Dachshund

The dachshund (UK pron.: /?d?ks?nd/ or US /?dksh?nt/ dahks-huunt or US /?dks?nt/;[2]) is a short-legged, long-bodied dog breed belonging to the hound family. The standard size dachshund was bred to scent, chase, and flush out badgers and other burrow-dwelling animals, while the miniature dachshund was developed to hunt smaller prey such as rabbits. In the American West they have also been used to hunt prairie dogs. Today, they are bred for conformation shows and as family pets. Some dachshund participate in earthdog trials. According to the AKC, the dachshund continues to remain one of the top 10 dog breeds in the United States. Origin of the name The name "dachshund" is of German origin and literally means "badger dog", from Dachs ("badger") and Hund ("dog"). The pronunciation varies widely in English: variations of the first and second syllables include /?dks-/, /?d?ks-/, /?d-/ and /-h?nt/, /-h?nd/, /-?nd/. Although this is not the modern German name for the breed, in German this word would be pronounced [?daksh?nt].[4] Because of their long, narrow build, they are often nicknamed wiener dog or sausage dog. Although "dachshund" is a German word, in modern German they are more commonly known by the name Dackel or, among hunters, Teckel. [edit]Classification While classified in the hound group or scent hound group in the United States and Great Britain, there are some who consider this classification to be arguable,[5] speculating that it arose from the fact that the word Hund is similar to the English word hound and the word "Dachshund" has even been anglicized as "Dash Hound".[6] Many dachshunds, especially the wire-haired subtype, may exhibit behavior and appearance that are similar to that of the terrier group of dogs.[7] An argument can be made for the scent (or hound) group classification because the breed was developed to use scent to trail and hunt animals, and probably descended from scent hounds, such as bloodhounds, pointers, Basset Hounds, or even Bruno Jura Hounds; but with the persistent personality and love for digging that probably developed from the terrier, it can also be argued that they could belong in the terrier, or "earth dog", group.[7] In the Federation Cynologique Internationale (World Canine Federation), or FCI, the dachshund is actually in its own group, Group 4, which is the dachshund group.[8] Part of the controversy is because the dachshund is the only certifiable breed of dog to hunt both above and below ground.[9][10] [edit]Characteristics [edit]Appearance The typical dachshund is long-bodied and muscular, with short, stubby legs. Its front paw

are unusually large and paddle-shaped, for extreme digging. One dachshund was known to have dug a 10 meter hole to catch its unsuspecting prey. Long coated dachshunds have a silky coat and short featherings on legs and ears. It has skin that is loose enough not to tear while tunneling in tight burrows to chase prey. Typically the dachshund will burrow underneath its prey's burrow, so it can take its prey out by surprise. The dachshund has a deep chest to allow enough lung capacity to keep going when hunting; particularly when burrowing for more than three days straight, which is a fairly regular occurrence for this breed. Its snout is long with an increased nose area that absorbs odors.[10] There are three types of dachshund, which can be classified by their coats: short-haired, called "smooth"; long-haired; and wire-haired.[11] [edit]Size A standard long-haired dachshund (left) and miniature smooth-haired dachshund (right) Dachshunds come in three sizes: standard, miniature,[11] and kaninchen (German for "rabbit"). Although the standard and miniature sizes are recognized almost universally, the rabbit size is not recognized by clubs in the United States and the United Kingdom, but is recognized by all of the clubs within the Federation Cynologique Internationale (World Canine Federation) (FCI), which contain kennel clubs from 83 countries all over the world.[12] An increasingly common size for family pets falls between the miniature and the standard size, frequently referred to as "tweenies."[citation needed] A full-grown standard dachshund averages 16 lb (7.3 kg) to 32 lb (15 kg), while the miniature variety normally weighs less than 12 lb (5.4 kg).[11] The kaninchen weighs 8 lb (3.6 kg) to 11 lb (5.0 kg). According to kennel club standards, the miniature (and kaninchen, where recognized) differs from the full-size only by size and weight, thus offspring from miniature parents must never weigh more than the miniature standard to be considered a miniature as well.[11] While many kennel club size divisions use weight for classification, such as the American Kennel Club, other kennel club standards determine the difference between the miniature and standard by chest circumference; some kennel clubs, such as in Germany, even measure chest circumference in addition to height and weight.[13] H. L. Mencken said that "A dachshund is a half-dog high and a dog-and-a-half long,"[14] although they have been referred to as "two dogs long".[15] This characteristic has led them to be quite a recognizable breed, and they are featured in many a joke and cartoon, particularly The Far Side by Gary Larson.