dachshund (dăksˈhŏnd, –ənd, dăshˈ–) [key], breed of small, short-legged hound developed in Germany over hundreds of years. It stands from 5 to 9 in. (13–23 cm) high at the shoulder and weighs from 5 to 20 lb (2–9 kg). There are six varieties of dachshund: the smooth-haired, with a short, glossy coat; the long-haired, with a soft and silky coat; the wire-haired, with a short, harsh coat; and miniatures of each of these types. The color may be black or chocolate marked with tan, or various shades of solid red. Originally bred to hunt badgers, the dachshund was later used on a wide variety of small ground game. The 12-lb (5-kg) miniature variety was perfected to hunt hares. Today the dachshund is raised primarily as a house pet. See dog.
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