“Dachshund” is a German word meaning “badger dog,” and the breed’s German history goes back some 600 years. And, as the breed name suggests, the Dachshund was developed to enthusiastically dig his way into a badger den and dispatch its occupant.
The Dachshund’s long, low body was custom-made for this dirty subterranean work.
For a dog of any size, a badger is a formidable adversary, weighing anywhere from 25 to 40 pounds, with razor-sharp teeth and claws.
The cleverness, courage, perseverance, and strength that are hallmarks of today’s Dachshund were first bred into his long-ago ancestors to best equip them for battling a deadly foe.
In addition to the breed’s short, smooth coat, selective breeding produced types with wire coats for work in thorny brier patches, and long coats for cold climates.
Dachshunds of various sizes were bred to work on different kinds of quarry. Packs of Dachshunds, according to breed authorities, were often used on wild boar. By the late 1800s, the process of standardizing the breed according to size, coat, and color varieties was well underway.
The Dachshund has long been a national symbol of Germany, so closely associated with the fatherland that during World War I American fanciers took to calling them Liberty Hounds due to anti-German sentiment.
Admitted to the AKC Stud Book in 1885, their popularity in America was immediate and enduring.
Dachshund Breed Standard
Official Standard of the Dachshund General Appearance:
Low to ground, long in body and short of leg, with robust muscular development; the skin is elastic and pliable without excessive wrinkling. Appearing neither crippled, awkward, nor cramped in his capacity for movement, the Dachshund is well-balanced with bold and confident head carriage and intelligent, alert facial expression. His hunting spirit, good nose, loud tongue and distinctive build make him well-suited for below-ground work and for beating the bush. His keen nose gives him an advantage over most other breeds for trailing. NOTE: Inasmuch as the Dachshund is a hunting dog, scars from honorable wounds shall not be considered a fault.
Size, Proportion, Substance: Bred and shown in two sizes, standard and miniature; miniatures are not a separate classification but compete in a class division for “11 pounds and under at 12 months of age and older." Weight of the standard size is usually between 16 and 32 pounds.
Temperament: 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. Special
Characteristics of the Three Coat Varieties:
The Dachshund is bred with three varieties of coat:
(3) Longhaired and is
shown in two sizes, standard and miniature.
All three varieties and both sizes must conform to the characteristics already specified. The following features are applicable for each variety:
Smooth Dachshund: Coat-Short, smooth and shining. Should be neither too long nor too thick. Ears not leathery. Tail -Gradually tapered to a point, well but not too richly haired. Long sleek bristles on the underside are considered a patch of strong-growing hair, not a fault. A brush tail is a fault, as is also a partly or wholly hairless tail.
Color of Hair–Although base color is immaterial, certain patterns and basic colors predominate. One-colored Dachshunds include red and cream, with or without a shading of interspersed dark hairs. A small amount of white on the chest is acceptable, but not desirable. Nose and nails-black. Two-colored Dachshunds include black, chocolate, wild boar, gray (blue) and fawn (Isabella), each with deep, rich tan or cream markings over the eyes, on the sides of the jaw and underlip, on the inner edge of the ear, front, breast, sometimes on the throat, inside and behind the front legs, on the paws and around the anus, and from there to about one-third to one-half of the length of the tail on the underside. Undue prominence of tan or cream markings is undesirable. A small amount of white on the chest is acceptable but not desirable.
Nose and nails–in the case of black dogs, black; for chocolate and all other colors, dark brown, but self-colored is acceptable. Dappled Dachshunds – The dapple (merle) pattern is expressed as lighter-colored areas contrasting with the darker base color, which may be any acceptable color. Neither the light nor the dark color should predominate. Nose and nails are the same as for one- and two-colored Dachshunds. Partial or wholly blue (wall) eyes are as acceptable as dark eyes. A large area of white on the chest of a dapple is permissible. Brindle is a pattern (as opposed to a color) in which black or dark stripes occur over the entire body although in some specimens the pattern may be visible only in the tan points. Piebald is a pattern (as opposed to a color) with clearly defined areas and/or patches of white on any allowed one-colored or two-colored dogs. Two-colored piebald patterned dogs may show tan markings on the face and around the anus. There are no patches of lighter shadings within the colored areas as in the dapple pattern. Ticking in the white areas is acceptable. Eye color, eye rims, nose and lips are well pigmented and in accordance with the base color; eyes are never partially or wholly blue as distinguished from the dapple pattern. Eyes partially or wholly blue is a disqualification. Head must not be more than 50 percent white and color(s) other than white must cover both ears, back and front, and extend without interruption from the ears over both eyes. A head of more than 50 percent white or white on any portion of either ear, back or front, or around the eyes is a disqualification. Pure white dogs with no body spots except on the head are to be disqualified. Nails may be partially or wholly white. Sable – the sable pattern consists of a uniform dark overlay on red dogs. The overlay hairs are double-pigmented, with the tip of each hair much darker than the base color. The pattern usually displays a widow’s peak on the head. Nose, nails and eye rims are black. Eyes are dark, the darker the better. Colors or patterns other than those specified above are a disqualification.
Wirehaired Dachshund: Coat - With the exception of jaw, eyebrows, and ears, the whole body is covered with a uniform tight, short, thick, rough, hard outer coat but with finer, somewhat softer, shorter hairs (undercoat) everywhere distributed between the coarser hairs. The absence of an undercoat is a fault. The distinctive facial furnishings include a beard and eyebrows. On the ears the hair is shorter than on the body, almost smooth. The general arrangement of the hair is such that the wirehaired Dachshund, when viewed from a distance, resembles the smooth. Any sort of soft hair in the outercoat, wherever found on the body, especially on the top of the head, is a fault. The same is true of long, curly, or wavy hair, or hair that sticks out irregularly in all Page 4 of 4 directions. Tail - Robust, thickly haired, gradually tapering to a point. A flag tail is a fault. Color of Hair - While the most common colors are wild boar, black and tan, and various shades of red, all colors and patterns listed above are admissible. Wild boar (agouti) appears as banding of the individual hairs and imparts an overall grizzled effect which is most often seen on wirehaired Dachshunds, but may also appear on other coats. Tan points may or may not be evident. Variations include red boar and chocolate-and-tan boar. Nose, nails and eye rims are black on wild-boar and red-boar Dachshunds. On chocolate-and tanboar Dachshunds, nose, nails, eye rims and eyes are self-colored, the darker the better. A small amount of white on the chest, although acceptable, is not desirable. Nose and nails same as for the smooth variety. Longhaired Dachshund: Coat - The sleek, glistening, often slightly wavy hair is longer under the neck and on forechest, the underside of the body, the ears and behind the legs. The coat gives the dog an elegant appearance. Short hair on the ear is not desirable. Too profuse a coat which masks type, equally long hair over the whole body, a curly coat, or a pronounced parting on the back are faults. Tail - Carried gracefully in prolongation of the spine; the hair attains its greatest length here and forms a veritable flag.
Color of Hair - Same as for the smooth Dachshund. Nose and nails - same as for the smooth. The foregoing description is that of the ideal Dachshund. Any deviation from the above described dog must be penalized to the extent of the deviation keeping in mind the importance of the contribution of the various features toward the basic original purpose of the breed. Disqualifications Knuckling over of front legs. In the piebald pattern: eyes partially or wholly blue, or a head of more than 50 percent white, or white covering any portion of the ears, back and front, or around the eyes, or pure white with no body spots except on the head. Colors or patterns other than those specified above.