The dachshund is a popular hunting dog, pet and show dog characterised by a very long body and short, stubby legs. The name "dachshund" is of German origin and means "badger dog." In addition to the standard dachshund, the breed also comes in miniature and kaninchen sizes. The kaninchen is not recognised by all kennel clubs.
The dachshund was originally bred as a hunting dog. Its long, wiry body made it very good at going down into the burrows of badgers and other prey and flushing them out. The miniature dachshund and kaninchen were bred to specialise in hunting small prey like rabbits. In fact, the name "kaninchen" is literally the German word for rabbit, and the breed is often referred to in English as the "rabbit dachshund."
The Fédération Cynologique Internationale (World Canine Federation) differentiates between the miniature dachshund and kaninchen based on two measurements taken when the dogs are 15 months old: chest width and weight.
According to the World Canine Federation standard, miniature dachshunds can weigh up to 4 kgs (about 8.8lbs) and have a chest measurement of between 30 and 35cm (11.8 and 13.8 inches). The male kaninchen can weigh up to 3.5kg (7.7lbs) and the female 3kg (6.6lbs). Kaninchens must have a chest measurement of 30cm (11.8 inches) or less.
America and the U.K.
While the 83 countries of the World Canine Federation separate dachshunds into three classes (standard, miniature and kaninchen), the kaninchen is not recognised by the American Kennel Club or clubs in the United Kingdom. Clubs in these countries only recognise the larger standard dachshund, which it defines as dogs weighing between 7.26 and 14.5kg, and the miniature dachshund, which it defines as a dachshund weighing less than 4.99kg.