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The Dachshund

Persons unfamiliar with the sporting properties of this long-bodied

breed are apt to refer smilingly to the Dachshund as the dog that

is sold by the yard, and few even of those who know him give credit

to the debonair little fellow for the grim work which he is intended

to perform in doing battle with the vicious badger in its lair.

Dachshund means badger dog, and it is a title fairly and squarely

earned in his native

Given proper training, he will perform the duties of several sporting

breeds rolled into one. Possessing a wonderful nose, combined with

remarkable steadiness, his kind will work out the coldest scent, and

once fairly on the line they will give plenty of music and get over

the ground at a pace almost incredible. Dachshunds hunt well in a

pack, and, though it is not their recognised vocation, they can be

successfully used on hare, on fox, and any form of vermin that wears

a furry coat. But his legitimate work is directed against the badger,

in locating the brock under ground, worrying and driving him into

his innermost earth, and there holding him until dug out. It is no

part of his calling to come to close grips, though that often happens

in the confined space in which he has to work. In this position a

badger with his powerful claws digs with such energy and skill as

rapidly to bury himself, and the Dachshund needs to be provided with

such apparatus as will permit him to clear his way and keep in touch

with his formidable quarry. The badger is also hunted by Dachshunds

above ground, usually in the mountainous parts of Germany, and in

the growing crops of maize, on the lower slopes, where the vermin

work terrible havoc in the evening. In this case the badger is rounded

up and driven by the dogs up to the guns which are posted between

the game and their earths. For this sport the dog used is heavier,

coarser, and of larger build, higher on the leg, and more generally

houndy in appearance. Dachshunds are frequently used for deer driving,

in which operation they are especially valuable, as they work slowly,

and do not frighten or overrun their quarry, and can penetrate the

densest undergrowth. Packs of Dachshunds may sometimes be engaged

on wild boar, and, as they are web-footed and excellent swimmers,

there is no doubt that their terrier qualities would make them useful

assistants to the Otterhound. Apropos of their capabilities in the

water it is the case that a year or two ago, at Offenbach-on-Main,

at some trials arranged for life-saving by dogs, a Dachshund carried

off the first prize against all comers.

As a companion in the house the Dachshund has perhaps no compeer.

He is a perfect gentleman; cleanly in his habits, obedient,

unobtrusive, incapable of smallness, affectionate, very sensitive

to rebuke or to unkindness, and amusingly jealous. As a watch he is

excellent, quick to detect a strange footstep, valiant to defend the

threshold, and to challenge with deep voice any intruder, yet sensibly

discerning his master's friends, and not annoying them with prolonged

growling and grumbling as many terriers do when a stranger is

admitted. Properly brought up, he is a perfectly safe and amusing

companion for children, full of animal spirits, and ever ready to

share in a romp, even though it be accompanied by rough and tumble

play. In Germany, where he is the most popular of all dogs, large

or small, he is to be found in every home, from the Emperor's palace

downwards, and his quaint appearance, coupled with his entertaining

personality, is daily seized upon by the comic papers to illustrate

countless jokes at his expense.

The origin of the Dachshund is not very clear. Some writers have

professed to trace the breed or representations of it on the monuments

of the Egyptians. Some aver that it is a direct descendant of the

French Basset-hound, and others that he is related to the old

Turnspits--the dogs so excellent in kitchen service, of whom Dr. Caius

wrote that when any meat is to be roasted they go into a wheel, where

they, turning about with the weight of their bodies, so diligently

look to their business that no drudge nor scullion can do the feat

more cunningly, whom the popular sort hereupon term Turnspits.

Certainly the dog commonly used in this occupation was long of body

and short of leg, very much resembling the Dachshund.

