The selection of photographs of Dachshund Champions throughout the blog are all from the early 1900s.
A NUMBER of magazines have recently published articles about several of our native breeds, writing of their crash in numbers and slide in popularity and their impending extinction.
In sharp contrast my own breed (the Dachshund) and the French Bulldog have had a huge resurgence of popularity… both sides of the coin are causing lovers of these breeds much concern and anguish.
However it does seem that such popularity is cyclical and that there have always been swings and roundabouts for our breeds to contend with.
Back in 1900, C.H Lane wrote:
There are fashions in dogs, the same as in any other thing, and I can remember a great many ‘crazes’ for different breeds of dog. Fox Terriers, which are smart, lively, game little fellows, well able to adapt themselves to almost any circumstances, have had a long term of favour, and are still widely kept, perhaps as largely as any breed of their size: another element in their favour, is their not having too much coat, and so not bringing in much mud upon them, even in dirty weather, if kept in the house.
This of course, has been rather against Skye Terriers, which are otherwise capital dogs for the house, full of life and spirit, but, to be kept in any order, they most be occasionally brushed, or their coats, which should be hard and straight, somewhat of the texture of a horse’s tail, will get matted, and be a disfigurement, instead of an ornament.
On the Dachshund he wrote:
Another of the breeds I have seen kept as pets, is the Dachshund, or Badger Dog, as the name implies. I think they are rarely, or ever, used for Badgers in this country, and for the safety of the greater part of those I have seen here, I think it is much better that this is so, as anyone familiar with the Badger, or the ‘old Gentleman in Grey’ as he is frequently called, will know that he is a formidable opponent to tackle, muscular, active, low to the ground, with a very harsh coat, and long, powerful jaws, and weighing twenty to thirty pounds, so that it requires activity, strength and indomitable pluck for a small dog to attempt to overcome such an animal, possessing so many natural advantages.
I think Dachshunds are not so generally kept as pets as they were some years since, but my experience of them is favourable, having found them amiable and docile in disposition, cleanly in habits and bright and lively in temperament. They are very long, and low, in build, head and ears hound shaped, forelegs curved with an outward turn, to facilitate digging operations, tail carried rather gaily, coat fine in texture, skin loose, colours most in favour, rich chestnut red, black and tan, chocolate and of late, what is called ‘dappled’ which seems to be a ground of one shade of brown, splashed with irregular blotches of another darker shade of same colour.
Interestingly he added:
Of course there are constantly springing up new patrons and patronesses for all kinds of dogs, but I have noticed that almost every one of the persons who were the most enthusiastic supporters, and breeders of Dachshunds, when they were first brought forward, many years since, have now ceased to keep them, although they nearly all keep some other breeds, so that, as in my own case, I think this is not one of those varieties which takes a lasting hold of its votaries, whether from the fact that it is essentially one of the foreign made breeds, and the effect of the strong preference, which now prevails for the encouragement of everything of British and Colonial origin and manufacture, I do not know, but I can call to mind at least ten of the largest breeders of Dachshunds in this country, who, I believe, have not at present one specimen among the lot.
I think C.H. Lane would certainly raise an eyebrow of surprise at the latest stats (particularly of the Miniature-smooth) in the Breed Records Supplement!