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The Dachshund was developed in Germany where they were used to hunt badgers which explains their name – “dachs” meaning badger and “hund” meaning dog. Illustrations of dogs resembling the breed can be found in 15th century drawings and documents from the 16th century write about the “earth dog” and “badger creeper”. Dachshunds were also used to hunt den animals including foxes and rabbits, and packs of Dachshunds would trail wild boar. The breed continued to develop and was refined in Germany over many years by German foresters in the 18th and 19th centuries. They wanted to create a breed that was fearless and elongated that could dig into burrows and go into those burrows to fight the animal to death if necessary. Smooth-coated Dachs were the original type and believed to have been created through breeding with the Braque (a small French pointing breed) and the Pinscher (a small terrier-type ratter). It is thought that the French Basset Hound may have played a part in their development. The long-haired Dachshunds were most likely created through crossing with spaniels and the wire-haired Dachs through crossing with terriers. In the 1800s, Dachshunds were being bred more as pets than as hunters particularly in Britain and were favourites of royalty. The Cavalier King Charles Spaniel was developed less than a century ago with its beginning being a toy spaniel that has existed for several centuries as a companion to royalty. Cavaliers descend from toy spaniels that were depicted in many 16th, 17th, and 18th century paintings. It was King Charles the second that loved the dogs and actually gave them their name – he never went anywhere without one of these dogs by his side and even decreed that the spaniels shouldn’t be allowed in any public place. That decree is apparently still in effect today in England, but no one has tested it recently to see if its true! The King Charles Spaniels were bred with other dogs like Pugs which developed many of their features like the shorter nose and domed head. The name Cavalier King Charles Spaniel was chosen to differentiate the breed from the flat-faced King Charles Spaniel. In 1945, the breed was recognised by the Kennel Club.  Cavaliers are small but sturdy dogs that stand at around 12 to 13 inches at the shoulder weighing 13 to 18 pounds. They have medium-length coats which are silky and may also be slightly wavy and come in four different colourings being Blenheim, Tricolour, Black and Tan, and Ruby.  Dachshunds are bred and shown in two different sizes being Standard and Miniature. Standards usually weigh between 16 and 32 pounds and Miniatures weigh 11 pounds and under. Smooth Dachshund’s have a short and shiny coat and can be a variety of colours including red, cream, brindle, black, chocolate, grey, fawn, and tan. They can be single-coloured, two-coloured or even Dappled. Wirehaired Dachshunds’ coats are very different in comparison to the Smooth Dachshunds’ as they have short, thick and rough hair as the topcoat with a soft undercoat, and the most common colour for the Wirehair is wild boar. Longhaired Dachshunds have a silky and slightly wavy long coat which gives them a rather elegant appearance. This breed does shed, but not in majorly excessive amounts and their coat is pretty low maintenance. The lifespan of the Dachshund ranges from 12 to 13 years. As with all dog breeds, they can be more prone to particular health conditions, which is incredibly important to be aware of before bringing a Dachshund into your home. For this breed, you should expect to see health clearances from the breeder which have been completed by a certified scheme. There are many Health Tests available for all dog breeds in order to understand potential risks and the level of those risks which includes Progressive Retinal Atrophy for Dachshunds in particular. Certain health conditions that Dachshunds are more prone to include back problems, epilepsy, degenerative eye disorders, bloat, hormonal conditions, diabetes and deafness.  The Cavalier is a generally healthy dog but can also be prone to certain health conditions including heart disease, brain and spinal conditions, muscular issues, hip dysplasia, joint problems and eye conditions. Being aware of this prior to getting a dog is significantly important since, as an owner, you need to be able to care for your dog in the way they require which could mean some large vet bills. Cavaliers are eager to meet everyone – they are sociable dogs that long for attention from anyone. They come in a range of personalities from quiet to rowdy. They are known to be dogs that let you know of most events in your neighbourhood and can bark a large amount when strangers approach your home. They are great playmates for children, especially if they play games or even just relaxing together. Cavaliers desire to be close to their family and need your affections in order to maintain a happy and healthy life due to having a very dependent personality. Being a spaniel at heart, they will commonly want to chase small animals that they spot in the distance.  The Dachshund is a clever, high energy and courageous little dog that was bred to persevere meaning they can be pretty stubborn when they want to be. They have a reputation of being very entertaining pups and fearless in character. They adore their owners and long for affection and plenty of cuddles and playing. Like every breed, Dachshunds need to be socialised from an early age in order for your pup to grow into a well-balanced adult dog that is less wary of strangers and unfamiliar dogs or other animals.

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