The origins of the Dachshund are unknown, with some theories dating their early roots as far back as ancient Egypt, the modern Dachshund as we know it today, was a creation of German breeders.
German in origin the name Dachshund lierally means badger dog, because of their long narrow build they are often referred to as the weiner dog, or sausage dog.
The standard sized Dachshund was developed to chase and flush out badgers, and other burrowing animals, while the miniature Dachshund was bred to hunt smaller prey. Although it is classified in the hound or scent hound group in Great Britain and the United States, the Dachshund may exhibit behaviour and appearance similar to a terrier.
A typical Dachshund has a muscular long body and short stubby legs, its front paws are disportionately large and are used for digging, its skin is loose, so that it doesn’t tear while tunneling in tight burrows chasing prey. The Dachshund has a long snout giving it an excellent sense of smell, it also has a deep chest which provides the lung capacity and stamina when hunting.
The Dachshund can have three different types of coat, they are, smooth coat, long haired and wire haired, the wire haired are the least common and the most recent to appear in the breeding standards. Red is the most common colour for the Dachshunds coat but it does come in other colours, including black and tan, patterns such as piebald, sable and brindle can appear on any base colour.
A full grown standard Dachshund can weigh anything from 7 to 15 kg, while the miniature normally weighs less than 5.5kg. Many Kennel clubs like the American club size divisions use weight for classification, but some other Kennel club standards determine the differerence between the miniature and the standard Dachshund by chest the circumference, some Kennel clubs, particulary in Germany even measure the circumference of the chest in addition to height and weight.
Light coloured Dachshunds can have amber, light bron or green eyes, however Kennel club standard states that the darker the eyes the better,
Dachshunds are a playful breed, but can be quite stubborn, due to their hunting origins they are prone to chasing birds and small animals. They can also be aggressive towards other dogs and strangers, this can be irradicated with the right training, which is best done from a young age. The Dachshund is a loyal and intelligent dog and is an ideal companion or family dog if trained and cared for properly.
The Dachshund can be prone to spinal problems, especially intervertebral disk disease, due in part to a long spinal column and a short ribcage. Other Dachshund health problems include patellar luxation, where the kneecap can become dislodged and various eye conditions like cataracts and glaucoma. On average a healthy Dachshund will live for 12 to 13 years, though they can live longer.