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Where it started...
The dachshund takes its name from the German words for badger, “dachs” and dog, “hund”, and it was originally a generic designation, much like “rabbit dog” or “bird dog”. The history of this breed, like that of so many others, can vary in general terms and in specific detail depending on the historian.
What we know as fact about the history of the dachshund begins in Europe. According to the Horswell book Pet Dachshund “the real origin of the dachshund breed is embraced in the 300 years (1550 to 1850) during which the German forester-game-keepers and sportsmen among the land-owning gentry - at first selecting dogs for their success in hunting badgers underground – gradually produced a “badger dog” better adapted by structure and temperament to cope with the dangerous claws and fangs of this formidable 25 – 40 pound antagonist.
There were many other forms of game in German forest besides badgers, and the versatility of dachshunds was encouraged, to seek out small game on the surface, and on a five-meter leash, to trail wounded game, including small and large deer, for their dispatch, and recovery of the venison. However, as their name emphasizes, their structure was specialized for pursuing appropriate game underground.
By the time of the earliest preserved breeding records, dachshund type, as we distinguish it today from other breeds, had become clearly defined and stabilized.
The smooth and longhaired coats were early separated: the smooth, short, dense and sleek; the longhaired, soft and silky, to protect from water and cold. During the 19th century, to protect from briar and bramble, a harsh, wiry, terrier-type coat, with water repellent undercoat produced the third variety, the wirehaired..
Since the turn of the 20th century, for smaller vermin and to bolt cottontail rabbits, miniature dachshunds of all three coats have been bred down as small as six and five pounds, and are increasingly popular as pets.”
The Deutscher Teckel Klub (German Dachshund Club) was founded in 1888. In 1895 the Dachshund Club of America was established, the eighth breed club to join AKC.
Today’s dachshund, while universally recognized as a very popular pet, is still regularly employed as a hunter and tracker of wounded game.
The dachshund distinguishes itself as the only breed used for tracking, for flushing game, and for going to ground. Many other breeds perform one or two of these functions, but only the dachshund is regularly used for all three.
In the world of AKC performance events, den trials and field trials are becoming increasingly popular activities for the dachshund, and more and more members of this versatile breed are sporting both companion- and performance-events titles along with their bench championships.
There are six dachshunds that have earned titles in all AKC venues where dachshunds can compete – Conformation, Field Trials, Earthdog, Obedience, Rally, Tracking, and Agility.
The dachshund is one of the breeds eligible to earn an AKC Triple Championship. A Triple Championship is awarded to a dog that is a Dual Champion in addition to earning either an Obedience Trial Champion (OTCH), or Master Agility Champion (MACH), or Champion Tracker (CT) title. There are approximately a dozen Triple Champions of all breeds and of those, three are dachshunds.
Between 2002 and 2006, 3231 dachshunds earned their breed Championships (CH), 389 earned their Field Championships (FC) and 165 earned their Dual Championship (DC, which is both a CH and FC). Also during that time period, 313 dachshunds earned Earthdog titles, 258 earned Obedience titles, 416 earned Rally titles, 51 earned Tracking titles, and 867 earned Agility titles.