The hot dog
The dachshund has apparently won over our hearts, but its rise in popularity means there are reasons to be wary
Every dog has its day – and the distinctive dachshund, with its unmistakable silhouette, is Britain’s latest hot dog. Whether it’s in your local card shop or on your Instagram feed, there’s no escaping the diminutive breed.
Nearly 9,000 dachshunds were reportedly registered with the Kennel Club last year – a rise of 40% in the last three years. Caroline Kisko of the Kennel Club thinks part of the resurgence is due to modern lifestyles. ‘It’s only speculative, but we can presume the popularity of small dogs is about practicality, because many people are living in towns or cities and are limited on space,’ she says.
The dachshund – often referred to as a sausage dog – whether standard or miniature, with its smooth, long or wiry coat, is the 16th most popular breed of dog in the UK.
But of the thousands of registered dachshunds, thousands more unregistered dogs are believed to be bred by unofficial breeders, who seek to capitalise on the growing demand.
Dogs Trust recognises dachshunds as one of the most popular breeds to be smuggled into the country illegally, with the breed accounting for 26% of those brought in through its Puppy Pilot project, an initiative working to track dogs illegally brought into the UK.
It’s feared demand could also lead to a rise in irresponsible breeding and health and behavioural problems. Caroline says: “We saw it with breeds like the Dalmatian after the release of 101 Dalmatians and the old English sheepdog, used in Dulux advertisements. At the time, people raised concerns about the temperament of those dogs because unscrupulous breeders aren’t worried about behavioural problems – but it’s a huge issue for the puppy’s owner.”
Though their elongated bodies are admired, dachshunds are predisposed to spinal problems related to their long-backed and short-legged conformation, says Hannah Baker of Dogs Trust. “Owners should consider the possible implications of this not least in terms of possible veterinary treatment that may be required, but also on the quality of their dog’s life,” she adds.
People are urged to adopt instead of buying, or to purchase dogs from reliable sources such as the Kennel Club Assured Breeder Scheme.
Hannah says: “There is no denying the cute-factor that inevitably influences people’s choices. However, it’s important that a decision to get a dog, and which breed to choose, is based on more than just face value.”
ABOVE:Black and tan miniature dachshund
BELOW:Talk about cute... a puppy dachshund