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Dachshund Dog Breed

The dachshund is a short-legged, elongated dog breed of the hound family. The breed's name is German and literally means "badger dog," from (der) Dachs, badger, and (der) Hund, dog. The standard size was developed to scent, chase, and flush badgers and other burrow-dwelling animals, while the miniature was to hunt rabbits. Due to the long, narrow build, they are sometimes referred to as a wiener dog. Not withstanding the German origin of the dachshund's name, within German-speaking countries the breed is known—both formally and informally—as the Dackel or Teckel.

Appearance

Dachshund appearance

Build: Elongated, compact, and low to the ground, well muscled body and short legs, very distinctive
Toy* weight: Up to 8 lbs. (3.5 kg.) (*Toy, or kaninchen, is not an acknowledged division in the US, UK, and many other countries)
Toy* chest width: Up to 12 in. (30 cm.)
Miniature weight: 8-11 lbs. (3.5-5 kg.) or under 11 lbs. (5 kg.) in countries that do not recognize a toy division.
Miniature chest width: 12-14 in. (31-35 cm.)
Standard weight: 11-32 lbs. (5-14 kg.) AKC classifies weight as 16-32 lbs (7-14 kg.), KC states its ideal as 20-26 lbs (9-12 kg), but if a dachshund doesn't qualify by weight as miniature, then it is considered a standard.
Standard chest width: 14-18 in. (35-45 cm.)
Coat: Three varieties: Smooth, Wired-haired and Long-haired
Color: Single colors may be red or cream; bi-colors are black, chocolate, wild boar, gray (blue), and fawn (Isabella) with points, or markings, of tan or cream (eg. "Black and Tan"). Other colors include piebald (base color is white), dapple (base coat with lighter over-coat), and double-dapple(same as dapple, but with white mixed in).
Head: Elongated, with a slight convex skull, arched and protruding eyebrows, a long muzzle, robust jaws with rounded non-pendent lips
Teeth: Scissors bite with extremely strong teeth (usually 42)
Eyes: Oval, dark red or brown-black with an energetic and friendly expression, or in the case of dapple or double-dapple: blue, one blue one brown, or brown with blue, all of which are called "wall" eyes.
Ears: Mobile and hanging long on its cheeks
Tail: Long, carried in line with its back
Limbs: Short,powerful legs
Feet: Full, tight, compact
Life span: Median 14-17 years

Size

Dachshunds come in three sizes: standard and miniature, and kaninchen.The miniature dachshund. Although the first two sizes are recognized almost universally, the third size (which means rabbit) is recognized only by non-english speaking clubs like the the Fédération Cynologique Internationale (World Canine Federation) (FCI).

A full-grown standard dachshund averages 16 lb (7.3 kg) to 28 lb (13 kg), while the miniature variety normally weighs less than 11 lb (5.0 kg). The kaninchen weighs 8 lb (3.6 kg) to 10 lb (4.5 kg). According to most kennel club standards, the miniature (and kaninchen, where recognized) variety differs from the full-size only by size and weight, thus offspring from miniature parents must never weigh more than the miniature standard to be considered a miniature as well. While most kennel club size divisions use weight for classification, other kennel club standards determine the difference between the miniature and standard by chest circumference; some kennel clubs even measure chest circumference in addition to height and weight.

H. L. Mencken said that "A dachshund is a half-dog high and a dog-and-a-half long," which is their main claim to fame, although many poems and songs refer to them as "two dogs long." This characteristic has led them to be quite a recognizable breed and featured in many a joke and cartoon, particularly The Far Side by Gary Larson.

Coat and color

Dachshunds exhibit three coat varieties. The most common and associated with theBlack and Tan Double dapple smooth-haired miniature dachshund with a blue eye and brown eye dachshund is the smooth-haired coat. The next most recognized is the long coat. The wire-haired dachshund is least common, and most recent coat to appear in breeding standards. Many people don't recognize wire-hairs as dachshunds and can be mistaken as other kinds of dogs.

Dachshunds have a wide variety of coloration and patterns. They can be single colored, two-colored, or dappled. Dominant colors and patterns are red and cream. Two-colored dogs can be cream, blue, wild boar, chocolate brown, or fawn with "points", or markings over the eyes, ears, paws, and tail, of tan or cream. A two-colored dachshund would be called by its dominant color first followed by the point color, such as "black and tan" or "chocolate and cream." Other colors include piebald, in which the base color is white, and a lighter "boar" red. The reds range from coppers to deep rusts, with somewhat common black hairs peppered along the back, tail, face, and ear edges, lending much character and an almost burnished appearance; this is often desirable and is referred to among breeders and enthusiasts as a "stag" or an "overlay."

Solid black and solid chocolate-brown dachshunds occur and, even though dogs with such coloration are often considered handsome, the colors are nonstandard – that is, the dogs are disqualified from conformance competitions in the U.S. and Canada. Additionally, according to the Conformation judges of the DCA (Dachshund Club of America), and the AKC (American Kennel Club) assert the Piebald pattern a nonstandard and has voted to dismiss this pattern from competition.

Light-colored dachshunds can sport amber or green eyes, rather than brown; however kennel club standards state that the darker the eye color, the better. They can also have eyes of two different colors; in rare cases, such as the double-dappled coloration (called merle in other dog breeds), dachshunds can have a blue and brown eye. Blue eyes, partially blue eyes, or a blue eye and a brown eye are called "Wall" coloring. Only the double dapple variety dachshunds can have blue or even partially blue eyes. It is not considered a non-desirable trait in kennel club standards. The standard was changed by the DCA in 2007 to exclude double dapples and changed single dapples to the only dapples. The reason is because the merle gene is linked to blindness and deafness. Wall-eyed is permissible in single dapples. It is impossible for a dachshund to have wall coloring without it being a double dapple. This is because when a dog receives a "dapple gene" from each parent, the genes can cross, washing out coloring within the eye. Without the two dapple genes the crossing of such, blue or partially blue eyes cannot occur.

