The dachshund’s long, low-slung body enables it to enter and move freely inside the confines of a den or tunnel, without sacrificing the necessary jaw and body strength to overcome its quarry. Its confidence, hunting instinct, keen nose and loud voice also are of significant aid in hunting underground. Agility, freedom of movement and endurance are necessary for the dachshund’s work, and its gait is fluid and smooth. The dachshund has an energetic, pleasant expression. Each of the three coat varieties has special attributes: The smooth is short and shining, imparting some protection against the elements; the longhair is sleek, sometimes slightly wavy, providing somewhat more protection; the wire has tight, thick and hard hair with a finer undercoat, providing maximal protection.
The dachshund is bold, curious and always up for adventure. It likes to hunt and dig, tracking by scent and going to ground after game. It is independent but will join in its family’s activities whenever given a chance. It is good with children in its own family, but some may snap at strange children. Most are reserved with strangers. Some bark. The longhaired variety may be quieter and less terrier-like; the wires may be more outgoing. Some miniatures are more prone to be timid.
The Dachshund (pronounced dak-sund; also known as a ‘Teckel’) originated in Germany in the sixteenth century. They were bred and trained to chase down prey, such as a badger (Dachshund means ‘Badger Dog’) or fox, enter its burrow, kill it, and retrieve it. The Dachshund was recognized as a distinct breed in 1910 and has gradually increased in popularity to become a favored pet. Famous Dachshunds include Picasso’s dog Lump, who may have inspired some of his works, and Waldi, the first Olympic Mascot and symbol of the 1972 Summer Olympics in Munich, Germany.