There are few dogs around as cute as the Dachshund, right? These pups, known affectionately as “hot dog” dogs, are long, low to the ground, and most often quite friendly. Originally bred to hunt badgers, these dogs are often brave and without fear. They make wonderful, loyal family pets.
At the Westminster Dog Show, Dachshunds are well represented and appear year after year. If you are wondering if your Dachshund could make the show, wonder no more!
The Dachshund Look
The Dachshund was bred in Germany about five hundred years ago to dig badgers out of their dens. As a matter of fact, in German Dachshund means “badger dog.” Given this role, the ideal Dachshund will retain many of the physical characteristics that made them so good at their job. The Dachshund should be strong - all over strong - but especially in the front end. After all, these dogs had to do a lot of digging.
As such, if your Dachshund is going to impress the Westminster judges they will have to demonstrate well developed musculature in the chest, the shoulders, the neck, and the back. The chest should be broad and deep, and the back should be straight and level. Of course, the Daschund’s legs will be short but they shouldn’t be spindly. No weaklings here please!
At the same time, the skin of your Dachshund must be smooth and elastic. Too many wrinkles will mean points taken off. Also, your pet’s Westminster chances depend on the dog not seeming cramped or awkward in their movements despite his or her low, compact stature.
In other words, your funny looking dog should be a kind of elegant funny.
The Dachshund Temperament
To do battle with badgers, Dachshunds needed to be quick thinkers, persistent diggers, and fierce foes. As such, the ideal attitude for a show Dachshund will be one of lively, spirited disposition with a bit of noble bearing thrown in. The dog should not be shy though neither should they be overly playful. At least not while being judged….
Dachshunds should also be confident dogs who hold their heads high and move with a sense of purpose. One telling and interesting detail about this breed is that, according to the American Kennel Club, scars received while in the line of duty (that is, while hunting) will not be considered a fault during judging.
After all, these dogs are meant to be tough!
When it comes to Westminster and the Dachshund, there is only one trait that will outright disqualify this dog from competition. That characteristic is known as knuckling over.
In this condition, the dog’s front end—their legs, chest, shoulders, and the supporting bones and musculature—are unable to support their weight. In other words, the dog appears to have trouble keeping himself or herself upright, falling forward as they stand or walk.
Unfortunately, this orthopedic condition will not only keep your Dachshund out of Westminster, it could be a challenge for any family pet. Learn more about Dachshund health and care.
So did your dog make the cut? We bet they deserve a belly rub just for trying!
More on Dachshunds and Show Dogs
How to Quiet a Barking Dachshund
Could Your Lab Make the Show?
Which Breeds Usually Win at Westminster?