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The exact origin of the Wirehaired Dachshund can not be precisely traced, although the most commonly excepted theory regarding the development of the Wirehaired Dachshund is that Smooth Dachshunds were crossed with various hard-coated terriers and wire-haired pinschers, such as Schnauzers, Dandie Dinmont Terriers, German Wirehaired Pointers, or Scottish Terriers to develop variation.
For the Miniature, Dwarf and Rabbit Dachshunds; Standard Smooth Dachshunds were bred with toy terriers or pinschers to reduce their size. These now smaller Smooth Dachshunds were then bred with the Papillon to create the longhaired variety, and with the Miniature Schnauzer to create the the Miniature Wirehaired Dachshund. In Germany these new smaller Dachshunds were then selectively bred to achieve the desired size and classified in two seperate classes based upon the size of the hole they could enter. The first being the Dwarf Dachshund (zwergteckel) that measures approximately 11.8 inches around its chest and the second being the Rabbit Dachshund (kaninchenteckel) that measures approximately 13.8 inches around its chest.
As is the case with the majority of recognized dog breeds, intentional modifications of coat type, size, temperament etc. are generally the result of necessity. These breed variations are designed to expand the breeds usability for a specific task, survivability in alternate climates, and ability to traverse the terrain it is expected to encounter. In the case of the Wirehaired Dachshund, a necessity existed to create a variation of the Smooth Dachshund with a tough, armor like coat that would have more protection in brambles and heavily foliaged terrain than their smooth haired counterparts, while increasing their prey drive and desire to work.
The earliest written documentation referencing the Wirehaired Dachshund comes from the writings of Dr. Walther in 1812, who wrote of the breed that: "They are snappy, often pugnacious, brave, but often quarrelsome animals, who are tenacious of life. They tend to start fights with any dog, no matter how large he is." . He also noted that the Wirehaired Dachshund was generally "not as low legged or crooked as the smooth variety" and that it was a good worker; traits still present in Wirehaired Dachshunds to this day.
The Wirehaired Dachshund should possess a uniform, armor like, short, thick, and course outer coat that covers all areas except the jaw, eyebrows, and ears; that lies over a somewhat softer undercoat which is distributed over the entire body and lies evenly distributed between the coarser outer coat. The Wirehaired Dachshunds face is marked by its ever alert, somewhat comical appearance and distinctive facial furnishing of a beard and eyebrows. The hair of the ears should be short, almost smooth but not leathery in appearance, while the overall appearance of the dog should be that it would resemble a Smooth Coated Dachshund when viewed from a distance. Long, curly or wavy hair, or hair the juts out irregularly in all directions are considered faults, as is soft hair present in the outer coat, wherever it may appear on the body. The tail should be thickly haired, while tapering to a point, and without a flag tail which would be a fault.
Wirehaired Dachshunds are generally the braver more energetic of the three types. As tribute to their terrier heritage, they also tend to be the most mischievous, and prone to obstinate behavior.
Not all Wirehaired Dachshund coats are the same length, texture or makeup; as a rule this coat type does not breed true, this means that even if the mother and father have identical perfect show standard coats, the pups may have a wide variety ranging from a little fluff, to very course to somewhere in the middle. Thus the grooming requirements for a specific Wirehaired Dachshund should be based on that coat alone, with some requiring a little more and some requiring a little less grooming.
As a general rule Wirehaired Dachshunds need frequent brushing with a short napped wire bristle brush, especially after the annual spring and fall molting. This brushing will remove any debris and loose or dead hair. Most Wire haired Dachshunds should have their need their coats plucked twice a year. Make sure the coat is plucked/stripped and not clipped, as clipping will ruin the texture of the coat. The facial furnishing should be combed out at least once a week, and will need the occasional trimming; taking special care around the mouth and eyes. It is best to let an experienced groomer pluck the coat unless the breeder can teach the new owner how to do it.