Archive for the ‘News’ category

Breed Focus: Dachshunds in issue 5 of Edition Dog Magazine

March 10, 2019

Edition Dog is a relatively new monthly magazine full of in-depth and detailed information written by professionals. Each of the features focuses on dog health and wellbeing. Issue 5 features the Dachshund and has a health article on Intervertebral Disc Disease. Photos of SDA Secretary Wendy Starkey’s Smooth Dachshund Ramsay are in the main feature and there are interviews with Breed Council Chairman Ian Seath and Health Committee Pet Advisor Aimee Thomas.


We are grateful to Edition Dog for including a full-page advert for our Charity, Dachshund Health UK.

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Dachshund Registrations 1999-2018

February 17, 2019

The Kennel Club has published registration statistics for 2018 and we have updated our trend graphs (below).

Smooths = 450, Longs  = 216, Wires  = 735

Mini Smooths = 7008, Mini Longs = 1117, Mini Wires = 851

Although registrations of Standard Smooths and Wires did not increase at the rate of recent years, it’s too soon to say whether the popularity of these varieties has plateaued. In the Miniatures, the inexorable rise in popularity of the Mini Smooths continues to cause us concern. The Mini Smooths are now the KC’s 9th most popular breed.

Registrations Standards 1999-2018Registrations Miniatures 1999-2018

The Dachshund Breed Council – 10 years on and Happy New Year

December 31, 2018

As 2018 draws to a close, we also come to the start of our second decade as a Breed Council. Our inaugural meeting was in 2008 so it’s perhaps a good time to reflect on some of our achievements over the past 10 years.

The Breed Council was set up to continue and advance the work of the UK Dachshund Forum which was set up initially to allow the 19 Dachshund Breed Clubs to coordinate Show Dates and Judging Lists. The work of the Forum developed to look at Health and Welfare issues, Judges’ Education and other matters relevant to the breed. Today, we have 16 Clubs in England, Scotland and Wales who make up the constituent members of the Council.

The strapline on our website says “Working for the benefit of Dachshunds and their owners”.

So, what’s been achieved in our first 10 years?

  • Under the leadership of the Wirehaired Dachshund Club, the risks of Lafora Disease in Mini Wires has been dramatically reduced thanks to the development of a DNA screening programme. In 2012, around 55% of litters were at risk of including Lafora-affected puppies. By 2018, that figure was down to 6%.
  • Under the leadership of the Miniature Dachshund Club, the risk of miniatures going blind as a result of PRA has been reduced, with prevalence down to just 0.3% in our 2018 DachsLife Survey.
  • Twice, we came Number One in the KarltonIndex review of UK breed clubs as a result of our focus on using data and effective planning to address breed health matters.
  • Our website was voted third equal in the Hound Group in the Midland Counties/Dog World website competition.
  • We have a single Judging List that all clubs use and people get onto the appropriate list solely on the basis of meeting the relevant criteria.
  • More than 1000 people have attended judging seminars and assessment days run every year by the breed clubs.
  • We were the first breed to appoint Pet Advisors, a group of non-show owners who devote their time to helping other less experienced owners via social media.
  • In 2018, our charity Dachshund Health UK was formally registered with the aim of supporting our research and health improvement activities, including education of owners and buyers. Over the decade, before the charity was set up, over £60,000 was raised to support breed improvement activities.
  • We now have more data and evidence than ever before of the priority issues facing our breed. Our surveys have collected health, temperament and lifestyle reports on around 7000 Dachshunds.
  • We have provided data for and contributed to the publication of 4 peer-reviewed papers on Lafora Disease and IVDD.
  • Our monthly newsletter reaches nearly 2000 people and our website has had over 800,000 visitors since it was launched in 2010.
  • We ended 2018 with the agreement on our Breed Health and Conservation Plan which was developed with the Kennel Club and will published in 2019.

If you want to track our history of work on breed health, visit our Interactive Timeline.

Over the decade, we’ve seen some significant changes in the registrations of Dachshunds. Mini Smooths have jumped in popularity from 2500 registered in 2008 to over 5700 in 2017. (We only have 3 quarters’ data for 2018 – 5200) This popularity has its downsides; unsuitable breeders (and re-sellers) jumping on the commercial bandwagon and unsuitable buyers who don’t understand the breed’s characteristics and then struggle to cope. This is resulting in increasing workloads for Rescue. Wires have also grown significantly in popularity; 450 registered in 2008 and 700 in 2017. Despite having easy-going temperaments and few health issues, Standard Longs remain the least popular variety (10 year average – 174 registrations). If they were a UK native breed, they would be on the vulnerable breeds list, as would the Smooths.

What about the next 10 years?

Our major health challenge is reducing the risk of back disease (IVDD). The data suggests as many as 1 in 4 Dachshunds may suffer some degree of IVDD during their lives. We have  a multi-pronged approach:

  • Breeders – e.g. avoiding exaggerated conformation; use of the X-ray screening programme; breeding from known lower risk dogs and bitches
  • Buyers – e.g. education on lifestyle factors – neutering doubles the risk of IVDD, exercise, body condition; buying the lower-risk varieties; the importance of insurance
  • Research – still more to be done to explore the genetics of IVDD and the CDDY mutation in particular

As with all pedigree breeds, genetic diversity is a continuing challenge. There are tools available to help breeders make wise choices in their breeding programmes and the development of new genomic tools is bound to accelerate.

