What are Dachshunds Bred For?

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Dachshunds are kind of weird looking dogs. Their long faces, short legs and long hot dog like body… it makes for a weird, but cute nonetheless, combination. But, these things are all actually things that help the Dachshund do what he’s meant to do.

So what are Dachshunds bred for? Dachshunds are hunting dogs, through and through. Their specific body type makes them excellent aids in the hunting process. They are great at tracking, chasing, and capturing animals. Especially in the United States, Dachshunds have been used to find wounded animals.

This isn’t all though. There is so much more to how and why they were bred. This question seems as if it would have a simple answer, but there is so much more. From why they’re such good hunters to how that affects their role in modern society, I put it all together for you to read.

What Makes Dachshunds Such Great Hunters?

These beautiful dogs have very specific body types that help them to be able to do what they were bred to do. That is, they were made to hunt. They were bred with their long snouts and those help with many things.

One thing their long snout helps with is they have a great sense of smell. They can catch the scent of an animal from miles away. They are a type of hound, which means this is one of their main characteristics.

These long snouts also increases their ability to adapt to cold weather with ease. The bitter cold air is in their snout longer than other short-snouted dogs, which gives the air time to warm up before it enters their lungs. This was of great value during hunting, where they might be out in the cold for days on end.

Their long bodies were bred because often Dachshunds hunted animals that would burrow in the ground. With the help of their long bodies, they were able to burrow in after those animals, and chase them out of their holes.

While this is great for the hunter in your Dachshund, it can also be dangerous, as they are prone to back problems. With so much back and not so much support, it is important to be aware and watchful for that in your Dachshund.

Lastly, Dachshunds strong legs help them be able to dig after animals, keep up with their owners and to be upright all day. Their bodies are built in such a way that allows them to dig efficiently while sliding into the hole after whichever creature it is after.

History of the Dachshund

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The Dachshund was bred over in Germany over 300 years ago. It is believed that they were bred from Basset Hounds and an unknown terrier. They get their strength and strong, hunting body from the Basset Hound while they get their resistance and stubbornness from the terrier.

They were bred purely for their hunting, tracking and stamina abilities. Compare that to today though, and Dachshunds are some of the most popular family pets, show dogs and loving companions. So how did that change?

Over time, the Dachshunds loyal, curious self was found to be a great companion. Their stubbornness and dedicated affection made it hard to see these dogs just as hunters. Slowly they became integrated into the home, and now they are the miraculous dog that many people know and love.

Looking at the Dachshund’s temperament, it only makes sense that these dogs were once the greatest hunting companions of all.

Dachshund Temperament

Dachshunds are fiercely loyal. They are good dogs. Good, loving family dogs. They’re great with children, elderly, and other dogs. But, they are known for something quite special. They are fiercely loyal and protective, usually of one particular person.

They will love their family nonetheless, but they tend to latch on to one person in their vulnerable years as a puppy. That person will become their number one priority and they won’t hesitate to defend that person against anyone else.

I have seen this in my family. I have a Dachshund of my own, and I am his person. He loves everyone in my family, but there’s something extra with his love for me. This goes back to their breeding. He was bred to hunt. That often meant protecting their owner from danger in the woods.

Although they may be a long time gone from being strictly hunters, they still carry those qualities inside them. And those qualities only make them better, more loyal companions.

Several times before when my brother or dad and I are play wrestling, my pup will come in-between us and warn my family with a couple of deep barks.

As well as their fierce loyalty, Dachshunds tend to be very stubborn and very curious. This can cause them to be more difficult to train than other dogs. They most definitely have an independent and free spirit. They were bred to be leaders, and protect. So that will still show. And they might not be very fond of being out of control.

While they can be trained, it is important to remember that training them will take a lot of dedication and stubbornness of your own.

Standard Vs. Miniature Dachshunds

There are two main types of Dachshunds in the United States (not including coat type). There are both standard Dachshunds and miniature Dachshunds. They are mainly the same thing, other than the size. But this is a major difference when you look at why Dachshunds were bred.

We know that Dachshunds were bred to hunt burrowing animals such as badgers. On the other hand, miniature Dachshunds were bred to hunt smaller animals such as rabbits.

As far as their attitudes and personality types, they are pretty comparable to standard Dachshunds. Of course, each dog is going to be different, but their temperament is pretty close to the same.

So when looking at the two and deciding which one might be the best fit for you and your family, it is purely a thing of size. While Dachshunds are very adaptable and will fit in well in an apartment, it might be better to get a miniature Dachshund. They will require less exercise considering their size and might take up a little less room.

If you have a house with a backyard, you might want a standard Dachshund, considering the size. These dogs are incredible diggers, so it might be easier to keep your dog fenced in if your dog is bigger. The miniature might be able to slip between too many places.

Are Dachshunds Vicious?

One may be forced to wonder if Dachshunds are particularly violent, dangerous or aggressive, considering they were bred to hunt. In recent studies, it has been found that Dachshunds are some of the most aggressive dogs. It is said that one of five Dachshunds attempt to bite a stranger, while about the same amount has been found to attack another dog.

“As family dogs, Dachshunds are loyal companions and good watchdogs.”

– Hill’s Pet

Like other well-known aggressive dogs, such as the Pit Bull, a lot of it comes down to how exactly it was raised, and what life experiences it has had. As well as the circumstances of when the dog was being aggressive.

Dachshunds are known to be loyal, so sometimes that means they end up being aggressive towards threats against those that they love.

The important thing to remember is that if these dogs are treated right, they will treat you and others right. And as their owner, it is your responsibility to make sure that the Dachshunds aggressive tendency is used only for protection and not for violence.

Related Questions:

Is a Dachshund a good family dog? While Dachshunds are considered aggressive towards potential threats, they are magnificent family dogs. They love so deeply and are so loyal. They will protect the family from danger and introduce those in the family to a new depth and meaning of love, that they likely have never experienced before.

Do dachshunds bark a lot? Most dog breeds which are bred for hunting tend to bark more than other dogs, and dachshunds are no different. Because they were bred for hunting and helping hunters find game, they bark to communicate frequently. However, their barking tendencies are trainable.