In all probability the Dachshund is a manufactured breed--a breed

evolved from a large type of hound intermixed with a terrier to suit

the special conditions involved in the pursuit and extermination of

a quarry that, unchecked, was capable of seriously interfering with

the cultivation of the land. He comprises in his small person the

characteristics of both hound and terrier--his wonderful powers of

scent, his long, pendulous ears, and, for his size, enormous bone,

speak of his descent from the hound that hunts by scent. In many

respects he favours the Bloodhound, and one may often see Dachshunds

which, having been bred from parents carefully selected to accentuate

some fancy point, have exhibited the very pronounced peak (occipital

bone), the protruding haw of the eye, the loose dewlap and the colour

markings characteristic of the Bloodhound. His small stature, iron

heart, and willingness to enter the earth bespeak the terrier cross.

The Dachshund was first introduced to this country in sufficient

numbers to merit notice in the early 'sixties, and, speedily

attracting notice by his quaint formation and undoubted sporting

instincts, soon became a favourite. At first appearing at shows in

the Foreign Dog class, he quickly received a recognition of his

claims to more favoured treatment, and was promoted by the Kennel

Club to a special classification as a sporting dog. Since then his

rise has been rapid, and he now is reckoned as one of the numerically

largest breeds exhibited. Unfortunately, however, he has been little,

if ever, used for sport in the sense that applies in Germany, and

this fact, coupled with years of breeding from too small a stock (or

stock too nearly related) and the insane striving after the fanciful

and exaggerated points demanded by judges at dog shows, many of whom

never saw a Dachshund at his legitimate work, has seriously affected

his usefulness. He has deteriorated in type, lost grit and sense,

too, and is often a parody of the true type of Dachshund that is to

be found in his native land.

To the reader who contemplates possessing one or more Dachshunds a

word of advice may be offered. Whether you want a dog for sport, for

show, or as a companion, endeavour to get a good one--a well-bred

one. To arrive at this do not buy from an advertisement on your own

knowledge of the breed, but seek out an expert amateur breeder and

exhibitor, and get his advice and assistance. If you intend to start

a kennel for show purposes, do not buy a high-priced dog at a show,

but start with a well-bred bitch, and breed your own puppies, under

the guidance of the aforementioned expert. In this way, and by rearing

and keeping your puppies till they are of an age to be exhibited,

and at the same time carefully noting the awards at the best shows,

you will speedily learn which to retain and the right type of dog

to keep and breed for, and in future operations you will be able to

discard inferior puppies at an earlier age. But it is a great mistake,

if you intend to form a kennel for show purposes, to sell or part

with your puppies too early. It is notorious with all breeds that

puppies change very much as they grow. The best looking in the nest

often go wrong later, and the ugly duckling turns out the best of

the litter. This is especially true of Dachshunds, and it requires

an expert to pick the best puppy of a litter at a month or two old,

and even he may be at fault unless the puppy is exceptionally well


To rear Dachshund puppies successfully you must not overload them

with fat--give them strengthening food that does not lay on flesh.

Lean, raw beef, finely chopped, is an excellent food once or twice

a day for the first few months, and, though this comes expensive,

it pays in the end. Raw meat is supposed to cause worm troubles, but

these pests are also found where meat is not given, and in any case

a puppy is fortified with more strength to withstand them if fed on

raw meat than otherwise, and a good dosing from time to time will

be all that is necessary to keep him well and happy.

Young growing puppies must have their freedom to gambol about, and

get their legs strong. Never keep the puppies cooped up in a small

kennel run or house. If you have a fair-sized yard, give them the

run of that, or even the garden, in spite of what your gardener may

say--they may do a little damage to the flowers, but will assuredly

do good to themselves. They love to dig in the soft borders: digging

is second nature to them, and is of great importance in their


If you have not a garden, or if the flowers are too sacred, it is

better to place your puppies as early as possible with respectable

cottagers, or small farmers, especially the latter, with whom they

will have entire freedom to run about, and will not be overfed.

If you intend to show your puppies, you should begin some time in

advance to school them to walk on the lead and to stand quiet when

ordered to. Much depends on this in the judging ring, where a dog

who is unused to being on a lead often spoils his chances of appearing

at his best under the (to him) strange experiences of restraint which

the lead entails.