Our new Breed Health and Conservation Plan provides the evidence base for our work on health and genetic diversity, and will guide our activities over the next few years.

The market will decide how many Breed Clubs we need. Running events that are fun, welcoming and value for money will ensure clubs continue to succeed. Some clubs will, no doubt, continue to benefit from having decided to run Partnership Shows. Others will continue to run their own “solo” shows. There is no “right” model; exhibitors will choose based on their personal preferences. Attracting and retaining new members is important for all clubs, together with succession planning to encourage the next generation of Secretaries, Treasurers and Show Managers to take on these and other committee roles.

Our Breed Clubs are well-placed to implement whatever changes in training and education the Kennel Club decides. They have been committed to running seminars and assessments for many years now and will, no doubt, continue with that.

Our achievements over our first decade have been thanks to the efforts of so many Breed Club officers and members, owners and research partners, all of whom have given their time freely as volunteers and continue to do so. They truly are “working for the benefit of Dachshunds and their owners”.


Happy New Year.


The Great British Sausage Walk – thank you to everyone who took part

November 7, 2018

Sausage walk fundraiser 2018

On behalf of the Breed Council, thank you to Chris Lamb who writes…

I had a little brainwave a few months ago wondering if people would get on board with the concept of a synchronized Dachshund Walk all over Great Britain. The aim was for lots of walking groups to all walk/get together on the same day to socialise, play and raise money and awareness for Dedicated to Dachshunds with IVDD, The Red Foundation and Dachshund Health U.K. with a suggested voluntary donation of £2 per Dachshund. The total going into one PayPal/Bank Account to then be divided between the charities.

I was delighted with the response from the Dachshund community and The Great British Sausage Walk was born!

So, on the 7th October 2018, the following groups held a walk/event raising a total of £2,441.67!

Kent Dachshunds. Lesley Easton

Sausage Dog Friends. Alan Williams

Dachshunds of Cumbria. Sue Fell

Astley Park. Tanya Wright

Sausage Dog Rendezvous. Chris Lamb

Isle of Man. Avril Muller

Derbyshire Dachshund. Tanya Robinson

Cornwall Dachshunds. Pauline Westaway

Fernilee. Nina Moore

Nottingham Dachshund Group. Ginny Bullock

Dachshunds Walking Group. Rosemary Henderson

Teesside. Martin Peagam

Dachshunds Around Glasgow. Jennie Walker

Sausage Dog Walks. South Wales. Charlotte Baldwin.

Absolutely thrilled with the support and hope to do it all again next year!


WE ALSO USED THE OPPORTUNITY TO REMEMBER JEFFREY (the Mini Wire who was attacked by another dog and, sadly, died). This enabled us to get more publicity for his Petition.


The 2018 Animal Welfare Regulations – more heat than light?

August 15, 2018

The Animal Welfare (Licensing of Activities Involving Animals) (England) Regulations 2018

New regulations affecting dog breeders in ENGLAND come into force on 1st October 2018. DEFRA has also issued Guidance Notes and various other organisations, including the Kennel Club, have published advice for breeders.

Despite all the information that has been published, there is still some confusion about who requires a Breeder’s Licence. The purpose of this article is to summarise the relevant advice for ordinary dog owners who may also breed and show their dogs.

Who needs a licence?

  1. Anyone breeding 3 or more litters of puppies per year (unless they can show that none of the puppies have been sold)
  2. Anyone breeding puppies and advertising a business of selling them, irrespective of the number of litters produced per year

Who doesn’t need a licence?

  1. Breeders who can provide documentary evidence, if requested, that none of their puppies were sold or that they kept all of the puppies themselves
  2. Breeders that breed a small number of puppies (1 or 2 litters per year) and that sell them without making a profit

The DEFRA Guidance says: In all cases except dog breeding the licensable activity is solely restricted to businesses or those operating on a commercial basis. For dog breeders, a limit on the number of litters is also in place unless it can be proved that none of the puppies from these litters are sold.

Is your breeding activity “a business” (meaning you will need a licence)?

The circumstances which a local authority must take into account in determining whether an activity is being carried out in the course of a business include, for example, whether the operator

(a) makes any sale by, or otherwise carries on, the activity with a view to making a profit, or

(b) earns any commission or fee from the activity and/or advertises a business of selling dogs

These are the 2 tests described in the regulations but they are not the only factors that may be considered. HMRC has “9 badges of trade” which it uses to define whether or not someone is trading (i.e. a business). Some of these are unlikely to be relevant in the case of dog breeders. Those in bold may well be relevant.

