In Germany, all Dachshunds are called “Dackels,” but among among hunters, they’re called “Teckels” (and make no mistake about it, Dachshunds are superb sporting dogs).
To complicate matters, we’ve also read that in the northern tip of Germany, “Teckel” is more commonly used, while in the southern end, Dachshund and Teckel were combined to come up with “Dackel.” We came across a conversation in a breed forum in which someone wrote: “Dackel is just a short form of Dachshund. The -el is very common in German. Gretta vs Gretel etc. And Teckel is just a regional difference.”
Perhaps a German born Dachshund-owner can clear this up for us? In Britain, meanwhile, a Teckel typically refers to a working type of Dachshund, and more specifically, a wire haired variety, at that.
As we understand it, Germans make no distinctions between “show” Dachshunds and “working” Dachshunds. A Dachshund is a Dachshund is a Dachshund. Such a distinction, however, is made in Great Britain.
Merriam-Webster says that the word, “Dachshund” entered the English language around 1882. but the first verifiable reference to “Dachshund,” originally named the “Tachs Kriecher” (badger crawler) or “Tachs Krieger” (badger catcher), was made in books written much earlier in the early 1700s.
“They are super sporting dogs. In Germany they are required to carry out tests covering a variety of skills, from following a 40-hour-old blood trail to retrieving a duck from water,” he says. “Although they might appear unlikely sporting dogs because of their size, physically they are a proper little package. They have a protective coat that keeps them warm and dries quickly, floppy ears like a spaniel to protect the eyes and a nose virtually at ground level.”