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This breed originated in Germany and the name translated means Badger-Dog, it belongs to the dog family of hounds.

Some enthusiasts of the breed have been of the theory that this is the oldest known breed of dog and can be traced back thirty-five centuries. This is due to replicas of small dogs of Dachshund type that appear on the monuments of two of the kings of Ancient Egypt. In fact this breed unmistakably appears later on 16 century wood cuts.

The first types that emerged were the standard sized black smooth haired, followed later by the standard wire haired dog.

The breed comes in three sizes and three hair types, namely: standard, miniature and toy. In Australia the toy size is included with the miniature. The coat can be, smooth, long or wire-haired. So any size can come in any hair type or colour. The colouring of the coat can be black, tan (red) and chocolate or now dabble with virtually any colour.

Shoulder height of an average sized standard dog is about 25cm and body length should be about 2-3 times shoulder height without tail. Ideally, weight of a male should be about 12kg with the female a little lighter. The overall appearance should be long, low and graceful.

For a while there were discussions on wether to call this dog a Terrier or a Hound as its dormant aggressiveness pertains more to a Terrier. On a good hound the elbows of the front legs should neither be turned out or in but the large paws should slightly face outwards for digging. The hind legs should be straight. The chest should be large and deep, with a prominent chest bone to provide a bark that sounds like that of a much larger dog. To derive at a reasonable body weight and size and yet allow the animal go to ground, short muscular legs and a long muscular body have been the result. All these characteristics are intentionally bred in to make the Dachshund a match for the Badger, which, for its size and weight is the most aggressive fighter in the animal world.


The Dachshund makes a lovely clean pet that sheds relatively little hair if of the smooth haired type. The miniature types can be very yappy and breeders often debark them though this is illegal in some states. All sizes can be aggressive at times and embarrassing; not showing any fear they go up to a German Shepherd dog and bark at it, not realising the consequences. They are loyal and attach themselves easily to all members of a family however at times they show selective hearing loss, as do some other breeds. They can be easily trained if the correct methods are adopted.

Health Issues
Because of the long back, spinal problems are the most common health issues. Especially the longer bodied standard size dogs are susceptible. It is said that if an animal goes past the age of six, the danger of spinal complications is diminished. The author of this article has had nine standard smooth Dachshunds and four of them developed severe spinal problems. One died with kidney failure, one died of a brain tumour, one died of heart failure and one had Cushings disease for several years. As is apparent this breed can attract a variety of diseases not unlike humans.

They should not be allowed to run up and down stairs or jump over obstacles and not partake in exercise that involve excess bending of their bodies.

Depending on area, heartworm prevention should be added to the usual veterinary prescribed and applied medication.

Flea collars are effective but some hounds are allergic to them and exhibit watering of the eyes or scratching as a sign that they are.

Some flea powders or other cleaning materials may cause allergies to some animals and it is up to the owner to take note of any unusual after effects when such matter is applied. A quick visit to the veterinary clinic is the best solution in these circumstances.

Lifestyle Suitability
This breed is suitable for families with small children to seniors that are not very active, just about for anybody. They attach themselves to all members of the family and adjust to the lifestyle of their adopted clan. Although they like a small yard to run around in and dig, they can be equally at home on ones lap in a flat or on an extended 20 km hike in the bush. One has to consider the logical limits of restrictions to exercise, similar as for any other small breed.

The shorthaired versions are of course the easiest to maintain. An occasional brush with a "hound glove" and an occasional bath is all that is needed. The longhaired hound has to be brushed with a wire brush at least once a week to prevent a matting or knotting of the coat. If the hound is taken for walks on hart surfaces the nails are worn down automatically otherwise they have to be clipped as necessary, in particular the dew nail on the inside of the forelegs.

Sometimes during a walk, after the hound rolls in some manure or other decayed matter in the hope of changing his own odour; a complete bath with dog shampoo is necessary to eliminate the bad smell. The ears, eyes and also the insides of the mouth are exposed to the ingress of grass seeds. A shacking of the head or carrying the head side up can indicate a foreign body in the ear. Regardless, the ears should be checked regularly as they can get very dirty with the hound being so close to the ground. This can be done by careful application of cotton buds.
Although they usually do not like it, teeth my need to be cleaned by brushing with a toothbrush and canine tooth paste or salty water.

Puppies can we very destructive, partly because of their abundant energy and should only be fed the appropriately formulated dog food. To do otherwise can cause the pup to develop a kind of hyperactive reaction.

Sardines or other fish in olive oil, given once a week will give all dogs a good healthy thick and shiny coat. A regular diet of a small cup of dry biscuits, a spoon of canned dog food and a chicken neck with some vegetable leftovers make a good balanced and interesting meal for an adult dog.

Dachshunds usually devour their food and should be fed separately if in a group so that none miss out and others become obese.

The feeding dishes should be well cleaned after each meal.

If not sleeping inside in a basket the outside kennel should be dry, off the ground without draft and weather tight. A series of old blankets or rags make the hound more comfortable and keep him warm. To prevent fleas from breeding in them, these blankets or rags should be aired frequently and if necessary sprinkled with flea powder.

Further Information
  Books - Dachshund Pet Love
  Books - Dachshund A New Owners Guide

Frank Pirchmoser

Last Update: 27/03/07 16:36 Views: 4556

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