The Dachshund breed is quite famous for its sausage-shaped body and short legs. Bred to chase badgers and burrows, the breed earned goodwill among pet owners for its positive attributes. The American Kennel Club (AKC) also ranked Dachshunds the 12th position out of 197 dog breeds for its popularity.
Dachshunds are skilled hunters and friendly companions. The unique shape of this breed often makes people curious about them. Surprisingly, there are various interesting and fun facts about Dachshunds that you barely know of. Now is the right time to learn about them.
Fun facts about Dachshunds
1. Artists were particularly attracted to this breed
Well-known people, especially artists have shown a considerable interest in the breed.
- During interviews, Andy Warhol would bring his Dachshund to answer the questions he didn’t like.
- After meeting David Douglas Duncan’s dachshund in 1957, Picasso fell in love with the breed. People often name their relation to be ‘Picasso & Lump: A Dachshund’s Odyssey’.
- David Hockney featured two of its Dachshunds in a total of his 45 oil paintings and a whole book.
- Gary Larson used his dogs for a parody book called Wiener Dog Art which is a collection of art pieces along with Dachshunds for creating a comical effect.
2. They have a dozen of nicknames
While people in the UK call this breed ‘Dachshunds’, they are known by different names all over the world. Some affectionately call them Doxie while in some areas; the canine is called ‘wiener dog’ or ‘sausage dog’ due to their elongated body shape.
After their origin, the breed was first known as Dachs Krieger meaning badge warrior. In many countries where the breed is popular, they are given unique names like Sosis, Jamnik, Bassotto, Perro Salchicha, Tax, Takca and others.
3. The ‘World’s Oldest Dog’ is this breed
The average lifespan of a dachshund is 12-15 years which is comparatively longer than most dog breeds. Among the 23 dogs who lived long enough to be part of the Guinness Book of World Record, the dachshund breed is one.
There is a doxie and a dachshund mix that have outlived their lifespan. Until 2009, Doxie named Chanel held a record of living for 21 years. In the following year, the Dachshund-terrier mix named Otto also made a record of dying at the age of 20.
4. They are the 49th most intelligent dog
Among the several specialties of the dachshund breed, intelligence is the strongest although the breed is said to have an average intelligence as a working dog. On giving a command, dachshunds will follow it almost 50% of the time.
According to the book ‘Intelligence of dogs’ written by Stanley Coren, Dachshunds are the 49th most intelligent dog breed. This is also among the interesting and fun facts about the breed. Stanley says that the obedience and working intelligence of the breed is at a fairly average point. Even the AKC considers the breed to be clever and lively.
5. They are the smallest hound
Dachshunds fall under the group of hound dogs. But, this is only limited to the USA and UK. In countries that follow the World Canine Federation, Dachshunds have a separate category. Some people opposed the idea of placing the breed under the scent hound group. The reason is, the breed was originally created for the purpose of hunting. Others however said that dachshunds should be included in the terrier group due to their digging and burrowing.
It is also considered as the smallest hound breed both by its height and weight. This is also among the interesting and fun facts about the breed.
6. They became an unofficial symbol for Germany
Dachshunds are greatly associated with Germany. Besides having a German name, the breed was also used by cartoonists to mock the country because, during World War I, Germans used this breed for its wartime propaganda. To avoid this, the AKC rebranded their name to ‘liberty pups’.
Kaiser Wilhelm II loved dachshunds. Two of its doxies-Wadl and Hexl were already popular for attacking the prized golden pheasant of Archduke Franz Ferdinand. Although rebranding the breed’s name didn’t bring about much change during wartime, it did make them one of the most famous breeds in the 21st century.
7. ‘Hotdogs’ were named after this breed
On looking at a dachshund, the first thing that comes to your mind is a ‘hotdog’. But, do you know that it was the dog and not the ‘hotdog’ that came first. This is one of the interesting and fun facts about dachshunds.
Hotdogs were originally called dachshund sausages by German butches as they resembled the shape of the dog. But, a cartoonist found it difficult to pronounce such a big name. Therefore, he used a shorter name. As a result, people were unable to find the comic. Later, the phrase ‘hot-dog’ was introduced in 1895 in the Yale Record which was about a lunch cart serving hotdogs to hungry students.
8. They know how to speak
After the rough situation of WWI, Dachshunds met with another weird experience. The Nazi scientists boasted in front of people that they could make the breed speak, read, spell and even use telepathy to communicate. They set up a programme called the Hundesprechschule Asra to complete the process.
