Dachshunds have an alert and active nature. They are known for their hunting ability, and can use their keen sense of smell to participate with their owners in earthdog trials. Other behaviors related to hunting include barking and scratching at the ground or digging, which may be minimized if the dog has an acceptable location for digging such as a sandbox or mulch bed. Dachshunds can be suspicious of strangers or protective, which may indicate some aggressive tendencies; alternatively, this protectiveness may be just a self-defense reaction. Due to their body style, some Dachshunds may simply be trying to prevent being lifted off the ground. These behaviors may respond to socialization, which lessens the development of fear-based defensive aggression.
The Dachshund, also known as the "hot dog" or "wiener dog," dates back to the fifteenth century. Many accept the theory that the breed originated in Germany, although there is evidence that suggests that the breed may also have been present in Greece, Egypt, China and Mexico. The Dachshund was originally developed to hunt badgers, but they are also well-suited for hunting larger game. In 1888 the German Dachshund Club was founded and a breed standard was developed in an effort to promote a dog that was as beautiful as it was intelligent. Three different coats are associated with the breed, including the smooth coat, long coat and wirehaired coat. Dachshunds also come in different sizes including standard, medium and miniature. The breed was introduced to the United States in 1885 and received American Kennel Club recognition in 1992.