Dachshund Temperament: A determined, loyal and feisty companion
Have you ever seen a Dachshund strut their stuff with their long body and short legs? These adorable pups, also known as "Wiener Dogs," have captured hearts for centuries with their loyal and fearless nature.
They make for excellent companions for families, singles, and even seniors. But before you bring one of these charming pups home, it's essential to understand their temperament and unique history. With their hunting roots and tenacious personality, Dachshunds may not be the ideal breed for everyone.
That's why it's crucial to consider potential health issues and lifestyle compatibility before bringing a Dachshund into your home. In this blog post, we'll dive into everything you need to know about the Dachshund temperament, so you can make an informed decision if you can give these furry friends the love they deserve and require.
Let's dive right in.
Dachshund History: Where do Dachshunds come from?
Dachshunds are a highly distinctive and easily recognisable breed of dog. Their unique elongated body and short legs have made them famous and beloved worldwide. However, it is noteworthy that the origins of Dachshunds can be traced back several centuries.
Dachshund-type dogs were initially bred in Germany in the 15th century. The word "Dachs" actually means "badger" in German, and "hund" means "dog". Dachshunds were specifically bred to hunt badgers, a common pest in Germany. Badgers were fierce predators, and they met their match in the Dachshund.
Their long and narrow bodies were ideal for going into burrows and flushing out badgers. The Dachshund was also bred to go for the kill specifically, and only the most ferocious dogs were selectively bred.
They became longer and thinner to adapt, with large, padded paws perfect for digging deeper into burrows. Additionally, Dachshunds were selectively bred to possess a powerful, resonant bark that could signal their owners of a successful prey catch.
But Dachshunds were not just good at hunting badgers. They were also skilled at hunting other small animals like foxes and rabbits. Their tenacity and intense nature made them one of the most effective hunting dogs. Dachshunds are no lapdogs, even though they might have their size.
Prince Albert imported the first Dachshunds into the UK at the beginning of the 19th century and gifted them to Queen Victoria. There are a lot of sketches and prints of Dachshunds dated as far back as 1840. The queen's undisputed favourite was a specimen called Waldman. With the queen owning a Dachshund, news spread quickly, and the Dachshund's popularity skyrocketed in the UK.
In the United States during World War I, Dachshunds were given the name "liberty hounds" due to anti-German sentiment. German Shepherds were renamed Alsatians as everything German was looked at with resentment. Despite this, the Dachshund remained a popular breed in the US. Unfortunately, there were also many reports of Dachshunds being killed by angry patriots at the time.
Some Dachshund owners showed a bit more humour. A sports columnist for the St. Louis Post-Dispatch wrote that his little Dachshund Henry "is so patriotic he wouldn't eat Frankfurter sausage until we changed the name to "victorywurst."
In the 1972 Olympic Games held in Munich, Germany, the official mascot was a Dachshund named Waldi. He was featured on posters, t-shirts, and other merchandise for the games, and the world forgave the little dogs.
Today, the Dachshund family has three coat types: wire-haired, long-haired, and smooth-haired. In addition, they come in both Miniature and Standard sizes, making them a versatile breed that can adapt to different living situations. Certain temperament traits are also more engrained in the different coat types.
The wire-haired Dachshund's coat was ideal for navigating dense undergrowth and protecting against thorns and brush.
The Dachshund was first registered with the UK Kennel Club in 1874, just a few years after the Club's founding in 1873.
Despite being initially bred for hunting, Dachshunds have become popular family pets across the globe due to their loyal, affectionate, and playful personalities. In addition, they are excellent companions for people of all ages, despite their hunting lineage.
The Dachshund's fascinating history and distinctive traits have made them a beloved breed among dog enthusiasts worldwide, as demonstrated by the following table of new registrations for the Miniature smooth-haired variety. In the UK, 15,308 Dachshunds were registered with the UK Kennel Club in 2022. The love for this breed is steady and real!