Dachshund History: The Origins of the Dachshund Breed

Are you a big fan of Dachshunds? If you are, you may be probably interested to know about the Dachshund history!

Dachshunds are known for their long bodies and short legs. But the origins of the Dachshund breed can be as interesting as their looks!

Dachshund History: Where Dachshunds Originated

The name Dachshund is the combination of two German words “dachs” (badger) and “hund” (hound). But throughout Dachshund history, the breed has been called by different names, including badger dogs, badger creepers (dachskriecher), badger warrior (dachskrieger), dacksels, teckels, and earth dogs.

Dachshund history dates back to the 1400s in Germany.  Images of dogs that look like Dachshunds were found in 15th-century illustrations. Aside from these drawings, evidence of Dachshund existence was found in documents from the 16th century, and dog books from the 18th century.

Dachshund History 1

Carl Friedrigh Deiker, 1875

German foresters wanted dogs that can scent, chase, dig, and flush out badgers from their burrows. But there was a problem – badgers can be terrifying especially when they fight back. For this reason, badger dogs were refined over several years – creating a dog that is fearless and strong.

Dachshund History

Carl Friedrigh Reichert, 1912

But Badgers were not the only the Dachshund’s only prey. Dachshunds were also used to hunt foxes, deer, rabbits, and other burrow-living animals. They were also used in groups to chase and hunt wild boars.


Original Dachshunds vs. Modern Dachshunds

In early Dachshund history, these dogs varied in size. Dachshunds used to flush out badgers and hunt boars weighing more than 30 lbs. Smaller Dachshunds that weighed 16 to 22 lbs were used to hunt foxes and deer. Dachshunds weighing 12 lbs and below were used to hunt rabbits, hares, and weasels. There were even 5 lb Dachshunds, and they were used to hunt cottontail rabbits.

The original standard Dachshunds were bigger than the ones we know today. Modern standard Dachshunds weigh from 16 to 32 lbs while the forefathers weighed from 31 to 40 lbs.

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Originally, Dachshunds came crook-legged and straight-legged varieties. The ancestors of most modern Dachshunds are from the crooked-leg variety.


Breed Standards and Dachshund Clubs

The Dachshund’s German breed standard was set in 1879. But it was only in 1888 when the German Dachshund Club (German DeutscherTeckelklub) was formed – 7 years after the establishment of the Dachshund Club of England in 1881. Even before the German Dachshund Club came into existence, Dachshunds were already included in an all-breed studbook.

Dachshund History

In 1885, 11 Dachshunds were listed in the American Kennel Club’s Stud Book. Since then, these long-bodied and short-legged dogs became popular in the United States. This led to the foundation of the Dachshund Club of America in 1895.Nineteen years later, the Dachshund was one of the top ten breeds gracing the Westminster Kennel Club dog show.


Dachshund History: Royalty

Dachshunds were kept in royal courts all over Europe and were adored by many. These dogs even won the heart of Queen Victoria.

In 1845, Deckel became the very first Dachshund to arrive in England. He was also the first Dachshund to be adopted by the queen. Soon, Dachshunds turned to be a regular at the royal palace. But it was Waldman VI who became known as Queen Victoria’s most favorite dog.


Dachshund History: Dachshunds During the World War

Dachshunds also became victims of the world war. Since Dachshunds are recognizable symbols of Germans, the popularity of the breed declined drastically during WWI and WWII. The breed was used in the anti-German propaganda.

In England, owners of Dachshunds were scrutinized, attacked, and labeled as German sympathizers. Many Dachshunds were forcefully taken to be kicked and killed in front of their owners. Because of the pressure and scrutiny, many owners in the allied world were forced to abandon their Dachshunds.

The duress caused the Dachshund population to decline dramatically. In 1913 – before World War I started– there were 217 Dachshunds registered in Britain. No Dachshund was registered after the war.

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From being one of the ten most popular in the United States before the war, only 12 Dachshund survivors were able to represent the breed in 1919.

During WWII, the hatred toward Dachshunds – because of the breed’s association with Germany – was revived but to a lesser extent.


Earlier Mentions of Dachshunds

In Egypt, ancient engravings depicting short-legged dogs are found. In 2006, the American University of Cairo also unearthed mummified Dachshund-like dogs from ancient Egyptian burial urns. These led to a theory that Dachshund’s roots can be traced to ancient Egypt.


Doggie Mixes: What Breeds Made Dachshunds We Know Today

There are many theories about the breeds that make a Dachshund.

Smooth-haired Dachshunds

According to different sources, the smooth-haired Dachshund is a cross between a type of Bloodhound called Bracke, a Pinscher, and a German Shorthaired Pointer. However, other sources say that smooth-haired Dachshunds are an inter progeny of a Pinscher and a short Bruno Jura Hound. Another theory is that Dachshunds descended from Basset Hounds.

Longhaired and wirehaired Dachshunds

Longhaired Dachshunds were produced by mixing the smooth Dachshund with the German Stoberhund and some spaniels. On the other hand, smooth Dachshunds are crossed with the Dandie Dinmont Terrier and German Wire-haired Pinschers to create wirehaired Dachshunds.

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