is a short-legged, elongated
, of the hound
family. The standard size was developed to
, and flush badgers
other burrow-dwelling animals, while the miniature was developed to
hunt smaller prey, like rabbits.
The name "dachshund" is of German
origin and literally means "badger dog", from Dachs
("badger") and Hund
("dog"). The pronunciation varies
widely in English: variations of the first syllable /ˈdɑːks/,
/ˈdæks/ and /ˈdæʃ/, and of the second syllable /hʊnt/, /hʊnd/ and
/ənd/. In German it is pronounced . Because of their long, narrow
build, they are sometimes nicknamed hot dog dog
or sausage dog
Notwithstanding the German origin of the breed's name, the modern
German-language has a nickname for the dachshund as well:
([ˈdakəl]). In the case of the
formally certified hunting and tracking rank, the name
([ˈtɛkəl]) is used.
While classified in the hound group or scent hound group in the
United States and Great Britain, there are some who consider this
classification to be arguable, speculating that it arose from the
fact that the word Hund
is similar to the English word
- and the word "Dachshund" has even been both
pronounced and translated, albeit incorrectly, as "Dash Hound".
Many dachshunds, especially the wire-haired subtype, may exhibit
behavior and appearance that are similar to that of the terrier
group of dogs. An argument can be made for
the scent (or hound) group classification because the breed was
developed to utilize scent to trail and hunt animals, and probably
descended from scent hounds, such as bloodhounds
, pointers, Basset Hounds
, or even Bruno Jura Hounds
; but with the dogged and
persistent personality and love for digging that probably developed
from the terrier, it can also be argued that they could belong in
the terrier, or "earth dog", group. In the Fédération
(World Canine Federation), or FCI,
the dachshund is actually in its own group, Group 4, which is the
dachshund group. Part of the controversy is due to the fact that
the dachshund is the only certifiable breed of dog to hunt both
above and below ground.
The typical dachshund is long-bodied and muscular, with short and
stubby legs. Its paws are unusually large and paddle-shaped, for
efficient digging. It has skin that is loose enough not to tear
while tunnelling in tight burrows to chase prey. The dachshund has
a deep chest to allow enough lung capacity to keep going when
hunting. Its snout
is long with an increased
nose area that absorbs odours.
There are three types, classified by their coats: short-haired,
called "smooth"; long-haired; and wire-haired.
Dachshunds come in three sizes: standard, miniature, and
, which means rabbit
. Although the
standard and miniature sizes are recognized almost universally, the
rabbit size is not recognized by clubs in the United States and the
United Kingdom, but is recognized by all of the clubs within the
(FCI), which contain kennel clubs
from 83 countries all over the world.
A full-grown standard dachshund averages to , while the miniature
variety normally weighs less than . The kaninchen weighs to .
According to kennel club standards, the miniature (and kaninchen,
where recognized) differs from the full-size only by size and
weight, thus offspring from miniature parents must never weigh more
than the miniature standard to be considered a miniature as well.
While many kennel club size divisions use weight for
classification, such as the American Kennel Club, other kennel club
standards determine the difference between the miniature and
standard by chest circumference; some kennel clubs, such as in
Germany, even measure chest circumference in addition to height and
said that "A dachshund is a
half-dog high and a dog-and-a-half long," although they have been
referred to as "two dogs long". This characteristic has led them to
be quite a recognizable breed, and they are featured in many a joke
and cartoon, particularly The Far
by Gary Larson
Coat and color
Black and tan double dapple
smooth-haired miniature dachshund with one blue eye and one brown
Dachshunds exhibit three coat varieties: smooth coat (short hair),
long hair, and wire-hair. Wire hair is the least commonly seen coat
in the US (it is the most common in Germany) and the most recent
coat to appear in breeding standards.
Dachshunds have a wide variety of colors and patterns. They can be
single-colored, single colored with spots ("dappled"-called
" in other dog
breeds), and single-colored with tan points plus any pattern.