During the past five-and-twenty years the names of two particular

Dachshunds stand out head and shoulders above those of their

competitors: Champions Jackdaw and Pterodactyl. Jackdaw had a

wonderful record, having, during a long show career, never been beaten

in his class from start to finish, and having won many valuable

prizes. He was credited with being the most perfect Dachshund that

had ever been seen in England, and probably as good as anything in


Ch. Jackdaw was a black and tan dog, bred and owned by Mr. Harry

Jones, of Ipswich. He was sired by Ch. Charkow, out of Wagtail, and

born 20th July, 1886. Through his dam he was descended from a famous

bitch, Thusnelda, who was imported by Mr. Mudie in the early

'eighties. She was a winner of high honours in Hanover. The name of

Jackdaw figures in all the best pedigrees of to-day.

Ch. Pterodactyl was born in 1888, and bred by Mr. Willink. He was

in a measure an outcross from the standard type of the day, and his

dam, whose pedigree is in dispute, was thought to have been imported.

After passing through one or two hands he was purchased by Mr. Harry

Jones, and in his kennel speedily made a great name in the show ring

and at the stud, and was eventually sold for a high price to Mr.

Sidney Woodiwiss, who at that period had the largest kennel of

Dachshunds in England.

Ptero, as he was called, was a big, light red dog, with wonderful

fore-quarters and great muscular development. He also possessed what

is called a punishing jaw and rather short ears, and looked a

thorough business dog. He had an almost unbroken series of successes

at shows in England, and being taken to Germany (in the days before

the quarantine regulations), he took the highest honours in the

heavy-weight class, and a special prize for the best Dachshund of

all classes. This dog became the favourite sire of his day and the

fashionable colour.

The black and tan thereupon went quite out of favour, and this fact,

coupled with the reckless amount of inbreeding of red to red that

has been going on since Ptero's day, accounts largely for the

prevalence of light eyes, pink noses, and bad-coloured coats of the

Dachshunds, as a class, to-day.

There are, strictly speaking, three varieties of Dachshund--(a)

the short-haired, (b) the long-haired, and (c) the rough-haired.

Of these we most usually find the first-named in England, and they

are no doubt the original stock. Of the others, though fairly numerous

in Germany, very few are to be seen in this country, and although

one or two have been imported the type has never seemed to appeal

to exhibitors.

Both the long-haired and rough-haired varieties have no doubt been

produced by crosses with other breeds, such as the Spaniel and

probably the Irish Terrier, respectively.

In the long-haired variety the hair should be soft and wavy, forming

lengthy plumes under the throat, lower parts of the body, and the

backs of the legs, and it is longest on the under side of the tail,

where it forms a regular flag like that of a Setter or Spaniel. The

rough-haired variety shows strongly a terrier cross by his varmint

expression and short ears.

The Germans also subdivide by colour, and again for show purposes

by weight. These subdivisions are dealt with in their proper order

in the standard of points, and it is only necessary to say here that

all the varieties, colours, and weights are judged by the same

standard except in so far as they differ in texture of coat. At the

same time the Germans themselves do not regard the dapple Dachshunds

as yet so fixed in type as the original coloured dogs, and this

exception must also apply to the long and the rough haired varieties.

The following German standard of points embodies a detailed

description of the breed:--

* * * * *


Dachshund is a very long and low dog, with compact and well-muscled

body, resting on short, slightly crooked fore-legs. A long head and

ears, with bold and defiant carriage and intelligent expression. In

disposition the Dachshund is full of spirit, defiant when attacked,

aggressive even to foolhardiness when attacking; in play amusing and

untiring; by nature wilful and unheeding. HEAD--Long, and appearing

conical from above, and from a side view, tapering to the point of

the muzzle, wedge-shaped. The skull should be broad rather than

narrow, to allow plenty of brain room, slightly arched, and fairly

straight, without a stop, but not deep or snipy. EYES--Medium in size,

oval, and set obliquely, with very clear, sharp expression and of a

dark colour, except in the case of the liver and tan, when the eyes

may be yellow; and in the dapple, when the eyes may be light or

wall-eyed. NOSE--Preferably deep black. The flesh-coloured and

spotted noses are allowable only in the liver and tan and dapple

varieties. EARS--Set on moderately high, or, seen in profile, above

the level of the eyes, well back, flat, not folded, pointed, or

narrow, hanging close to the cheeks, very mobile, and when at

attention carried with the back of the ear upward and outward.

