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Becoming increasingly popular because of their unique physical appearance, dachshund dogs have many nicknames such as sausage dogs or hotdogs. Their role today as a family pet owes much to their initial use years ago as badger dogs, being forced to hunt and kill badgers that ruined farmlands and rivers.
The most obvious attributes of a dachshund dog are its long body and short legs, although only the legs are actually disproportional. The rest of its features and parts are proportionally the same as other breeds on average.
Height is usually around 18 inches but this is quite variable due to the effects of crossbreeding. 30% or so of their height is made up of their legs whilst the rest is their sturdy, elongated body. Happily, this crossbreeding has also resulted in dachshunds having a variety of coat colors. Although dark brown seems to be the most common, other colors include cream, blue, white and red.
Being scent hounds, dachshund dogs have larger lungs, which means their bark can sometimes be very deep and low. This was a great advantage to their purpose many years ago when their bark allowed hunters to follow them as they ferreted for small game animals. Their shorter bodies also enabled them to squeeze into small openings, particularly badger holes, and have their noses low to the ground for maximum scent. Although their legs are small, they can cover ground at a surprising speed and are adept at avoiding obstacles while racing forward.
Dachshunds And Suspicion of Strangers
While dachshunds are warm and affectionate with their human family, dachshund dogs by nature often tend to be suspicious of strangers, and may be nervous around unfamiliar people and other animals. This can manifest itself through whining, barking, growling, submissive urination, or running away.
It is important to begin the animal's socialization early, by exposing it to a variety of people and animals. Taking your dachshund to the dog park, and having friends visit with their pets, are excellent ways of socializing your dachshund to be more relaxed around strangers. Taking your dachshund to a dog training school, where the dog training is done in groups, can also help.
Today's dachshunds still retain the wonderful qualities of their hunting heritage. Dachshund owners should be aware of the need for the dog to have walks on open land with much foliage and vegetation, so the dog can use its natural advantages in smell and thrill to the scents around it.
Many urban households have found the dachshund, with its low-maintenance requirements, an ideal pet. All dogs require a healthy diet balanced with regular exercise, however, and to most scent hounds there is no more pleasurable treat than regular walks in grassy parkland areas.