This section is from the book "The Dogs Of Great Britain, America, And Other Countries. Their Breeding, Training, and Management in Health and Disease", by John Henry Walsh (Stonehenge). Also available from Amazon: The Dogs Of Great Britain, America And Other Countries.
The Dachshund is perhaps one of the most ancient forms of the domesticated dog. The fact is that he has for centuries represented an isolated class between the hound and the terrier, without being more nearly connected with the one than the other. His obstinate, independent character, and his incapacity to be trained or broken to anything beyond his inborn, game-like disposition, are quite unrivalled among all other races of the dog. Regarding his frame, he differs from the hound, not only by his crooked fore legs and small size, but by the most refined modification of all parts of his body, according to. his chief task - to work underground. It is not possible to imagine a more favorable frame for an "earth dog" than the real dachshund type. Some of our highbred dachshunds are near perfection, according to German points; they do not want much improvement, but propagation, for they are seldom met with even in northern Germany.
Dachshund. - See page 9.
Fig. 16. - PATH OF DACHSHUNDS.
The desire for "hound-like type" in dachshunds would never have originated if the natural vocation of this breed (underground work) had not been overlooked. The consequence of this erroneous idea will be that well-bred dachshunds will be regarded as a "terrier cross," and that it will be next to impossible for many dog fanciers to get a clear idea of the real type of the dachshund.
Having concentrated all varieties of the badger dog to one single class - the crook-legged, short-haired dog, with head neither hound nor terrier-like, weight from 8 lbs. to 20 lbs., color black-tan and its variations - we shall still meet here many varying forms. With some attention we shall soon distinguish the common breed and the well or high-bred dachshund. The first is a stout, strong-boned, muscularly built dog, with large head and strong teeth; the back not much arched, sometimes even straight; tail long and heavy; fore legs strong and regularly formed; the head and tail often appear to be too large in the dog; the hair is rather coarse, thick-set, short, and wiry, lengthened at the underside of the tail, without forming a brush or feather, and covering a good deal of the belly. These dogs are good workmen, and are less affected by weather than high-bred ones; but they arc very apt to exceed 18 lbs. and even 20 lbs. weight, and soon get fat if not worked frequently. From this common breed originates the well and high-bred dog, which may at any time be produced again from it by careful selection and in-breeding without any cross.
The well and high-bred dog is smaller in size, finer in bono, more elegantly built, and seldom exceeds 16 lbs. to 17 lbs. weight; the thin, slight, tapering tail is only of medium length; the hair is very short, glossy like silk, but not soft; the under part of the body is very thin-haired, rendering these nervous and high-spirited dogs rather sensitive to wet ground and rain.
In hunting above ground the dachshund follows more the track than the general scent (witterung) of the game; therefore he follows rather slowly, but surely, and with the nose pretty close to the ground. His noise in barking is very loud, far sounding, and of surprising depth for a dog of so email a frame; but, in giving tongue while hunting, he pours forth from time to time short, shrill notes, which are quickened as the scent gets hotter, and, at sight of the game the notes are often resolved into an indescribable scream, as if the dog were being punished in a most cruel manner.
Though not a pack hound, the dachshund will soon learn to run in couples; and two or three of these couples, when acquainted with one another, or forming a little family, will hunt pretty well together. They do not frighten their game so much as the larger hounds, and, when frequently used, they will learn to stay when arrived at the line of the shooters, not by obedience to their master, but because they are intelligent enough as to see that it is quite useless to run longer after the game.
For tracking wounded deer or a roebuck a dachshund may be used when no bloodhound is to be had; but they must be accustomed to collar and line for this purpose, and then they are rather troublesome to lead in rough ground or coverts. They retrieve better by running free or slipped, but must carry a bell, for they are apt to keep silence when they find their game dead; and, beginning to lick at the wound where the ball has gone into the body, they will slowly advance to tearing and to eating their prey.
Dachshunds are very headstrong and difficult to keep under command; and, as they are at the same time very sensitive to chastisement, it is next to impossible to force them to do anything against their will. Many good badger dogs have been made cowards for their whole life by one severe whipping. They must be taken as they are - with all their faults, as well as their virtues. "When treated always kindly, the dachshund is very faithful to his master, and not only a useful, but a most amusing dog - a very humorist among the canine family. In spite of his small frame, he has always an air of consequence and independence about him; but, at the same time, he is very inquisitive, and always ready to interfere with things with which he has no concern. He seems to have an antipathy to large dogs, and, if they object to be domineered over, the dachshund will certainly quarrel with them. When his blood is up, he will care neither for blows nor fo\ wounds, and is often bitten dreadfully in such encounters. Therefore dachshunds should not be kept in kennels with larger dogs. When kept in houses and accustomed to children, they will make good pets, for they are clean, intelligent, and watchful, without being noisy, though often snappish with strangers.
First introduced into the United States about twelve years ago, they are now becoming quite numerous.