Dachshund Fanciers Association of Berks County (DFABC)

The Dachshund



The Dachshund






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You can get a copy of the Dachshund Breed Standard at

In the United States, Dachshunds come in three coat varieties, longhair, smooth and wirehair, and two sizes, standard and miniature. The modern Dachshund is best described and long, low and level, with a well developed forechest and keel. They have a driving rear and the exaggerated turned-out front feet are a thing of the past. The front legs should wrap around the chest and then come straight down with the feet pointing forward. Miniatures are not shown as a separate variety, but in a division of the Open class. They must be over 12 months old and 11 pounds or less to enter Open Miniature. Canada and England recognize 6 varieties, with all three coats shown as Standard and Miniature varieties. In the FCI countries, there are 9 varieties of Dachshunds—their own group—based on chest circumference, the Standard, Dwarf and Kainenchen or rabbit.  So how did there come to be so many kinds of dachshunds?

Foresters charged with keeping the nobility’s land cleared of vermin, mainly fox and badger, long employed small go-to-ground dogs. Etchings and paintings of such bracken or dachels, as they came to be known, exist from the 1500-1600s. The keepers of these dogs were most interested in hunting ability, so conformation varied wildly within the general need for a small, short-legged dog which could track and pursue game within its burrows. Although these bracken existed all over Europe, Germany stabilized the type we know today as the Teckel or Dachshund (badger dog.) Early Teckel were usually much longer legged than today’s Dachshund. While the early foresters did not record what “breeds” were used to develop their Dachshunds, there were undoubtedly terriers in the mix. As Dachshunds are the only hounds that go-to-ground, they probably are more properly classified as terriers. Dogs which could hunt in all kinds of weather were valued, thus the development of the longhair and wirehair varieties.

There were 54 dachshunds registered in the 1840 German all-breed stud book. By 1879 the first breed standard was developed. This was a detailed standard and few changes have been made to it since. In 1888 the Berlin Teckelclub became the first breed club. In 1890 the first Dachshund stud book was published with 394 dogs listed. The longhaired variety existed before breed was officially recognized. Among the early bracken there was a wide range of coat texture, even among the smooths. One theory is that recessive longhairs from smooths were used to develop the longhair variety. Another theory is that spaniels were introduced to bring in the long hair. The wirehair appears to be a more recent development and were allowed to be longer in the leg, probably the result of mid-sized terrier breeding. One theory is that the Dandie Didmont terrier was used to bring the wirehair more in line with the other varieties—shorter legs, more depth and length of body. As the rabbit population rose in Germany in the 1800s, foresters again modified their hunting strains to develop a smaller Teckel which could fit rabbit burrows.

The first Dachshunds were brought to England in 1840. They were first shown, as German Badger Hounds, in 1860. They were entered in the English stud book in 1874 and the English Dachshund Club was formed in 1881.

According to AKC, Dachshunds were recognized as a breed in 1885 and 11 were entered into Volume 1 of the AKC Stud Book. In 1885, the Dachshund Club of America became a member club of the AKC.  During the late 1800s and early 1900s, Dachshunds rapidly gained in popularity. The first miniatures were shown at the Dachshund Club of America specialty in 1934—9 entries. By 1914, Dachshunds were among the top ten breeds at the Westminster Kennel Club show. World Wars I and II were disastrous for both German and English breeders. Even in the U.S., bitter feelings toward Germany included the innocent import the Dachshund. After the wars, all was forgiven and the Dachshund has consistently been among the top ten most popular breeds registered by AKC.

Dachshunds come in an astonishing array of colors. The most well-known are the red and black and tan. Red can vary from a rich mahogany to a very light, yellowish color known as wheaten in wires. Recently, cream has become popular, especially among the miniature longhairs. Cream is red with a chinchilla factor that dilutes the color to pale yellow and may also be the genetics of wheaten in wires. Black and tans with the cream genes appear as black and creams. There are also chocolate and tans, blue and tans, and isabella (fawn) and tans and, mostly in wires, wild boar, a banded black and red color with tan markings. Rarely, sable occurs in longhairs, a red hair at base of shaft, darkening to black by the tip. Then there are the patterns: brindle (like a Boxer), piebald (like a Beagle), and dapple (like a merle Collie). These patterns can be combined with any color and occur in all coat varieties.

In addition to being consistently popular pets and conformation show dogs, recent years have added to the possibilities for showing your Dachshund. Earthdog trials, where dogs are presented test burrows and caged “prey” (rats) are increasingly popular, as are field trials where the Dachshund exhibits a powerful nose tracking those bunnies. Some owners also participate in tracking events, agility and obedience. You can have fun with your dachshund, even if you don’t want to participate in conformation shows. Our members are always willing to share their experience with you.

Because the Dachshund was developed as an independent hunting dog, training takes patience and tact. Most Dachshunds think you should follow them, not that they should follow your instruction. However, there are HIT Dachshunds and UDX Dachshunds. There is truly a Dachshund for everyone.

Date of last update 12 February 2007
All materials © 2005, Dachshund Fanciers Association of Berks County