Fortunately, they were successful in creating a dachshund that could speak. Its name was Kurwenal. Sources confirmed that the dog even had its own biography, according to Jan Bondeson’s book, Amazing Dogs: A Cabinet of Canine Curiosities. Before it died, it barked politely saying that it wasn’t afraid of dying and that even dogs have souls like humans. Its owner buried the dog in its own garden.
9. They were the first Olympic mascot
The first unofficial Olympic mascot was a red bull. But, gradually the Olympic organisers wanted a face that would suit the attributes of an athlete- resistance, agility and tenacity. They provided the partygoers with clay and crayons to come up with an idea. Thus, the first official Olympic mascot was born.
Waldi, the Dachshund was created by the 1972 Munich games’ Organisation Committee Christmas Party. It was a colourful Dachshund and was perfect for the role of a mascot. In that year, the Olympic officials also decided to lay the track of the marathon in the shape of a dachshund.
10. US presidents love dachshunds
History has witnessed the popularity of dachshunds among US Presidents. John F. Kennedy, during his Europe tour in 1937 bought a Dachshund for his girlfriend Olivia. The breed was adorable enough to attract his girlfriend and she named it Dunker. Unfortunately, Kennedy seemed to suffer from allergic problems due to the dog. As a result, Dunker was left behind.
Later, this breed again got a chance to be a pet of a President. Grover Cleveland, the 22nd and 24th President of the United States owned and loved his Dachshund.
11. They have also turned out to be a social media sensation
Like many dogs, several Dachshunds have been shown on social media. But, very few of them earn a reputation. One of them is Crusoe. Within a short time, Crusoe has gained quite a popularity on social media. It has its own Facebook page and has received over two million likes!
The Dachshund also has a Youtube Channel that has over 84 million views. In 2015, the dog even went to the launch of his own book ‘Crusoe: Adventures of the Wiener Dog Extraordinaire!‘ that turned into a New York Times best-seller. This can also be considered an interesting and fun fact about Dachshunds.
12. They come in three sizes and three coat types
Unlike breeds like Labradors, Dachshunds come in three different sizes. These are standard, miniature, and kaninchen. These sizes are recognised only by those countries that follow the World Canine Federation.
Just like the sizes, the breed also has three different coat types. These coat types include shorthaired, longhaired and wirehaired. Shorthaired dogs are the most common while the ones having long hair have silky coats near the ears and legs. But, the wirehaired dog is the most uncommon variety.
13. They were created for the purpose of hunting badgers
The title ‘Dachshunds’ is actually the German name for ‘Badger dogs’. People say that this breed was used by badger hunters to track the scent of badgers. According to the AKC, they have been hunting badgers from as early as the 15th century.
Although small, these dogs were always fierce and brave. Thus, during the 18th-19th century, people decided to breed the dog to become working canines. However, the exact time from when they started acting as working dogs is still unknown.
14. Few features of the breed are a result of breeding
The curved tail and flap-down ears are among the distinctive features of a Dachshund. But, what is surprising is the fact that these features are not natural. An interesting and fun fact about Dachshunds is that they have features that were deliberately created out of breeding. These features include the tail and the ears.
There were two reasons as to why breeders wanted curved tails in doxies; the first was so that they could be identified easily in long grass and the second was that it would be easy to pull them out of a tunnel if they got stuck. The long ears would also prevent grass seeds and other things from entering the ears.
15. They come from Egypt
The history of Dachshunds dates back to 600 long years. Although people may assume that this sausage breed came from Germany, some sources confirm otherwise. The origins of the breed can be traced back to North Africa; or to be more specific, Egypt.
Several inscriptions were found inside pyramids that portray a short-legged hunting dog which is very much similar to the Dachshund we see today. Some recent discoveries of mummified Dachshunds in the Egyptian burial grounds again confirm the existence of the breed in Egypt. But, what surprises the historians is how the breed found its way to the country of Germany.
Besides such interesting facts, the breed can provide much more- lots of love and companionship. As sturdy breeds, they are vigilant and fearless. This also makes them good guard dogs. When present with family, this small breed can be entertaining.
However, owners should know that they are stubborn. If you wish to own the breed, make sure you can deal with the breed’s insistence on doing things of its own.
Q. Do Dachshunds bark?
Dachshunds are natural barkers and will always bark to warn their owners. These dogs can communicate with how their owner is feeling and react accordingly.
Q. Do they undergo separation anxiety?
Dachshunds are prone to separation anxiety. They get distressed when left alone in the house for long hours. In such cases, they might start barking or chasing small animals like squirrels or chipmunks.
Q. Can Dachshunds swim?
Dachshunds are no swimmers. You can always teach them how to swim, but they will never be good at it. The reason is, the breed has very small legs to paddle in the water.