The Dachshund

DACHSHUNDS are long-standing members of the Dog World, with evidence that dogs of dachshund type were known in ancient times. It is generally accepted that the breeds, much as we presently know them, were developed in Germany between the 16th and 18th centuries. “Dachshund” means “badger dog”, and they were primarily used for the hunting of badger. They are also known as “Teckels” throughout Europe and as “Dackels” in Germany. The breeds were well established by the late 1800's, and German pedigrees are recorded as far back as 1859.

The characteristic low and long form of the Dachshund is ideally suited for work both in dens, and tracking through underbrush. Their ability to go both forward and backward in a crouching position, combined with their sturdy bodies and strong jaws, allows them to excel at bringing badger, fox or rabbit from their dens. This is known as “going-to-ground”. Dachshunds were also used to hunt wild boar and other game through dense undergrowth, and are still used today by hunters and guides to track wounded game-animals, such as deer and bear.

Specialization took place, with the larger Standard Dachshunds being used for badger and boar, while the smaller dogs hunted hare and rabbit. Smaller dogs became known as “Zwergteckels” (dwarf dachshunds), and the smallest ones as “Kaninchenteckels” (rabbit dachshunds). In Canada and many other countries the two smaller sizes are combined as Miniature Dachshunds.

Both smooth-haired and long-haired Dachshunds have existed since the origins of the breed. The wire-haired Dachshund appears to have been developed later, possibly by the introduction of some wire-haired terrier-type blood. Dachshunds were introduced into North America about 1880, and gained in popularity, until the world wars, when, because of their German origin, they suffered a setback. Since then, due to the efforts of dedicated breeders, they have again attained their status as one of our best known and most popular breeds.

While terrier-like in some respects, Dachshunds are classed as Hounds in many countries and as a separate “Teckel” group by Fédération Cynologique Internationale.

In Canada, the three coats in the two sizes are shown as six separate breeds in Group 2 - Hounds. They share a common Breed Standard, however, for breeding purposes they are six separate breeds which cannot be interbred.