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a breed of hunting dog used for hunting such animals as badgers, foxes, and raccoon dogs in their burrows. Dachshunds have long bodies, very short legs, tapering heads, and drooping ears; the tail is swordlike.
The dachshund has been known since antiquity—as early as 2000 B.C. in Egypt. The modern large-sized, medium-sized, and miniature breeds were developed in Europe, principally Germany, in the middle of the 18th century. In the USSR, large-sized dachshunds (16–27 cm tall at the shoulder) in three varieties are bred for hunting: smooth-coated, long-haired, and wire-haired. The coat may be reddish brown, brown, black, or dappled gray. Dachshunds are also bred in many countries as pets.