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! any judges find the Dachshund di ffi cult to judge. After all, it is a dwarf breed. It comes in two sizes, standard and miniature, which are judged together in all but the open miniature class and there are three distinct coat types. Th is article is intended to help elucidate how to approach judging this breed. Dachshunds are not to be rewarded because they are “cute” or “funny”. Dachshunds were bred to be hunters that flush and track game. Th is is an extremely versatile breed, in fact the only breed that excels in the field, going to ground, retrieving and in tracking. Th ough many breeds excel in one or two of these activities, the Dachshund is the only breed that excels in all four. Although an achon- droplastic (dwarf ) breed, there should be nothing awkward or unbalanced about them. Th ey are, as the standard reminds us,

“clever, lively and courageous to the point of rashness, persevering in above- and below-ground work, with all the senses well developed.” Th is article is based on the American Kennel Club standard. While there are slight di ff erences in international standards, the approach to evaluating the breed should not be di ff erent. !"#$%&#'%(& So, how does one begin the evaluation of the Dachshund? First, by remembering the three L’s: Long, Low to the ground and Level top line . Th e Dachshund’s con- formation allows it to hunt badger below ground without getting stuck or running out of air. When I bring a class into the ring, unless it is an exceedingly large class, or winners or best of variety, I do not want the handlers to stack their dogs, but to first take them around the ring. Th is gives a first impression of the quality of each dog in the class, as structure can best be

seen through movement. It also gives the exhibits and the handlers, for that matter, the opportunity to calm down. Even with singleton classes I will not have the dog put directly on the table without first gaiting around the ring. Th e judge can see balance and how well each exhibit propels itself around the ring. In this first go-around the judge should be able to identify which exhibits are of better quality. When a dog is on the table, I first view it in profile and look for balance. While the standard does not specifically mention it, in a balanced dog, the length from tip of nose to occiput should be the same as the length of the neck and the depth of body. Th e distance from the point of shoulder to the hock should equal about three head- lengths. We want to see a level topline, a prominent forechest and a neck that is long, slightly arched at the nape and that flows gracefully into the shoulders. Th ere should be no suggestion of a right angle

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at the insert of the neck into the shoulder. We also look for good shoulder lay-back and a return of upper arm that places the back of the front paw directly under a ver- tical line dropped from the withers. Th e rear angulation should mirror the front angles, with hocks well-let-down and perpendicular. A pencil placed across the hocks should not roll o ff . Th e tail should be set on as an extension of the top line. Next, approach the exhibit from the front and check the head, which should taper uniformly from the back skull to the nose, with ears near the top of the head (not at eye level) essentially fram- ing the head, which a ff ects the expres- sion and type. Eyes should be almond- shaped, dark rimmed and dark. Round eyes are a fault. Dapple dogs may have wall (blue) eyes, which are otherwise a serious fault. Th e bite should be scissors and the underjaw and hinged well back of the eyes has strongly developed bones and teeth. Weak underjaws and snipey

muzzles should be faulted, as a hunter has to have a punishing bite. Evaluation of the front is critical, as it is a distinguishing feature of the breed and the standard spends more time describing it than any other part of the dog. Th e prosternum should be so prominent that dimples are visible on both sides of the chest, which should appear oval and extend downward to the midpoint of the forelegs. Th e shoul- ders should have good angulation, be well inclined and have proper lay-back or placement. Th is front is more angled than with most hounds, requiring right angles between the shoulder blade and the upper arm and between the upper arm and the foreleg. Th e front “wraps around” that chest, forming parenthe- ses, if you will, with the shoulders being wider than the wrists. Th e feet may be inclined slightly outwards and should be tight and compact. As with any hound, splayed feet are very undesirable.


Moving to the side, I place my right hand on the withers and check shoulder placement and run my left hand down the front of the neck and feel the forechest. I then place my left thumb on the high- est point of the withers, my second finger on the point of shoulder and then swing my thumb to the elbow. Th is allows me to evaluate the front angles and wheth- er there is equal length of shoulder and



