Dachshund

Bred in Germany and were used by foresters and hunters to hunt badgers, the Dachshund is a low set, short legged, long bodied dog designed to go to ground and follow the preys into their burrows. Although the word Dachshund literally means "badger dog" in German, these lively little hounds were also used to hunt fox, otter, stoat, hare, in some instances wild boar, even trail wounded deer, as well as dispatching badgers! The Dachshund comes in six distinct varieties. These six breeds are identified by coat type and size - Smooth-Haired, Long-Haired, Wire-Haired, each in Standard or Miniature size.

Appearance

The Long-Haired Daschund has soft, lustrous coat, and is the most glamorous out of the Dachshund family. Their thick, waterproof, well-feathered jacket protects against thorns, while enabling him to endure extremes of both cold and heat. The Smooth-Haired Daschund has sleek and odourless coat which is impervious to rain and mud too. It is believed the Wire-Haired Dachshund is the result of crossing Smooth-Haired Dachshunds with Schnauzers and Dandi Dinmont Terriers. As a result, they have a short, strong and harsh coat which is also completely weather resistant. Their grizzle-tweed jacket, bushy eyebrows and beard, along with their charming quizzical expression, all contribute to the appeal of this delightful breed.

Temperament

The Dachshunds are sporting dogs but they are remarkably versatile, being equally adaptable as house pets. Due to their hunting genes, their hunting instinct is quickly brought to the surface at the sight of a rabbit or fox. Each variety is different in temperament with the Smooth-Haired breed being more aloof than the other varieties and generally is very discerning in whom it like or dislikes. The Long-Haired Dachshund makes an excellent little guard dog, issuing ferocious barks out of all proportion to their size. Among their friends they are cheerful and affectionate, liking nothing better than congenial company, although they prefer the company of older children. All Dachshund breeds should avoid rough games, jumping down from furniture or in and out of cars, for fear of possible back injuries.

Obedient, faithful, extremely intelligent and easy to train, the Long-Haired Dachshund has a delightful sense of humour and makes a devoted companion. Embodying many big dog qualities in a small package, the Dachshund is a breed with much to recommend it. The Smooth Haired Dachshund is the most popular of all the six different varieties. They enjoy company, liking nothing better than to be included in family activities and outings and are an ideal pet for gentle children.

Grooming and care

The Long-Haired Dachshund's coat requires regular attention in order to keep it well-groomed and tangle free. The Smooth-Haired Dachshund's coat requires very little attention - a quick rub over with a piece of velvet and they will shine like satin! The Wire-Haired Dachshund's coat

Dachshunds are quite happy to spend their life on your favourite chair, but for the dogs' wellbeing, regular exercise is recommended. As they get bored easily and are enthusiatic eaters, it is important not to overfeed them due to their long body in relation to their height. An obese Dachshund will most likely suffer from a prolapsed disc, which is a common problem in this breed and tends to occur between five and seven years of age.

Lifespan

12 - 14 years

Health Concerns

For the latest research in breed-related problems in Dachshund visit the University of Sydney's LIDA (Listing of Inherited Disorders in Animals) website.

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