The Dachshund, pronounced “dak -sund” also known as the Sausage Dog or Weiner Dog, is a small dog, with short legs and a long body. The name Dachshund is of German orient and means “Badger Dog”.
Dachshunds originated in Germany and were used to hunt badgers and other burrowing animals like rabbits. Their short legs, long snouts and deep chests enabled them to run fast, and have plenty of stamina whilst hunting. Dachshunds also have quite loose skin, to ensure that they didn’t tear their skin whilst tunnelling in constricted burrows.
Dachshunds come in three different sizes, standard, miniature and rabbit, however the “rabbit” size is not recognised in some countries. They have three different types of coats, the shorthaired, longhaired or wirehaired. The Dachshunds coats come in many different colours, 15 to be exact! Some of them are Red, Black & Tan, Chocolate, Dapple, Sable and Fawn to name a few.
The first sign of a Dachshund traces all the way back to ancient Egypt where there have been etchings found of short legged hunting dogs, and up until recently when this was just a myth, there have now been mummified Dachshund like dogs found in burial urns.
Dachshunds are a traditionally viewed as the symbol of Germany, and were frequently used in propaganda during WWI and WWII, causing their popularity to drop dramatically. In 1972 at the Munich Games, the Dachshund became the first ever Olympic Mascot, his name was Waldi, and the route for the marathon event was even designed to resemble Waldi.
Health wise, the Dachshund are prone to back injuries due to their long spine and short ribcage. Dachshunds should not jump on and off furniture and their weight should be well maintained to ensure that these injuries are less likely to occur.
Dachshunds are lovely, loyal dogs, they are playful but can at times be known to be stubborn, and can be known to be aggressive towards strangers. Despite their small stature they are very courageous and will take on animals that are much bigger than they are! A Dachshund owner needs to be firm and persistent when it comes to their training.
Dachshunds are recommended for families with older children, who can assist in the training and keeping the “pack mentality” going. With the correct leadership they will get along well with children and other pets.
If you think a Dachshund would make the perfect pet for you and your family, you will not regret it, they are truly wonderful companions.