Dachshunds are tracking dogs that were bred to hunt badgers and other tunnel animals, rabbits and foxes. Hunters even used packs of Dachshunds to track wild boars. Today, their versatility makes them excellent family companions, show dogs, and small game hunters.
The Dachshund originated in Germany where it was known as the Dachshund, dachs meaning das and hund meaning dog. Images of dogs resembling dachshunds date back to the 15th century, and documents from the 16th century mention the "earth dog," "badger creeper," and "dachsel." The badger was not the Dachshund's only prey. He was also used on dens like foxes, and packs of Dachshunds followed wild boars. Those early Dachshunds varied greatly in size. The dogs used on badgers and wild boars weighed 13 to 15 kg. Dachshunds used to hunt foxes and deer weighed 7 to 10 kg, and smaller 6 kg Dachshunds hunted hares and weasels. For a short time in the early 20th century, 2 kg Dachshunds were used to shoot cottontail rabbits.
The Dachshund is described as smart, lively and courageous to the point of recklessness. He is bred for perseverance, which is another way of saying he can be stubborn. Dachshunds have a reputation for being entertaining and fearless, but what they want most is to cuddle with their owners. For many Dachshund people, this trait outweighs the fact that they have to deal with the fact that the breed wants to have its own way. Dachshund personality can also vary with coat type. Because wirehaired dachshunds have terriers in their background, they can be mischievous troublemakers. Longhairs are calm and quiet, and shorthairs have a personality that is somewhere in between.
- Elbow dysplasia (disorder of the elbow)