These long, low, and peculiarly-shaped dogs are the national dogs of Germany. They are classified with the hounds, but in reality are terriers, as their work is almost entirely underground.
They derive their name from the fact that in their native land they are used to draw the dachs, an animal similar to our badger. Their long, low structure, powerful legs, strong claws, sharp teeth, muscular jaws, and fierce fighting spirit admirably adapts them for underground work of this character. They are also used in following the fox, and will track the fox or badger to his haunts and fight him in his burrow. They have fair noses, and are sometimes trained to follow wounded deer. Attempts have been made to use them for rabbit dogs, but they are not such capable workers as either hounds or Beagles, lacking in both nose and intelligence.
There is nothing aristocratic about the Dachshund’s appearance, and they have never become popular in America.
The chief points to look for in the selection of Dachshund puppies at from two to four months old and after, are: A long, level head; small eye; ears set rather low; long body, showing distinct arch in loin; deep chest; great bone; short legs.
The following standard is used by most American and British judges:
GENERAL APPEARANCE.-The dog should be long, low, and graceful, not cloddy.
HEAD.-Long, level, and narrow; no stop. SKULL.-Long and narrow; peak well developed. EYES.-Intelligent and somewhat small; follow body in color.
JAWS.-Strong, level, and square to the muzzle. TEETH.-Canines recurvent.
EARS.-Long, broad, and soft, set on low and well back; carried close to the head.
CHEST.-Deep and narrow; breast bone prominent.
LIONS-Well arched, long, and muscular.
BODY.-Length from back of head to root of stern, 2 1/2 times the height at shoulder; fore ribs well sprung; back ribs very short; quarters very muscular.
FORELEGS.-Very short and strong in bone, well crooked, not standing over; elbows well clothed with muscle, turned neither in nor out.
HINDLEGS.-Smaller in bone and higher. FEET.-Large, round, and strong, with thick pads and strong nails; hind feet smaller. The dog must stand true-i. e., equally on all parts of the foot.
STERN.-Long and strong, flat at root, tapering to the tip; hair on under side coarse; carried low except when excited.
COAT.-Dense, short, and strong.
COLOR.-Any color. Nose to follow body color; much white objectionable.
SKIN.-Thick, loose, supple, and in great quantity. HEIGHT AT SHOULDER.-From 7 to 9 inches.
WEIGHT.-Dogs, about 21 pounds; bitches, about 18 pounds.