Sausage dog, wiener dog, dackel, teckel, or just Dachshund—whichever one of their many monikers you choose to call them by, these cute little dogs have a long and noble history, with red Dachshunds being the most common color in the breed.
All Dachshunds originate from Germany, where they were bred to be ferocious badger-hunting dogs. In fact, that’s where their name comes from. In German, “dachs” means badger, and “hund” means dog. Keep reading for more fascinating red Dachshund facts!
The Earliest Records of Red Dachshunds in History
There are some theories floating around that the origins of the Dachshund date back to ancient Egypt, where mummified, similarly shaped dogs were found in burial urns. But it’s more likely that the modern Dachshunds we see today originated in 15th-century Germany.
In the 17th century, German breeders began developing Dachshunds specifically for hunting badgers and rabbits. Their size and shape make them perfect for burrowing. Dachshunds have paddle-shaped paws that help them dig, and their floppy ears protect against dirt and debris.
There are various references to “Dachs Kriecher” (badger crawler) and “Dachs Krieger” (“badger warrior”) in books written in the 18th century. As their names suggest, they were infamous for badger-baiting and extermination. That said, early Dachshunds were also frequently used for rabbit and fox hunting.
These early Dachshunds were a little bit larger than the modern Dachshunds, with the average dog weighing between 31 and 40 lbs. And as for colors, they were originally black or red, with red Dachshunds being more common.
How Red Dachshunds Gained Popularity
Although these dogs were originally bred to hunt, it didn’t take long for them to establish a presence amongst royalty. Royal courts throughout Europe housed a Dachshund or few, and it’s even said that Queen Victoria was particularly taken with the breed.
They were first brought over to the U.S. as early as 1885, and even President Grover Cleveland owned three of these dogs. The Dachshunds were gifted to his wife by a U.S. consul living in Germany.
Where Do Red Longhaired Dachshunds Come From?
Longhaired Dachshunds have lovely flowing long hair on their bodies and short featherings on their ears and legs.
It is believed that the earliest Dachshunds in Germany were the smooth-coat breed. There is some disagreement over how the longhaired Dachshunds came to be. One theory suggests that smooth coat Dachshunds occasionally produced pups with slightly longer hair. Selectively pairing the animals with longer hair together eventually led to longhaired Dachshunds. Another theory is that smooth coat Dachshunds were bred with spaniels.
Whatever their origins, one thing’s for sure—red longhaired Dachshunds have become a favorite, loyal pet in modern times.
Top 5 Unique Facts About Dachshunds
1. The Dog Came Before the Hotdog
We all know that Dachshunds are affectionally called wiener dogs because of their shape. But did you know that hotdogs got their name from Dachshunds? The original name for a hotdog was “Dachshund sausage”.
2. Dachshunds Live Long
With lifespans of between 12 and 16 years, Dachshunds live pretty long lives for dogs. That said, they can develop age-related health issues. Because of their long torso, obese and overweight Dachshunds can experience back and hip problems.
3. The First Official Mascot for the Olympics Summer Games
Every Olympics game is represented by a mascot. Waldi, the colorful German Dachshund, became the very first ever summer Olympics mascot in 1972, sparking the everlasting tradition. The marathon route for those games was in the shape of a Dachshund!
4. They Were Renamed During World War I
During WWI, the popularity of Dachshunds was negatively impacted by their association with Germany. It was a well-known fact that Kaiser Wilhelm II loved Dachshunds. To counter this negative trend, the American Kennel Club rebranded Dachshunds! During this time, they were called “badger dogs,” and “liberty pups” instead.
5. Dachshunds Love to Dig and Burrow
It is a part of their genetic makeup, after all. They’re perfectly built for burrowing and creating tunnels in the dirt, but they’ll happily burrow anywhere. Lost a Dachshund in your home? Check under the blankets, and under piles of laundry!
Do Red Dachshunds Make a Good Pet?
Dachshunds are active little dogs with larger-than-life personalities. Their bark is louder than you’d expect for a dog of their size, but don’t let that fool you about their temperament—when it comes to their loyalty and affection, this little dog will give plenty!
Overall, Dachshunds make a great pet, but you should expect them to keep you on your toes! They’re happy to chase anything, so you’d need to keep them on a leash, as they are curious and brave little dogs. When it comes to their burrowing instinct, expect these dogs to try to dig tunnels in your backyard!
Finally, Dachshunds are proud, stubborn dogs who will not react kindly to force. Pick your fights carefully and use their favorite treats to train them.
Red longhaired Dachshunds and red smooth Dachshunds are handsome, proud dogs with a regal past. These dogs were bred to dig, burrow, and hunt, and that is exactly what they like to do today. From badger hunting to wiener stampedes, we hope you’ve enjoyed learning a little more about these popular dogs!
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Featured Image Credit: Anna_Bondarenko, Shutterstock