Are Dachshunds Still Used For Hunting?

Are Dachshunds Still Used For Hunting?

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When you think of a hunting dog, do you ever picture a Dachshund?  The original purpose for creating the Dachshund Breed was for hunting the pesky badger.  The badger was considered a major pest for eating people’s crops.  Hunters needed to have a dog that was low to the ground and able to dig through small holes to get to their prey.

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Dachshunds are intelligent dogs.  They were raised to be brave and tough, in order to win a battle with a badger. Hunting badgers was very dangerous work, especially for such a small sized dog.  You can read more about the History of the Dachshunds here.

Are Dachshunds Still Used For Hunting?

The Dachshund Name:

The name Dachshund (pronounced: Dahks-hunt) means “badger dog.” In German, dachs means “badger,” hund means “dog.”  Some other proper names in Germany are Dackel and Teckel.

England was one of the first countries to turn the dachshund from a hunter to a favored pet.  The dachshund was brought to the United States in the 1870’s, but more as a pet instead of a hunter.

Are Dachshunds Still Used For Hunting?

Yes, Dachshunds are among the Top 10 Dog Breeds For Hunting. Many hunters in Europe use the Dachshund dog breed to track and hunt, while only some hunters in the USA use doxies as hunting dogs. 

Some hunters use a pack of dachshunds to hunt down their prey.  This gives the hunter the advantage as the dogs will hunt together, then split off to dig down into different entrances of the animal’s burrow.

Are Dachshunds Still Used For Hunting?

Are Dachshunds Good for Hunting?

In the past, it was mainly the standard-sized Dachshund that was used for Badger Hunting. The Miniature Dachshund came along later on and was used for smaller game like rabbit, squirrel, and prairie dogs.  Nowadays, Hunters in the USA and Europe are using Miniature and Standard Dachshunds for badger hunting.  In the Western part of the United States, dachshunds have also been used to track down wounded deer (Blood Tracking).

Hunters use a transmitter collar to help keep track of their hunting dachshunds while they are underground.  When using this special tracking collar, the hunter has a more accurate location to dig and help flush out the hunted animal.

Different Dachshund Coats:

Did you know that there is an actual purpose for the different Dachshund coats?

Short-Hair Dachshunds:

The dachshunds with the short-haired coat made it harder for their prey to bite down and hold on.  This made it easier for the dog to hunt and tumble with it’s prey.

Wire-Hair and Long-Hair Dachshunds:

Since the dachshunds were lower to the ground, the short hair doxies tended to get more scratched up by the sharp prickers and branches while hunting in the wooded areas.  Hunters introduced the wire-hair and long-hair dachshunds to keep their skin more protected from the debris of the forest floor.

Why Are Dachshunds Good Hunters?

  • Lungs: The Dachshund dog breed has a large lung capacity despite it’s short stature.  When the dachshund digs into the small animal burrow, he can continue to breath with less risk of getting stuck.  Larger lung capacity also allows the dog to hunt and fight with their prey for longer periods of time.  Ever notice when playing with your dachshund, they literally have endless energy?

  • Senses: The Dachshund is a type of “hound dog”, so they can track the scent of their prey (called: spoor sense) and are able to hear and feel ground vibrations (reverberatory sense).

  • Training: The hunting dachshund is trained to track the animal,  chase the animal into its burrow, dig down into the hole after the animal, and drag it out for the hunter to make the final kill.  Their main purpose is to retrieve the animal for the hunter, not to fight the animal to the death.  Badgers can be a pretty fierce animal, so it made sense that hunters would use a pack of several dachshunds on the hunt for a badger.

  • Claws: Dachshunds are awesome digger dogs. They have to dig deep into an animals narrow burrow during the hunt.

  • Bark: Dachshund Owners are very familiar with that special doxie bark.  While hunting, the dachshunds used their loud bark to help the hunter locate the hunted animal.

Are Dachshunds Still Used For Hunting?

Dachshund Falconry:

When I was researching this topic, I found this to be so interesting!  Dachshunds and Hawks (or Falcons) work together as a hunting team.  How cool is that?  In the United States, Dachshunds are used to hunt alongside hawkers or falconers for small game like rabbit and squirrel.

While rabbit hunting, the doxie is used to run after the rabbit and the hawk will follow up with the final catch of the prey.  When hunting for squirrels, the dachshund is trained to chase the squirrel up the tree and keep it in the tree for the hawk to catch.

Check out the Teckel Club for more information and pictures.

Crusoe’s Hunting Journey:

I had to add a little cuteness to this blog post, here is little Crusoe on YouTube.

Do Dachshunds Hunt Foxes?

Yes, Dachshunds are used for fox hunting.  A trained hunting dachshund can chase a fox out from their underground den in no time.  While the miniature doxies can be used to track and chase down the fox, the larger standard dachshund can be used to fight and defend if needed.

What Animals Can Dachshunds Hunt?

Dachshunds can hunt squirrels, rabbits, prairie dogs, groundhogs (woodchuck), and fox.  They can also sniff out wounded deer.  Some hunters use dachshunds to hunt opossum, raccoons, and pheasants.  In the past, they were even used to track wild boar,  Yikes!

Have you ever gone hunting with a Dachshund before?  We would love to hear you story in the comments below.

Are Dachshunds Still Used For Hunting?