Where Are Dachshund Dogs From Originally?

Last Updated on February 16, 2022 by Marco

Every breed has its place of origin, the country or area where they were first domesticated or crossbred. So, where are dachshund dogs from originally? This is a question of not just simple curiosity either – where a breed is from can tell you a lot about its characteristics, physical traits, limitations, and unique advantages. So, let’s delve a bit into dachshund history and figure this out.

 Where Are Dachshund Dogs From?

The official and quite undisputed origin of the dachshund breed is Germany. They were bred there in the 15th century from other hound breeds such as the bloodhound and the Biberhund. The way the German breeders accomplished this was simple – they selected hounds with dwarfism features, namely short legs.

What Were Dachshunds Bred For In Germany?

The dachshund’s name translates as “Badger hound” in German and that’s precisely what these dogs were initially bred and used for. Their short legs and elongated bodies were ideal for both tracking badgers and then chasing them into their narrow burrows. The large chest of the dachshund is also helpful for breathing underground while its large paws are great for digging.

Were Miniature Dachshunds Also Used For Hunting?

It’s easy to think that miniature dachshunds were bred just for pets, similar to other toy breeds. However, would it surprise you to know that mini Doxies were also used for hunting? They were initially bred to help hunt rabbits. Of course, later on, they became favored as pets.

Were Miniature Dachshunds Also Used For Hunting

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A Symbol Of Germany

If you ever visit this country in Central Europe you’ll quickly discover that dachshunds in Germany are as beloved as Newfies and labs in Newfoundland, as Salukis in the Middle East, and Huskies in Alaska and Siberia. The dachshund Waldi was the official mascot of the 1972 Olympic Games in Munich, for example. So, while the famous German Shepherd may overshadow the Doxie as Germany’s most famous dog breed, we definitely should forget about these short-legged wonders too.

The Surprising Ancient History Behind The “Where Are Dachshunds From?” Question

While everyone agrees that dachshunds, as we know them today, were first bred in Germany six centuries ago, there’s still a lot of speculation about the dachshund’s predecessors. Most experts agree that they were bred from other hound breeds such as bloodhounds and Bibarhunds, however, it’s also possible that they come from an ancient and long-lost source breed.

In particular, some experts are looking all the way back to ancient Egypt. There are many hieroglyphs on the walls of ancient Egyptian tombs and temples portraying dogs, cats, and other animals. Curiously enough, however, there are some hieroglyphs portraying a particular short-legged, long-bodied, and long-muzzled dog breed.

We also know that the ancient Romans brought back many breeds of dogs, cats, and other animals with them from Egypt. With the Holy Roman Empire being the predecessor of today’s Germany, could such an Egyptian hound breed be the predecessor of the dachshund?

It is entirely possible, however, we’ll likely never know for sure. The dogs on those ancient images could just be weirdly drawn standard sighthound breeds. After all, we know that German breeders put in the effort to breed short-legged hounds from other “standard” hound breeds, And yet, the similarity is too significant to be discounted easily.

So, Where Are Dachshund Dogs From After All?

The easiest answer to this question is Germany. We know for a fact that dachshunds were bred from other hound breeds there in the 15th century with the express purpose of being the idea badger-hunting dog breed. And they are indeed just that – dachshunds are still used in Europe for hunting badgers, rabbits, and foxes to this day. They are less used for hunting in the US where they are preferred as pets. However, even in the states, some hunters use them to get rid of prairie dogs or to track deer.

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What were dachshund bred for?

The dachshund breed was initially bred for badger hunting in the dense forests of Germany. In fact, that’s what the name “dachshund” means – badger hunter.
Badgers, like their US cousin, the wolverine, are very powerful and sturdy animals for their size. They also have a taste for domesticated chickens and are clever enough to break into chicken houses and then stealthily drag their prey back to the badger’s underground burrow. As you’d imagine, this made badgers quite the problem for German farmers and villagers.
So, the dachshund breed was developed from a few other hound breeds to be especially good at tracking down and hunting badgers. The dachshund has short legs and an elongated body to navigate the narrow burrows of the badger. The breed also has a large chest to more easily breathe underground. It has large paddle paws for digging and gripping, it has an amazing sense of smell for tracking, and it’s powerful enough to duke it out with the ferocious badger on its own turf.
In short, while an awesome family pet, the dachshund is also the perfect hunter for badgers as well as foxes, rabbits, and prairie dogs.

Where did dachshunds originate?

The dachshund breed’s history can be traced back to 15th century Germany. It’s at that time that German breeders succeeded in breeding a few other hound breeds into a shorter and elongated hound, specifically intended for hunting badgers in their underground burrows.
The way these breeders accomplished the feat was by selecting hounds with dwarfism features, i.e. – shorter legs and stumpier bodies. Naturally, dwarfism comes with a set of unfortunate health side effects but the German breeders did their level best to minimize those by even more precise selection.
Today, 6 centuries later, the dachshund breed is a unique and still highly effective hunting breed as well as a great family pet. The negative health effects leftover from the dwarfism are almost non-existent with only the potential for back problems being something to watch out for.
Curiously enough, however, there are theories that the dachshund may predate the efforts of the German breeders in the 15th century. There are ancient Egyptian hieroglyphs portraying short-legged dogs that look very much like dachshunds. And we do know that the ancient Romans brought back dogs, cats, and other animals with them from Egypt.
So, it’s not entirely plausible that one of the dachshund’s ancestors were dogs brought from Egypt to the Holy Roman Empire and today’s Germany.