Dachshunds have short, stubby legs as a result of being born with a type of dwarfism called chondrodysplasia. This genetic condition causes abnormal growth of the bones and cartilage of the dog’s limbs. This condition is the result of selective breeding by badger hunters looking for a short dog that could enter the burrows of their prey.
The fact that dachshunds have short legs compared to the rest of their body makes them have an elongated appearance. This is why these dogs are commonly known as “Sausage Dogs”.
This blog post will answer the question, “why do Dachshunds have such long bodies and short legs?”
What were dachshunds bred for?
Dachshunds are a small dog breed that is known for their short legs and long bodies. What many people don’t know is that the Dachshund is a hunting breed, that was used by german hunters to hunt badgers and other burrowing animals. In fact, “Dachs Hund” means “Badger Dog” in german.
Although Dachshunds are currently used as household pets, they still have impressive hunting skills. You can read more about this topic in this post: Are Dachshunds Hunting Dogs?
The dachshund breed was created in Germany in the 18th century. This breed is the result of selective breeding by hunters who were looking for a dog that could enter the burrows of vermin such as badgers to remove the animals from their hiding places.
In this process, the dog breeders were crossing different breeds of European hounds until they achieved the genetic combination that gave rise to the first dachshunds.
The breed was developed over centuries until it was standardized in the types of dachshunds that we know today. The first type of dachshund was the standard size shorthair. Then came the long-haired and wire-haired dachshunds. In this process, the miniature dachshunds also appeared, which were created to hunt smaller prey such as rabbits.
Their long bodies help them burrow into the dens of animals they’re hunting. They also have very strong necks that allow them to bring prey back up out of the hole when it tried to escape.
Because dachshunds are so small in size, they can fit in places larger dogs cannot reach or fit inside of. This makes them perfect for burrowing down into tight spaces and chasing after animals who might try and hide there.
The problems of dwarf dog breeds
Dachshunds’ short legs make them formidable badger hunters. besides making them look incredibly adorable. Unfortunately, their physical appearance has a dark side.
Dachshunds are not the only dogs that have chondrodysplasia. Other breeds such as Corgis, Basset hounds, Dandie dinmont terrier, Skye terriers, Pekingese dogs, and artesian basset hounds. Among other breeds.
A long back and short legs are desirable traits for hunting badgers, but it also makes them vulnerable to IVDD. According to the Kennel Club Genetics Center Dachshunds are 10 times more likely than other breeds suffering from Intervertebral Disk Disease (IVDD). This also affects other dwarf breeds.
Dachshunds and other dwarf dogs also often have dental problems due to having a crowded jaw. This means the teeth are very close together inside the mouth. This makes them prone to build-up plaque, which ends up causing gum disease, bad breath problems, and even tooth loss. Related post: Why Do Dachshunds Have Bad Breaths?
Dachshunds and other dwarf dogs have shorter front limbs than hind limbs, this puts most of their weight on their short stumpy front legs. This, added to the fact that these dogs are prone to being overweight, can cause arthritis in their front leg joints. Click here to read more about the common health problems in dachshunds.
Dachshunds are adorable, but they have some special health risks. They were originally bred to hunt badgers and other types of prey in small spaces, so their short legs make them easy for the animal to maneuver around tight corners without being bitten or scratched by its target.
Dachshunds are an amazing breed of dog that can be both amazingly cute and surprisingly fierce. However, dachshunds also come with their own unique set of health problems due to how they were bred for hunting purposes. If you’re thinking about adopting a dachshund or already have one at home, it’s important to know what these potential difficulties might be so you can help your pup live the best life possible.
Related Post: A Guide to Understanding IVDD Disease in Dachshunds