The Dachshund, known by their nicknames "Doxie" or "Weiner Dog," originated in Germany and can trace their history back at least 300 years. With a name that means "badger dog," these small hounds were originally bred to hunt badgers and other burrow-dwelling animals where they excelled due to their long, low body and loud bark. The earliest Dachshunds were larger and had short coats but today, the breed comes in three unique coat types that include: smooth-haired, long-haired, and wire-haired with two different sizes: miniature and standard. It is believed that other scenthounds such as Pointers, Beagles, and Basset Hounds were incorporated into the lineage to improve their hunting ability. In addition to being the terror of badgers, Dachshunds were also used in rabbit hunting, fox hunting, and locating wounded game such as deer and wild boar. Although their popularity decreased significantly during World War I and II, the Dachshund has earned its right as one of the most popular breeds in the United States.
Well-recognized, Dachshunds are mostly known for their characteristic "sausage-like" bodies, which makes them perfect for burrowing down holes for badgers and rabbits. The traditional smooth-haired Doxie has a short, smooth, and shiny coat but the long-haired and wire-haired varieties have their own environmental benefits. Long-haired hounds perform great in colder climates and have a silky, often slightly wavy coat that is longer on the neck, chest, stomach, ears, and behind the legs, while wire-haired dogs have a tight, short, thick topcoat with a finer, shorter undercoat that serves beneficial when working in thorny brier patches. Regardless of the coat type, all Dachshunds have medium-sized, dark-colored eyes with an endearing expression. Their rounded ears are of a moderate length and they have a slightly arched muzzle with a nose that can be black, brown, or self-colored. The Doxie's tail is carried not too gaily and extends without any curves.
The Dachshund may be one of the smallest hounds but they have the biggest and boldest personality. Some may be quieter, more terrier-like in temperament, or mischievous but all Doxies are fearless and can make a very playful family companion. They are not considered constant barkers, but when they do, the breed has a deep bark that does not seem like it came out of this small dog. Due to their hunting background, Dachshunds can be notorious diggers and have a strong prey drive so be wary if you have small animals like birds or rabbits. Although not built for long-distance running and extensive swimming, these determined little hounds never give up on any task given to them, a great partner to have in the hunt. The Doxie is intelligent but also independent and stubborn when it comes to training. With a consistent owner who gives plenty of positive reinforcement, you can have an obedient companion. These active hounds need moderate exercise and love to run around but they also love eating just as much. They should not be allowed to become overweight which can lead to unnecessary strain on their long backs. Their unique long-bodied shape catches the eye of many but the Dachshund's lovable temperament and entertaining personality keep everyone around.