Dachshund Facts You Have to Know Before Adopting


Fun Dachshund Facts Every Wiener Dog Lover Should Know

We assume that—being a Dachshund admirer—you already know a great deal about this breed. But did you know that there is a cloned Dachshund that has given birth to her pups? Or that one of the most powerful rulers in the history of the world had a soft spot for the Sausage Dog?

In this article, we break down some of the most compelling facts about this breed, as well as random trivia about them. To top it off, we have selected several of the most famous Dachshunds that have firmly secured their place in history.

The Dachshund Breed Facts

Made in Germany

Hounds capable of tracking down and catching prey above the ground have existed for centuries and were widely used by people around the world.

Underground vermin, though, still lived happy—and way too long—lives, digging holes and destroying crops.

It was in the 17th century that hunters in Germany decided it was time to develop a hound that will be able to slip into tunnels underground and flush out badgers, moles, and other annoying, crop-destroying animals.

The Dachshund‘s striking appearance—stout legs and elongated body—combined with their fearless persona meant that varmints have finally met their match.

They even borrowed their name from their number one enemy: the Dachshund translates as the “badger hound” in German.

The Dachshund Comes In Three Sizes

The majority of national kennel associations around the world recognize this feisty breed in three different size variations:

Size

Weight

The Standard Dachshund 16–32 pounds
The Miniature Dachshund <12 pounds
The Rabbit Dachshund (Kaninchen in German) 8–11 pounds

One of the rare kennel associations that recognizes only the first two varieties is the American Kennel Club. Unfortunately, if you have a Rabbit Dachshund, you won’t be allowed to register your pooch with them.

The craze for teacup-sized breeds has introduced another variant of the Doxie—the teacup Dachshund. Although not recognized by any canine organization, this variety still boasts all the characteristics of their bigger cousins.

Doxies Are Available in Three Fur Variations

Mixing the Dachshund with other breeds has produced three varieties of the coat found in these little rascals:

  • Smooth-haired
  • Wire-haired
  • Long-haired

These three varieties don’t differ in weight and body shape, but they do exhibit certain differences when it comes to their temper.

The smooth-haired variation boasts a short and smooth coat and is described as a true hound: courageous, quick-tempered, and curious. Wire-haired Doxies are said to have a more toned-down temper and are described as adventurous extroverts. Long-haired Weenies are the most easygoing of all Dachshunds—they were probably mixed with Spaniels to create more family-friendly doggos.

There Are 15 Color and Six Pattern Variations of the Dachshund

There aren’t many breeds of dogs that come in such a vast color palette as the Dachshund. Believe it or not, there are as many as 15 color variations of the famed Sausage Dog!

Apart from two-colored Doxies you already know about, they can come in six different patterns as well.

Colors

Color combinations

Patterns

  • Red
  • Wheaten
  • Wild boar
  • Black
  • Chocolate
  • Fawn
  • Cream
  • Black and cream
  • Black and tan
  • Blue and cream
  • Blue and tan
  • Chocolate and cream
  • Chocolate and tan
  • Fawn (Isabella) and Cream
  • Fawn (Isabella) and tan
  • Brindle
  • Dapple
  • Sable
  • Brindle piebald
  • Double dapple
  • Piebald

Some canine associations don’t recognize all of these color variants as a standard. The AKC, for instance, doesn’t acknowledge either single-colored (black, chocolate, or fawn) Dachshunds, nor brindle piebald, double piebald, and piebald patterns as official varieties.

Dog parents who worry about grooming these beauties, take a look at our article on best dog grooming tips.

Dachshunds Are the Smallest of All Hounds

The AKC classifies the Dachshund as the smallest of all breeds in the hound group. Although the Basenji weighs less, they are significantly taller than the Doxie, and nowhere near as loud and courageous.

Don’t let their size fool you, though. Remember that Sausage Dogs were bred to chase out badgers out of their underground dens, and badgers are not small pests: they can weigh up to 39 pounds, compared to the maximum weight of 32 pounds of a grown-up short-haired Dachshund.

Dachshunds Live Long

Of the 19 dogs holding the Guinness World Record for the oldest living dogs, two of them are Dachshunds, while another two are Dachshund mixes.

Until 2009, a Dachshund named Chanel held this record. Chanel was 21 years and 114 days when she died.

She is still the highest-ranked Doxie on the list, followed by a Dachshund-Terrier named Otto who died a year later after 20 years and 334 days.

Despite the fact that this breed is known for its long lifespan, dog parents need to take good care of them as they are prone to some health issues such as:

  1. Seizures
  2. Skin problems
  3. Back problems

If not socialized properly, they can also suffer from separation anxiety.

They need to receive lots of love and attention, but also proper nutrition. If you don’t know where to look for their food, check out the best dry dog food and the best dry food for small dogs. For more variety in the diet, but the best canned dog food on the market.

