The tail is not very long, thinning. His movement is confident and dynamic. Expected lifetime 12-16 years.
The Dachshund is a consciousness on four legs. He has a fierce character, he always knows what he wants. As it was originally bred as a hunting dog. That’s why it’s worth starting his socialisation and education early, otherwise he may soon become too stubborn and headstrong. He is also intelligent and friendly, but less fond of strangers. He protects his family loyally, but he must not be allowed to overdo it, or to bite someone on the ankle. His extraordinary courage is a great asset on the hunt. He will not shy away from a badger or a fox, or even a wild boar. He quickly adapts to its owner’s habits and adapts well to its environment. Every Dachshund is a real personality, guaranteed to be fun to be around.
He does not need much exercise, but too little is not good for him. Almost certainly everyone has seen an obese, elderly Dachshund. This is also important to avoid for health reasons. A lot of stairs is not good for his spine. He does not require a large yard, and is also happy in an apartment. If you keep him in a house with a garden, you have to know that he is a very good digger thanks to its wide paws. That is why he needs proper training and, of course, exhaustion. He is less recommended for children, but that does not mean it is incompatible with them. There are many counter-examples to show that he gets on well with younger people.
Grooming Dachshunds is easy, no matter what type they are. It is sufficient to comb the short coat once or twice a week. Many people do this with suede, which makes them look even more glamorous. Even long hairs should be combed a few times a week. The Wire-Haired version is even less troublesome. Ears and eyes should be checked and cleaned regularly. Claws should be trimmed from time to time if they become too long.
Common health problems
A characteristic disease of the breed is the Dachshund paralysis. Because of his long stature, this can be a common problem, but it also occurs in other small dogs. This is why care should be taken to ensure that the animal does not walk too much, as this can be very damaging to its spine and can cause serious problems later on. It follows that it is also worth paying attention to weight.