Utah's Best Mini Dachshunds
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The dachshund was bred in Germany to hunt badgers. The word "dachs" means badger and "hund" means dog. The original badger dogs were between 30 and 40 pounds. Dachshunds come in three hair types: long, wire & smooth. The most common being smooth. The breed standard states that the dog needs to be courageous to the point of rashness. Dachshunds were trained not just to retreive the badger but to kill it. The dachshund's tail is strong and sturdy and was used as a handle for the hunter to retreive the the burrowing dog. The dachshund's short legs are perfect for negotiating the tunnels.
Around the 1800's dachshunds were bred as pets and their size was reduced. There are now two sizes of dachshunds: the standard size (16-32 pounds) and the miniature (11 pounds and under at 12 months). During World War I and II, the popularity of dachshunds decreased in the United States and Great Britain. A dachshund was cast to play Toto in The Wizard of Oz but was changed because of anti-German sentiment. The Dachshund first appeared in the United States in 1870. The Dachshund Club of America was founded in 1895 and the American Kennel Club was established in 1884. Famous dachshunds include Sheba, a dachsie owned by the infamous Jack Ruby. General George S. Patton and President Dwight D. Eisenhower both owned dachshunds. Queen Victoria owned dachshunds but would not let them breed because she found it immoral. Napoleon Bonaporte owned several, including a long haired dapple dachshund. Later in life he preferred short hair dachshunds and the term "Napoleon Complex" was derived from his arrogance at naming his last dachshund "Napoleon". After his death, Napoleon had his dogs buried with him at the time of each dachshund's demise. Famous artists like Rembrant, Michelangelo, Andy Warhol and Picasso were all dachshund lovers. DaVinci is rumored to have had a dachshund named "Mona" that he discussed his art with.
Famous film and music artists like Marlon Brando, Clark Gable & Carole Lombard, Errol Flynn, Joan Crawford, Madonna and even John Wayne had dachshunds. Elizabeth Taylor bought a litter of dachshunds after studying for the role in Cleopatra because the Queen of Egypt was depicted in pictographs with dogs that were long-bodied and short in stature. She later gave the dogs to Richard Burton as a wedding gift. Needless to say they later divorced. Even though the dachshund has never won at the Westminster Dog Show, dachshunds are in the top 10 most popular breeds.