Temperament

DachshundA long-haired standard Dachshunds are playful, fun dogs, known for their propensity to chase small animals,birds and tennis balls with great determination and ferocity. Many dachshunds are strong-headed or stubborn, making them a challenge to train. In fact, it's been said that you don't train dachshunds, they train you. Dachshunds have been known to have a liking to dig holes in the garden, or chase small animals such as birds, squirrels, or lizards. They have a particularly loud bark, making dachshunds good watchdogs. Dachshunds are known for their devotion and loyalty to their owners, though they can be standoffish towards strangers. If left alone many dachshunds will whine until they have companionship. Some dachshunds are prone to separation anxiety and may chew objects in the house to relieve stress.

According to the American Kennel Club’s breed standards, "the dachshund is clever, lively and courageous to the point of rashness, persevering in above and below ground work, with all the senses well-developed. Any display of shyness is a serious fault."[5] Their temperament and body language give the impression that they do not know or care about their relatively small and comical stature. Like many terriers, they think nothing of challenging a larger dog. Indulged dachshunds may become snappy[6]. Fanciers of the breed often say that "Dachshunds are big dogs in small packages".

The dachshund's temperament may vary greatly from dog to dog. Seemingly most dachshunds do not like unfamiliar people, and will growl or bark in response. Although the dachshund is generally an energetic dog, some are laid back. Due to this dog's behavior, it is not the dog for everyone. A bored dachshund will become destructive. If raised improperly, dachshunds can become aggressive or fearful. They require a caring owner that understands their need to have entertainment and exercise. Some may not be good with children, and they may bite an unfamiliar child. Others are tolerant and loyal to children within their family, but these children should be mindful of the breed's back and not carry them around roughly.

Health

The breed is known to have spinal problems, especially intervertebral disk diseaseWire-haired dachshund (IVDD), due in part to an extremely long spinal column and short rib cage. The risk of injury can be worsened by obesity, which places greater strain on the vertebrae. In order to prevent injury, it is recommended that dachshunds be discouraged from jumping (something many seem to like doing anyway) and taking stairs, and encouraged to instead take the elevator (though some veterinarians say that slow stair-climbing is unlikely to lead to injury). However, according to the same article above, dachshunds that climb stairs regularly may actually be less problematic probably because the exercise helps to keep them fitter and healthier, and positive correlations were found between physically fit dogs and a lower incidence of IVDD. Hence the importance of keeping the dog at a good body weight. Holding the dog properly is also important, with both front and rear portions level. Under no circumstances should a dachshund be exposed to rough play or handling, as their spines may not tolerate such treatment.

As it has become increasingly apparent that the occurrence and severity of these spinal problems, or intervertebral disk disease, is largely hereditary, responsible breeders are working to eliminate this characteristic in the breed. Treatment consists of various combinations of crate confinement and courses of anti-inflammatory medications (steroids and non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs like carprofen and meloxicam). Serious cases may require surgery to remove the troublesome disk contents[8]. Others may need the aid of cart to get around if paralysis occurs.

In addition to back problems, the breed is also prone to patellar luxation.

Some double dapples have problems with deafness and blindness. Therefore they need an owner who understands a disabled dog's special needs.

Other health problems include hereditary epilepsy, dental issues, Cushings disease, thyroid problems, various allergies and atopies, and various eye conditions (cataracts, glaucoma, progressive retinal atrophy, corneal ulcers, nonucerative corneal disease, sudden acquired retinal degeneration, cherry eye, etc.). It is important to buy from breeders who can guarantee that their stock are free from these genetic problems and whose dogs have been certified for eyes (esp in miniatures).

It is important to follow a good dental health regime, including an annual cleaning if possible.

History

Some have theorized that the early roots of the dachshund go back to Ancient Egypt, where engravings were made featuring short-legged hunting dogs. Recent discoveries by the American University in Cairo of mummified dachshund-like dogs from ancient Egyptian burial urns may lend credibility to this theory. But in its modern incarnation, the dachshund is a creation of European breeders, and includes elements of German, French, and English hounds and terriers. Dachshunds have been kept by royal courts all over Europe, including that of Queen Victoria, who was particularly enamored of the breed. They were originally bred for hunting badgers by trailing them.

The first verifiable references to the dachshund, originally named the "Dachs Kriecher" (badger crawler) or "Dachs Krieger" (badger warrior), came from books written in the early 1700s. Prior to that, there exist references to "badger dogs" and "hole dogs", but these likely refer to purposes rather than to specific breeds. The original German dachshunds were larger than the modern full-size variety, weighing between 30 and 40 lb. (14 to 18 kg), and originally came in straight-legged and crook-legged varieties (the modern dachshund is descended from the latter). Though the breed is famous for its use in exterminating badgers and badger-baiting, dachshunds were also commonly used for rabbit and fox hunting, for locating wounded deer, and in packs were known to hunt game as large as wild boar and as fierce as the wolverine.

Double-dapple dachshunds are prone to eye disease and therefore are rare. It is generally believed that the breed was introduced to the United States between 1879 and 1885

The flap-down ears and famous curved tail of the dachshund have deliberately been bred into the dog. In the case of the ears, this is so that grass seeds, dirt and other matter do not enter into the ear canal. The curved tail is dual-purposed: to be seen more easily in long grass and, in the case of burrowing dachshunds, to help haul the dog out if it becomes stuck in a burrow.

 

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