Dachshunds also come in Piebald
. The piebald
has a white background with various shades of brown. The dominant
color is red, the most common along with black and tan. Two-colored
dogs can be black, wild boar, chocolate, or fawn ("Isabella") with
tan "points", or markings over the eyes, ears, paws, and tail, of
tan or cream. A two-colored dachshund would be called by its
dominant color first followed by the point color, such as "black
and tan" or "chocolate and cream". Other patterns include piebald,
in which a white pattern is imposed upon the base color or any
other pattern, and a lighter "boar" red. The reds range from
coppers to deep rusts, with or without somewhat common black hairs
peppered along the back, tail, face, and ear edges, lending much
character and an almost burnished appearance; this is referred to
among breeders and enthusiasts as a "stag" or an "overlay" or
"sable". True sable is a dachshund with each single hair banded
with three colors: light at the base of the hair, red in the
middle, black at the end. An additional, striking coat marking is
the brindle pattern. "Brindle" refers to dark stripes over a solid
background, usually red; if a dachshund is brindled on a dark coat
and has tan points, you will see brindling on the tan points only.
Even one single, lone stripe of brindle is brindle. If a dachshund
has one single spot of dapple, it is a dapple.
Solid black and solid chocolate dachshunds occur and, even though
dogs with such coloration are often considered handsome, the colors
are nonstandard, that is, the dogs are frowned upon in the
conformation ring in the US and Canada. Chocolate is commonly
confused with dilute red. Additionally, according to the
conformation judges of the Dachshund Club of America (DCA) and the
American Kennel Club
piebald pattern is nonstandard. However, The Piebald dachshund can
still be shown, the only disqualifying Fault in Dachshunds is
Knuckling over. While some judges choose to dismiss a dog of color,
many choose to judge them and those who are actually judging the
dog will look past the cosmetic color of a dog and judge the
conformation of the dog first. There were several Piebald
dachshunds that became AKC Champions in 2008. All things being
equal between the dogs in the ring, the traditional colors which
are listed in the Official AKC Standard (governed by DCA) should be
Light-colored dachshunds can sport amber, light brown, or green
eyes; however, kennel club standards state that the darker the eye
color, the better. They can also have eyes of two different colors;
however, this is only found in dapple and double dapple dachshunds.
Dachshunds can have a blue and a brown eye. Blue eyes, partially
blue eyes, or a blue eye and a brown eye are called "wall"
coloring, not considered a non-desirable trait in kennel club
standards. Dappled eyes are also possible. The standard was changed
by the DCA in 2007 to exclude the wording double-dapple from the
standard and strictly use the wording dapple. The reason is that
the double merle gene is linked to blindness and deafness. Wall-eye
is permissible. Piebald-patterned dachshunds will never have blue
in their eyes, unless the dapple pattern is present.
A long-haired standard dachshund
Dachshunds are playful, known for their propensity for chasing
small animals, birds, and tennis balls with great determination and
ferocity. Many dachshunds are stubborn, making them a challenge to
train. Several quotes have been recorded regarding the training of
dachshunds; one is from E. B. White
"Being the owner of dachshunds, to me a book on dog
discipline becomes a volume of inspired humor.
Every sentence is a riot.
Some day, if I ever get a chance, I shall write a book,
or warning, on the character and temperament of the dachshund and
why he can't be trained and shouldn't be.
I would rather train a striped zebra to balance an
Indian club than induce a dachshund to heed my slightest
When I address Fred I never have to raise either my
voice or my hopes.
He even disobeys me when I instruct him in something he
wants to do."
They have a loud bark and without proper training they can become
nuisance barkers. Dachshunds are known for their devotion and
loyalty to their owners, though they can be standoffish towards
strangers. If left alone, many dachshunds will whine until they
have companionship. Like many dogs if left alone too frequently,
some dachshunds are prone to separation anxiety
and may chew
objects in the house to relieve stress. They rank 49th in Stanley Coren
's Intelligence of Dogs
, being of
average working and obedience intelligence. The dachshund will, in
some cases, show above-average intelligence, being able to break
out of improperly made cages or figuring out how to get their
favorite blanket out of a basket.
