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The Noble Dachshund

For years, I thought dachshunds were ludicrous. I mean, really, short silly dogs with a strange name.

Recently the penny dropped for me, when I learned that the German word "dachs" means "badger". Those silly waddling things? They were bred to go into a badger lair and DRAG IT OUT INTO THE OPEN. They're literally badgerhounds. I wouldn't want to mess with one in an earthen den.

But they still look ridiculous.


( 9 sutras — Your wisdom )
Jan. 20th, 2008 06:02 am (UTC)
They used to be bigger than they are now, too. They always had the short legs, but they were larger and heavier. Just like Pomeranians. In the Victorian era, the average Pom weighed about 25 pounds. They've been bred down for size pretty dramatically.

I love dachshunds. They have such cute faces, and they tend to be pretty smart. I don't think I'd want to own a purebred because they have so much trouble with their spines. (A friend of mine just dropped over 2 grand to get his dachsy some kind of spinal surgery.)

However, they mix quite well. My family had several members of a litter of dachshund/wire haired terrier mix, and they were AWESOME. Short legs, but very strong and healthy. Not to mention cute.
Jan. 20th, 2008 11:46 am (UTC)
The full sized dachshunds are still around actually. They are few and far between. Most people are familiar with the so-called wiener dogs (which my wife and I have had). I saw a full-sized dachshund in Boston once. Beautiful dog. Looked like it could go down a hole after a badger. It did not look so ridiculously long because its legs were proportionate. Take a look at the front paws of the dachshund. They are really built for digging.
Jan. 20th, 2008 11:18 am (UTC)
Hmmm... I wonder. If kobolds really had existed, do you think the Germans would have bred a koboldhund? I could see adventurers spending good gold on some of those...
Jan. 20th, 2008 12:57 pm (UTC)
You should look into the history of the bulldog sometime. ;)
Jan. 20th, 2008 02:10 pm (UTC)
I trust you are familiar with Peter Himmelman's "Dixie the Tiny Dog"?

Jan. 20th, 2008 02:20 pm (UTC)
Next... we will tell you why the Rat Terrier is called a Rat Terrier :P
Jan. 20th, 2008 05:11 pm (UTC)
Dachsunds also make excellent pets for disabled people and folks with chronic medical needs. They're very alert to their people's moods and well-being and take readily to training to, for example, nag someone to take medication and the like. If I didn't already have my cat, a dachsund would have been a really serious pet contender for me.

Jan. 20th, 2008 08:39 pm (UTC)
i did a home stay with a family in Germany that had one, wiry-coated, a real sweetheart. i asked (since this was the first one i had met), "Is he a dachshund?" and the owner replied "No, I use him to hunt foxes."
Jan. 24th, 2008 08:34 pm (UTC)
I grew up with dachshunds for 30 years - they are such a fantastic breed. Their tails are strong and meaty so you can pull your dog back out of a sett if you need to. They were bred for independence of action, because in a sett it's just you and the brock, baby. This independent, stubborn streak is not necessarily such a great idea in an animal, so it's a good thing they're not any larger. The author of a book on canine intelligence said, "I would rather teach a zebra to juggle than try to persuade a dachshund to do anything."

Come to think of it, ferrets are a lot like dachshunds, which might be part of the appeal for me!
( 9 sutras — Your wisdom )

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