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upper arm. Th e shoulders should be well laid back and form a right angle with the return of upper arm. Th e shoulders and upper arm should be of equal length so that the elbow falls directly below a verti- cal line dropped from the withers. We find that, as with many breeds, Dachshunds often have problems with their fronts, due either to straighter shoulder angle, or to short upper arm, which restrict the reach needed for proper movement. While hold- ing my right hand on the withers I run my left hand from in front of the fore legs to the end of the keel, which should extend well beyond the front legs and blend into the underline. Lack of adequate keel is a serious structural fault. I then put my hands on either side of the ribs to feel how capacious they are and move them back to the last rib. Th e ribbing should extend well back, about ⅔ the length of the dog, in order to provide support for the long back. If you are not checking forechest, front angulation, length of keel and ribbing, you are not doing a breed-specific examination! Th ere should be a waist at the strong loin. My left hand moves to the base of the tail and my right runs the

length of the tail, checking for placement and kinks or abnormalities. Th e rear should be strong with angles of the hip, thigh and second thigh corre- sponding to the front angles and, again, bones of equal length. Th e hocks should be well let down and perpendicular. I also like to feel the rear muscles, as the Dachshund is a hunting dog and should have good muscle tone. !"#$!$%& We have examined on the table; now we need to judge the dog on the ground as it moves. On the down and back, you want to see the whole rear pad facing you; this connotes proper rear drive. Th e legs should move paral- lel. Bouncing, eggbeater movement or sidewinding indicate that the front is under angulated in relation to the rear. As the dog returns to you, you want to see the wrap-around front with the fore legs curved and narrower than the shoul- ders, with no appearance of daylight between the elbows and the chest. Lack of wrap-around leads to a wide, rather stilted and nearly rolling motion. On the

go-around the gait should be e ff ortless, smooth without rolling or bouncing. You want to see good reach in front without any extraneous lift. Th e extension of the rear legs must equal their forward reach, forming a virtual equilateral triangle. '"(&) Th ere are three varieties of coat: smooth, long and wire. Th e smooth coat is short, smooth and shining. Th e tail should not have a brush nor be par- tially or wholly hairless. Th e long coat is long, sleek and glistening, often wavy, with hair that is longer on the chest, the underside of the body, the ears and behind the legs. On the tail, the hair reaches its greatest length and forms a flag. Too profuse a coat that masks type is undesirable. Th ere are recessive long- hairs shown. If there is longer hair on the ears, behind the legs and on the tail, it is acceptable. Th e wire coat should be a harsh outer coat with a softer under- coat. With the exception of a beard and eyebrows, the body should be covered with a uniform, tight, short, rough, hard outer coat with a softer undercoat. Th e absence of an undercoat is a fault, as are a soft outer coat, or curly or wavy hair on the body. From a distance the wire should resemble a smooth. While correct structure is of prime importance, coats distinguish the varieties and are impor- tant indicators of type. '"*"+ Acceptable colors and patterns are described in the standard. In 2006 the membership of the Dachshund Club of America (“DCA”) voted to remove the double-dapple (double-merle) pattern from the standard and also voted not to

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add piebald as an acceptable pattern—a pattern that is not included in any stan- dards worldwide. Th e standard men- tions three times that a small amount of white on the chest while not desirable is acceptable. Dapple Dachshunds may have a larger amount of white on the chest. White elsewhere is not acceptable and is an eliminating fault in all FCI countries. Th e Board of DCA recommends excusing a dog that does not display an acceptable color or pattern. !""#$" Dachshunds come in two sizes: stan- dard and miniature. Th e miniature is 11 pounds or under at 12 months of age or older. Th e only class where miniatures

do not compete with standards is in the open miniature class, in which they may be weighed. Th e miniature Dachshund is very much a Dachshund and should con- form to the standard. It is not to be con- sidered as less than or di ff erent from the standard Dachshund. Remember they are bold hunters of rabbit and badger. “Cute” is not in the standard. As a hunter running gear is very impor- tant and dogs with weak pasterns should not be rewarded. Th e Dachshund’s temperament is described as “clever, lively and courageous to the point of rashness”. Th e standard describes shyness as a serious fault. Please give consideration to puppies or dogs that are spooked by a loud noise while on the

table. I will often either have them do a down and back to settle them and then put them back on the table. Sometimes I will tell the handler to hold the dog and I will go to the handler’s side of the table to do the examination. I give the exhibits every opportunity to perform. However, shyness is a serious fault. Proper movement is flowing and smooth with no extraneous lift in front; rear drive shows full extension of the rear legs. We refer to dogs that have little rear extension as “tummy tappers”, as the rear legs reach forward and upward, but do not extend back. Th is is due in large part to steep croups, or long hocks and short sec- ond thighs. Lift in front, rather than proper forward extension, is often caused by steep fronts or short upper arms, a fault seen all too frequently in the breed. Dachshunds should cover ground with e ffi cient, smooth movement. Fast movement of front and back that does not cover ground is faulty. Bouncing, lift in front, eggbeater rears or sidewinding are all symptoms of a lack of balance between front and rear angulation and are not acceptable movement. %&'%(#"!&' Th e Dachshund is a great companion, a fierce competitor in obedience and agility and an avid hunter that excels in the field, tracking and in earth dog trials. I hope that this has helped you to appreciate this wonderful, versatile breed and will serve as an aid to judges in their approach to assessing the Dachshund.



