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Dachshunds Dogs: Great Big Heart, Itty Bitty Legs

For July’s issue of the BARF World E-zine, we officially welcome the summer. July is host to a couple of the biggest holidays of the year: Independence Day…and of course my birthday (which is July 25th)!

Since it is my birthday month, I get to write about whatever topic I want to for my article. And as someone who grew up with Dachshunds, I have made the decision to write about this very special breed.

Actually it’s quite fitting as July also happens to be National Hot Dog Month – “hot dog” being a common nickname for the Dachshund breed.

While the origin of the modern Dachshund is German (dachs meaning “badger” and hund meaning “dog”), there is some evidence to suggest that these dogs trace as far back as 3000 B.C. to ancient Egypt. Mummified remains of Dachshund-like dogs have been uncovered, as well as engravings of short-legged hunting dogs.

As the name would indicate, Dachshunds are hunting dogs, primarily bred to track badgers, although they are also used to hunt foxes, rabbits, and fowl. They have the distinction of being the only certifiable breed to hunt both above and below ground. They do not seem to give any regard to their small stature, tracking with intensity and hunting with a ferocity that exceeds their physical size.

Dachshunds mainly come in “standard” (15-28 lbs.) and “miniature” (10-12 lbs.), but a couple of other sizes have recently become available. These are “toy” (less than 8 lbs.), and “tweenie” (13-14 lbs.) Short-haired Dachshunds are the most common, closely followed by long-haired while wire-haired Dachshunds are the least common breed type.

Other features of the Dachshund include a long snout for increased ability to pick up scent while tracking, flap-down ears to keep out dirt and grass, a broad deep chest for increased lung capacity while burrowing, paddle-shaped paws that are excellent for digging, and a strong tail which can be pulled in the event that the dog needs to be retrieved from a hole…or underneath the couch.

Dachshunds are one of the most popular breeds in America as well as Germany and several other countries.

Although extremely loyal very playful, and quite intelligent, Dachshunds have a reputation for being stubborn and a little hard to train. Patience is a must with this dog breed.

Because they are hunters, they can be aggressive in certain situations. They are also fearless, and have no problem challenging a dog 10 times their size or larger. They have even been used in packs to hunt wolverines.

Dachshunds have a predisposition to develop back and neck problems due to their odd shape. This breed can easily become obese if overfed or underworked which can contribute to a higher risk of developing these health issues.

Despite this, their shape provides a fair amount of enjoyment to those around them, often being referred to as “half a dog high, and one and a half a dog long”. This supports their nicknames: “hot dog”, “sausage dog”, “wiener dog”, and “weenie dog”.

Many famous people have come to own and become avid Dachshund lovers. Dachshund lovers include:

Queen Margrethe II (Denmark)
Grover Cleveland
Pablo Picasso
William Randolph Hurst
Jack Ruby
Andy Warhol.

This fascinating breed is so well loved that the city of Zelenogorsk, Russia has a Dachshund monument prominently displayed. Every year on “City Day” (July 25th) a parade of Dachshunds can be seen marching through the heart of the city…and every year on July 25th, my own doxie can be seen sitting on my lap, trying to figure out how to get a hold of a piece of my chocolate birthday cake, with raspberry frosting, of course.

For more information on dachshunds, feel free to check out:


Until next time, happy BARFing!

Evan Price is a Raw Diet Educator for BARF World Inc. He is a true dog lover at heart with a particular interest in Dachshunds. Evan is also an avid sports enthusiast and bridge player. For more articles like these and to learn more about the benefits of raw food for your pets, sign up for The Intelligent Pet weekly e-zine at www.barfworld.com.


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