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What is a Dachshund?

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  • Written By: Phil Shepley
  • Edited By: Bronwyn Harris
  • Last Modified Date: 03 December 2016
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A dachshund is a breed of dog that is known for its long body and curved, short legs that keep it low to the ground. It has a cone-shaped head, a muzzle that tapers, and droopy ears. The term dachshund translates as “badger hound” in German, and varieties usually have a short, smooth coat that is usually black or tan, but can also be a wide variety of other colors. They are also known for a well-developed sense of smell.

The dachshund originally was bred in Germany and was trained to hunt badgers. They were bred to be small in size, yet fearless, so they could dig to get to the badgers and then fight them. In the United States, the dachshund became popular in the early 20th century and remains a popular breed today. Generally, dachshunds are bred in two sizes, which are small and miniature, and weigh approximately 15 pounds (6.8 kg) to 33 pounds (15 kg.) Because of their stout, elongated shape, they are also sometimes referred to as wiener or sausage dogs.

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There are three main varieties of the dachshund, which are short-haired, wired-haired and long-haired. Short-haired dachshunds have a short, smooth and shiny coat while wire-haired dachshunds have a uniform coat of short, thick and rough hair, with the exception of their long eyebrows and smooth undercoat. The long-haired dachshund, the least common of the breeds, has a shiny and slightly wavy coat of hair that is longer on the underside of its body, giving it a unique and sophisticated appearance.

Dachshunds are not shy dogs and are known to be clever, lively and courageous. They are usually very friendly companions and make an ideal pet for homes with children, and can adapt to many different environments. Varieties with longer coats will generally need more grooming than their short-haired counterparts.

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