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Dachshund

The dachshund is a short-legged, long-bodied dog breed belonging to the hound family. The standard size dachshund was bred to scent, chase, and flush out badgers and other burrow-dwelling animals, while the miniature dachshund was developed to hunt smaller prey such as rabbits. In the American West they have also been used to hunt prairie dogs.

The name "dachshund" is of German origin and literally means "badger dog", from Dachs ("badger") and Hund ("dog"). Because of their long, narrow build, they are often nicknamed hot dog, wiener dog or sausage dog. Although "dachshund" is a German word, in modern German they are more commonly known by the name Dackel; in the case of the formally certified hunting and tracking rank, the name Teckel is used.

The typical dachshund is long-bodied and muscular, with short and stubby legs. Its paws are unusually large and paddle-shaped, for efficient digging. It has skin that is loose enough not to tear while tunneling in tight burrows to chase prey. The dachshund has a deep chest to allow enough lung capacity to keep going when hunting. Its snout is long with an increased nose area that absorbs odors.

There are three types, classified by their coats: short-haired, called "smooth"; long-haired; and wire-haired.

Dachshunds come in three sizes: standard, miniature, and kaninchen, which means rabbit. Although the standard and miniature sizes are recognized almost universally, the rabbit size is not recognized by clubs in the United States and the United Kingdom, but is recognized by all of the clubs within the Fédération Cynologique Internationale (World Canine Federation) (FCI), which contain kennel clubs from 83 countries all over the world. An increasingly common size for family pets falls between the miniature and the standard size, frequently referred to as "tweenies", and is considered by most breeders to be undesirable.

A full-grown standard dachshund averages 15 lb (6.8 kg) to 28 lb (13 kg), while the miniature variety normally weighs less than 11 lb (5.0 kg). The kaninchen weighs 8 lb (3.6 kg) to 10 lb (4.5 kg). According to kennel club standards, the miniature (and kaninchen, where recognized) differs from the full-size only by size and weight, thus offspring from miniature parents must never weigh more than the miniature standard to be considered a miniature as well.

While many kennel club size divisions use weight for classification, such as the American Kennel Club, other kennel club standards determine the difference between the miniature and standard by chest circumference; some kennel clubs, such as in Germany, even measure chest circumference in addition to height and weight.

Dachshunds have a wide variety of colors and patterns. They can be single-colored, single-colored with spots ("dappled"-called "merle" in other dog breeds), and single-colored with tan points plus any pattern. Dachshunds also come in piebald.

Light-colored dachshunds can sport amber, light brown, or green eyes; however, kennel club standards state that the darker the eye color, the better. They can also have eyes of two different colors; however, this is only found in dapple and double dapple dachshunds.[16] Dachshunds can have a blue and a brown eye. Blue eyes, partially blue eyes, or a blue eye and a brown eye are called "wall" coloring, and are considered a non-desirable trait in kennel club standards. Dappled eyes are also possible.

Temperament

Dachshunds are playful, but can be stubborn, and are known for their propensity for chasing small animals, birds, and tennis balls with great determination and ferocity. They are statistically more aggressive to both strangers and other dogs than the rottweiler.

They can have a loud bark. Some bark quite a lot and may need training in order to stop, while others will not bark much.

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