History and origin of dachshund
Nobody can question the popularity of Dachshund in Germany, France, United States and many other countries. Dachshund breed came into being many centuries ago. It was around 17th century when a group of hunters in Germany came with the idea of breeding a courageous and intelligent dog with short legs, long body that is strong enough to work even down the burrow. The target is the badger. Ancient German foresters had hard time with the badgers. Badgers are nasty creatures of around twenty to forty pounds having its den underground. What the foresters want was a dog capable of fighting those badgers to death. That is why Dachshund came into being.
Literally, Dachshund means “badger dog”. Dach is a German word meaning badger and Hund meaning dog. Dachshunds are also called wiener dog, hot dog or sausage dog because of their long and narrow build. They are also known as Dackel or Teckel in Germany.
Modern Dachshund popular today is a mixture of German, French and English hounds and terriers. Formal breeding program was started way back in 17th century. It is said that smooth-haired Teckel was created out of a small pointer type called French Braque and Pinscher. Then during the French Revolution in the late 18th century, France’ upper class went to Germany for escape. Taking with them their pets gave way to the crossing of German Teckel and French Bassets. The offspring of this mix called Dachsbracke if they have long legs and Dachshunds if they have short legs, short ears and pointed muzzle.
It was between the year 1879 and 1885 when Dachshund was first introduced in the United States. Dachshunds are classified into two varieties; the smooth-coated and longhaired varieties. Another variety, the wirehaired Dachshund was recently added. Dachshunds are also grouped into two sizes; the Miniature and the Standard. Miniature Dachshund weighs less than eleven pounds and the latter weighs between eighteen to twenty pounds. In Germany, another size was added, Kaninchenteckel, based on the chest measurement taken at fifteen months of age.
World War I was a disaster for Dachshunds. There was a decrease in the number of this breed because during those years, anything that has something to do with German was being hated. They were oftentimes the victims of those hatred. Good thing they have great skills and irresistible charm, the number was increased and became popular once more.
Though originally developed to hunt badgers, Dachshunds are popular pets too! In the United States, they ranked 6th in the most recent AKC registration statistics, with the standard smooth-haired as the most popular.
Dachshunds are also good in hunting fox and rabbit and good in tracking wounded deer. Dachshund in packs can also hunt wild boar.