Dachshunds are everywhere. Walk down any fashionable metropolitan street today and you will be tripping over little sausages. They are the dog du jour: compact enough for city living yet feisty enough for a good country walk; cute but clever and independent. Advertising campaigns, aprons, Christmas decorations, Instagram accounts from Canada to Japan to Australia are all peppered with them. They have a universal appeal and come in two official sizes: standard (between 7 kg and 14.5 kg) and miniature (under 5 kg), with lots of 'unofficials' in between; three types of coat: smooth, long-haired and wire-haired; and myriad variations of colouring. By the writer's reckoning there are more than 150 varieties that will pass muster with the UK Kennel Club.
In this book, Caroline Donald shares her experience of life with a dachshund: what to look for and what to avoid, how to train and how to look after them. Included too are reports from dachsy homes: from Crusoe the Celebrity Dachshund in Canada (3m Facebook followers, 800k on Instagram), River the Mini Dachshund on the Gold Coast in Australia (139k followers on Instagram), to the Dixter dachshunds; Greta the puppy belonging to landscape designer Catherine Fitzgerald, her husband the actor Dominic West and family and Willow, the elegant long-haired English cream belonging to Claire Waight Keller, artistic director of Givenchy and designer of Meghan's wedding dress. There are also stories of artists' dachshunds, including Picasso's Lump, Andy Warhol's Archie and Amos and David Hockney's Stanley and Boodgie; and royal dachshunds (Queen Victoria's, the Kaiser's, Princess Margaret's).
New to the breed or old hand, there’s more than a titbit or two to get your teeth into.
The dachshund: bold, curious, and compact - a dog-and-a-half full of character
Caroline Donald was gardening editor of The Sunday Times from 2000-2019. A writer and editor with a particular interest in the cross-pollination of the arts - both high and domestic - she has also curated successful talks at the Somerset outpost of the international art gallery Hauser & Wirth and at Messum's. Her first book, The Generous Gardener, was published by Pimpernel in 2018. She lives in Somerset, under the tutelage of her two beloved dachshunds, Mitzi von Schnitzel and Heidi Wirth.