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History

Canis Segusius

 

Manuscripts of the 2nd century by the Greek historians Flavius Arranius and Xenophon already mentioned dogs with remarkable noses (Canis segusius) used for hunting by the Segusians in ancient Europe.

 

This Gallic tribe was the earliest occupants of the territory at the confluence of the rivers Rhone and Saône in the Cottian Alps, and around the French city of Lyon (Lugdunum). The Segusians were famous hunters.

 

The Canis segusius had hanging ears with a facial expression "bearing a resemblance to street beggars". It has been speculated Germanic tribes and Romans got hold of these dogs, inducing a spread throughout Europe.

Over a course of many centuries, numerous other hunting dogs were developed from the ancient Celtic Canis segusius.    


Chiens Courants

 

The book "Le Miroir de Phébus des Deduitz de la Chasse des Bestes Sauvaiges et des Oyseaux de Proie" provided the first detailed reports regarding the various dogs applied for different types of hunting in medieval FranceThe book was written by Gaston III, Count of Foix around 1388.

 

For hunting deer and wild boar, the author favored the "chiens courants", which were dogs giving tongue while in pursuit. Gaston Phébus wrote: "The "chiens courants" which hunt on all day long bawling and giving tongue, and shouting all sorts of insults in their language at the beast which they are after, these are the hounds for me and I hold to them before all other".

 

At that time, hunters were discovering the valuable application of tonguing dogs in hunting. It is believed that due to William the Conqueror, the "chiens courants" made their way across the Channel to England forming the genetic foundation for the British scent hounds. 

 


Bracken

 

The "chiens courants" were (are) called “Laufhunde” or “Bracken” by the German-speaking Europeans. Around the mid 16th century, dogs were gradually more selected for specific hunting tasks. 

At that time the Bracken were employed for three general types of hunting: the “Parforce hunt”, the “drive hunt”, and the “hunt on leash” (the search before the hunt and the search for wounded game).

 

In the Parforce hunt, a pack of Bracken is placed on a scent trail of a certain game. The Bracken trail the scent loudly, followed by hunters on horses for hours until the game is fatigued. This type of hunting was especially popular with the 17th and 18th century royalties. Packs of several hundreds of Bracken were not uncommon. An example of a Parforce hunt is the “chasse royale” in autocratic France. Parforce hunts are nowadays forbidden in many European countries.

 

At the drive hunt, the Bracken search, find, and pursue the game. The dogs drive the game toward the hunter, where the game is awaited with nets, weapons, or other dogs (lurchers and sighthounds).

With the improvement of firearms after the 16th century, a new type of drive hunt is created, taking advantage of the preference of game returning to the original location. The pursuit on scent took place until the game fully circles back to the point of origin (“brackieren”).

 

Another group of Bracken were selected to search game, before and after the hunt. For further information please read under Game Recovery


Early Teckels

 

Since the 17th century German foresters, who were in charge of maintaining the hunting grounds for the royalty, selected and bred the smallest and most tenacious Bracken to reduce the number of foxes and badgers in underground dens. The meat of small game that were prey to these predators were favored and at that time less expensive than beef or lamb.  

 

Prior to this period, there were drawings of small dogs used in badger, fox and otter hunting, and even in hunting beavers for the medicinal castoreum (anal sac oil)  but these  dogs only show vague resemblance to today's Dachshund or Teckel.  

 

In 1719, Johann Friedrich Freiherr von Fleming published "Der vollkommene teutsche Jäger", a book containing drawings of the "Tachs Kriecher" with crooked front legs and "Tachs Krieger" with straight legs, that exhibit more likeness. Von Fleming wrote these dogs were traling and chasing the game while giving tongue, indicating the hidden game with diligence and zeal to the hunter, which separates these dogs from other hunting dogs.

 

Carl von Heppe (1751) commented in his book  "Aufrichtiger Lehrprinz oder Praktische Abhandlung von dem Leithund, als dem Fundament der edlen hirschgerechten Jägeren"  that there are Dachshunds with long and short legs, and others with straight and with crooked legs like seen in the Leithunde. This underlined that in those days, dogs were not selected and classified on the basis of phenotype but according to similarities in traits or functions. There were no breeds as we know now.

 

In his book "Der Hund in seinen Haupt- und Nebenrassen", Dr. H.G. Reichenbach (1836) first described the breed's external characteristics close to the modern Dachshund or Teckel.

 

Louis Ziegler praised in "Haarwild-Jagd und die Naturgeschichte der jagdbaren Säugethiere. Zur Belehrung und Unterhaltung für Jagdfreunde" (1848) the excellent nose and versatility of the Dachshund used  in hunting.  Ziegler also mentioned that due to its great nose, this courageous dog has very little problems to work on a leash as a blood tracking dog. He recommends also the use of the 'mongrels' of the Schweißhunde with the Dachshunds. Apparently at that time, the mixing of these 2 'breeds' already took place.

For more information about this topic please read the Game Recovery page.  


Cornerstones

 

In 1879 the first description of the breed was written in German. The phenotype (looks) of the dogs rather than the hunting application, became slowly more important in dictating the breed.  

The German Dachshund Club (Deutscher Teckelklub or DTK) was founded by Klaus Graf Hahn and Major Emil Ilgner in 1888. 

 

Two years later (1890) 54 shorthair Teckels were registered in the very first German pedigree book. These dogs could be considered as the foundation for the entire breed, even for the wirehair and longhair Dachshunds.

 

It was not until 1925 that the official German breed standard was published. For more information, please read The Breed 


Junker Racker


Chiens courants


Early Bracke


Chasse royale


Parforce deer hunt


Book von Fleming 1729

with below drawings


Drawing F.Specht 1772


Some prominent dogs

in the breed:


Dachs 16


Hundesports Waldmann


Schlupfer Euskirchen


Monsieur Schneidig