Is the Dachshund the right breed of dog for you?Popularly known as the Sausage dog, the Dachshund has been around for a long time: the earliest historical data suggests the 16th and 17th century. The stubby legged, and long-bodied pet that the lovers of this breed refer to as the 'Dachsie' is a scaled down model of a dog that was bred to hunt, follow underground, and finally kill badgers.
Tracking down the badger required the prowess of a hound, and the tenacity of a terrier when the eventual fight ensued, and this is probably the mix that was used to develop the modern day Dachsie.
Originating in Germany the word 'Dachs' means badgers, and Dachshund translates to 'badger dog'. Their German origin is very pronounced; so much so that a Dachsie named Waldi, became the mascot of the 1972 Munich Olympic Games.
Nowadays the Daxie has mutated in to six interchangeable variations from the original badger dog: there are three recognised coat types; Wirehaired, Smooth and Longhaired, and two sizes: the Standard which is around 9 inches at the shoulder and weighs in at 18-30lbs, and the Miniature which stands at around 5 to 6 inches at the shoulder and must weigh in at below 11lbs.
The American Kennel Club accepted the Dachshund as a breed in 1895 and it was classified in to the Hound Group. There popularity waned after the First World War, probably due to anti-German feeling, but you can't keep a good dog down, and by the 1950's the Daxies' rise, to the popularity that it has achieved today, was well underway.
Like Joseph, the Daxies' coat comes in many colours including: chocolate, black, red, tan, fawn, blue, and they can be solid, dappled, brindle, bi and tri-coloured. The have a dark, intelligent eye, and paws that you could paddle a boat with, but were also useful for digging out badgers, and of course, the trademark curved tail.
Any responsible first time owner could do well with these dogs, and the Dachshund can definitely settle down to apartment life, providing quality on and off the lead daily exercise is provided. These are active dogs that love to frolic and play, and without adequate exercise will become bored and frustrated, and that usually leads to bad behaviour.
Grooming presents few problems and the Daxie owner just needs to keep on top of it with a weekly brushing to remove dead hairs. Feeding however is another matter. Like many dogs that were bred to hunt, the Daxie in general, is greedy. Consequently, you need to keep an eye on his waistline, as an obese Daxie isn't a pretty sight.
Due to this breed's elongated spinal column and shortened rib cage, back problems can present a health problem. As can several hereditary problems including allergies, thyroid issues, eye conditions and Cushings syndrome. Overall though this is a relatively healthy breed.
The Dachshund can be stubborn, and is prone to shyness with people and other dogs. However none of this will present a problem if the Daxie puppy is properly socialised, preferably by the owner attending puppy socialisation classes. Nothing can beat this for giving any puppy the best educational start in life, and is highly recommended.
If you're seeking a dog that is affectionate, clever, loves having fun, is loyal, and makes an admirable companion. But, also has a background that requires understanding; then perhaps the Dachshund is the right breed of dog for you.