Dog Review: Dachshund

These lovable dogs are officially called Dachshunds according to the AKC, but in more casual settings, they are often refered to as weiner dogs or sausage dogs.  As much as people love them for their silly waddle and droopy ears, these dogs were orginally bred for a much more useful purpose.  They are part of the hound group which means that they were originally bred tp be hunting dogs.  Their short, but powerful legs made them optimal for tracking and flushing out burrowing prey such as badgers or rabbits.  It was through many years of care that they transitioned into being one of the most popular indoor pet breeds of the 21st century.

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The etymology of the name “Dachshund” can be traced back to German origin.  It literally translates to “badger dog”, an animal they were famous for being able to track.  Dachs literally translate to “badger” while hund translates to either “hound” or “dog”.  There has been much debate surrounding their cassification as part of the hound group.  While they exhibit an enhanced sense of smell and and tracking capabilities, traits that are almost exclusive to the hound group, many sub-classes, such as the wire-haired Dachshund, have an appearance and behavior similar to that of the terrier group.  Some say that this breed is so diverse and unique, that it deserves it own classicifation, but the AKC has very rarely changed a breed’s classification and Probably will not do so for this dog without lots of debate.

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A typical dachshund is long-bodied and muscular with short, stubby legs. Its front paws are usually large and shaped like a paddle.  They usue these unusual paws for extreme digging. It has skin that is loose enough not to tear while tunneling in tight burrows to chase prey. The dachshund has a deep chest that provides increased lung capacity that they use for stamina while hunting prey underground.  Its snout is long with an increased nose area.  This increased nose area has the amazing ability to absorb odors.  There are three dachshund coat varieties: smooth coat (short hair), longhaired, and wirehaired.  The Dachshund also hase many different types of coloring, but they mainly are black or dark brown with light brown markings.  They have and average lifespan of 12.5 years.

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Dachshunds are playful, but can be quite stubborn.  This makes training them very tricky, but if you put in the necessary time, they are known to be very loyal to their owners.  They tend to not make new friends easily, acting standoffish from new humans and dogs alike.  They have been known to be aggressive to new dogs or people, depending on how they percieve the threat the new entity may cause.  Despite this, the Dachshund is rated as having the average intelligence of a working dog.  These dogs may not be good around small children unless the dog and the child are both well trained.  This may not be the perfect dog for a new family, but if you are willing to put in the time and effort, owning a Dachshund will be a very rewarding experience.

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