Dachshunds can be difficult to housebreak, and patience and
consistency is often needed in this endeavor.
A long-haired dachshund with
According to the American Kennel Club’s breed standards, "the
dachshund is clever, lively and courageous to the point of
rashness, persevering in above and below ground work, with all the
senses well-developed. Any display of shyness is a serious fault."
Their temperament and body language give the impression that they
do not know or care about their relatively small size. Like many
small hunting dogs, they will challenge a larger dog. Indulged
dachshunds may become snappy or extremely obstinate.
Many dachshunds do not like unfamiliar people, and many will growl
or bark at them. Although the dachshund is generally an energetic
dog, some are sedate. This dog's behavior is such that it is not
the dog for everyone. A bored dachshund will become destructive. If
raised improperly and not socialized at a young age, dachshunds can
become aggressive or fearful. They require a caring owner who
understands their need for entertainment and exercise.
Although some might say Dachshunds may not be the best pets for
small children, like any dog they need the proper introduction at a
young age. Well trained Dachshunds and well behaved children
usually get along fine. Otherwise, they may be aggressive and bite
an unfamiliar child, especially one that moves quickly around them
or teases them. However, many Dachshunds are very tolerant and
loyal to children within their family, but these children should be
mindful of the vulnerability of the breed's back and not carry them
A 2008 University of Pennsylvania study of 6,000 dog owners who
were interviewed indicated that dogs of smaller breeds were more
likely to be "genetically predisposed towards aggressive
behaviour". Dachshunds were rated the most aggressive, with 20%
having bitten strangers, as well as high rates of attacks on other
dogs and their owners. The study noted that attacks by small dogs
were unlikely to cause serious injuries and because of this were
A parti-colored longhaired
The breed is known to have spinal problems, especially intervertebral disk disease
(IVDD), due in part to an extremely long spinal column
and short rib cage. The risk
of injury may be worsened by obesity
jumping, rough handling, or intense exercise, which place greater
strain on the vertebrae
Treatment consists of various combinations of crate confinement and
courses of anti-inflammatory medications (steroids and
non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs like carprofen and
meloxicam), or chronic pain medications, like tramadol
. Serious cases may require surgery to
remove the troublesome disk contents. A dog may need the aid of a
cart to get around if paralysis occurs.
minimally invasive procedure called "percutaneous laser disk
ablation" has been developed at the Oklahoma State University Veterinary
Originally, the procedure was used in
clinical trials only on dachshunds that had suffered previous back
incidents. Since dachshunds are prone to back issues, the goal is
to expand this treatment to dogs in a normal population.
In addition to back problems, the breed is also prone to patellar luxation
which is where the
kneecap can become dislodged.
In some double dapples, there are varying degrees of vision and
hearing loss, including reduced or absent eyes. Not all double
dapples have problems with their eyes and/or ears, which may
include degrees of hearing loss, full deafness, malformed ears,
congenital eye defects, reduced or absent eyes, partial or full
blindness, or varying degrees of both vision and hearing problems;
but heightened problems can occur due to the genetic process in
which two dapple genes cross, particularly in certain breeding
lines. Dapple genes, which are dominant genes, are considered
"dilution" genes, meaning whatever color the dog would have
originally carried is lightened, or diluted, randomly; two dominant
"dilution" genes can cancel each other out, or "cross", removing
all color and producing a white recessive gene, essentially a white
mutation. When this happens genetically within the eyes or ears,
this white mutation can be lethal to their development, causing
hearing or vision problems.
Other dachshund health problems include hereditary epilepsy
, dental issues, Cushing's syndrome
problems, various allergies
various eye conditions including cataracts
, progressive retinal atrophy
corneal ulcers, nonucerative corneal disease, sudden acquired retinal
, and cherry eye
the occurrence and severity of these health problems is largely
hereditary, breeders are working to eliminate these
Some writers and dachshund experts have theorized that the early
roots of the dachshund go back to ancient
, where engravings were made featuring short-legged
hunting dogs. Recent discoveries by the American University in Cairo
dachshund-like dogs from
ancient Egyptian burial urns may lend credibility to this theory.
modern incarnation, the dachshund is a creation of German breeders and includes elements of German, French, and
English hounds and terriers.
