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The predominant theory regarding the origin of the Miniature, Dwarf and Rabbit Dachshunds is that Standard Smooth Dachshunds were bred with toy terriers or pinschers to reduce their size. 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.
Whether or not the above theory is the true origin seems to have been lost in time. What we do know is that as with all 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, or in alternate climates, and terrains.
Rabbit Dachshunds mimic their bigger counterparts in all aspects except size; with a diminuitive height of only 6 inches at the withers and a requirement that weight not exceed 11lbs they really are just smaller versions of the Standard Dachshunds.
The coat of the smooth or Shorthaired Dachshunds should be shiny and smooth, while lying neatly against the body so as to give the dog a slicked appearance with an overall length that generally does not exceed ¾ inch. The hair of the tail should lie in the same direction as that of the body while tapering gradually to a point at the end. The underside of the tail is permitted to have longer bristles that are considered a patch of strong growing hair. Brush tails, completely or semi hairless tails are considered to be a fault. The ears should have short uniform hair covering the outside of their length while not being bald or giving the appearance so as to be leathery.
In general, Rabbit Dachshunds will tend to be more active than the larger Standard Dachshunds.
Smooth Dachshunds are typically the clingiest of the three types; most apt to suffer from separation anxiety and to be aloof with strangers.
Shorthaired or Smooth Coated Dachshunds are the easiest of the three Dachshund coat varieties to care for when grooming. Their smooth, thick coat requires minimal brushing to reduce shedding and remove dead hair; bathing should only be done once or twice a month or when dirty.