Dachshunds Make Great Watchdogs

Brave, loud, and always on alert, the Dachshund has everything it takes to keep you safe from unwanted guests.

If you live in the country, there won’t be a truck, squirrel, or human that will go unnoticed by these curious creatures.

If you live in an apartment or any other form of an urban dwelling place, their high-pitch barking may be a problem. Make an effort to learn about the best ways to train your puppy, and you will manage to keep the barking in check. Use methods of positive reinforcement during training sessions, such as treats, gifts, and praise. 

While here, check our suggestion for successful Dachshund potty training, perhaps you will find some useful tips.

Weenies Are Stubborn

Dachshunds were bred to hunt vermin, which means they were created to make decisions and think independently. In real life, their independent thinking and single-mindedness often translate to stubbornness.

Hard-headedness is probably the most annoying personality trait of these otherwise caring dogs and is the source of frustration for many dog owners, especially newbies.

Don’t hold it against them, though, and remember that by avoiding these common training mistakes, this behavior can be toned down.

Sausage Dogs Love to Dig

Gardeners beware!

Spending time below the ground has taken its toll and has created a strong inclination for digging in these pooches.

Not only do they love to dig, but they are also incredibly good at it! Their paddle-like feet are made for it, so make sure you keep an eye on them as they go through your backyard.

If they are bored—and they do get bored quickly—they will burrow anything: flower beds, lawns, or even make a hole under a fence to escape!

Although challenging, proper training can reduce this habit to a minimum or even eliminate it.

Interesting Facts about the Dachshund Through History

First Official Olympic Mascot: Waldi the Dachshund

Image source: Pinterest

Waldi the Dachshund was the first-ever mascot in the history of the Olympic Games. He was created by German designer Otl Aicher for the 1972 Summer Olympics in Munich, modeled after a real-life long-haired Doxie named Cherie von Birkenhof.

The organizers of the Summer Olympics even went that far to incorporate Waldi’s design into the course of the marathon race!

Apart from being a recognizable German dog breed, the Dachshund successfully embodied the most important features of any athlete: resistance, tenacity, and agility. 

The Nazis Claimed They Taught a Dachshund to Speak

During World War II, the Nazis claimed they had taught a Dachshund to speak, although in a more canine fashion. According to accounts, Kurwenal, the Wiener Dog, was able to talk using a different number of barks, each of which represented a letter. Kurwenal was so famous that one year on his birthday, he received a visit from the animal protection organization of Nazi Germany.

One of the bizarre accounts claims that the Doxie told his biographer he would vote for Paul von Hindenburg, the German president between the two world wars.

We guess that Kurwenal enjoyed talking in bark-speak, whether it was meaningful or not.

Dachshund Was the Symbol of Anti-German Sentiment in Wartime

While Kurwenal brought fame to the breed in wartime Germany, this precious dog experienced a rapid drop in popularity in the United States during the periods of both World War I and II.

The abundance of anti-German propaganda in the U.S. promoted the Dachshund as the symbol of all things German and, at one point during World War I, Doxie lovers decided to change the breed’s name to “liberty hound.”

During the war, the population of Dachshunds saw a dramatic decline. In 1913, they were one of the ten most popular breeds in the U.S.—by 1919, their population had shrunk to 12 dogs nationwide.

Today, they rank high on the AKC’s most popular dog breed list, which is no wonder knowing they are among the best dog breeds to adopt.

Dachshund Is the First Cloned U.K. Dog

Eager to continue her late dog’s legacy, and having won a £60,000 competition to have the pooch cloned, Rebecca Bourne got the same replica of her Dachshund named Weenie in 2014!

Cloned by scientists in South Korea, the Doxie aptly named Mini Weenie is the first genetically engineered dog to live in the United Kingdom. Although experts have warned that the cloning posed a risk to the dog’s health, Mini Weenie grew up to be a healthy dog that continued to bring joy to her owner.

Four years later, Mini Weenie even gave birth to her pups! The litter was rather small with only two whelps, fathered by a seven-year-old Dachshund that goes by the name of Otto.

The Dachshund May Have Lent Their Name to Hot Dog

The history of the hot dog is shrouded in mystery. Historians are so baffled by this popular fast food, that they can’t agree on the place of its origin, let alone its creator!

While there are numerous theories about who was the first to come up with the term “hot dog” to describe a sausage in a bun, there are also references that link this favorite fast food to the famed Dachshund.

The connection between the hot dog and Dachshunds can be traced to the late 19th century U.S. It was around this time that German immigrants brought both their sausage invention and the Sausage Dog to America.

According to researchers, the hot dog was at first probably a joke referencing Germans’ long and thin dogs to describe their innovative product—a sausage served in a bun.

