Dachshunds are particularly popular at the moment, during coronavirus lockdowns. But they’ve always been popular. The second reason is layered over the first.
The short legs of the Dachshund have been created through selective breeding with tunnelling duties in mind. The name of this dog literally means “badger-dog”. The breed was developed in Germany to pursue badgers into their burrows and attack them. Other breeds also have short legs. Dr. Desmond Morris calls this the process of “baby-making”. What he means is that the breeders have deliberately created dogs which tweak the brains of their owners into relating to their dog as if they were babies.
And that’s the first reason why Dachshunds are popular. It is because they create an adult-baby relationship which is very caring. People want to care for their baby which is a dog!
The second reason is that Dachshunds are less athletic than a typical dog because their legs are much shorter. This means that they waddle around and they have this disability if you like. Despite that, they have the same mentality of any other dog. Their bodies are short but they have the same energy levels and desires as their longer-legged brethren. This endears them to us because of their pluckiness in overcoming this slight disability.
The third reason is that they are very cute, which is part of the baby image. And the reason why they are popular during the coronavirus pandemic is because there has been a general trend towards adopting small dogs during this period. This is, perhaps, because people living in homes that are not ideal for dog ownership i.e. apartments, have decided to adopt a dog companionship during these long lockdown periods. The small dachshund and other small dogs are more suited to apartment living. They are more manageable. Sadly, some of these adoptions will fail because of the inexperience and lack of preparation by their owners.
There has been a general trend, I would argue, towards smaller dogs, in any case, especially among the social media influencers. These people are normally women and women like smaller dogs. I hope that that is not sexist in any way. It is not meant to be.
Personally, I have seen a surge in adoptions of Dachshunds. It has been quite noticeable. I regularly walk in parks and parkland areas where many people are walking with their dogs. I am seeing a preponderance of Dachshunds and French bulldogs.
Many of the terrier breeds have become immensely popular not as a working dog but as a companion animal to keep their owner company even if they were originally developed as a burrower.
P.S. there is always a difficulty in knowing whether to capitalise the name of dog breeds. I have done so but strictly speaking they should not be capitalised because they are not proper nouns. However, by convention I think it is okay to do this.
SOME PAGES ON WORKING DOGS – SNIFFER DOGS: