The origin of the Dachshund can be traced back to late 15th century Germany where they were developed to go to ground hunting Badger and various other den dwelling quarry. Dachshund breaks down into parts, "Dachs" and "hund", meaning "badger dog" in German. Where the standard size was popular for hunting badger, miniatures were bred down for hunting smaller quarry. A third size of Dachshund also exists, the Kaninchen ("rabbit") specifically bred to hunt rabbits. Kaninchen is recognized by FCI and ANKC.
A symbol of Germany, the breed faced persecution during World War I, losing popularity in America. They were used heavily in anti-Nazi propaganda. Given this, fanciers in America began to call them "Liberty Pups" or "Badger Dogs" in an attempt to help mend their negative association. By 1885 the breed was recognized by AKC where their popularity was immediate and enduring.
The modern day Dachshund remains a versatile hunting dog and beloved household companion the world over.
Country of Origin: Germany
Two Sizes Per AKC: Standard and Miniature
Varieties: Smooth, Long and Wire
Weight: Standards are "usually between 16-32lbs" and Miniatures are "“11 pounds and under at 12 months of age and older"
Longevity: 12 to 16 years average
Under AKC Dachshunds come in two sizes and three varieties, as listed above. They are a member of the Hound group and one of only a handful of "variety breeds" recognized by AKC. As a variety breed, all Dachshunds simply register with AKC as "Dachshund", however, when it comes to showing them in conformation they are separated by their coat: Smooth, long and wire all showing separately from each other with both sizes, standard and miniature, represented within each coat.
Dachshunds are an intelligent and generally active breed. They can fit most any lifestyle which has attributed to their popularity as a companion. The breed standard describes them as "courageous to the point of rashness", an attribute that is key to the breed. Dachshunds are the prime example of a big dog in a small body.
At a glance the Dachshund should come off as confident, bold - displaying no shyness. With strangers the Dachshund may come off as aloof but never fearful. The breed is known to be stubborn but endearing in their comical nature. Left to their own devices, Dachshunds are masters of entertaining themselves. This ability to entertain themselves can lead to them getting up to no good.
The breed benefits strongly from proper early socialization. Unfortunately, many drop the ball in this respect. To a new pet owner, I'd absolutely suggest puppy and basic obedience classes as a structured means to getting your puppy out for positive experiences.