Dachshunds Are Racing Dogs, Too

This practice was started in the 1970s in Australia, where Dachshunds raced not only each other but were included in the competition with other breeds as well.

It may seem unusual for these short-legged fellers to compete by racing, but with an average speed between 15–20 mph, they are the perfect choice for short-distance races.

Since the 1970s, the trend has slowly been exported to other countries, and now there are dozens of Weenie races across America.

The most famous Dachshund race is the annual Wienerschnitzel Wiener Nationals held in San Diego, California, as a charity event for the Seal Beach Animal Care Center.

Famous Dachshunds

Waldman VI, Queen Victoria’s Favorite Doxie

Image source: Royal Collection Trust

We’ve all heard about Queen Elizabeth II’s fondness of Welsh Corgis, but did you know that one of her predecessors was in love with the Sausage Dog?

Queen Victoria is among the historical figures who are the most responsible for Doxies’ rise to prominence. She enjoyed the company of these mischief masters since 1845 when she took in her first Dachshund, Deckel.

Deckel wasn’t the only Dachshund in her canine entourage, nor was he her favorite. Waldman VI is the name of the dog that is said to have stolen the ruler’s heart.

Nothing will turn a man’s home into a castle more quickly and effectively than a Dachshund,” Queen Victoria famously said about this breed.

Lump, Picasso’s Faithful Companion

Image source: nytimes

Maybe the Spanish painter would’ve never adopted a Dachshund, but it was an unexpected turn of events that brought Lump the Doxie into Pablo Picasso’s life.

Picasso instantly fell in love with Lump upon the dog’s arrival to his mansion. The Dachshund not only ruled the house and ate at the dinner table, but was also featured in many of the artist’s works, including several of Picasso’s versions of Las Meninas.

Lump, he’s not a dog, he’s not a little man, he’s somebody else,” Picasso once said about his precious Dachshund.

Read more about their relationship in our feature dedicated to the Spanish master of Cubism and his loyal companion.

Stanley and Boodgie, David Hockney’s Beloved Weenies

Image source: subve.tumblr.com

British artist David Hockney was perhaps best known for two things: his fascination with swimming pools, and his affection for his two Dachshunds, Stanley and Boodgie.

The famous artist immortalized the two pooches in his 1995 series of paintings titled Dog Days, showing the two canines lying about the house or going about their business.

If I get up, they get up. If I go to bed, they go to bed,” said Hockney, describing the Dachshund’s loyalty and affection for their owner.

Archie, Andy Warhol’s Side Kick

Image source: whitney.org

Andy Warhol was among many artists that cared for a Dachshund—more than one of them, to be precise.

In 1973, the pop-artist bought a Dachshund he named Archie after a friend talked him into getting a dog. Warhol’s contemporaries say that he took the dog everywhere with him—art exhibitions, shopping, and even restaurants—nothing was off-limits for the little Sausage Dog.

He could finally stop worrying about Archie spending time alone in the apartment when, a couple of years later, he bought another Dachshund, Amos.

Revisit These Adorable Dachshund Mixes

Whether you’re a proud Dachshund owner or you intend to become one, you should check out these adorable Doxie combos. Who knows, maybe one of them will become your muse or a faithful watchdog!

Dachshund Pug mix Dachshund Lab mix Dachshund Beagle mix
Dachshund Golden Retriever mix Dachshund Pitbull mix Dachshund Corgi mix
Chihuahua Dachshund mix Jack Russell Dachshund mix Dachshund Poodle mix
Dachshund Yorkie mix German Shepherd Dachshund mix Dachshund Terrier mix
Pomeranian Dachshund mix Cocker Spaniel Dachshund mix Shih Tzu Dachshund mix
Min Pin Dachshund mix Basset Hound Dachshund mix Dachshund Husky mix
Maltese Dachshund mix Dachshund Dalmatian mix Australian Shepherd Dachshund mix
Border Collie Dachshund mix Rottweiler Dachshund mix Doberman Dachshund mix
Papillon Dachshund mix Rat Terrier Dachshund mix Italian Greyhound Dachshund mix
Bulldog Dachshund mix Blue Heeler Dachshund mix Boxer Dachshund mix
Great Dane Dachshund mix French Bulldog Dachshund mix Weimaraner Dachshund mix
Dachshund Boston Terrier mix Cavalier King Charles Spaniel Dachshund mix Cairn Terrier Dachshund mix
Shiba Inu Dachshund mix Dachshund Bichon mix Pekingese Dachshund mix
Schnauzer Dachshund mix English Cream Dachshund

References:

1. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dachshund

2. https://www.hot-dog.org/culture/hot-dog-history

3. Ewing, Susan M., and Wayne L. Hunthausen. The Dachshund. Interpet, 2008.

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