A ccording to AKC statistics, the Dachs- hund fluctuates back and forth between the top ten most popu- lar registered breeds. Dachshunds come in three coat varieties (long, smooth, and wire) and two sizes (standard and miniature), are bold to the point of brashness, and oh yes, stubborn, but extremely loyal. Th ey can do anything and are endearing. In my case, my family lived at the beach in Malibu and when my Labrador died, my parents wanted to get an Irish Setter and someone recommended Dick Webb of “Webline” fame. We went over to see puppies and when we got there he said they wouldn’t do well because liv- ing at the beach they would be chasing seagulls all the time; they would get sun- burned and, smell of seaweed. He recom- mended a house dog. My aunt raised Longhair Dachshunds and we vacationed there to go salmon fish- ing and, of course, she had a litter in the

By Sherrill Snyder

kitchen and one went home with us. My uncle asked if we would show the little girl because she was the only one who wasn’t a champion and my aunt wanted an all cham- pion litter. Found the Dachshund Club of California was having a specialty show at Hollywood Race Track, met Ramona Van Court Jones and Grace Hirshman, and started showing soon after. Yes, we were hooked. Th en we took our new Champion on a trip though Texas and by the time the last show was done, my mother fell in love with Jiminy, the miniature wire that Evonne Chashoudian showed and we bought him. My mother and I loved the dog shows, the people, the breed – they never fail to entertain us. From Mrs. Midge Martin Breeder-Owner of Afghan Hounds, and Standard Wire Dachshunds under the Full Circle kennel name; and AKC Judge “ An illustration of why I became involved with Dachshunds arrived in an e-mail I received last week from friends

who have 2 dogs (Riley and Walker) from my breeding. Th e entire e-mail is as follows: ‘Midge. Th anks. Riley has taught Walker how to remove the wooden pegs from the stairs. An invoice will will be forthcoming.’ Th is shows the Dachshund in a nut- shell... curious, inventive, fun-loving and creative. I acquired my first Wire Dachs- hund over 40 years ago and have never looked back. After Fannie came to us, we couldn’t have just one and her sire came to us several months later. Funny Face was a joy. Th ey are a perfect size, though they think they are Great Dane rivals. Th e Dachshund Standard says that they are ‘…courageous to the point of rashness.’ A long-time wire breeder said that they took it one step further ‘…rash to the point of stupid.’ But stupid they are certainly not. Loving, possessive, always looking for something to do, but never stupid, which makes you keep on your toes to stay one page ahead of them, be my friend and make me laugh.”

“Dachshunds come in three coat varieties (long, smooth, and wire) and two sizes (standard and miniature),


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From Mrs. Sharon MacDonald Breeder-Owner handled Conforma- tion, Obedience, Rally, Agility; and Performance; Miniature Longhaired Dachshunds “I always like to think that Dachshunds chose me. I have fallen in love with two strong characteristics of the Dachshund: (1) Th e diversity of what they can do, and (2) the challenge to train them to do it. Th e Dachshund successfully complete is conformation, obedience, rally, agility field trials and EarthDog. My two present competition dogs have advance titles in five di ff erence AKC events. I am very proud to say that my youngest recently became the 8th Dachshund to achieve a triple championship, earning championships in conformation, field, and agility. I enjoy a good challenge, and training a Dachshund is certainly that! At nearly every turn I have to be smarter than my dogs. I have to outwit and often outlast them... and the victory of training a behavior becomes much sweeter. Regarding a rather large tattoo of Maggie, the Dachshund that opened the word of competition to me, people have asked me, ‘So what if you change breeds?’ What a silly question! Change breeds? Never going to happen! No breed can o ff er me the diversity and challenge (and entertainment) of my Dachshunds.”

“[DACHSHUNDS] LIVE FOR A BLISSFULLY LONG TIME, always smoothing the rough edges of ones life.”

