The History of Dachshunds

Dachshund’s origins date back to Germany where it was known as the badger dog. The word Dachshund actually translates to this with “dachs” meaning badger and “hund” meaning dog in German. Though its origins can be traced as far back as the 15th century, the breed's development really began in 17th century Germany. Called dachshunds, which translates as "badger dogs," these short hounds did just that—they hunted badgers. Their short legs, loose skin, big chests, determination, and independence were ideal for digging, entering tunnels, and of course, fighting badgers. Their flap-down ears help keep dirt and debris out when burrowing. 

In the 1800s, Dachshunds began to evolve as pets. They were the breed of choice for Queen Victoria and eventually lead to 10 lb. being dropped from their size to make them easier to care for pets. A miniature Dachshund was even bred to provide a smaller version yet of the breed. The Dachshund breed was standardized in 1879, and by 1886 they made their way to the U.S. Dachshunds began to pick up steam in the early 1900s, when they had the most entries at the Westminster Kennel Club Show two years straight.

While the U.S. doesn’t use Dachshunds for hunting, they are very popular for this function in parts of Europe including Germany and France. Because of their nimble size, Dachshunds are the only dog recognized by the AKC to hunt above and below ground. They can go deep into tunnels looking for prey and are effective diggers. They certainly have the stamina to hunt as an active dog breed, and their keen sense of smell allows them to pick up scents easily. The Dachshund was bred to be a fearless dog, much of which can still be seen in them today. They were designed to find prey and kill it, making it imperative that they have an aggressive nature when it comes to hunting other animals.

The AKC recognized the Dachshund in 1885.

While loved for its bold personality, the dachshund may have a tendency to be stubborn, protective, and defensive. Many dachshunds are also known for their tendency to bark. Proper obedience training can turn these potential problems into beneficial qualities. They are tenacious, which was good in a hunting dog, but they might annoy you with this trait at home.