Dachshunds have been kept by royal courts all over Europe,
including that of Queen
, who was particularly enamored of the breed. They were
originally bred for hunting badgers by trailing by scent.
The first verifiable references to the dachshund, originally named
the "Dachs Kriecher
" ("badger crawler") or
" ("badger warrior"), came from
books written in the early 1700s.Prior to that, there exist
references to "badger dogs" and "hole dogs", but these likely refer
to purposes rather than to specific breeds. The original German
dachshunds were larger than the modern full-size variety, weighing
between , and originally came in straight-legged and crook-legged
varieties (the modern dachshund is descended from the latter).
Though the breed is famous for its use in exterminating badgers and
, dachshunds were also
commonly used for rabbit
hunting, for locating wounded deer
, and in packs were known to hunt game as large as
and as fierce as the wolverine
There are huge differences of opinion as to when dachshunds were
specifically bred for their purpose of badger hunting, as the
American Kennel Club states the dachshund was bred in the 15th
century, while the Dachshund Club of America states that foresters
bred the dogs in the 18th or 19th century.
Dachshund circa 1915
Double-dapple dachshunds, which are prone to eye disease,
blindness, or hearing problems, are generally believed to have been
introduced to the United States between 1879 and 1885.
The flap-down ears and famous curved tail of the dachshund have
deliberately been bred into the dog. In the case of the ears, this
is so that grass seeds, dirt, and other matter do not enter the
. The curved tail is
dual-purposed: to be seen more easily in long grass and, in the
case of burrowing dachshunds, to help haul the dog out if it
becomes stuck in a burrow.The smooth-haired dachshund, the oldest
style, may be a cross between the German Shorthaired Pointer
, and a Bracke (a type of bloodhound
), or to have been produced by crossing
a short Bruno Jura Hound
pinscher. Others believe it was a cross from a miniature French
pointer and a pinscher; others claim that is was developed from the
St. Hubert Hound
, also a bloodhound, in
the 1700s, and still others believe that they were descended from
, based upon their scent
abilities and general appearance.
What is clear, however, is that no one seems to know for sure.
According to William Loeffler, from The American Book of the
, in the chapter on Dachshunds:"The origin of
the Dachshund is in doubt, our best authorities disagreeing as to
the beginning of the breed."
What can be agreed on, however,
is that the short haired dachshund gave rise to both the
long-haired and the wire-haired varieties.
There are two theories regarding how the standard longhair
dachshund came about. One theory is that smooth Dachshunds would
occasionally produce puppies which had slightly longer hair than
their parents. By selectively breeding these animals, breeders
eventually produced a dog which consistently produced longhair
offspring, and the longhair dachshund was born. Another theory is
that the standard longhair dachshund was developed by breeding
smooth dachshunds with various land and water spaniels. The
long-haired dachshund may be a cross among any of the small dog
breeds in the spaniel group, including the German Stoberhund
, and the smooth-haired
The wire-haired dachshund, the last to develop, was created in late
nineteenth century. There is a possibility the wire-haired
dachshund was a cross between the smooth dachshund and various
hard-coated terriers and wire-haired pinschers, such as the
, the Dandie Dinmont Terrier
, the German Wirehaired Pointer
perhaps the Scottish Terrier
Symbol of Germany
Dachshunds have traditionally been viewed as a symbol of Germany.
Political cartoonists commonly used the
image of the dachshund to ridicule Germany.
World War I the dachshunds' popularity
in the United States plummeted because of this association and
there are even anecdotes such as a Dachshund being stoned to death
on the high street of Berkhamsted, England at this time
because of its association with the enemy.
