We have been breeding and training wirehaired dachshunds based on European hunting bloodlinesfor over 40 years. This is not the only type of dogs that can track a wounded deer or bear, which leaves no visible trace for the hunter to follow by eye. However, we believe that these dachshunds are particularly well adapted to working in the Northeast and North Central states, where Game Department regulations require that the dog work on a long tracking leash and where poisonous snakes are not a serious problem.
These dachshunds are of a different typethan what you will see in the wirehaired dachshund classes at an American dog show. They are somewhat higher on the leg and more agile; they do not have to be helped over logs and stone walls. But the biggest differences are in performance rather than appearance.
Our dachshunds are selected for nose and for a desire to blood track. If the desire is not there, nothing will keep a dog working on a 24-hour-old, cold line of a wounded deer. The effective tracking dog must also show intelligence and an aptitude to discriminate and to pick out and follow the particular wounded deer's scent line. This line is likely to be overlain with much fresher scents of healthy deer. We breed out of a knowledge that the "hot" dog that wants to follow the hottest line and hunt for himself is not a useful dog for the purposes of tracking wounded game. Our goal is to breed a biddable scent hound, desirous to please his handler and ready to be a working partner with the hunter.
In Europe the hunting dachshund is a dual-purpose dog that hunts and tracks above ground and bays foxes under ground. Because American foxes are usually smaller than European foxes, it is not practical in the United States to breed a dog that is small enough to work our fox dens and which also has the body mass and strength to go long miles in cold swamps and heavy cover on the line of a wounded whitetail.
Most of our dogs mature between 18 and 25 pounds. We try to breed a calmer, more patient dachshund than the type that excels on fox under ground. We have found that it is difficult to put fire and patience in the same dog. We have made a decision to emphasize patience. This does not mean that our dogs lack courage. We have never had a good wounded deer tracker that balked when requested to track an occasional wounded black bear.
The focus of our breeding program is upon blood tracking, but we do not breed narrow specialists. Almost all of our dogs are too big for underground work, but we use them on a recreational basis to hunt rabbits, and we enter field trials and hunting tests with them. Two of our bitches won the Dachshund Club of America's annual number one field dachshund award. Some have been useful as close-working pheasant dogs. We used to use our dachshunds for coon hunting, but the invasion of big coyotes into our area put an end to that.
All of our dachshunds are registered with the AKC, and our puppies are sold with AKC registrations. Our stud dogs are also registered with the Deutscher Teckelklub and John is a member of the North American Teckel Club , a “Group” within the DTK. These males have all been examined by a DTK judge and are eligible to breed bitches registered with the DTK or any other FCI approved Club. Of course they can be used on AKC registered bitches as well.
Our von Moosbach-Zuzelek bitches are owned by Jolanta, who is not a member of DTK. Puppies produced by these bitches are not eligible for DTK registration and can only be registered with the AKC. Jolanta, who has a Ph.D. in genetics found that the rigid DTK regulations for breeding cannot be applied effectively in the United States, where there is a relatively small number of German wirehaired dachshunds scattered over a vast area.
Both John and Jolanta respect the German accomplishment in developing this wonderful breed. We import German studs, and we breed to maintain the DTK physical standard.
To read more about our breeding strategies go to our blog. We import puppies from Europe (Germany and France mainly) out of hunting bloodlines and evaluate them. We use for breeding only the best individuals (usually 50% of what we import). Evaluation and strict selection are integral and critical parts of our breeding program. We not only train the dogs that we import, but we actually work them on real calls on a scale that few German dachshund breeders can equal. For the most part we are breeding from our own, carefully selected second and third generation dogs about which we have learned a great deal. When we linebreed we try to keep an inbreeding coefficient as low as we can. Most often we follow rules of assortative mating.
In addition to working attributes, our dogs are selected for health and temperament. They are screened biannually for PRA (Progressive Retinal Atropgy) and cataracts, the genetic defects, which are present in the dachshund gene pool.