The Dachshund House

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Welcome to the Origins section of The Dachshund House. This section will include
information on Dachshunds such as why they were bred, where and when they originated from
and how Dachshunds in modern times vary from when they were first bred.

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Where and When
Modern times

Why Dachshunds Were Bred

The word "dachshund" means, literally, "badger dog" in German. Their name says
directly what they were bred to do, hunt badgers. The original idea was to breed a dog
that was small and long enough to go into badger holes and kill or maim the badgers inside.
Badgers aren't the only thing that Dachshunds were bred to hunt. They were also commonly
used to hunt fox, rabbit and even wounded deer. Less often, Dachshunds were also known
to hunt in packs in order to kill wild boar or wolverines. All traits on a Dachshund
were specifically bred into them for a reason. Their long bodies and short legs were
made to fit into small spaces, as already stated. Their ears, which are known to be floppy,
were made to keep grass, seeds, dirt, etc. out of the dog's ears as it's running through
the grass. Even the Dachshund's curved tail was bred for a reason. The reason was
that it would poke upwards out of the tall grass in areas where the dog was hunting,
making it more easily noticed by the owner. It also had a dual purpose of helping
the dog get out of burrows if it got in too deep.

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When and Where Dachshunds Originated From

The original German Dachshund has several beliefs as to when exactly they were first
bred. The American Kennel Club believes it was somewhere in the 15th century,
while the Dachshund Club of America says it was somewhere around the 18th century. Either
way, experts agree that the general idea for dogs to do what the Dachshunds were bred for have
been around since Ancient Egypt. The dogs that were specifically called Dachshunds (or
originally "Dachs Kriecher" or "Dachs Krieger") originated from Germany, near the modern day
Black Forest. Dachshunds contain elements of German, French, and English hounds. Although
bred in Germany, these dogs were popular in many royal courts around the time that they
were bred.

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Modern Day Dachshunds Versus the Original Dachshunds

The Dachshunds that are known and loved today are very different from their
original couterparts. While there are similarities between the older versions and
the ones today, there are still many differences. For example, the original Dachshunds were
generally larger than today. They had much longer legs compared to today's
dogs which have short legs. The original Dachshunds also weighed anywhere between
thirty and forty pounds, whereas the modern day Dachshunds normally range anywhere
between seven and twenty pounds. Another main difference is the formation of their
legs. The original Dachshunds had straight legs, whereas modern day ones have more
crooked legs. Today, there are many people who race and use Dachshunds for sport. While
frowned upon by the Dachshund Club of America, it still shows how the uses for Dachshunds
have changed from hunting to sport for some people. Thats not to say Dachshunds aren't still
used for hunting, but it is not as predominant as it used to be.

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