THE BRIEF HISTORY OF THE DACHSHUND
The dachshund breed standard originated in Germany in the early 1600s. These dogs were bred to hunt burrow-dwelling animals like badgers. The word Dachshund means “badger dog”. However, these dogs were also used to hunt much larger animals like wild boars.
Their low and long bodies, floppy ears, and long tails make these dogs ideally shaped to their subterranean hunting role. The dachshund was deliberately bred to have these features. Early dachshunds actually had longer legs and shorter ears. As the breed was standardized, Dachshund took the odd and cute shape they have today.
The miniature dachshund appeared letter on in the 1800s and was used to chase and hunt smaller dwelling animals like rabbits. In the USA the dachshund breed has been used to hunt prairie dogs. Although today dachshunds are more commonly known raised to be house dogs, most dachshunds still retain their hunting instinct.
Dachshunds were originally available in two coat types: smooth and longhaired. The wirehaired appeared later, likely, as a result of outcrossing with a terrier breed to achieve a stronger wired coat. Dachshunds are also called Dackels and Teckels in Germany and other countries.
DACHSHUNDS POPULARITY IN AMERICA
In the late 1800s, the breed gained popularity in America, and the Dachshund Club of America was founded in 1895. During WWI the popularity of the breed decreased as a result of anti-german political propaganda, the number of dachshund owners significantly decreased until the 1930s, when the breed regained popularity.
During WWII, the Dachshund Club of America campaigned to prevent a new decline in the breed’s popularity. One of the actions taken was to call Dachshund “Liberty Hounds”. As a result, the dachshund is, still to this day, one of the most popular and beloved dog breeds in America. According to the American Kennel Club (AKC), the Dachshund breed is the 13th most popular breed in the USA.