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Modern dachshunds are characterized by their crooked legs, loose skin, and barrel-like chest, attributes of achondroplasia, a genetic defect. Dachshunds did not always exhibit these dwarf-like physical characteristics (see photo below). Another feature is a long tail, which, when hunting, is often used by the owner as a handle to aid in extracting the dachshund from the burrow hole after capturing its prey. Dachshunds come in three coat varieties smooth or short-haired, long-haired, and wire-haired. The wire-haired variety is generally shorter in spine length than the other two.
According to kennel-club standards, the miniature variety differs from the full-size only by size and weight, however, offspring from miniature parents must never weigh more than the miniature standard to be considered a miniature as well.
A full grown dachshund averages 16 to 28 pounds.(7 to 12.7 kg), while the Miniature variety typically weighs less than 11 lb. (5 kg). As early as the 1990s, owners' use of a third weight class became common, the "tweenie," which included those dachshunds that fell in between full and miniature, ranging from 10 to 15 lb. (4.5 to 6.75 kg).
H. L. Mencken said
that "A dachshund is a half-dog high and a dog-and-a-half long,"
which is their main claim to fame, although many poems and songs refer
to them as "two dogs long." This characteristic has led them
to be quite a recognizable breed and featured in many a joke and cartoon.
Dachshunds have a wide range of coloration. Dominant colors and patterns are red and black-and-red (often referred to as black-and-tan). Also occurring are cream, blue, wild boar, chocolate brown, fawn, and a lighter "boar" red. The reds range from coppers to deep rusts, with somewhat common coarse black hairs peppered along the back, tail, face, and ear edges, lending much character and an almost burnished appearance; this is often desirable and is referred to among breeders and enthusiasts as a "stag" or an "overlay."
Solid black and solid chocolate-brown dachshunds occur and, even though dogs with such coloration are often considered handsome, the colors are nonstandard that is, the dogs are disqualified from conformance competitions in the U.S.
Light-colored dachshunds usually sport light grey, light hazel, green or blue eyes, rather than the various shades of brown. They can also have eyes of two different colors; in rare cases, such as the double-dappled coloration, dachshunds can have a blue and brown eye. Color aside, this eye condition has led to the double-dapple coat being disfavored among breeders and owners.
Dachshunds are playful, fun dogs, known for their propensity to chase small animals, birds and tennis balls with great determination and ferocity. Many dachshunds are strong-headed or stubborn, making them a challenge to train. Often, dachshunds are a breed extremely loyal to their owners, a characteristic that is less pronounced in the wire-haired variety.
According to the American Kennel Clubs breed standards, "the dachshund is clever, lively and courageous to the point of rashness, persevering in above and below ground work, with all the senses well-developed. Any display of shyness is a serious fault." Their temperament and body language give the impression that they do not know or care about their relatively small and comical stature. Indulged dachshunds may become snappy.
The dachshund is known for its deep and soulful eyes and complex and telling facial expressions, the eyes having an allure that is commonly mentioned in writings about the breed. Coat type is often associated with characteristic temperaments; the long-haired variety, for instance, is considered to be less excitable than the other types, having been cross-bred with the even-tempered Spaniel in order to obtain its characteristic long coat. Because of the breed's characteristic barrel-like chest, the dachshund's lungs are unusually large, making for a sonorous and richly timbred bark that belies the dog's true size.
The type and frequency of grooming the Dachshund is dependent upon the coat. A smooth coat is easy to care for and only needs to be brushed occasionally to remove dead hairs. The long coat needs to be brushed or combed one or two times a week and trimmed as needed. The wire coat needs to be brushed or combed once a week and stray hairs should be trimmed as needed. Stripping is recommended twice a year to remove dead hair. This breed is considered to be an average shedder. It should be bathed or dry shampooed only when necessary. Be sure to pay attention to the ears; clean them regularly to prevent mites as well as fungus or bacteria growth. While this breed is quite active, walks on a leash and game playing can easily meet its exercise requirements. The Dachshund is good for apartment dwelling, as they are active indoors, and they do not require a yard. This breed should be discouraged from jumping to help prevent possible spinal damage.
The breed is known to have spinal problems, due in part to an extremely long spinal column and short rib cage. The risk of injury can be worsened by obesity, which places greater strain on the vertebrae. In order to prevent injury, it is recommended that dachshunds be discouraged from jumping and taking stairs (though some veterinarians say that slow stair-climbing is unlikely to lead to injury). Holding the dog properly is important, with both front and rear portions of the body fully supported.
As it has become
increasingly apparent that the occurrence and severity of these spinal
problems, or intervertebral disk disease, is largely hereditary, responsible
breeders are working to eliminate this characteristic in the breed.
Treatment consists of various combinations of crate confinement and
courses of anti-inflammatory medications (steroids). Serious cases may
require surgery to remove the troublesome disk(s).
name Dachshund is derived from two German words: dachs, meaning badger,
and hund, meaning hound. It was in the 16 th century that evidence of
this small dog was found in reference to a low, crooked-legged
dog which was called a little burrow dog or a badger
dog. This breed was known for its hunting abilities, including
its tendency to follow its prey into the burrow, then pull it out and
kill it. The Dachshund comes in two sizes and three different coats.
The original dog featured a smooth coat, and it is believed that it
originated from a cross of a miniature French pointer and a pinscher.
Others claim that is was developed from the St. Hubert hound in the
1700s. It is believed that the smooth-coated variety was crossed with
other breeds, such as the German Stoberhund and spaniels, to create
the long-haired Dachshund. Evidence of the wire-haired Dachshund is
found as early as the late 1700s, but this variety wasnt truly
bred to create the modern version until the end of the 19 th century.
This was done by crossing the smooth coat Dachshund with the Dandie
Dinmont terrier and the German wirehaired pinscher. Each variety of
the Dachshund was bred to hunt, but under different conditions. This
breed proved to be a tough, strong dog that was able to hunt small mammals
including badgers, rabbits, and fox. Miniature smooth-coated Dachshunds
were eventually specifically bred by crossing the breed with toy terriers
or pinschers. The long-haired variety was crossed with the papillon,
and the wire-haired type resulted from a cross with the miniature schnauzer.
The Dachshund is a popular family pet in America.
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