Starlight Kennel

Doxie History

"Dachshund" is a German word meaning "badger dog," and the breed's German history goes back 600 years. And for a dog of any size, weighing anywhere from 25 to 40 pounds, with razor-sharp teeth and claws. The cleverness, courage, perseverance, and strength that are hallmarks of today's dachshund were first bred into his long-ago ancestors to best equip them for battling a deadly foe. The little dog's surprisingly loud, houndy bark is also a throwback to his working roots: It allowed the dachshund's above-ground human hunting partner to mark his hound's underground location.

In addition to the breed's short, smooth coat, selective breeding produced types with wire coats for work in thorny brier patches and long coats for cold climates. Dachshunds of various sizes were bred to work on different kinds of the quarry. Packs of Dachshunds, according to breed authorities, were often used on wild boar. By the late 1800s, the process of standardizing the breed according to size, coat, and color varieties was well underway.

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The dachshund has long been a national symbol of Germany, so closely associated with the fatherland that American fanciers took to calling them Liberty Hounds due to anti-German sentiment during World War I. Admitted to the AKC Stud Book in 1885, their popularity in America was immediate and enduring.

The dachshund was bred as a hunting dog and is known to have existed before the 16th century. In Europe during both World Wars, it was recognized as the national dog of the Teutonic Empire and, because of its German ancestry, was mistreated and even stoned in the streets. Today, the dachshund enjoys great popularity and is known for its loyalty as a family pet.

The name Dachshund (Dachs, badger; hund, dog) at once reveals and conceals the origin of the breed. In medieval European books on hunting, dogs similar only in possessing the tracking ability of hounds and the proportions and temperament of terriers were called badger-dogs or dachshund because they were used to follow badger to earth. A parallel is suggested by the current use of the name rabbit dog in various parts of this country for dogs of various breeding, used to hunt rabbits.

Illustrations dating from the fifteenth, sixteenth, and seventeenth centuries show badgers hunted by dogs with elongated bodies, short legs, and hound-type ears, some with the bent front leg of a basset, some with the head of terriers, and some with indications of smooth and long coats. It is well to consider that these illustrations were made before the days of photography. Artists capable of depicting dogs with anatomical fidelity have always been rare, and that woodcuts do not lend themselves to fine reproductions of coat distinctions. At best, the pictures and descriptive words can be interpreted with certainty only as defining the dogs' functions on a badger.

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Doxie History (H1)
"Dachshund" is a German word meaning "badger dog," and the breed's German history goes back 600 years. And for a dog of any size, weighing anywhere from 25 to 40 pounds, with razor-sharp teeth and claws. The cleverness, courage, perseverance, and strength that are hallmarks of today's dachshund were first bred into his long-ago ancestors to best equip them for battling a deadly foe. The little dog's surprisingly loud, houndy bark is also a throwback to his working roots: It allowed the dachshund's above-ground human hunting partner to mark his hound's underground location.

In addition to the breed's short, smooth coat, selective breeding produced types with wire coats for work in thorny brier patches and long coats for cold climates. Dachshunds of various sizes were bred to work on different kinds of the quarry. Packs of Dachshunds, according to breed authorities, were often used on wild boar. By the late 1800s, the process of standardizing the breed according to size, coat, and color varieties was well underway.

The dachshund has long been a national symbol of Germany, so closely associated with the fatherland that American fanciers took to calling them Liberty Hounds due to anti-German sentiment during World War I. Admitted to the AKC Stud Book in 1885, their popularity in America was immediate and enduring.

The dachshund was bred as a hunting dog and is known to have existed before the 16th century. In Europe during both World Wars, it was recognized as the national dog of the Teutonic Empire and, because of its German ancestry, was mistreated and even stoned in the streets. Today, the dachshund enjoys great popularity and is known for its loyalty as a family pet.

The name Dachshund (Dachs, badger; hund, dog) at once reveals and conceals the origin of the breed. In medieval European books on hunting, dogs similar only in possessing the tracking ability of hounds and the proportions and temperament of terriers were called badger-dogs or dachshund because they were used to follow badger to earth. A parallel is suggested by the current use of the name rabbit dog in various parts of this country for dogs of various breeding, used to hunt rabbits.

Illustrations dating from the fifteenth, sixteenth, and seventeenth centuries show badgers hunted by dogs with elongated bodies, short legs, and hound-type ears, some with the bent front leg of a basset, some with the head of terriers, and some with indications of smooth and long coats. It is well to consider that these illustrations were made before the days of photography. Artists capable of depicting dogs with anatomical fidelity have always been rare, and that woodcuts do not lend themselves to fine reproductions of coat distinctions. At best, the pictures and descriptive words can be interpreted with certainty only as defining the dogs' functions on a badger.

The preponderance of available evidence indicates that smooth and longhaired coats were separated by selective breeding long before recorded registrations. In contrast, within such recorded history, the wirehaired coats were produced for protection against briar and thorn by crossing in harsh, wiry terriers coats and then breeding out incompatible characteristics of conformation. Early in the seventeenth century, the name dachshund became the designation of a breed type with smooth and longhaired-coated varieties, and since 1890 wirehairs have been registered as the third variety.

The badger was a formidable twenty-five to the forty-five-pounds adversary. Strength and stamina and keenness and courage above and below ground were required of badger dogs. Weight of thirty to thirty-five pounds was not uncommon. Such Dachshunds in packs also were serviceable against wild boar. With this start, the breed was adapted to hunt other games. A smaller sixteen-to-twenty-two-pound Dachshund proved effective against foxes and trail-wounded deer. Still smaller twelve-pound Dachshunds were used for stoat and hare. In the first quarter of the twentieth century, for bolting cottontail rabbits, miniatures with adult weights under five pounds and chest girths under twelve inches were produced with plenty of hunting spirit.

Before the German Dachshund or Deutscher Teckelklub was founded in 1888, racial characteristics or standards for the breed were set in 1879. German registration of Dachshunds was included (not always with complete generation data or systematic coat notations) in a general all-breed studbook, the Deutscher Hunde-Stammbuch, whose first volume, in 1840, recorded fifty-four Dachshunds and the names of several subsequently prominent breeders, and whose publication continued until officially terminated in 1935.

Importation of Dachshunds into this country antedates the earliest American dog shows or studbooks, and eleven were included in AKC Stud Book, Volume 11 in 1885. American dogs have found little employment in organized hunting, as we lack in the badger and wild boar and do not hunt deer with dogs, nor foxes with pick and shovel. The true character and conformation of the breed have been encouraged by frequent importation of German hunting strains, and to encourage hunting capacity and outstanding conformation and temperament, field trials under AKC rules were instituted in 1935.

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