Angst over possible ban of dachshund in Germany

You might know that in Germany they have a concept called “torture breeding“. In that country they believe that if breeders create animals which are inherently unhealthy they should be banned. It applies to certain cat breeds such as flat-faced Persians and the hairless Sphynx.

This story from The Times does not refer to this interesting and I think valuable concept which, for me, should apply to all countries including the UK but it doesn’t.

Dachshund going for a walk in a beautiful park on a beautiful evening
Dachshund going for a walk in a beautiful park on a beautiful evening
Until September 7th I will give 10 cents to an animal charity for every comment written by visitors. It is a way visitors can contribute to animal welfare without much effort and no financial cost. Please comment. It helps this website too which at heart is about cat welfare.

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The story does however refer to the inherently unhealthy aspects of the ever-popular dachshund, made more popular since the Covid-19 pandemic when it was adopted in great numbers together with the French Bulldog in the UK as a companion during those long lockdown periods.

When I walk in the park, I nearly always see dachshunds clearly indicating their popularity. In Germany they are the second most popular breed after the Alsatian.

But a new law is being debated in which this popular companion animal might become verboten to use a German word. PETA, the animal advocacy campaigning charity, have urged dog lovers not to buy this centuries-old breed because of its health problems which include spinal pain, possible rheumatic diseases, epilepsy and heart defects.

It is not unusual for purebred dogs and cats to have inherited diseases. Obviously, the dachshund is no different to many others. The German Kennel Club (VDH) has, as expected, strongly objected to the proposed law and launched a petition to save the breed.

The organisation is calling upon Germans to resist “a law that prohibits our favourite dogs” in a petition which has gathered 12,000 signatures so far.

This is a draft animal protection law which would ban breeds with skeletal anomalies. VDH’s president, Peter Friedrich said that the law is too vague; too ill-defined to be workable. They believe that it should provide a clearer definition of what an anomaly is and if they don’t the law might ban all healthy dogs that deviate from a wolf type.

The president of a dachshund breeders society, Joseph Ramacher, as urged members to write to their Members of Parliament. They want them to “protect our dachshunds from the grasp of ideologized forces.”

The name “dachshund” means “badger dog” and as you may know was bred deliberately with short legs and a sausage body to enable it to charge down burrows and hunt badgers.

Many dachshunds suffer from lameness due to a slipped disc resulting from the relatively abnormally long body and short legs placing stresses on the back.

Friedrich of VDH, said that: “They are not only family and companion dogs but dachshunds from reputable breeders are impressive as hunting dogs that effortlessly accompany their owners all day long. For many people it is impossible to imagine Germany without them.”

List of inherited health problems affecting the dachshund

Dachshunds are known for their distinctive body shape, which unfortunately predisposes them to certain inherited health issues. Here’s a list of common inherited health problems in Dachshunds:

  1. Intervertebral Disc Disease (IVDD): This is the most common issue, where the discs in the spine can become diseased or compressed, leading to pain, weakness, or paralysis.
  2. Back Sprains: Due to their long spines, Dachshunds are prone to back injuries, which may sometimes be confused with IVDD.
  3. Acanthosis Nigricans: A skin condition that doesn’t typically cause discomfort but can be unsightly.
  4. Hip Dysplasia: A genetic condition affecting the hip joint, which can lead to limping, stiffness, and muscle atrophy.
  5. Patella Luxation: This occurs when the kneecap dislocates, causing limping and potentially requiring surgery.
  6. Obesity: Extra weight can exacerbate back issues and other health problems, and it’s particularly concerning for Dachshunds due to their small legs.
  7. Eye Problems: Including progressive retinal atrophy, which can lead to blindness.
  8. Joint Issues: Such as luxating patellas, which can cause limping and discomfort.
  9. Neurologic Disorders: Like Lafora disease, epilepsy, and narcolepsy, which affect the nervous system.

It’s important for Dachshund owners to be aware of these conditions and work closely with a vet to manage their pet’s health. Regular check-ups, maintaining an ideal weight, and avoiding activities that can strain their backs are key preventive measures.

French Bulldog

The French Bulldog is unhealthier! I think the French Bulldog is the world’s most unhealthy dog with a lifespan a little over seven years. Extraordinary. Perhaps even more extraordinary is that this was perhaps remains the UK’s most popular dog breed currently. It appears that people are more interested in the appearance rather than the health when selecting a dog for adoption.

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