One of the world’s iconic dog breeds, dachshunds arrived on American shores in the mid-1800s. Since then, they’ve had an undeniable impact on American culture.
A German hund
The dachshund has a long and storied history in their native home of Germany, where they’re considered a national symbol.
Originally bred to hunt badgers 600 years ago, the name dachshund (pronounced DOCKS-hund) is the combination of the German words dachs and hund or “badger dog.” Their long, narrow bodies were perfectly suited for the tough subterranean work of flushing ornery creatures from their dens, and their low profile allowed them to pick up badger-y scents easily.
An American sausage
Dachshunds go by a number of informal names here in the U.S.—wiener dog, hot dog and sausage dog to name a few. But what came first, the pooch or the ballpark favorite?
When German immigrants arrived in America in the 19th century, they brought their sausage-making culture with them. Many opened up sausage carts to feed their homesick compatriots, and in time “dachshund sausages” and “red hots” were all the rage among Americans. All it took was one American sports cartoonist—who allegedly didn’t know how to spell “dachshund”—to combine the “hot” with “dog,” and an American classic was born.
A creative companion
Dachshunds aren’t just known for their sporty connections—they’re also famous companions to creative types the world over.
Pablo Picasso had a dachshund named Lump, whereas Andy Warhol doubled down with a pair of dachshunds named Archie and Amos. E.B. White, the author of Charlotte’s Web and other children’s stories, had a beloved dachshund named Minnie.
Warning on the back
Dachshunds are prone to certain health problems, largely due to their unique body shape. For one, doxies are at a high risk of slipping disks in their backs, which can lead to serious discomfort and even partial or full paralysis. IVDD, or intervertebral disc disease, affects about 25% of dachshunds.
It’s important to take special care of dachshunds to protect against chronic back problems. For one, they should be monitored closely for weight gain, as obesity increases the risk of dangerous health complications. Doxies shouldn’t be allowed to jump down from high places, and they should always be supported along the back when held.
Know more about dachshunds
Did you know? Nationwide insures nearly 13,000 dachshunds as of June 2021.
Most common dachshund names
Wackiest wiener dog names
1. Bella 2. Oscar 3. Daisy 4. Charlie 5. Lucy 6. Frankie 7. Max 8. Penny 9. Coco 10. Bailey
1. Chili Dawg 2. Footlong 3. Sausage 4. Baron von Weenie 5. Mustard 6. Nugget Stubbs 7. Monterey Jack 8. Jalapeño Puppers 9. Burger 10. Professor Otter Pop Von Beardsley
Most common health conditions for dachshunds in 2020*
Skin allergies | average cost: $100
Ear infection | average cost: $118
Vomiting/upset stomach | average cost: $244
Diarrhea/intestinal upset | average cost: $134
Dental disease | average cost: $136
Most expensive claims for dachshunds in 2020
Cataract surgery: $3,160
Intervertebral disc disease surgery: $3,417
Lens dislocation: $4,507
Intestinal blockage: $5,093
Leptospirosis (bacterial infection): $5,803
*Averages based on 2020 Nationwide claims data.
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