Dachshund Philosophy: Bunny or Bust

Some readers will remember what this means: 36-24-26.

The numbers are the bust-waist-hip measurements of the “classic” hourglass body shape that was considered ideal in the 1950s and 60s (think Marilyn Monroe). In truth, only about 8% of women have this shape. The most common body shape is a rectangle which makes up 46% of women, females whose waist is less than nine inches smaller than their hips or bust. And we just now mentioned a word that got an inordinate amount of attention in popular culture: The bust. It was measured, propped up or flattened (depending upon clothing of the era), revealed or cosseted. At the moment, fashion seems not to pay too much attention to it, but, as is our tendency, we now make a tortured connection to the dog world, and a breed where the chest measurement is still very much important.

The Dachshund.

In the AKC, the breed standard of the Dachshund for the AKC indicates that the breed is bred and shown in two sizes, standard and miniature, and compete in class divisions determined by weight: Miniatures compete in a class division for “11 pounds and under at 12 months of age and older, while the weight of the standard size is usually between 16 and 32 pounds. The UK’s Kennel Club, the Canadian Kennel Club, United Kennel Club and Australia also classify by weight.

In Germany, the breed’s country of origin, however, and in FCI countries, Normalgrossteckels, Zwergteckels, and Kaninchenteckels (the rabbit Dachshund) are also divided by the circumference of their chest when they are at least 15 months old, the measurement being from highest point of the withers to the lowest point of the chest.  The Dachshund has a deep chest to allow enough lung capacity to keep going when hunting, and that strong and broad chest allows them to bark deeply and loudly, a signal to hunters that the dog has found a prey animal even when they’re underground or far away. Chest girth not only determines into what size hole the dog can fit to pursue his quarry, but identifies him as a Standard, Miniature, or Kaninchenteckel.

Image: “Dachshund Car Ride” by DJ Rogers – k9artgallery


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