Short-legged, long-backed, and chock full of personality, these little ‘Weiner Dogs’ are entertaining characters that are cherished by countless dog lovers everywhere.
Don’t let their small size fool you, however – although they’re loyal and lovable, these pups are tough, with an independent spirit and a stubborn streak that can sometimes leave their owners hair-tearingly frustrated.
Their comical looks and dignified attitudes make for an irresistible combination to many, however, so let’s take a look at some of the most intriguing facts about these cute canines.
1.They Were Originally Bred to Take On Badgers
Don’t believe us? The job that these dogs were bred to do literally gives rise to their name – Dachs meaning badger; hund meaning dog.
A Dachshund’s short legs made it easy for them to dig and maneuver through tunnels to corner and even fight badgers or other vermin, and their large chests have enough room for optimum lung expansion, increasing their stamina.
2. They Vary In Coat Type and Size
Depending on the exact hunting purpose they were used for, Dachshunds were bred in three coat types: smooth (shorthaired), wirehaired and longhaired.
They also exist in two different recognized sizes, too! In the U.S.A., Miniature Dachshunds are 11 pounds or under as adults, and Standard Dachshunds weigh between 16 and 32 pounds when fully grown.
3. They’re the Smallest Breed Actually Used for Hunting
Dachshunds are scent hound dogs, bred to hunt tunneling animals such as, badgers, rabbits and foxes. Many years ago packs of Dachshunds were used to trail wild boar.
As the most diminutive members of the hound group, these cute little canines are the smallest dogs that perform hunting activities, traditionally, even though there are tinier breeds in the dog world.
The AKC’s breed standard even includes a quote that states “Inasmuch as the Dachshund is a hunting dog, scars from honorable wounds shall not be considered a fault.” Now that’s a dog that takes its job seriously!
4. They Were Royal Favorites
Just as Welsh Corgis are the favorite canine companions of Queen Elizabeth II, Dachshunds were the preferred pets of Queen Victoria after her husband introduced the breed to her shortly after they were married.
Here is an excerpt from one of the Queen Victoria’s letters that refers to her beloved dog Dacko, on his death at the age of 12 years.
“I am greatly distressed at my dear old ‘Dacko’ having died. The dear old dog was so attached to me and had such funny amusing ways, with large melancholy expressive eyes, and was quite part of my daily life, always in my room, and I will miss him very much … “ (Letters of Queen Victoria Vol. II)
Her love of the breed is what probably increased its popularity around England at the time, too!