The Dachshund dog breed

The history of the dachshund is very ancient, even in an ancient Neolithic cave have been found remains of bones presumably of very small and particularly low dogs. Some believe that the first dachshunds were Egyptians, as archaeological findings have brought to light paintings dating back to 2300 B.C. depicting a short-legged dog with an elongated body, but with straight ears.

The ancestors of the dachshund could have appeared during the Middle Ages in Germany, a period in which they were appreciated for their qualities as hunting dogs, especially for their burrowing.  They then spread to England because of the union between Prince Albert of Saxony and Queen Victoria; the prince in fact brought some dachshunds to England and Queen Victoria fell in love with them.  Her unconditional love guaranteed the spreading of the dachshund in the rest of the kingdom.

As far as modern history is concerned, it seems that today’s dachshund derives from the dachsbracke, a dog with short hair and short legs that has been widespread since the Middle Ages in Rhineland, Saxony, Westphalia, Switzerland and Tyrol. Recently we find the first real breedings in Bavaria.  Since then the dachshund has become a true symbol of Germany, so much so that it was adopted as the official mascot of the 1972 Olympic Games, held in Munich.

The first variety of Dachshunds known in history is the shaved-haired one, while the long-haired and hard-haired or strong-haired varieties were born from the crossbreeding of the shaved-haired variety with other breeds.

The breed considered recent, (18th and 19th centuries) has among its ancestors the German Dachshund and the Pinscher. The shaved-haired version of the dachshund is older, while the long haired one was created in the 16th century through crosses with spaniels. Finally, the hard-coat, created towards the end of the 19th century, is the result of a cross between the schnauzer, the dandie dinmont terrier and probably the scottish terrier.

The dachshund has been bred, for decades, in three different sizes (normal, dwarf and kaninchen) and in three different types of hair (short, hard and long).

At the base of the dwarfism of the dachshund there is a pathological malformation, probably chondrodystrophy, a disease that inhibits the development of long bones by preventing the proliferation of cartilage in growth, and this is probably the origin of this breed, unlike what has happened to all the others, where it was human selection to introduce substantial changes.

Dachshund dog breed character

The Dachshund is a dog of great company, now more and more is bred as an apartment dog and family. Very attached to the owner and always attentive to all family activities.

It is not very suitable as a first dog because its training is not the easiest. It is a docile dog, but stubborn, affectionate but loving of its autonomy and its nature of hunter could lead him to move away, so it is good to educate him from puppyhood. Educate him both to obedience and socialization.  Both the male and the female have a strong tendency to be dominant and very inclined to protect what they consider their territory. So a good education from the first months is very important because there are no problems with strangers, such as neighbors or friends.  And always an early socialization makes sure that he doesn’t get into fights with other dogs, even if they are much bigger than him. It doesn’t get along well with children either. Well trained Dachshunds and well-behaved children are usually fine.  Otherwise, they may be aggressive and bite an unfamiliar child, especially one that moves quickly around them or teases them.

.Being a hunter, the dachshund is especially energetic and prone to movement, so the owner will need to pay special attention to physical activity. It is not a lazy dog dedicated to relaxation, it is always on the move and loves being outdoors. This breed is very noisy and its barking should be taken into account for good relations with the neighborhood.

If he has too solitary a life he can get to develop erratic behaviors. It is not a dog that is suitable to be alone for a long time, it could make disasters in the house or in the garden.

Dachshund dog breed appearance

The Dachshund is a short dog with very short and elongated limbs. Its figure is compact, has a proud bearing of the head and is very muscular. There is no distinction between dachshunds based on weight, but the measurement of chest circumference is taken into account and there are 3 sizes: normal size with a chest circumference of more than 35 centimeters and a maximum weight of 9 kilograms. The dwarf dachshund with a chest circumference between 30 and 35 centimeters and a weight of less than 7 kilograms.  The kaninchen dachshund which has a circumference of up to 30 centimeters and a weight of around 4 kilograms.

The skull is rather flat, with a very light stop. The head is tapered and is softened by very expressive dark oval eyes. The ears are low hanging and fall at the height of the shoulder blade. The tail is attached high in the shape of a comma.

The coat of the dachshund has 3 types of hair: short-haired, long-haired and hard-haired. A short hair is smooth, shiny and color is fawn, fawn-yellow or yellow in subjects with a single color. It can also be harlequin. Long-haired, it is fiery black, mahogany or even harlequin, and also has a rather thick undercoat.  Hard haired, wheat blond, chocolate, black and the coat is very thick and hard to the touch.

The most common breeds are short-haired and hard-haired, the latter is widely used in hunting, both in the den and for hare and wild boar.

Care and health of the Dachshund dog breed

The Dachshund generally enjoys good health and has a life expectancy of about 15 years. It can suffer from dysplasia of the patella and herniated discs.  In fact it is good to avoid too many jumps from the bed or the sofa to avoid trauma to the spine. Being short, it fears the humidity of the soil and tends to suffer the cold, so it should not be left outside in winter and when the weather is bad.

The dachshund could gain weight if its diet is not balanced with physical exercise, which must be daily.

As far as the care of the coat is concerned, it is not complicated, only for the long-haired variety it is necessary to comb the coat regularly, while for the other types it is advisable to have them sheared twice a year by a professional. Hair loss is moderate but permanent.

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