Dachshunds (Cassell's Illustrated Book of the Dog, 1881)

Dachshunds (Cassell’s Illustrated Book of the Dog, 1881)

History and Development

It is certain that by chance, mutation and finally by recognized breeding, the Dachshund, or Teckel as it is known in Germany, has been evolved from the oldest known breeds of dog. In old German documents there is mention of the “Tracking Dog ‘ and of the Bibarhunt or predecessor of the Teckel.

In 16th century documents repeated reference is made lo “Little Burrow Dog”, “Badger Dog” and “Dacksel”, and woodcuts of 1576 to 1582 show cross-bred dogs on lengthy Dachshund bodies. Ai the end of the 17th century the “Badger Fighter” is described as a “peculiar low crooked legged specie”, while in 1848 Teckels became well known to hunting historians of that period and were described as follows:

A good looking Dachshund is long and low, the back arched, belly drawn up weasel fashion, chest deep, neck long and strong, canine teeth interlocking closely, the eye expressive and spirited, the tail fine and not carried too gaily. The hind legs more still and straight than is usually the case in other dogs. Forelegs strong and muscular, not crooked but only with the broad strong feet turned outwards.

Throughout the centuries our Dachshund was bred as a hunting dog. Definitely to the year 1848, the Smooth-haired variety was the offspring of the crossing of the Miniature French Pointer, or Bracke, with the Pinscher (Vermin Killer). And the Long-hair was the product of the crossing of the Smooth-haired Dachshund with the Spaniel, and the old German Stoberhund (Gun Dog). To amplify these two varieties further, at the close of the 19rh century the Wire-haired Dachshund was created by inter-breeding with the Wire-haired Pinschers, Schnauzers and English Dandie Dinmonts, and Scottish Terriers. And at the beginning of the 20th century the Miniature and Kaninchenteckel were brought into being by crossing the Smooths with Miniature Pinschers, the Longs with Papillons, and the small type Schnauzer in the making of the Miniature wire.

The oldest Dachshund Club in the world, founded in 1881, and at that time for Smooths only, is that of England. The Deutscher Teckelklub was formed in 1888.

In the latter half of the 19th century many breeds were defined and the English, above all, excelled in how to produce new varieties. Of the smaller breeds, one which continued to increase the number of its breeders and admirers was the Dachshund. Hut he developed as a house dog, and most unfortunately became a fashionable dog- As by nature he was already of comical and original appearance, he gradually became still lower, still longer and still heavier, being depicted as the sausage dogs of the comics.

From this time Smooth Dachshund breeding improved with the whelping of Jackdaw in 1886, and in 1887 his son Snakes Prince was acknowledged as the best of his breed so far produced in England and probably as good as anything in Germany. In 1903 Racker Von Der Ecke was imported into England, his assets being excellent legs, feet and bone. He was widely used at stud. Following the 1914—18 war the need for new blood was realised in England and two animals were imported who were destined to form the foundation of what was then called the modem type. Remagan Max came to England when the general quality of available breeding stock was rather low. He was much used at stud and had the knack of getting good products from all kinds of bitches. In 1930 a stud force of the tirst magnitude was imported in Wolf Von Birkenschloss, a small dog, very compactly and strongly built, excellent in soundness. shoulder placement, hindquarters and feet. Again in 1938 another import who was to make a lasting influence for good, not only on the Smooth variety but also (from the recessive long-haired factor) on the Longhaired variety, was Zeus Von Schwarenburg.

In Long-hairs the earliest imports of note occurred around 1900; the foundation stock came from Austria. Following the war years 1914-18 an important import was Ratzmann Von Habitschof, a Jog with a glorious head, enormous length, very heavy bone, sound close feet, and a profuse coat of perfect texture. He was much used at stud and in the absence of any other dogs of note, the results of close and persistent inter-breeding inevitably appeared. In 1928 Elfe Von Fels was imported in whelp, and her son, bred to existing stock, produced a long line of outstanding specimens. In 1931 the famous Otter Von Pels was imported, to round the Von Walder Line; the Habitschof blood again being brought to England through Ursel Von Der Golderen Pearl as his mate. By the mid 1940’s the Long-hairs again needed new blood, this being provided for by the birth in 1954 of Imber Coffee Bean, son of the Long-hair Imber Black Coffee (the great-great-grandson of the imported Smooth Zeus Von Schwarenburg) ex daughter of Suse Von Fuchensohl, again carrying the Von Habitschot blood. This dog was used extensively.

For the Wires, the first known import was of a dog called Woolsack born in 1888. No determined effort being made to bring Wire-hairs to prominence in England till 1927, when several good dogs and bitches were imported from Germany. These being followed by the importation from Sweden of the Sports line just previous to the 1939 war; these representatives firmly establishing a type.

Dachshunds may be found in almost all countries. In Australia, New Zealand, and South Africa the breeders give much credit to the soundness of the imported English stock, while in America breeders have relied upon the German lines, and developed some outstanding specimens in all coats and sizes. The A.K.C. registered its first specimen in 1885, an American-bred named Dash, whelped in 1879. It was a Smooth; the Long-hair and the Wire-hair were not registered in the U.S.A. until 1931.

Dachshund: Color

A study of color effects is very important in this breed. Many colors are found in the Dachshund, black and tan, chocolate and tan, red, with the occasional dapple, most frequent at present in the Miniature Wires. The Long-hairs seldom produce the dapple coat, although brindles can be bred for. In the Wires bundle is the most frequent color. No white, other than a small spot on the chest is permissible, but not desirable.

