A Brief History of Dachshunds

by Suzanne Nikolaisen, March 18, 2022

Dachshunds are very sweet, snugglers, fierce protectors and awesome diggers. They’ve been referred to as long little doggies with t-rex arms and jelly bean pads on their paws. They are not recommended around small children, and being bred as hunting dogs they have a big bark (not-yippy).

Did you know this about dachshunds?

  • Dachshunds can track a scent over a week old
  • They are good guard dogs and part of the hound family
  • Dachshund is German for dachs: badger + hund: dog
  • They were bred to hunt badgers, wolverines, rabbits, etc.
  • Dachshunds are from Germany, but there they call them Dackel (hunters call them teckel)
  • The dapple gene can show up in their eyes with a dapple blue on iris
  • There’s an unofficial Size (not recognized by AKC): Kainchen (German for “rabbit”) “tweenies”
Illustration of a dachshund baying  a European badger by Carl Friedrich Deiker - UB Düsseldorf, Chromolithographie aus der Serie "Jagdbare Thiere" von Carl Friedrich Deiker Dachs und Dachshund, Public Domain {{PD-US-expired}}, Created: circa 1875 
This file has been identified as being free of known restrictions under copyright law, including all related and neighboring rights.
Source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dachshund#/media/File:Deiker_Jagdbare_Tiere_1093210.jpg
Illustration of a dachshund baying at a European badger by Carl Friedrich Deiker, 1875, Public Domain {{PD-US-expired}},

They are a popular, affectionate breed with fun expressions and personalities (stubborn at times). The most common sizes of dachshunds are Standard and Miniature and their height generally ranges from 5-9 inches in height and they live to around 16 years of age (although, we know some seniors do well for a few more years). Dachshunds started out with short hair, then long hair with the wire coat coming last. Their markings may include sable, brindle, piebald or dapple.

Did you know that when two dapples are bred to create a double dapple pup, the new pup is unfortunately destined to experience vision loss and hearing problems?

A long dog with a longer history

Known as Liberty Hounds during WWI and Badger Dogs in WWII these spunky sweethearts have been nicknamed doxies, wiener dogs and sausage dogs, and even hot dog dogs. They may have been bred starting as far back as the 15th century and come from German, French and English hounds and terriers; recognized in 1885 by the American Kennel Club. Bred and first known as Dachs Kriecher (German for badger crawler) and Dachs Krieger (German for badger warrior). Their fur ranges from black, blue (gray), chocolate, red, wild boar, tan, fawn, wheaten and cream (some dogs are one color, others have markings).

Dachshund when translated from German to English means “badger dog” and they were used to dig out and hunt badgers, hunt in packs for wild boar, and for locating wounded deer. A veterinary dermatologist told us they are part of the ‘hound” family. As with the coonhounds in Where the Red Fern Grows, dachshunds as hunters would get to the prey and start barking, notifying their human where they were. Their ears were bred to keep debris out of them and their good nose can track a scent made over a week earlier.

The royal family of the United Kingdom has had dachshunds; Queen Elizabeth II has had more than one dorgi, and Queen Victoria and Prince Albert had dachshunds. Queen Victoria said “Nothing will turn a man’s home into a castle more quickly and effectively than a Dachshund.”

Dachshunds may not be the best choice for young children and you will want to research the breed if they are new to you. On occasion some of them don’t want to go outside to go potty in bad weather, but others are troopers and just go outside, if you live in an area with snow, it’s considerate to shovel them a path especially when the snow is deeper than they are tall. There are a lot of different dachshund-mix dogs that may be a littler taller. Here’s a -brief- sampling of a few of the Dachshund and other breed mixes being talked about:

  1. Basschshund (Basset Hound & Dachshund)
  2. Chiweenie (Chihuahua & Dachshund)
  3. Dachsador (Dachshund & Labrador Retriever)
  4. Dorgi (Dachshund & Welsh Corgi)
  5. Dorkie (Dachshund & Yorkshire Terrier)
  6. Doxie Pit (Dachshund & Pit Bull)
  7. Doxle (Dachshund & Beagle)
  8. Golden Dox (Golden Retriever & Dachshund)
  9. Schweenie (Shih Tzu & Dachshund)
  10. Welshund (Welsh Terrier & Dachshund)

See other dachshunds and dachshund mixes on our DRUT Alumni page

Riley, rescued shiweenie puppy
Riley is a Schweenie (shih tsu and dachshund mix). He was a puppy when he was with DRUT
Panda, a dachshund mix
Panda is a dachshund, pit bull, German shepherd and ? mix. She was a puppy when she was with DRUT

The dachshunds we help come to us from all walks of life bonded pairs, puppies, double dapples (trouble with eyes and hearing), seniors, those with medical issues, ivdd intervertebral disk disease and biters. They may be separated from their families for many reasons from their owners going to assisted living or passing away, to the dogs themself getting old and needing help (read Senior Dachshunds Are So Cute and 10 Reasons to Adopt a Senior Dachshund), living arrangements change, so many things, and the dogs remain and need a home.

Get Involved

Research Sources: Among others include the American Kennel Club, Spruce Pets, Wikipedia, WagWalking and WitZig