11 Fascinating Dachshund Facts You Need to Know!
By Misty Layne
Whether you’re the owner of a Dachshund or just a fan of these adorable pups, you probably know quite a bit about the breed. But there’s always more to learn when it comes to dog breeds, and the Dachshund is no exception. For example, do you know how many varieties of coat color the Dachshund has?
If you’re ready to learn more about the Dachshund, then take a look below!
The 11 Facts About the Dachshund
It’s time to learn a few fascinating Dachshund facts! Some you may already know, others you likely don’t. Keep reading for 11 facts about this fabulous dog breed, then wow your friends and family with your new knowledge.
1. The Dachshund comes in two sizes
The Dachshund comes in not one but two sizes—standard and miniature. The standard version of the Dachshund can weigh up to 35 pounds, while the miniature version can weigh 11 pounds or under. That means whether you want a more medium-sized dog or one that stays on the smaller side, you can get it with this dog breed.
2. Dachshunds have three coat types
You might not realize it because one particular coat is the most popular and common of the types, but Dachshunds do indeed have three coat types. Smooth is the most popular (and at one point, all Dachshunds had smooth coats). But there are also long-haired and wire-haired ones. While the smooth coat is exactly what it sounds like, the longhaired coat features hair that is a bit longer and a tad wavy, while the wirehaired coat features a rough, thick outer coat with a finer coat underneath.
3. Dachshunds’ coat color varies
Dachshunds aren’t only black or brown as we may typically think of them. They have a wide variety of coat colors, including:
- Black & tan
- Black & cream
- Chocolate & cream
- Chocolate & tan
- Blue & cream
- Blue & tan
- Fawn & cream
- Fawn & tan
- Wild boar
Plus, there are six markings that include:
- Brindle piebald
- Double dapple
4. These pups were bred to hunt badgers
Dachshunds were initially bred to hunt badgers; in fact, their name is German for “badger dog”. Their short legs enable them to be closer to the ground to help them track scents, while their bodies are small enough to get into badger burrows to hunt. Over time, these dogs were bred to hunt for a wider variety of prey.
5. Nazis claimed they taught a Dachshund to talk, read, and more
During World War II, Nazi scientists claimed that they had taught dogs to read, speak, spell, and communicate telepathically. They even claimed their program called Tier-Sprachschule had a dog that could write poetry. One of the dogs in this program was Kurwenal, a Dachshund that could “speak” via barking a different number of barks for each letter (apparently, the dog was quite the comedian, as well).
6. The Dachshund got a rebrand during World War I.
During World War I, the Dachshund found itself falling out of popularity (reportedly going from the 6th most popular U.S. breed to the 28th by the 1930s) due to its German roots, use in war propaganda, and because it was the favored breed of the Kaiser. The AKC attempted to rebrand the breed to avoid negative stereotypes by calling them “badger dogs”. They were also known for a time in the U.S. as “liberty pups”.
7. The dog came before the hotdog
Okay, the Dachshund resembles a hotdog (hence the term “wiener dog”), but has the breed actually been around since before the hotdog was invented? Well, the history of the hotdog is a bit murky, so it’s hard to say, but we do know hotdogs were initially called “Dachshund sausages” after the dog breed. The name changed somewhere between the 1890s and the early 1900s.
8. There are Dachshund races!
It’s just a bit of silly fun since Dachshunds weren’t meant to be racing dogs, but there are races for these pups. These races began in the 1970s in Australia, but you can find them in several other places these days, such as California and Indiana. Perhaps the most well-known Dachshund race currently is the Wienerschnitzel Wiener Nationals, which have been around since 1995.
9. The first Olympic mascot was a Dachshund
The first time the Olympics ever had an official mascot was in Munich in 1972, and that mascot was Waldi the Dachshund. And the marathon route for that year was even shaped like a Dachshund! Plus, Waldi had a real-life doggie counterpart named Cherie von Birkenhof. Cherie was a gift to the president of the International Sports Press Association from the president of the organizing committee for the Munich games. Waldi was designed by Elena Winschermann.
10. The first cloned British dog was a Dachshund
In 2014, Rebecca Smith entered a competition to have her dog cloned. She won, and from a skin sample taken from her Dachshund, Winnie, Mini-Winnie the clone was born! Mini-Winnie was born in South Korea in March of that year and five months later was able to meet her genetic clone. Though the original Winnie was much older, the owner of the dogs said that Mini-Winnie looked just like Winnie in her prime, down to the same bent tails!
11. Twice now, the moniker of “World’s Oldest Dog” has belonged to Dachshunds
Dachshunds have a tendency to live a long time (12–16 years), but twice now, a Dachshund (well, one Dachshund mix and a Dachshund-Terrier cross) has been granted the Guinness Book of World Records’ title of “World’s Oldest Dog”. The first to achieve the record was Chanel, a Dachshund mix that lived to be 21 years old. The next was Otto, the Dachshund-Terrier cross, that lived to the age of 20.
And there you have it—11 facts about the Dachshund you might not have known. From their past as hunters and supposed “talking” dogs to a penchant for setting world records, this breed has experienced quite a lot throughout its history. Who knows what the Dachshund will achieve next?
Featured Image Credit: James Player, Shutterstock