- Short-legged dogs have been known since ancient times, but the beginnings of the Dachshund aren't clear. The first recorded history of them was in the 1700s, in Germany, where they were used mostly for hunting badgers underground.
- By the early 1800s smooth, wire, and longhaired Dachshunds were recorded.
- In 1839, Prince Albert married Queen Victoria, bringing Dachshunds to England with him.
- In 1870, the first recorded Dachshunds arrived in America.
- In 1885, the AKC registered its first Dachshund, named Dash.
- When World War I broke out, Dachshunds became unpopular in America because of their association with Germany. In 1919, the AKC changed the breed's name to Badger Dog in an attempt to distance it from Germany. They changed it back in 1923.
- Only 23 Dachshunds were registered in 1923. By 1930, they had moved up to become the 28th most popular breed, and by 1940, the 6th most popular. They have remained among the most popular breeds in America since.
- The Dachshund comes in three varieties: smooth, long, and wire coats, of which the smooth is the most popular. The varieties are shown separately but may be interbred.
- The breed also comes in standard and miniature sizes. In most countries they are also shown as separate varieties, but the AKC does not divide them by size.
Dachshund Behavior Concerns
- Makes both a devoted lap dog and saucy playmate.
- Fairly playful with family children, but children must be supervised because they could easily hurt a miniature Dachshund.
- Tends to be a one-person, or at most, one-family dog.
- Reserved, even suspicious, toward strangers.
- Fairly good with other dogs and pets.
- Tends to be independent, curious and bold, so care must be taken to prevent wandering and exploring.
- Likes to hunt and dig.
- Some bark a lot.
- Learns quickly, but tends to have a stubborn streak.
- Does not do well with force-based training methods, but is very good with reward-based training involving food.
Dachshund Suggested Exercises
- Makes a lively and alert housedog.
- Although many of its physical exercise needs can be met with indoor or backyard games, it still needs the mental stimulation of walking and sniffing on walks.
- A walk around the block once or twice daily will meet its outdoor needs, not counting bathroom breaks. Many Dachshunds can be trained to use indoor potty systems.
- Dog parks are not generally a good idea unless only small dogs are allowed together.
- Games and tricks provide needed mental exercise.
- Smooth Dachshunds hate the cold. Because of their small size and short coat, they lose body heat rapidly.
- Coat is short, soft, and glossy.
- Brushing once a week will remove dead hair.
- Shedding is below average.
Suggested Dachshund Nutritional Needs
- Dachshunds have a tendency to become obese.
- Adult dogs should be fed a balanced diet, with restricted calories if the dog starts to gain too much weight.
- Remember, it does not take much food to feed a small dog, and small snacks can easily add too many calories.