The Lowdown on Dachshunds
We can’t help but smile whenever we see a sausage dog, trotting along low to the ground on their little legs, with their elongated heads held high and their proud chests puffed out.
These little critters are lively, fun and friendly, and have an interesting breeding history. They can sometimes be stubborn and independent, but this gives the adorable breed a real personality and they are a great choice for a family pet.
We have gathered some of our favourite facts about Dachshunds below.
Made of tough stuff
The breed as we know it today has its roots in Germany, and the name in German means “Badger dog”. We were surprised to learn that the name refers to the fact that dachshunds were initially bred to hunt for badgers and other small tunneling mammals. Apparently, their short, muscular legs enabled them to dig down and navigate through the tunnels dug by badgers, foxes and rabbits, while their muscular chest gives them the strength with which they could fight them, if necessary. Who knew?
Getting stuck in
Dachshunds are a very intelligent breed, and will often be keen to nosey in and assist you with tasks around the house – like sweeping the floor, or tying your shoelaces! They are also burrowers born and bred, thanks to their breeding as a hunting dog, so don’t be surprised to find your little sausage friend digging his way down into your pile of neatly folded blankets.
Their beautiful big flappy ears and cute curved tail have caught the eye of everyone from cartoon artists to toy designers, but guess what - those traits have intentionally been bred into the dog. Large flappy ears stop dirt, grass seeds and other particles from getting into their ears, and the shape of their tail enables them to be seen in the long grass, but also to help yank the dog out of a burrow if it gets stuck!
Ole’ green eyes
Dachshunds are fiercely loyal and they also form close bonds, often with a single person – to the point of severe jealousy! So owners should be sure to keep ole’ green eyes in check, otherwise they’ll have a snapper on their hands.
A good set of lungs
Dachshunds have a large chest and also have a big lung capacity for a breed of their size. These things combined mean that their bark is louder and deeper than you’d expect, considering how little they are. They are quite fond of barking too so if you have neighbours close by, unless they are perennial dog lovers, perhaps a dachshund might not be the right dog for you!
Sausage in a sweater
Did you know that there are three varieties of dachshunds; short-haired, long-haired and wirey. The short-haired type are most popular, and in colder weather they may need a little sweater to keep them warm. What an excellent excuse to make your dachshund a cosy, stripey number – the best dressed doggie on the block!
The celebrity set has been somewhat obsessed with the sausage dog over the years. Famous dachshund owners include Adele (Louie), Andy Warhol (Archie and Amos), David Hasselhoff (Henry) and Christian Slater (Charlie).
If you have a dachshund, we’d love to see your pictures or hear your stories about your pooch. Share them with us on facebook.com/hilifedog or Twitter @hilifedog.