Monday, 22 August 2011

Dachshund Breed Council - sing it loud, sing it proud

© Håkan Dahlström Photography

Some much-needed good news - and a beautiful picture....

I praised the Dachshund Breed Council briefly last week, but the progress the breed has made on health issues in the last year or so is truly impressive - and definitely worth a blog-post all of its own.

The Council was set up shortly after Pedigree Dogs Exposed and now has a dedicated website offering a lot of very well-presented information on health and genetic diversity.

Points to praise include:

• comprehensive information on breed-specific problems
• the opportunity for anyone to sign up to the DBC newsletter (you don't have to be a breed club member)
• clear guidance on how to report health problems
• an ongoing health survey
• a comprehensive breed health plan

Also rather special is the news that the Council has invited two pet owners to work with the Genetics and Welfare committee. "It was felt that having pet owners' perspectives on health matters would add a useful dimension to our work (and give us two more pairs of hands to help out!", says the Breed Council.

One of these is Gill Key, who has a mini-wire with Lafora's and runs the excellent Lafora Dogs website - please check it out to read about the new subsidised testing scheme for this inherited form of epilepsy in the mini-wire.

A big hat-tip to Ian Seath who I know has been the driving force behind the Breed Council and the health website.  I urge other breed clubs to check out the site to see just how great it is.

Thank you to brilliant Swedish photographer Håkan Dalström for allowing me to use the above picture of his mini-wire Lukas for free. Do check out his other pictures of Lukas and Dachshunds on Flickr here. They are gorgeous.

Now, all we need is for those who love this breed to learn to love them just that little bit more with shorter backs and longer legs.


  1. As a related tidbit, there has been a book just published on the Dachshund spine and how to breed better backs, written by Lisa J. Emerson of Eridox Dachshunds. Lisa's made it pretty much her goal to breed sounder dogs, and is a treasure trove of genetic and historical information on the breed.

  2. Very impressed with the site and the way these breeders have worked together
    Something for all to aspire too

  3. How refreshing. A breeder dedicately firmly to the improvement of the breed. Other breeders - watch and learn. Even better follow suit. It's never too late to try something new!

  4. Good website. I like the way they dont concentrate on just a couple of things for which there are DNA tests. There are too many breeds where the breed club points to the one or two conditions for which they test, and how their breeders are doing the tests, therefore the breed is very healthy, while ignoring a lot of other problems for which there is no test and are not recorded in KC/BVA schemes. This website lists ALL the conditions which can happen in the breed. Sensible attitude, acknowledging problems, but pointing to breeding strategies which would reduce the incidence of problems, not putting all reliance on DNA tests while continuing to line breed

  5. :-)

    Add a dash of working teckle and the dachshunds future should be secure! Thanks for a feel good story.

    Vicky Payne

  6. What's working teckle?

  7. Working teckel = working dachshund. Teckel is another name for the breed in Germany.

  8. "Now, all we need is for those who love this breed to learn to love them just that little bit more with shorter backs and longer legs."

    Unfortunately as I understand it, achondroplasia is an 'all or nothing' thing, so unless the KC allow outcrossing with a longer legged breed that is not going to be possible.

    I know dachshunds look cute, but I think they would be so much happier with normal length legs

    Pippa Mattinson

  9. Pippa, there are some longer-legged dachshunds around. Mentioned already in the first comment above - have a look at:


  10. and the teckles have enough leg to perform the job they were bred for

  11. Not necessarily, Pippa.

    If one looks at pictures of the old Corgis, they used to have longer legs prior to the 1940s. They used to sort of look like the Swedish Vallhunds of today. Even with Swedish Vallhunds, they used to have longer legs as well, to the point where some suspect them to be Elkhound crosses instead.

    There are still Dachshunds with proper legs, but they are referred to as teckel instead. The working type and show type are very much different in this regard.

  12. On the whole, on the Continent, they prefer a slightly longer legged Dachshund and more ground clearance than in the UK and the USA , even in show lines. If more judges adopted the "fit for function" approach, this would prevent such exxagerations from creeping into the breed

    1. But breeders from the skandinavian countries use british blood to get more rib length and depth which they need to protect vital organs when hunting badger

  13. We breed dual purpose dachshunds and have won well in the showring. We imported working teckels from Germany as they are always outcrossed so are full of vitality, have excellent temperaments and cracking working ability. Sure, some judges do not like them because they are longer legged and shorter backed - but they are sound, healthy and can do the job and they are proper, original dachshunds - true to the breed standard of the German Teckelklub, where the breed was created.