From Mrs. Peggy Gutierrez-Otero AKC and International Dog Judge, Breeder-Owner, Conformation; Miniature Wirehaired Dachshunds and Basset Hounds “In my case, choosing the Dachshund was not diff icult. I was in Basset Hounds for many years, and as time passed and my dogs and I got older, I started think- ing about a breed with the same ‘format’ – low to the ground, long body, but easi- er to lift and carry and with a little more sparkle in them. While judging, Wire Dachshunds got my attention. A good friend of mine, Carlos Del Torre, used to handle a mini wire that was bought by somebody who thought he would do BIG winning with him. Not being the case, as you know it is very diff icult to win BIG with Dachshunds. He left the dog with the handler with instructions to sell him and recover his fees and boarding expenses. My friend, who has a heart as big as he is, gave him to me, fulf illing my longing for a Dachshund. The dog went back to the States and f inished his American title and will turn 12 years old in February. He has had a good life and is the king among my other Dachshunds.” From Mrs. Valerie Diker Owner and Breeder of Dikerdachs Miniature Longhair Dachshunds “Dachshunds have always been my favorite breed of dog. Th ey are funny, curious, smart, brave, loyal and a ff ectionate. Th eir dry pink tongues are likely to leave wet streaks in unlikely

places: inside the ears, nose, between bare toes, anywhere will do to for them to express their unconditional a ff ection. Th eir self-estimate of their size is often exaggerated. Fearless, they will approach huge dogs to greet and play, they will attempt any task daunting to larger dogs without hesitation. I have always owned Dachshunds. As a child, when I had children and now that I’m an ‘empty nester’ I have ten! Each dog is unique in personality and in looks, while conforming closely to the Mini Dachshund Standard. Anyone who wants holes dug in their yard should hire a Dachshund. If they su ff er from gaggles of geese landing on their lawn they should call on a Dachshund. One miniature Dachshund can scatter twenty geese, each goose their same size, by racing towards them without a sound, like a missile shot from a cannon. Dachshunds travel easily. Th ey are curious and restrained in a carrier. Th ey are always thrilled not to be left behind. With careful breeding, restrained feeding, lots of exercise and no unsupervised jumping, Dachshunds will be with you for at least 17 years, 19 in my experience. They live for a blissfully long time, always smoothing the rough edges of ones life. Dachshunds also make very successful therapy dogs. When their warm body slips onto your lap and they put their sweet face up against your chest, waiting for a kiss on their forehead, who wouldn’t feel the sun come out?”

“I enjoy a good challenge, AND


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From Anne and Dale Carnathan Owners, Breeders of both Conformation and Performance Smooth Miniature Dachshunds “I was literally raised by Dachshunds. My first memory of a dog was a little red miniature named Bridget. Bridget tolerated me, but showed her true colors when my little brother was born. She took mothering seriously, putting herself in between anything she thought dangerous to him, including me! Every Dachshund we’ve ever owned (and there have been many!) has been brave to a fault, but equally willing to snuggle in and cuddle. Th ere’s nothing like seeing a pile of eight Dachshunds all trying to stay on a two by three foot lounger! And, there’s nothing better than a Dachshund ‘hot water bottle’ when you’re under the weather! While we are fairly new to showing and breeding these wonderful dogs; showing them in conformation and tracking bunnies out in the field (rain or shine); they have become our passion! From one pet, to our first show dog, to our first litter, we now have 8 dogs, ranging from a conformation Grand Champion, a Dual Champion (Conformation and Field Trial

Champion) and a rescue; which brings to mind the phrase ‘Because you can’t have just one.’” From Karyn and Jeff Dionne Owners, Breeders of both Conformation and Performance – Wagsmore Miniature Longhaired Dachshunds “Dachshunds? That is an easy one! Karyn had them as a child and I heard all about ‘Fritz’ and his antics in Missouri when the two of the would go out exploring. Any small dog brash enough to think that he was actually chasing the gigantic bull around in the f ield next door, had battle scars on his muzzle from dispatching every vermin he crossed paths with, and that relentlessly bit my brother-in-law (they must be excellent judges of character) was enough to pique my interest. When we saw my f irst Silver Dapple we (I) had to have one! Looking back I now know we fell into this wonderful breed for al the wrong reasons but some- times divine intervention comes into play. Our involvement in the breed came with a wall-eyed dapple who was slightly nicer than Dachs 17 but was game for

anything! A couple of six-inch tall tro- phies won at the Dachshund races in Vallejo, California and Gordon Heldeb- rant asking if we were interested in join- ing the Northern California Dachshund Club began a fantastic journey of nearly 25 years in this wonderful breed. I can- not imagine myself without at least one Dachshund throughout the remainder of my life.” One thing is for sure, Dachshunds are wonderful and there is something for everyone in this breed – conformation, performance and good old-fashioned couch potatoes – you will fit right in. Love is all you need.

BIO Sherrill Snyder, Owner, Breeder since 1962 of Min- iature Wires and Standard Longhaired Dachshunds: AKC Judge since 1980; owner of the first Minia- ture Wire to win all-breed

best in shows and co-owner of another mini wire Best in Show dog; and co-owner of two Best in Show standard longhairs.


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