At first glance, one would instantly understand why the Dachshund is often called the “sausage dog.” Also called “wiener,” “Doxie,” and “hotdog,” this is a loyal and energetic breed that gets its name from a German word that means “badger dog.” How it got this name is due to how it was developed.

The Dachshund Origin

The Dachshund originated in 15th century Europe where it was used to dig into tunnels and fight badgers because of its long body and short legs. Given that its body is custom-made for hunting nocturnal burrowing animals, German foresters began to develop a more consistent breed of their own in the 17th century.

Because of the Dachshund’s need to face badgers head-on, the Germans used selective breeding to produce dogs of different image, size, and coat. This is why this oddly proportioned dog looks the way it does. The Germans wanted the breed’s underjaw to be well-hinged, keel to extend beyond the elbow, and its ribcage to be well-developed so that it could meet its hunting requirements.

By the late 18th century, this Dachshund started to take form, resulting in two sizes: miniature, for pursuing rats and hares; and standard, for hunting wild boar, foxes, and badgers. It entered the United States in 1885 where it was also referred to as a “badger dog” to keep it from being shunned by society during World War II. It was also during this time that this breed was recognised by the American Kennel Club.

While it is unclear when the breed standard for a Dachshund was first developed, the Australian National Kennel Council (ANKC) adopted the UK Kennel Club’s “Pre-1987” standard in 1992. Six written standards describe all six varieties of the Dachshund similar to the description in J.F. Sayer’s book, which was titled, “The Illustrated Standard of Points of the Dachshund.” However, the UK Kennel Club revised its standard in 1994, bringing all six varieties under one standard.

In 1996, the National Dachshund Council of Australia was asked to vote between the Pre-1987 standard and the revised UK Kennel Club 1994 standard. It, however, voted for a proposed Australian standard that never pushed through, resulting in the adoption of the UK Kennel Club 1994 standard.

A revised version of the UK Kennel Club 1994 standard was adopted in 2009, and all owners of Dachshunds in Australia were asked whether they wanted to change to the current UK Kennel Club 1994 standard from the Pre-1987 standard. It wasn’t until June 2012 that the current UK Kennel Club Dachshund Standard came into effect.

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