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Dachshund History

Origin of breed
The dachshund (in German literally Badger Hound) was bred to hunt and kill the fearsome badger and retrieve it from its burrow. The miniature dachshund cannot be expected to hunt a creature so much larger them itself, but it still has the hunter's instincts.

As a hunter, the dachshund needed to be fast: to close with prey, powerful – to subdue the prey, small – to get down the hole, intelligent – to obey orders, energetic – to keep on going and with short straight legs – to allow it to dig into the holes at speed. The front legs enlarge the hole as necessary and push the soil under the chest and to the loins, where the back legs expel the soil at speed, almost running underground. Sadly, as aesthetics have become more important, larger chests are expected, which cause the straight legs to bow out. This makes it more difficult to push soil under the belly, causing the dachshund to hollow out an area rather than to dig down the length of the hole. With this arrangement, the poor dachshund is robbed of the tools for the job it was bred for!


Hair types
Long and short hair dachsies are part of the original breed standard. The wire haired dachsie was bred in the early 1900s to improve the notoriously bad backs that dachsies had developed through inbreeding and focused breeding for certain traits. Adding terrier to the breed improved the bone structure significantly, which has reduced the back problems. As an added bonus, the wire hairs do not shed their coats, making them a far better option for people with allergies. Ptys and Linka are both wire haired.

Different  Breed Standards

There are three well known breed standards that are used to evaluate the dachshund breed: UK, USA and FCI (Breed Standards). FCI is the oldest of the standards and the standard to which Linka and Ptys' parents won champion status.


In order to finalise champion status under FCI (Europe), dachshunds need to display ability in the work they were bred for. The dachshund needs to show that it can hunt and subdue prey.

The dachshund was introduced into the UK as a fashion item after notables like Napolean owned one. As such they were pets rather than working dogs and the UK standard was adapted accordingly.


In South Africa, dogs are mostly used in a cosmetic or companion role and so the breed qualities are suppressed in favour of aesthetics. This is unfortunate, as it requires that the bred instincts of the dog are suppressed, which could lead to frustration for the animal. Imagine telling a whippet not to run! Although KUSA recognises the FCI standard as the breed standard in South Africa, it depends on the judge as to which standard is adhered to.

Blood of champions
Linka and Ptys' champion line have all passed the hunting trials required of their breed. Their proportions are therefore according to the physical requirements of the FCI breed standard.

Weight and diet
Dachshunds have a relatively long back in proportion to the rest of their bodies. This makes them susceptible to back problems. Regular exercise to keep the muscles strong, and diet management will keep these problems in check. Overfeeding the dachshund means that they need to carry extra weight, to the detriment of their back. Dachshunds should have slightly hollowed out flanks, they should not have flanks as wide as shoulders. On the lighter side of the scale, if their spine is evident, then they need a little fattening up. As with humans, the extra food that all dogs covet will do them more harm than good.

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