The German Dog Federation said births of dachshunds registered by breeders in Germany have slumped 35 per cent over the past decade to 7,120 in 2007. It is a far cry from the 1970s when 28,000 puppies were born a year and the short-legged dogs were a ubiquitous sight snoozing under cafe tables or impatiently tugging their owners along behind them.
Although dachshunds remain the second most popular dog breed in Germany after German shepherds (Alsatians), the figures were deemed alarming enough to provoke anxious headlines about the threat to a cherished national symbol of Teutonic stubbornness. “The German Dachshund Must Not Die!” wrote Die Welt newspaper.
Pet owners are increasingly opting for more fashionable dogs such as golden retrievers, Labradors, Jack Russells and Highland terriers, the dog federation said. Even pugs are gnawing at the dachshund’s market share with an almost four-fold increase in births in the past 10 years.
“If you’re looking for a dog these days there’s simply a far greater range of breeds on offer than 20 years ago, and the traditional German dogs are suffering from that,” said Udo Kopernik, a spokesman for the federation.
Luckily, wiener dogs are gaining in popularity elsewhere as globalization hits the dog world.