  1. Profit seeking motive – did you breed to make money?
  2. Frequency and number of similar transactions – how often do you breed and how many times have you bred?
  3. Modification of the asset in order to make it more saleable
  4. Nature of the asset
  5. Connection with an existing trade – e.g. if you run a boarding kennels as well
  6. Financing arrangements
  7. Length of ownership
  8. The existence of a sales organisation – e.g. if you have a “sales website”
  9. Reason for the acquisition/sale

In some circumstances, the existence of one single badge is enough to show trading. However, in other cases, HMRC will look at a combination of the badges of trade. The trigger to get HMRC interested in the first place is the existence of a profit because you may well have income that is taxable. There is a large body of case law on what amounts to trading and individual cases will be judged on their facts, so keeping records of your income and expenses would be important.

Note that the Government announced in Budget 2016 a new allowance of £1,000 for trading income from April 2017. Anyone falling under this threshold would not need to be considered in the context of determining whether they are a business. The £1000 threshold applies to income, not profits.

So, are you “a business” for the purposes of the regulations?

From the above, there is no black and white answer. It already appears that different local authorities are arriving at different decisions on this aspect. This is not surprising as the guidance specifically says “there will be an element of judgment required”. Unfortunately, that’s not very helpful for most people.

Guidance on “out of scope” activities

DEFRA provides further examples of indicators that a breeder may fall outside the scope of the licencing requirements:

  • The number, frequency and/or volume of sales – irregular transactions, low and/or irregular numbers of adverts/sales or low numbers/values of animals sold are likely to indicate the activity is not commercial in its nature
  • Where an individual can demonstrate the activity is undertaken as a hobby or for education or scientific advancement, and that they are only selling surplus stock, without making a profit. This could be demonstrated by producing evidence such as:(a) Reports or studies prepared by the individual in relation to the species kept, including self-published, published for scientific journals, published in the pet trade or hobby media, or demonstrable contributions to conservation projects.
    • (b) Competition entry forms for the animals kept by the individual.
    • (c) Registered membership of a club or society relevant to the animals kept by the individual

How to get a licence

If you think you need to get a breeding licence, ask your local Authority. There’s usually an online application but you may wish to speak with someone first, to find out if they think you actually do need a licence.

You will then have to meet the conditions set in the regulations (see further reading). The conditions are based on the 5 Animal Needs:

  1. Need for a suitable environment.
  2. Need for a suitable diet.
  3. Need to be able to exhibit normal behaviour patterns (such as exercise)
  4. Need to be housed with, or apart, from other animals.
  5. Need to be protected from pain, suffering, injury and disease.

Advertising your puppies

After October 1st 2018, if you have a breeding licence you must include all of the following within your adverts:

  • Your breeder licence number
  • Name of the local authority that issued you with the licence
  • A clear, recognisable photo of the specific dog you are selling
  • The age of the dog offered for sale
  • The dog’s country of origin and country of residence, which will generally (but not always) be the UK

If you don’t have (or need) a breeding licence, you don’t need to include that information in your adverts.

Further reading:

KC FAQs are here:

The legislation (39 pages) can be found here:

The general conditions for the legislation can be found here:

Specific conditions on breeding dogs can be found here:

DEFRA Guidance can be found here:

What licenced breeders must do to advertise their puppies legally:

When is a hobby not a hobby – blog post:


The information provided here has been taken from published DEFRA Guidance on the Regulations and We are not local authority licencing inspectors, lawyers nor tax accountants. You should consider your own personal breeding circumstances and take advice, if necessary.

Fun in the sun for Wire Dachshunds (and friends) – thanks to the WHDC

July 22, 2018

The Wirehaired Dachshund Club held a Fun Day at Sue Gilkes’s farm near Chipping Norton. More than 80 dogs and their humans turned up to have a go at Tracking, Scurry, Obedience, Agility and Tunnel Work, as well as a Fun Show.

Huge thanks must go to Sue and her husband for providing the facilities at their farm and to the WHDC’s committee and helpers for making the day such a success. Funds raised will go to support Lafora Screening and the Cinnamon Trust.

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Time to buy your Christmas Cards and support our IVDD charities

July 2, 2018

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This year, Devoted to Dachshunds is again raising money for research into IVDD and also for those dogs already sadly affected with the disease. EVERY PENNY (the entire £5) from the sale of these lovely cards will be split between the Dachshund Breed Council’s research into the condition and the charity, ‘Dedicated to Dachshunds with IVDD’ which raises money for rehabilitation, wheelchairs and strollers.  There is a choice of 5 designs:

‘Shopping Season’is a lovely design, generously donated by Joy FitzSimmons of London Pooch.  Little dachsie in wheels takes centre stage on this fun and festive card  

Christmas Jumper’ shows a cheeky sausage proudly showing off his festive jumper. Image is adapted from an original design by Super Cat

‘Snow Sausage’ features Jemma, a very cute mini long hair dachsie. Image is by kind permission of Chris Meads (photographer) and Maureen Meads (owner)

‘Wirey Christmas’ shows an adorable wire haired dachshund carefully guarding a pile of presents. Image is from an original photo by Ivonne Wierink

‘All Wrapped Up’ is an original design by Amy Cartwright and depicts a happy little sausage dog in the snow, his loooong body cosily cocooned in a festive red scarf.


Order yours here.