This article also relates to: Dachshund (Smooth-Haired), Dachshund (Long-Haired), Dachshund (Miniature Long-Haired), Dachshund (Miniature Smooth-Haired), Dachshund (Miniature Wire-Haired) and Dachshund (Wire-Haired)
Derived from the German for "badger dog," the origins of this unique breed are subject to speculation. It is believed that the miniature Dachshund, part of the 'hound' group, was first recognised in Germany in the early 1600s, although theorists have argued that its historical ancestry belongs with the ancient Egyptians, with engravings and mummified remains supporting this. Principally bred for hunting badger and other sporting activities, the modern Dachshund is now bred as a house pet and show competitor.
Possessing three different coat types, the Dachshund is characterised as Wire-Haired, Smooth-Haired or Long-Haired and is either Standard-sized or Miniature. Whatever the hair type or proportions of the Dachshund it boasts a distinctive appearance, with an elongated body, short limbs and a long muzzle. It is perhaps better known as the 'Sausage Dog.' The Dachshund comes in black and tan, blue, rust, wheaten and tan, with potential colour dappling of the coat. Deep-chested, the Dachshund has a large lung capacity for stamina when hunting and a long snout for detecting subtle smells. Popular throughout Europe and ranked seventh in the popular dog breed register in the United States, the Dachshund enjoys widespread appreciation as an affectionate, versatile breed for families and sole owners.
Extremely compatible with other pets, the Dachshund is intelligent, adaptable and enthusiastic. The breed possesses a keen hunting instinct that stems back to its early existence, is relatively easy to house train, and despite common conjecture suggesting it is a temperamental dog with a tendency to bite and incessantly bark, such is not a true reflection across the whole breed. A healthy, Standard sized Dachshund will weigh approximately 5 kg at the age of 12 months old, and have a life expectancy of 12-15 years when shown appropriate care.
Due to its unusual proportions, the Dachshund is susceptible to afflictions resulting from over-feeding, especially diabetes and spinal disc problems because of the breed's characteristically elongated spinal column and short ribcage. The breed is also known to suffer with urinary tract complaints, cardiac disease and is subject to mast cell tumours.