Suli with a Spring groundhog.
Teddy Moritz writes that: "Digging season on the farms has just commenced up here. I'm starting an eighteen month old mini longhair dachshund named Suli. This is the fourth chuck she's seen in the last three days. She's making progress and the farmer is happy. Suli worked rabbits under the hawk all winter but these varmints that bite back are a different quarry."
If you have never seen a working dachshund in the field, you are missing something. They have good noses, loud voices, and chests small enough to get down the hole with ease. Another advantage they have is that they are a little less likely than a terrier to try to wrestle the quarry into submission, which means a dachshund is a little less likely than a terrier to get injured and have to sit out a week or two while things knit up. Since we can dig year round in the U.S., this is no small thing.
It should be noted that working dachshunds are not the ponderous heavy-bodied standard dachshunds most people are familiar with. In fact, to differentiate working dachshunds from their heavy-chested pet- and show-dog cousins, the German word "Teckel" is generally used.
Working Teckels come in three sizes:
- Standard Teckels are supposed to have a chest measurement of 35 cm, or 13.78 inches. This is about the same size chest size as that of the average red fox.
- Miniature Teckels are dogs that have a chest circumference of 30 to 35 cm measured when at least 15 months old. This smaller chest allows the dog to follow even a very small vixen to ground in a very tight earth.
- Rabbit Teckels have a chest circumference of up to 30 cm measured when at least 15 months old. As the name suggests, these dogs are sometimes used for rabbiting, and many have chests that are as small around as 10 inches.
For those interested in working dachshunds in North America, see >> http://www.teckelclub.org/hunting-with-dachs.htm
For those interested in the German or FCI standard for the working Teckel or hunting Dachshund, see >> http://www.fci.be/uploaded_files/148GB99_en.doc (WORD document)