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Inside the breed: Dachshund

dachsDachshunds originated in Germany a few hundred years ago, they were bread to hunt badger. Dachs means badger and hund means dog in German.
Despite its small size, Dachshunds dare to go into burrows after martens and weasels. In the early 1900’s a smaller “mini” dachshund was bread to hunt for smaller hares. They have a cheerful nature and are widely popular as a companion, a watchdog and a family dog.
Dachshunds received the nick name “sausage dog”, “weiner dog” or “hotdog” after a cartoon by an American in the early 1900’s depicted this dog inside a hotdog bun.
They are classified into 2 sizes, the standard (15 to 30lbs and 8 to 11 inches tall) and the miniature (less than 12lbs and 6 to 9 inches tall). The dachshund has a body twice as long as its height. They are very low to the ground and have a very long body. This long body can lead to severe back issues. Their front paws are usually large and paddle-shaped, for extreme digging. They have a long pointy face with long pendant ears.
The coat comes in 3 variations: smooth, long and wire haired. They have a wide variety of colors and patterns. They can be single-colored, single-colored with spots “dappled”, and single-colored with tan points plus any pattern. Dachshunds also come in piebald (a white pattern is imposed upon the base color) and brindle. The dominant color is red, the most common along with black and tan. The smooth- haired Dachshund is easy to take care of with occasional baths and brushing, the long-haired need to be brushed daily, while wire-haired need to be professionally groomed. They need no special exercise, but mustn’t be allowed to jump off any high surfaces such as beds or chairs in order to avoid damaging their long back and short legs.

They are fairly trainable with patience and consistency but will always have a loud “voice” that makes them great guard dogs. Because of their personality and use as hunters of small animals there is some argument as to whether they should be a part of the terrier or hound group. Either way they are quite courageous and humorous, they are natural burrowers, they like to dig and chase, have lots of stamina and determination.

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This story was written by nora.vangenderen@alphagraphics.com

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