The stigma of the
association was revived to a lesser extent during World War II
, though it was comparatively
short-lived. German Field Marshal Erwin
was known for keeping dachshunds.
Due to the association of the breed with Germany, the dachshund was
chosen to be the first official mascot
the 1972 Summer Olympics
Munich, with the name Waldi
A wire-haired dachshund at
Some people train and enter their dachshund to compete in dachshund racing
, such as the Wiener Nationals
. Several races across
the United States routinely draw several thousand attendees,
including races in Buda,
Texas; Davis, California; Phoenix,
Arizona; Los Alamitos, California; Findlay,
Ohio; Milwaukee, Wisconsin; Oklahoma
City, Oklahoma; Kansas City, Kansas; Palo Alto, California; and Shakopee, Minnesota. There is also an annual dachshund run in
Kennywood, located in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, called the Wiener 100, and in Huntington,
West Virginia called the Dachshund Dash.
popularity of these events, the Dachshund Club of America opposes
"wiener racing", as many greyhound tracks use the events to draw
large crowds to their facilities. The DCA is also worried about
potential injuries to dogs, due to their predisposition to back
injuries. Another favorite sport is earthdog trials
, in which dachshunds enter
tunnels with dead ends and obstacles attempting to locate an
artificial bait or live but caged and protected rats.
Dackel versus Teckel
In Germany, dachshunds are widely called Dackel
singular and plural). To be classified as a full Teckel
these dogs must undergo blood tracking tests. Classically, any dog
heritage is given an official tattoo upon one
ear. After suitable training, the dog must then follow a blood
trail that is at least 48 hours old successfully to its conclusion.
Once this is completed, another tattoo is marked on the other ear
to denote full Teckel
tattooed or not, are bred for hunting purposes, and they tend to be
visibly larger in their chests than their Dackel
counterparts, though marginally shorter in length.
Dachshunds are popular pets in the United States, ranking seventh
in the 2008 AKC registration statistics. They are popular with
urban and apartment dwellers, ranking among the top ten most
popular breeds in 76 of 190 major US cities surveyed by the AKC.
One will find varying degrees of organized local dachshund clubs in
most major American cities, including New York, New Orleans, Los
Angeles, and Chicago. The breed is popular in Germany, Austria, France, Switzerland, Hungary, Poland, the
Republic, Slovakia, Chile, Brazil, and
Dachshunds are famous for their peculiar
size, body, and face.
Famous Dachshunds and owners
- William Randolph Hearst
was an avid lover of dachshunds. When his own dachshund Helena
died, he eulogized her in his "In The News" column.
- Fred, E.B. White's dachshund, appeared in many of his famous
- Lola bean is a black dachshund that has starred in many motion
pictures, but is much more notably known for her vast awards and
honors she has received for being one of the first dachshunds to
function as a seeing eye dog.
- Lump, the pet of Pablo Picasso,
who was thought to have inspired some of his artwork. (Pronounced:
loomp; German for "Rascal") Picasso & Lump: A
Dachshund's Odyssey tells the story of Picasso and Lump.
- Kevin Smith has a dachshund named
- Jack Ruby, the killer of Lee Harvey Oswald, had a dachshund named
Sheba who he often referred to as his wife. At the time he
committed his infamous murder, he had four of them - although he'd
had as many as ten.
- Andy Warhol had a pair of
dachshunds, Archie and Amos, whom he depicted in his paintings and
mentioned frequently in his diaries.
- Stanley and Boodgie, immortalized on canvas by owner David Hockney, and published in the book
David Hockney's Dog Days.
- Wadl and Hexl, Kaiser
Wilhelm II's famous ferocious pair. Upon arriving at
Archduke Franz Ferdinand's
country seat, château Konopiště, on a semi-official visit, they promptly proceeded
to do away with one of the Austro-Hungarian heir presumptive's priceless golden
pheasants, thereby almost causing an
Kaiser Wilhelm II's
companion during World War I and his exile to Huis Doorn. Senta died in 1927 at age 20 and is buried
in the park of Huis Doorn, near the Kaiser's grave.
