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DachshundThe modern dachshund breed is a member of the hound family, first bred in Germany for its innate talent for burrowing out badgers and rabbits in the hunt.

Translated from the German, the dachshund is dachs (badger) and hund (dog) or literally, "badger dog".

Dachshund fun facts

• Dachshunds are much-beloved for their playful antics, and are known by their common nicknames such as "hot dog" and "wiener dog" describing their sleek coat and elongated shape.

• Historians believe that sausages sold from New York push carts by 19th century German immigrants were named "dachshund dogs", eventually evolving into what Americans affectionately called the "hot dog."

• Preferred for its small size by apartment dwellers, the dachshund became a peculiar 20th century favorite among writers and artists. E.B. White, P.G. Wodehouse, Pablo Picasso and Georgia O'Keefe were all proud dachshund owners.

E.B. White with dachshund, Fred.
Charlotte's Web author
E.B. White, with Fred.

Dachshund behavior & personality

Many first-time owners are surprised to discover the soul of a lion residing in the body of the diminutive dachshund.

Its fierce chasing of squirrels and birds, or comical determination in borrowing out favorite toys, for example, all hark back to its heritage as a hunting dog.

Playful, courageous, and forever entertaining, the dachshund can be quite stubborn and hard to train as puppies. This may be due to their overdeveloped sense of smell - which quickly has them running off in all directions to find what may lie hidden in a cupboard or an old shoe.

Like the chihuahua and other smaller breeds, the mature dachshund latches on to its owner with ironclad affection and loyalty. Dachshunds often demand much love and devotion in return, however, and despite their short stature can be quite a handful.

long haired dachsund
Dachshund care & health

Dachshunds often suffer from back injuries due to their elongated spines and may easily be hurt by rough handling, or by falling or jumping accidents. Treatments may include anything from anti-inflammatory medications to more serious spinal surgery to remove a damaged spinal disc.

As they settle into old age, a sedentary or obese dog is at much greater risk, so careful feeding and exercise are important in keeping dachshunds healthy throughout a long, happy and mischievous life.

More about dachshunds around the Web:

American Kennel Club - Dachshund
- Description of official standards and appearance, breed origins and history, dachshund trivia, photos.

DORG - The Dachshund Magazine On-Line - This online publication features current and archived cover stories, guide to dachshund colors and patterns, healthcare and grooming tips, advice on behavior training, breeder information, photo gallery, rescue & adoption resources, and listings of dachshund clubs worldwide.

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