"Who is the most beautiful in the country?" At least once a year the 70 members of the dachshund club rhon/saale ask themselves this question. The question is answered professionally at the breeding shows, as was the case this time when the local club invited to the deckel breeding show at klaushof.
One of the dog owners made it clear that this was not a performance show, but a test of the breed. Purely the appearance of the long, short and rough-haired dachshunds is checked according to precise, internationally prescribed guidelines. Anja busch, a performance judge from ahorn near coburg, took on this task this weekend.
Each of the 20 or so dachshunds presented was examined, measured, weighed and the gait assessed. The fur and teeth were examined. Those who did not like to be looked in the mouth had bad cards, because the evaluation of each presented dog took place after a form evaluation: from the age of nine months the animals can be presented, whereby a pedigree and the membership in the association are not necessarily necessary.
First hurdle for family tree
The rating starts with a "preferable" or "very good and ranges from good to satisfactory to unsatisfactory. Only dachshunds that have received at least very good or even preferential scores have a chance of being admitted to the official breeding program later on. The "breeding show is the first hurdle for a pedigree, whereas most dachshund owners did not want to go into breeding.
Only four of the 70 or so members of the association also breed, most of the others keep their animals only for sparring or hunting. This was also the case for markus albert from bad kissingen, who bred his nine-month-old "axel vom nunnenkloster" for the first time. Breeding did not like albert, but to sit he takes his "axel" already with.
Like almost all clubs, the dachshund club of northern bavaria has seen a slight decline in membership in recent years. "Many keep an animal without any papers and without a membership in the association", says bernd jager, one of the leading heads of the dachshund friends. And more is to come from the owner of "loki von der brennburg" the 2009 national winner: "in the anglophone countries, the trend is for dogs to be coarser and coarser, and even dachshunds weighing more than ten kilograms are accepted in the salon and win awards. In germany, the smaller dachshund breeds are preferred."
A trend that also applies to japan. There, the little dachshund is currently very much in demand. It is not unusual for japanese animal buyers to invest the equivalent of a mid-range car in a single animal at the big european breeding shows, and then breed it in faraway japan with the animal that has won a prize here.
But bernd jager would not sell his loki, now five years old, at any price, because "you don't sell good friends, and that's what loki is for me.