- Dinah the Dachshund
- Joe, owned by General Claire
Lee Chennault and the mascot of Chennault's Flying Tigers of World War II.
- Queen Margrethe II of Denmark and her husband owns and has
owned a large array of dachshunds, both smooth- and
- Harry Mulisch, one of the three
famous Dutch postwar writers, owns a dachshund. He once said his
dog is more intelligent than a lot of people.
- Japanese singer Namie Amuro owns two
Miniature Long-haired Dachshund, named Koto and Gat-chan.
- Former Secretary of Defense Donald
Rumsfeld was asked, in 2003, whether he has duct tape, plastic
sheeting, and a three-day supply of bottled water at home. He
replied, "I would like to say I did. I don't believe we do. But I
do have a miniature dachshund named Reggie who looks out for
- Jepha Howard from The Used has
a Long Haired Miniature named Zelda
Zelenogorsk, Russia, is a
dachshund monument near which passes a parade of dachshunds on City
Day, July 25.
Dachshunds in fiction
- A collection of Gary Larson's
Far Side cartoons was published in
the 1990 book Wiener Dog Art. A special section was
inserted that chronicled the presence and influence of dachshunds
throughout the history of art.
- Howie in the Bunnicula books
- Hot Dog in Krypto the
- Schatzi (German for "little treasure") in That '70s Show
- Itchy Itchiford in All
Dogs Go to Heaven
- Boots in Emergency!
- Dennis the Dachshund, a German sausage dog in the BBC's Children's Hour
radio serial Toy Town, a scheming ne'er do well who spoke English
with a German accent.
- Little Dog in 2 Stupid
- Slinky in
Toy Story and Toy Story 2
- Buster in Toy Story 2
- Wiener Dog, the name of Norm Henderson's dachshund on
The Norm Show
- Mr. Weenie in Open
Season and Open Season
- Jorge in Clifford's Puppy
- Pretzel in Pretzel by
H.A. and Margret
- Hundley in Curious
George by H.A. and Margaret Rey
- Weenie, the pet of Oswald the Octopus in Oswald
- Oscar, in the comic strip Liberty Meadows.
- Schnitzel von Krumm, in the Hairy
Maclary series of children's picture books by Lynley Dodd.
- Danke and her three puppies Wilhelmina, Chloe, and Heidi in
The Ugly Dachshund
- Willie from the books by Ezra Jack
- Oliver in the anime series Ginga: Nagareboshi Gin
- Bodo in Hausmeister Krause (a German sitcom)
- Origami in Raising
- Fritz in National
Lampoon's Van Wilder: The Rise of Taj
- The children's book The
Hallo-Wiener by Dav Pilkey
- Rufus "The Red" (of Morehead, Kentucky). Credited for saving 4
children from a burning daycare in Kentucky. Has appeared on many
- Belle Constantine Chappy, [Katakana: ベルコンスタンティンチャピ－] the name
of the miniature dachshund owned by Japanese artist Gackt.
- In the early Mickey Mouse comics,
Mickey had a dachshund named Weenie.
- When Cap Toys resurrected Stretch
Armstrong in the 1990s, they also created Stretch's dog, a
dachshund named Fetch Armstrong.
- Shadow and Duke from the Shadow Adventures by Mavis Duke
- Petey from Searching For A Starry Night by Christine
- Schultzie from Lady and the
Tramp trying to tunnel out the Dog Pound while the dog
- Cheerio from Hank
- Wally - the dachshund in the Drabble comic
- Blitzkrieg (lightning war), a mean Dachshund from The Suite Life of Zack &
Cody that belongs to Mr. Moseby's
- Marv's dog Sizzles on the children's TV show Charlie and Lola.
- In the film comedy Mon Oncle
a dachshund unwittingly locks his owners in the garage.
- In the comedy "Hitch" Will Smith uses a red, long-haired
Dachshund to lure a pet of a woman, a smooth tan Doxie, into the
street, so his client will look like a hero and meet the girl.