NECK--Moderately long, with slightly arched nape, muscular and clean,

showing no dewlap, and carried well up and forward. FORE-QUARTERS--His

work underground demands strength and compactness, and, therefore,

the chest and shoulder regions should be deep, long, and wide. The

shoulder blade should be long, and set on very sloping, the upper

arm of equal length with, and at right angles to, the shoulder blade,

strong-boned and well-muscled, and lying close to ribs, but moving

freely. The lower arm is slightly bent inwards, and the feet should

be turned slightly outwards, giving an appearance of crooked legs

approximating to the cabriole of a Chippendale chair. Straight,

narrow, short shoulders are always accompanied by straight, short,

upper arms, forming an obtuse angle, badly developed brisket and

keel or chicken breast, and the upper arm being thrown forward by

the weight of the body behind causes the legs to knuckle over at the

knees. Broad, sloping shoulders, on the other hand, insure soundness

of the fore-legs and feet. LEGS AND FEET--Fore-legs very short and

strong in bone, slightly bent inwards; seen in profile, moderately

straight and never bending forward or knuckling over. Feet large,

round, and strong, with thick pads, compact and well-arched toes,

nails strong and black. The dog must stand equally on all parts of

the foot. BODY--Should be long and muscular, the chest very oval,

rather than very narrow and deep, to allow ample room for heart and

lungs, hanging low between front legs, the brisket point should be

high and very prominent, the ribs well sprung out towards the loins

(not flat-sided). Loins short and strong. The line of back only

slightly depressed behind shoulders and only slightly arched over

loins. The hind-quarters should not be higher than the shoulders,

thus giving a general appearance of levelness. HIND-QUARTERS--The

rump round, broad, and powerfully muscled; hip bone not too short,

but broad and sloping; the upper arm, or thigh, thick, of good length,

and jointed at right angles to the hip bone. The lower leg (or second

thigh) is, compared with other animals, short, and is set on at right

angles to the upper thigh, and is very firmly muscled. The hind-legs

are lighter in bone than the front ones, but very strongly muscled,

with well-rounded-out buttocks, and the knee joint well developed.

Seen from behind, the legs should be wide apart and straight, and

not cowhocked. The dog should not be higher at the quarters than at

shoulder. STERN--Set on fairly high, strong at root, and tapering,

but not too long. Neither too much curved nor carried too high; well,

but not too much, feathered; a bushy tail is better than too little

hair. COAT AND SKIN--Hair short and close as possible, glossy and

smooth, but resistant to the touch if stroked the wrong way. The skin

tough and elastic, but fitting close to the body. COLOUR--One

Coloured:--There are several self-colours recognised, including deep

red, yellowish red, smutty red. Of these the dark, or cherry, red

is preferable, and in this colour light shadings on any part of the

body or head are undesirable. Black is rare, and is only a sport

from black and tan. Two Coloured:--Deep black, brown (liver) or

grey, with golden or tan markings (spots) over the eyes at the side

of the jaw and lips, inner rim of ears, the breast, inside and back

of legs, the feet, and under the tail for about one-third of its

length. In the above-mentioned colours white markings are

objectionable. The utmost that is allowed being a small spot, or a

few hairs, on the chest. Dappled:--A silver grey to almost white

foundation colour, with dark, irregular spots (small for preference)

of dark grey, brown, tan, or black. The general appearance should

be a bright, indefinite coloration, which is considered especially

useful in a hunting dog. WEIGHT--Dachshunds in Germany are classified

by weight as follows:--Light-weight--Dogs up to 16-1/2 lb., bitches

up to 15-1/2 lb. Middle-weight--Dogs up to 22 lb., bitches up to

22 lb. Heavy-weight--Over 22 lb. Toys--Up to 12 lb. The German

pound is one-tenth more than the English. The light-weight dog is

most used for going to ground.