In breeding for color, two basic principles should be borne in mind. The first is that weak pigmentation is often accompanied by constitutional weakness; the second that in breeding whole-colored individuals together there is a tendency for the progeny to be less strongly pigmented than their parents. The original fount of pigmentation in Dachshunds is the red coloration. All the other color varieties – red, brindle, chocolate and dapple – derive from this and represent a weakening, or dilution, of the original pigment factors, if red is bred to red, generation after generation, the color becomes pale and washy. The resulting bad-colored specimens will probably show light eyes, pink or brown noses and white markings on chest or toes, and tins faulty coloration will go with diminished vitality, constitutional weakness, and lack of substance. It is not suggested that in this breed the mating of a red dog to a red bitch is always unwise. In (he Long-hairs, brindle represents the next step to black and tan. and may also In- used to strengthen pigmentation in the reds, light eyes frequently occur in stock bred from parents showing this fault. Two light-eyed Dachshunds should on no account be mated together. Chocolate represents, it is believed, a deviation from black and tan caused by the loss or repression of a pigment factor. The origin of the color is, however, rather problematic. Chocolate is not a good color to breed to red, as such matings almost invariably produce washy chocolates or chocolate reds with pink noses and light eyes. Chocolate should only be mated to chocolate it both parents are especially dark and rich in color. Mated to black and tan, chocolate usually produces deep-colored chocolates or richly marked black and tans. Chocolate in the ancestry will often crop up as a recessive factor in offspring many generations later. The brindle coat of the Wire is dominant; to breed a black and tan, a red or a dapple, one parent must be of this color. In the Smooth-hairs two dapples should not be mated together, for the risk of albino characteristics (an almost white coat, and small, pale, near-blind, or blind eyes) is too great. Strangely, it is possible to do this mating in the Wire-hairs, without incurring these detects.

Dachshund: Care

Rearing of Dachshund puppies is not difficult providing the owner is prepared to make it impossible for them to scramble up steps, stairs or on to furniture. It this is allowed the shoulder muscles, which at a youthful age are very elastic, will become overstretched, so allowing the points of the elbows to become prominent This is an ugly fault and one that maturity cannot improve.

Diet is important, the puppies requiring raw meat in small quantities from the third week, with adequate amounts of milk feeds. By the time they are eight weeks the amount of meat should be eight ounces. The Dachshund puppy should have freedom 10 run around and sleep when tired, and sunshine with the Vitamins C and D is invaluable for speedy growth.

Dachshund: Character

The Dachshund character is (provided it is given the opportunity to develop) one of ready intelligence, indomitable spirit, blended with craft and humor. The Smooths and Wires are more demonstrative, with the Long-hairs showing much dignity and independence.

Dachshund: Standards

The Standards require that the height at the shoulder should be half the length of the body from point of breast bone to “set-on” of tail, the girth of the chest being double the height at shoulder. The lowest point of the keel being on a level with the wrist joint. The top-line must not dip behind the shoulders, neither should the hindquarters be higher than the shoulders. The top-line should not be completely fiat and should show a very slight rise over the loin falling easily to the tail set. The crook of the forelegs is, in the present day Dachshund, not so pronounced, and no greater turn of the feet must be seen than would show if the dog were standing on a clock (ace with six o’clock mid centre and its feet at five and seven o’clock, and with the weight evenly spread on all parts of the foot. In America and Canada the Miniature weight is 9 lbs. and under; in the near future this will probably rise to 10 lbs. In England the weight of all varieties is 11 lbs. and under. The Australians do not weight their Miniatures, the responsibility being placed upon the judge.

The sporting instinct is fostered in Germany, and the Dachshund used by the foresters is required to be not too low to ground and a good mover. A dog too low soon becomes wet in rainy weather or in snow, and if working under ground could damage its chest, and it in pain might well be unwilling to continue its track. The German Dachshund is not only used for tracking hares, wounded deer and fox, but also for the sauhatz or boar. The Dachshund being able on account of its stature and nimbleness to avoid the boar’s tusks.

The German Dachshund must not weigh more than 20 lbs. and consequently there is no gap between Miniatures and Standards. That is to say that it a dog’s chest measures more than 35 cm., it is Standard. But they are not light in hone: they must have good bone whatever the size. The Long-hairs must show feathered ears, tails and legs, and have a flat body coat. In Wires the Deutscher Teckelklub has stopped the crossing of Wire to Smooth-hair. They demand a good, harsh coat, but the dogs at present appear to have a “Smooth type” head. Judges seem to prefer the appearance of’ a broader muzzle on Wires. Recently the Teckelklub has removed the suggested weight of 4 kilos (8•8 lbs.) for Miniatures, and now only measure at the limit of 35 cm. This chest measurement is taken immediately behind the front legs around the deepest part of the chest. Heads in all varieties are much flatter on top of skull, giving a much bolder appearance. Continental judges do not like “domed heads”.

In America the demand is for a larger, more imposing animal (in some cases as much as 28-30 lbs.) who can win a Group. The American Dachshund is required to have a very heavy front with the breast bone even more prominent than is required in England. The heads are bred long and narrow. The Long-hair, Miniature or Standard does not always have the profuse coat of the English dogs. Presentation in America is very important, and the animals are really handled while in the ring. In Germany no animal must be touched by the owner, and must be shown on a completed loose lead.

Selections from the book: “The World Encyclopedia of Dogs” (1971)